Wednesday, 2 January 2013

The Insidious Genius of Capitalism

I don't really remember how the title fits; but the insidious genius of capitalism and partnership boards are inextricably linked in my memory from one of the the very early Valuing People conferences. I remember talking to a fantastic woman called Simone Aspis who said that Valuing People and it's associated 'involvement' was just a 'mechanism to control a movement' - her fear being that instead of a strong self advocacy movement taking what ever action they saw fit, people were being welcomed in to become part of the excuses.  Something good enters the big clunky sausage machine of government and comes out looking and feeling very different.  

I reckon there is a lot of truth in that prediction, when I supported a People First Group I remember making banners and trooping off to the Civic Centre uninvited, we felt liberated, powerful, active.  At the partnership board, I recall feeling important - seduced by the gleaming stainless steel of the sausage machine. What a load of old shit, you silly man.

I've been part of a few Partnership Boards and seen a few Powerpoints and colluded with  some discussions like this;

"What do you think of this decision we've made?"  

"Ooh that's a good point we'll take it to the executive board who make the decisions" 

"Who wants to join the Impenetrable PowerPoint Slide Accessibilty Forum?" 

"We need some volunteers to join our Emploment Workstream Stategic Plan Development Forum Sub Group (EWSPDFSG) - what? No we can't pay you, it'll mess up your benefits....."

Happy Health and Wellbeing Board and all the best for a co-produced New Year.

Next week some more self-righteous codswallop.

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