Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Bureaucracy v Reality
Is it not the hallmark of the true bureaucrat that, unless the proper procedure is followed and the correct paperwork completed, then he is able to deny the reality standing before him?
A prisoner in the block was on hunger strike. He simply refused to attend the hotplate where I daily offered the best in prison service catering...After missing three consecutive meals this is logged by staff as an official "food refusal". Paperwork begins to be generated, procedures swing into action.
One member of staff took the view that he wouldn't log this as a food refusal because by his reckoning the prisoner was not following the "proper procedure". That the man would be just as dead in several weeks was neither here nor there, proper procedures MUST be followed. In their absence, the reality of starvation could be denied.
Is this not a sign of a lack of humanity? An indication that bureaucracy can become a reality in its own right and one that denies something in the human spirit?
And should such a corroded, misguided soul ever be given authority over the welfare of other human beings?