Why are we surprised?

Posted on 26 May 2009 by The Manufacturer

Ian Morris of the BFPA points out the inherent flaws dragging British politics into the gutter...

Politicians are currently being hauled over the coals at an alarming rate in a series of whistle blowing events, usually by their mates in the House, who probably have not managed to get their snouts sufficiently far into the trough. The cry has gone up and now they are calling for a review of the rules to help the poor dears avoid these “administrative errors”. This I can assure you will be a total waste of time and your money.

“How cynical”, I hear you say. It must be very easy for a man not to notice £100,000 landing in his bank account, or not to realise that funding your son’s education through the public purse is a sensitive act that, even if justified, should be scrupulously documented to avoid doubt. However, these people who manage our affairs seem not to do this and lose documentation with an ease which in itself should be a crime. Could you imagine the outcry if, in the engineering world, should a job go awry, no drawings or calculations could be found – unthinkable.

The question I keep finding myself asking is “why be surprised?” We elect to the House of Commons a breed of people who are, in the main, lawyers, economists and people who have just studied politics etc. What tend to be in the minority are engineers, surveyors, builders and so on – the people you could call “real wealth generators”. Those who have dealt with the law at any level know that the main thing to suffer with this side of our society is the truth. They are trained to distort and create interpretations of documents which the man in the street can only marvel at. It therefore follows that whatever rules for good and moral behaviour are put in place, the majority of our political friends can and will find a way of distorting them – and the drafting will create work for yet more lawyers!

This country is currently at a turning point. We have a balance of payments that is surely unsustainable by any calculation, relying for too long on a thoroughly incompetent finance industry to keep us afloat. Now the words are beginning to be heard from politicians that manufacturing matters, but do the people saying them understand the real meaning? Let us all who are in engineering hope so.

By Ian F Morris, director of the British Fluid Power Association. For more information about the BFPA visit their website at bfpa.org.uk.

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