Picked up from the irrepressible Frank J Fleming of IMAO, the idea that most modern Governments resemble Tomoyuki Tanaka‘s comic creation, the fictional raging Japanese Manga* Monster, Godzilla. O-okay. Kind of weird and goofy as a mental image, but upon careful examination, quite accurate, even witty.
What do Governments do best? Hmm. That’s fairly easy. Big stuff like defence, wars, infrastructure, all that jazz. What do Governments do worst? Another easy one. Everything.
Asking Government to fix a relatively small scale problem is rather like calling for Godzilla to do your windows. The end result is the Windows smashed, your home and all its contents trodden into an unrecognisable pile of rubble, and the shrubbery thoroughly trampled. Not to mention the resultant defoliation caused by its radioactive breath. Watching Big Government at work is an entertaining spectacle from afar, but not so funny when you’re the poor sod getting under its feet. Big Governments do not do small. They do the one size fits all thing very well indeed, but when it comes to the fine detail bring the Loki like law of unforeseen consequence grinning and dancing in their footsteps.
For example; dealing with Government departments, as we all know, is a difficult and delicate process. One must always be aware that there is a massive gap between the brain, which like Godzilla is a long way off and difficult to reach, and the bit you want to stop doing what it is doing, e.g. radioactive halitosis, trampling, claws, tail and property damage. Unfortunately, successfully dealing with one Government department often leads you into conflict with another. Also like Godzilla, discovering it has another vestigial brain in its bloody tail which you must now successfully deal with. Which is frustrating. All the boxes must be ticked in precisely the right order to placate the beast and send it happily wandering back into the primordial ooze from whence it came.
So yes; I think Frank’s entertaining little metaphor works. Invulnerable monster, heavy handed, do not summon lightly. Yet there are a lot of people who will cheerfully call on the beast without a thought for the consequences. Which is where a whole new set of problems arrive.