So we are to be “consulted” on the future of Walsall Illuminations. The on-off saga has become almost stroboscopic and all we need now is a car alarm going off and we have the makings of an illegal rave on the bandstand.
One assumes that this latest “consultation” will go the way of previous engagement with the public. The illuminati at the Council House will come to a decision and then spin drones will work out a way of proving that 126% of us would willingly sell a kidney to pay for some sparkly things. School closures, the location of play schemes and youth centres, an elected mayor and the setting of the current slash and burn budget have all been subject to “consultation”. To quote Douglas Adams:
“It was on display in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet stuck in a disused lavatory with a sign on the door saying `Beware of the Leopard`.”
From The Hitchhiker`s Guide to the Galaxy, taken out of context.
But all is not well in the Star Chamber and the cat is now firmly among the pigeons. The enlightened ones in cabinet might not be agreeing on what is the best thing for us lowlife. The portfolio holder and the leader seem to be reading from different scripts and there is talk of a reshuffle. Massive cuts need to be made due the recession and the woeful financial performance of the administration. Huge payouts to whistle-blowers, settled out of court, have to be found from somewhere. The blessed leader has said that leisure will “bear the brunt” of the cuts and somebody has to carry the can. Perhaps the portfolio holder was given the wrong script in the first place.
The problem with illuminati is that they honestly believe they are the best qualified to dictate to the rest of us. Plato started this off with his notion of a “philosopher King”. That led to Hitler, Stalin and Mao. Aristotle tried to put the idea into practice by attempting to train a crown prince as a philosopher. Sadly, the boy turned out to be a half-wit.
It is unlikely that Mike Bird will change his spots and will continue to drop PR clangers in his cheery straight-talking, man-of-the-people blustering style. Despots in waiting, circling like Cassius and Brutus and giving lean and hungry looks to Little Caesar might wish to heed the advice of Mr Adams and beware of the leopard.