Bureaucracy

I’m helping someone fill out a Heritage Lottery Fund application form. She’s already spent five days filling it in. Can she claim money for that (waste of) time? A local church architect said that many churches just aren’t campaigning for much-needed restoration money because they can’t face the application forms. I’m not surprised. This form is only the ‘first round’. You have to list costs in detail and have a complete projet timetable, but you might not even get onto the shortlist for the ‘second round’, after which the HLF might give you some money. If no money, then that’s a week’s work completely wasted. Why can’t one just outline the project very broadly and, if it seems viable, provide a more detailed form? An HLF representative could even come out to meet the project’s proposers. These forms and processes make you wonder what the employees of the HLF and other such organisations actually do.

I managed to avoid using such ghastlinesses as ’empowering’, ‘enabling’, ‘enthusing’. I don’t know whether they will appreciate my prose, however, since they mangle English daily. I also avoided ‘accountability.’ This, like ‘transparency’, is not just a cliche but a frightening hypocritical lie. If you are accountable and transparent, you don’t need to say so. It’s self-evident. Those organisations claiming accountability are necessarily unaccountable. They are usually so big that accountability can be passed around, but without any music stopping.

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