Tuesday, February 06, 2007

The Nasal Strategy

The Chipster had already gone seriously nasal by the time one of the neighbours turned up on my doorstep this morning.

I don’t know if you’re aware of this but I have a problem with hair growing out of my nose. I blame my Estonian heritage. Our family were renowned for having the hairiest nostrils in the small village of Pslatina and I’ve carried on the tradition, being prone to sudden spurts of hair growth the likes of which have been known to suffocate a man.

This is the reason I’ve always taken my grooming so very seriously. If I’m honest, it’s probably why I got into the whole stripping business in the first place. From an early age, I discovered the pleasure in taking care of my body. It’s why I own the heaviest duty clippers you can find; the type they use in to top barber shops. They are a fearsome weapon in the wrong hands. A person could lose an eyebrow or an ear, which is why I normally clear the living room when I’m about to trim my nostrils. I like to give myself plenty of elbow room.

I’m also full of interesting facts about nostrils. Did you know, for example, that humans only use one nostril at a time? Through the course of the day, our active nostril changes once every four hours and this is called the nasal cycle. This morning, my left nostril was open so I had begun by making my first foray into the right naris. That’s when I looked up and saw Gabby and one of our neighbour standing in the hall doorway and watching me. You’d think they’d never seen a totally naked man clipping his abnormally long nose hairs before.

Gabby distracted him as I slipped out to wrap a towel around my 'career assets' and, when I came back, she explained how Tony had stopped her at the lift to ask her about joining the Lib Dems. She thought he should speak to me since I’m the one who insists on putting all the stickers on the car.

The man proved himself to be a complete heathen when it came to politics. The first thing he told me was that he’d voted Labour at every general election except one when he ‘went Green’. He now wanted to know how easy it was to ‘join the orange’. I gave him the usual handouts and one of those good picture of Sir Menzies… You know the ones, where he has his teeth in… And he seemed reasonably pleased. Then we got to talking about identity cards which it turned out was the only reason Tony wanted to join us. Not a word about our being the only party with a comprehensive thong policy.

I admit that I didn’t tell him that the Tories have now also come out and announced that they’ll scrap the ID card scheme as soon as they get into government. It's a clever move by David Davis is leaves the Labour lot looking like a right bunch of lemons. A bunch of totalitarian freedom-slapping corrupt lemons at that.

But there’s a bigger issue at work here and that’s what I wanted to say in today’s ‘report from Bangor’. It’s about knowledge and about how much information the government collect about us.

Tony Blair’s years in government have been marked by the government’s belief in the power of information. Ever day databases grow constantly larger as more evidence is compiled about us at huge expense to the tax payer by a government that believes that power gravitates to those that rule information. Which may be true to a point when the data sets are small, confined to closed systems, but it doesn’t really work for governments whose remit is the world and whose subject is human behaviour.

What New Labour have consistently failed to understand is that we are all able to demonstrate free will, that lively spark of human irrationalism which lives within us all. Somebody will always copy the emails the computer experts said were deleted. Not everybody will agree with a policy that they tell us is self-evidently sensible. Given the full facts of any given situation, the government will always fail to anticipate the actions of a single human. Somebody somewhere will always upset the cart full on monkeys.

I’ve just read about (and here) the Home Office's plans to crack down on internet paedophiles by making 'sex offenders […] register their e-mail addresses and chatroom names.’ Again, do they really expect human nature to conform to their petty rules? Those willing to commit a sexual offence are surely not beyond misrepresenting themselves with false names and email accounts. These days any fool can go to Yahoo! and create a fake identity.

The identity card scheme was flawed from the moment Charles Clarke showed us all the prototype card and we all realised that his ears had been cut off on the photograph. The human spirit refuses to be bound by such a measly lump of plastic. Whether it’s a man with pan-like ears or my unfeasibly quick growing nostril hair, human life is unpredictable. You can’t gather information about it. You simply have to be ready at the other end to beat it back with a big stick or the most powerful pair of nasal hair trimmers the world has ever known.


Annie Rhiannon said...

"I’ve just read about the Home Office's plans to crack down on internet paedophiles by making 'sex offenders […] register their e-mail addresses and chatroom names.’"

That is the most ridick thing I have heard all day.

Chippy said...

I know. I know. Crazy but true... I'm sure all the nation's sex offenders are shaking in their boots, if they're not already shaking in their boots for different reasons, if you see what I mean...

Jeremy Jacobs said...

Too much information