27 August 2006

Consultation Schmonsultation

Comment in today's Sunday Telegraph about the absurdity of modern "consultation" exercises which, to the extent they generate meaningful conclusions, usually end up ignoring them.

I recently heard about a town council which asked residents to choose a new statue for the town square, but then decided to go with its own (more modernist) choice because it didn't like the result.

Phoney consultation is a classic symptom of mediocracy. Things are done in the name of 'fairness' and 'equality', but are actually determined by an elite in accordance with its own preferences, with a bit of superficial democratisation thrown in as a sop. The objective is not to let ordinary people have more control over things which affect their lives, but to provide an appearance of listening and participation.