Occasional reflections on Life, the World, and Mathematics

Posts tagged ‘bureaucracy’

The ultimate Brexit machine

Marvin Minsky famously proposed (and Claude Shannon built) what Shannon called the “ultimate machine”, a machine reduced down to its simplest logic, so that its only function, when turned on is to turn itself off. One version is portrayed here:

Brexit is like that machine, except with the variation that the switch is, by design, stuck in the on position. So that it has no purpose at all.

If you recall, Brexit was supposed to solve the problem of unemployment in Middle England: all those East Europeans swarming over the land, devouring jobs. Now we have this:

Home Office officials have privately admitted the department is having problems increasing its immigration staffing levels as part of its Brexit preparations and may have to recruit Polish and other eastern Europeans to help register the 3 million EU nationals in Britain.

So Brexit itself is already making more work than the British can handle without bringing in Eastern Europeans. So once we have Brexit we don’t need Brexit anymore. In fact, once we have Brexit we can’t afford Brexit.

Why can’t they get enough British workers for these excellent jobs registering Europeans?

The Home Office’s difficulties in “enticing staff to move to Sheffield” affect the hub that handles visa applications for work permits, student visas, premium services and family cases.

So they need to look farther afield, to find potential employees who have never heard of Sheffield.

But it’s not just about regional antipathies. It’s also about qualifications. It’s all those migrant farm workers taking jobs that local untrained British people could take. It’s like a Tory version of that Communist-agitator joke:

– After we drive out the East Europeans you will have jobs picking strawberries.

– But I don’t want to pick strawberries.

– ?????

Brexit has manifestly achieved parodic escape velocity.

Freeing ourselves from the grim Brussels bureaucrats…

… because London bureaucrats are so much cheerier. According to a recently leaked memo,

The document, compiled by consultancy firm Deloitte and obtained by the Times newspaper, says Whitehall is working on 500 Brexit-related projects and could need 30,000 extra staff.

On the other hand, according to this document there are are fewer than 33,000 staff in total working for the European Commission. Maybe there are some other “EU bureaucrats” who don’t work for the Commission, but pretty much, the total number of Brussels bureaucrats is very nearly matched by the additional bureaucrats in Whitehall. Small-government conservatives rejoice!

I guess this is what the government meant by stopping the hiring of foreigners to do jobs that British workers can do.

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