The Dialectic Issue LifeCycle Model (DILC) is a very cool heuristic for thinking about how some societal problems become issues, what industry does when the problems climb the political agenda and how the issues are (or aren’t) ‘resolved’. Here’s a video starring its progenitors. The DILC has five phases, and looks at three categories of actors in detail – those trying to get the issue onto the agenda, those trying to keep it off/to shape the problem into a soluble issue, and the state functionaries (elected and non-elected).
Last year I came up with the idea of each of these ideal types writing letters to an agony aunt during each of the phases, seeking her strategic advice. I am posting these 15 (well, 16) letters and responses, one per day, over the next two weeks or so.
Phase 4, the State
this is no way to make policy! We have people who’ve not read a single one of the twenty Green Papers, White Papers and Pink-and-Polka-Dot Papers careening and careering around making promises about what they will do after the next election. And none of them is paying due attention to our carefully modulated and nuanced plans to basically keep things pretty much as they are. It’s giving me a splitting headache and putting me in a very bad mood indeed!
Policy Mess Stupidity
First – as I was saying a while back to someone else, there was once this very powerful king who wanted to inscribe timeless wisdom on the walls of his palace. He gathered his wisest advisers and asked them to come up with a saying that would be true forever. And they came up with “this too shall pass.”
Second – Bismarck and the sausages. That is all.