Long arm of the law attached to a bureaucrat

Long arm of the law attached to a bureaucrat, by Nick Cater.

The Victorian government is writing 36,700 more pay cheques than it was four years ago, as Daniel Andrews’s Labor government marches along an ill-defined path to bureaucratic socialism.

Fewer than one in 100 of those new jobs is in the police force, a pity since the keeping of law and order south of the Murray is not, one may say, as robust as one may hope. One in 10 Victorians feels unsafe in their house at night, three times more than in 2014. Three in 10 feel unsafe walking in their neighbourhood after dark, a third more than when Labor came to power. …

Victoria Police, in other words, has become absorbed in the same witless, lily-livered, tiptoe-around-the-tulips nonsense that infects every institution top-heavy in bur­eaucrats who recruit graduates in cultural change management.

The organisation has fallen victim to what Nassim Nicholas Taleb recently identified as the curse of modernity. “We are increasingly populated by a class of people who are better at explaining than understanding.” …

We’re confronted with a frightening example of Pournelle’s law, coined by science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle. “In any bureaucracy, the people devoted to the benefit of the bureaucracy itself always get in control,” he wrote. “Those dedicated to the goals the bureaucracy is supposed to accomplish have less and less influence, and sometimes are eliminated entirely.”