Imagine, if you will, a city that is administered by a local government that has voluntarily limited itself to just one function, leisure services. And within that one function, pride of place is given to “Parks and Gardens”.
Imagine also please, for a few moments, that an inspection officer from central government visited this city. Such an inspector would be fully aware of the plans and purposes of central government.
His job is to evaluate the effectiveness of local government, the value for money they are providing on annual funding. The inspector would also assess the quality of life for citizens.
What would he see happening at this city and what would his report include? The executive summary at the beginning of his report might look something like this:
“Here, we want our citizens to enjoy everything we have to offer. They can go the leisure centres to swim, work out, and play games or tan on a sun bed. They can relax; enjoy a great meal with a nice glass of wine. Everything is subsidised so that our citizens do not have to pay the full cost. Alternatively, people can visit our fine museums and art galleries. Most important of all, our “no expense spared” parks and gardens keep everything looking good in the city. Leisure works hard each day, but parks and gardens are 24/7!”
The Leader, City Local Government.
At first glance this city appears to be a great place to live and work however, there are several major problems that I must bring to your attention:
1. The widows and orphans are in great distress with no one to care for them, apart from a few ill-equipped volunteers.
2. Housing conditions have become very poor for many people. Inadequate sanitation, intermittent water supply and rodent infestation are commonplace. Garbage and waste litters the streets. Deadly disease could break out at any moment.
3. Unscrupulous traders are having a field day. They sell shoddy goods that have been relabelled and repackaged to give the appearance of high quality. Weights and measures are always short.
4. Virtually all roads have become impossible to navigate with potholes, collapsed drains and uneven sidewalks. Signage is often faded, out of date or missing. Many people who visit this city end up getting lost and sometimes injured from a trip or fall.
Some of the residents here (a distinct minority but growing in number) are aware of the plans and purposes of central government. They are getting tired of the “Leisure Services Only” mentality of the city government. They have recognised the human cost of such a strategy. Although they are treated as “rebels” and find it impossible to change the status quo, they have requested a meeting with representatives from central government. Their hope is to move from here and build a city that is perfectly aligned with the plans and purposes of central government. They understand there will be work involved, and that they will lose the “feel good” factor this city offers, but they believe the overall well being of their families will be dramatically improved in the long term.
It should be noted that the city government here has plans to overcome current difficulties and revive their fortunes. These include the construction of massive indoor pools complete with white and golden sand beaches. There will be huge sunlamps and massive wave machines. This will allow people to sunbathe and surf all year round. This attraction is being promoted to citizens and visitors as, “ride the next wave!”
Having spoken with the leader of the city government and officials, together with a large section of the population, I recommend that this city should be left to its own devices. The vast majority are content to have things as they are. To try to reshape this city in line with central government will cause major civil unrest, even riots. We should not interfere but wait. My conclusion is that all those who continue to live in this city will eventually perish, as the lifestyle is unsustainable.
Forgive me for not mentioning the name of this place.