21 January 2007

2007: the Year when the merde hits the fan?

Here is my own humble contribution to "predictions for 2007".

First, a question. What happens if a country is run along mediocratic lines for one or more decades? By which I mean:

  • quick easy-fix answers to everything
  • "no brainer" solutions (i.e. not thinking too deeply about anything)
  • style over substance
  • equality more important than quality
  • rejection of principles in favour of watered down pragmatism
  • rejection of bourgeois hierarchicalness in favour of "do what you feel"
  • pseudo-individualism i.e. "can't be bovvered".
Answer: everything will go on rubbing along after a fashion, by living off the previously accumulated reserves of capital, innovation, bourgeois forethought etc. That is, until there is a crisis which tests the system. At which point, depending on the severity of the crisis, you get either (a) red faces or (b) panic in the streets.

Here then is my Cassandra-like prediction. 2007 will be the year in which the British infrastructure gets severely tested and is found severely wanting. I don't know whether it will be the London transport system, the water supply, the "health" service, the state "education" system, the electricity grid, or the monetary system. Perhaps a combination of several of them.