Matthew Engel writes (very well) for the Financial Times. In the edition of March 16/7th he has a piece on the idiotic vandalism that is the destruction of the Central Office of Information by this determined-to-destroy-the-idea-and-practice-of-collective-solutions-to-collective-problems “govern”ment of ours*. COI “was born in 1946 as successor to the wartime Ministry of Information, and for the next 66 years provided a more gentle form of propaganda, publicising government policy or… uncontentious safety advice.”
It’s gone now, and “departments are spending their now tiny budgets themselves.”
Engel concludes –
If there is a horrible murder on an unlit city street, the lights will be back on in no time, especially if the victim is white, middle-class and from a marginal constituency. But if more children die because the old messages about not running across the road have gone? Or if people are killed crashing into unlit cars? No one will realise; no one will notice; no one will blame the politicians.
And he is dead right. This is one of the ways smart power works – invisibly shaping the “alternatives” and letting “nature” “take its course.” Except of course it is brutal class war. Fucking species.
We have been here before, of course. Compare the epidemiology work in A Plague on Your Houses: How New York Was Burned Down and National Public Health Crumbled by Deborah and Rodrick Wallace
* Fuck you, Clegg, you pathetic enabler**. But for your love of Europe, you would have been a Tory. Fuck you very much.
** While we are at it; fuck you Blair, Brown, Milibands, etc etc.