The Crocodile Farm Syndrome

For some months now I’ve been meaning to get something off my chest. Like ‘Mr Angry’ on the Enterprise Britain blog I have a few hang ups but I’m increasingly alarmed at a new style of bureaucracy. I have seen two perfect examples of this new bureaucracy.

In both cases there is ‘a lack of reason, a lack of common sense’ and both are perfect and plain examples of how not to treat professional people. For years we’ve heard how Doctors have been mistreated in the NHS but there are more disturbing examples of what I call THE CROCODILE FARM SYNDROME.

You see ‘Dear Reader’ this is how a crocodile farm is built. Some villagers in a small farming community are thinking of how to better their lives. They don’t like farming. It’s dirty, hard and unprofitable work but they occasionally use their dugouts to assist big white hunters, the established bread winners for their part of the jungle, to use their skills to seek out, capture and kill large crocodiles for these trophy hunters.

At the end of the hunt they are given the meat and the pieces of the crocodile that the hunters don’t require as well as a small payment to buy some beers and the extortionate malaria tablets that their fellow villagers need. The hunters are happy, they’ve had a great trip catching crocodiles, go home with their trophies, some skins to sell to the handbag trade and many macho stories to tell their wives and friends when they get home.

One day an educated villager returns to his village and is told by these farmers that the big white hunters regularly come to their river, capture crocodiles with the assistance of his friends and family, and profit enormously from this sport. So he calls the tribal leaders over and suggests that the villagers construct their own crocodile farm and stock it with young crocodiles and entertain a breeding program. The object of course is to nurture enough crocodiles for food and skins and sell the best skins to the western handbag buyers.

Before long the hunters no longer visit the river because there are no crocodiles and the sport is terrible. The proprietors of the lodges are not amused but what can they do? After many years the crocodile farm is a big business. The full life cycle of the crocodile is operated efficiently. The eggs are incubated, there are thousands of hatchlings in what look like fisheries, thousands more in the 1st year pens, and thousands again in the 2nd year pens, but not so many in the next until there are some 15 metre monsters in the last pen.

The crocodiles are being fed of course on crocodile meat but they’re NOT that happy. Neither are the villagers who have to work at the crocodile farm as there are some villagers profiteering out of the community operation. There is corruption in the air. But the farm is the biggest provider of work for the village as the farmers regularly have failed crops and they got used to the reliability of the farm for income. There are now too many crocodiles, the villagers can’t cope with looking after them, their managers are incompetent and often ignorant of the operations of the farm and ignore the demands of their ultimate customers, the handbag manufacturers. And there’s a new threat too. There is now a government department that has been set up to control the farms so more villagers are employed to oversee the managers, the researchers who monitor the gene pool and the pen handlers. For sake of confusion let’s call them the Farm Regulators….

And guess what happens next!

The health of the crocodiles starts to deteriorate, conditions get worse by the day. Very soon the crocodiles escape and eat all the people as well as the smaller crocs on the farm. The Farm Regulators escape because they run away as they don’t want to face reality.

And what is the farm called folks?

If you haven’t guessed by now it could be called the┬áLondon Stock Exchange. More specifically this is what is happening thanks to the peculiar misgivings of the great CISI (the Chartered Institute of Securities and Investment) who used to look after the interests of the experienced operators of business on the exchange. After all OPPORTUNITY must be given to everyone regardless of what knowledge, experience and education they may have. IT’S AMAZING WHAT A BIT OF GREED AND A QUALIFICATION CAN DO TO COMMON SENSE!

For the second example of the Crocodile Farm Syndrome you’ll have to watch this space. It’s even more alarming and I can assure you it will be a journalistic scoop. And it has nothing to do with the City of London or NHS by the way!

Please leave a comment - we all like them