Sunday, July 09, 2006

The dark romanticism of bureaucracy

It was always my ambition in life to be the dark, brooding romantic type and, although it often surprises people, I achieved it in a way that I might never have expected.

Romanticism and bureaucracy are not words that are immediately associated by many and yet, I have become a slightly unstable combination of the two. Tonight, I am crouched in front of the keyboard in a room lit only by the flickering light of a candle, catching up on my Regional paperwork to the strains of Johann Sebastian Bach's Fantasy and Fugue in G minor (BWV542 for the Bach scholars amongst you).

Bureaucracy has become my passion, and occasionally an all-encompassing one, which coupled with an old-fashioned sense of honour and a broad streak of Catholic guilt, occasionally leads me to do things that I might regret (last year's resignation drama was one of them...).

On the other hand, being a bureaucrat in politics give you a leeway that few others get. There is little competition for such roles and, as long as things get done, even the most eccentric are left alone to get on with things (heaven forbid that a campaigner should get involved with administrative stuff - doesn't win any votes, does it?).

So perhaps it is time to let loose the latin in me (where did you think the name came from?) and fight beneath the blood-soaked banners of good administration, old-fashioned courtesies and free trade liberalism. I always fancied the uniform of an early nineteenth-century Austrian cavalry officer (although the balls, music and diplomatic intrigue would probably have been even more fun) and, even if I can't have one, it might be fun to behave as though I was wearing one.

To sleep, perchance to dream, and tomorrow, let there be passion!

1 comment:

Tony Ferguson said...

Brilliant post - backroom types are never appreciated despite as you rightly point out the lack of competition for such tasks! Many years spent battling with EARS taught me that at least and when I stood down nobody else wanted to do it.