But it is a good reason why anything more complicated than a box or two to tick just isn’t going to work as a method of governance:
One farmer’s field was struck out because on the day the picture was taken it had been flooded by a burst water main. It was therefore declared as an “ineligible TW03 (Inland Waterway). Frequently those inputting the data couldn’t even read the forms properly, so that one farmer who had put “AC58”, the code for “birdseed mixture”. found this had been inputted as “AC66” for “wheat”, while his “AC59” entry for “mixed crops” had been translated into “AC52” for “Siamese pumpkins”.
What makes this all the more outrageous, however, is not just that thousands of farmers will not be paid their legal due, at a time when, thanks to rock-bottom farm prices, subsidy payments can make all the difference between survival or going under. The RPA now tells them they can also expect to be fined for making fraudulent declarations, which are entirely down to the incompetence of its own officials. Furthermore, it seems this shambles is so immense that the UK may face further huge fines from Brussels, dwarfing even those imposed under the old system – the scandalous mistakes of which this new system was supposed to cure.
Complicated governance, complicated management, schemes just don’t work. Because complex just doesn’t work.
This is true whether we speak of Major Douglas’ social credit or this nonsense with farm payments. Or detailed pl;ans for industrial renaissance, or tax systems trying to balance fairness, revenue raising, increasing equality and so on and on: or even benefits systems with many multiplies of different benefits for different circumstances.
Just keep it simple, stupid.