Of dead horses and local government


South Park - Because we can

I’m not sure if there are copyright rules for posting e-mail circulars onto blogs but as soon as I read the following I knew it was designed to be shared. So, without further ado, and with apologies to the original author for a few WLLG additions, we present ‘Dead Horse Theory’:

The tribal wisdom of the Dakota Indians, passed on from generation to generation, says that; “When you discover that you are riding a dead horse, the best strategy is to dismount.”

However, in local government, more advanced strategies are often employed, such as: 

  1. Buying a stronger whip.
  2. Changing riders.
  3. Appointing a committee to study the horse.
  4. Arranging to visit other countries to see how other cultures ride dead horses.
  5. Lowering the standards so that dead horses can be included.
  6. Reclassifying the dead horse as living-impaired.
  7. Telling everyone that we’ve always ridden our horses this way
  8. Benchmarking our horse against dead horses ridden by other authorities
  9. Hiring external contractors to resuscitate the dead horse
  10. Hiring outside contractors to ride the dead horse.
  11. Hiring outside consultants to put together a training programme to support staff to work better with the dead horse
  12. Harnessing several dead horses together to increase speed.
  13. Providing additional funding and/or training to increase dead horse’s performance.
  14. Doing a productivity study to see if lighter riders would improve the dead horse’s performance.
  15. Declaring that as the dead horse does not have to be fed , it is less costly, carries lower overhead and therefore contributes substantially more to the bottom line of the economy than do some other horses.
  16. Rewriting the expected performance requirements for all horsesAnd of course:
  17. Promoting the dead horse to a supervisory position

Do you have any other ways that we could make the dead horse more productive? If so please make a note of some of them below.

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at: welovelocalgovernment@gmail.com

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5 Comments on “Of dead horses and local government”

  1. localgovalso Says:

    Releasing a press release announcing proudly that your horse is now the flattest in the country.

    Briefing the politicians that when they asked for a live horse, they naturally meant a dead horse and furthermore people who like live horses are anti-democracy.*

    *this approach will vary depending on the politician, so “democracy” in this statement might need to be replaced with “efficiency” “out of step with government thinking” or “in step with government thinking”.

  2. Stevi Page Says:

    However one should do a very careful study about the environmental impact of maintaining a decomposing dead horse or the cost of freezing said carcass.

  3. Dawson Alexander Says:

    Using Monty Python lines ie. ” It’s not dead…it’s just…..”

    Painting stripes on it and , saying the horse is not dead, it’s a zebra.

    Changing horses, but paying to keep the dead one on permanent life support anyway .

  4. UleyGirl Says:

    Having a ‘conversation’ with residents about the dead horse and asking if they strongly agree or disagree with the following statements:

    a) the dead horse is improving the quality of life of people who visit, live or work in the county.
    B) I am happy with the services provided by the dead horse
    C) we should increase council tax to give the dead horse a better quality of life

  5. Tone Says:

    Partnership working: By forming a Shared Service for Horse Maintenance there will be potential savings from the spread of best practice between both organisations, though establishing the appropriate algorithm for apportioning recharges for resuscitation activities might require extensive and protracted negotiations.


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