I am beginning to realise that the research that found that reading emails disrupts ratonal thought as badly as smoking dope, and does it without the concomitant euphoria and relaxation, is correct.
I belong to various email lists, among them the policy community of a well known, if sorely marginalised political group. Here is a recent exchange, copied as it occurred, but slightly edited for clarity, and names have been changed to protect the innocent:
A All public services should have a suggestion box mechanism, with the proposer of successful reforms to receive a percentage of the savings made. Are there any objections to putting that in the new policy?
B I think the suggestion box is an excellent idea - desirable not just in
the civil service but many other large organisations.
C Do they take a cut in salary if they suggest something which proves unsuccessful?
D Like whoever suggested privatisation
E I would not support this at all – so yes I do object
F (leader of the group in all but name) yes, ditto me…lunacy.
So there we have it. Reasoning, a la e-mail list. So do I bale out, leaving them to influence policy unimpeded, or do I stay in, and keep trying? Difficult. Think I will go and do something real instead, like chopping logs.