I really do think its time for the standard ‘go-to persons’ to go. Or rather for politicians to find better ones. Ones that do not promote themselves on tv ones that are simply the best in their respective fields and actually really don’t have the time to advise the government but may decide to do so because they think the issue at hand is serious enough and a real danger exists that a destructive path may be taken or policy adopted.
In my country the go-to person for pandemics has traditionally been a professor in, well infectious diseases. He advices the government to buy a MASSIVE amount of H5N1 vaccines which later we didn’t need because his predicted pandemic never happened nor did it reach proportions larger than the average annual gulf of influenza patients.
Millions of Euros thrown out on a vaccine that is only slightly helpful at best and has an expiry date.
Later big scandal arose when it turned out he has a sizeable amount of shares I the very pharmaceutical company that makes these vaccines.
At the moment we have a similar though less threatening situation at hand, the introduction of our very own (flawed) version of the British Oyster Card or the RFID card used in other metropolises around the world like Hong-Kong, Tokyo and Bangkok.
The real experts have been saying from the beginning that the type of system the government wanted to implement has serious flaws on multiple levels, technical levels and privacy regulation and even banking levels.
The responsible minister didn’t want to listen to that but instead relied completely on her go-to people, mostly consisting of the companies producing the cheap RFID chips and the company that later would be granted bank status that would control the flow of money through the system.
Now only weeks before the national roll-out of the system (larger cities have, much to their disliking, already had to implement the system) more and more problems problem starting to surface ranging from DIY sets to hack the card and most recently a method to deliberately disable the entire ticket sales machines (including for the regular paper tickets) to come to a complete halt.
I say: go-person go!
(image source: Bright.nl)