The Lucifer Ploy: Manchester City Council and loyalty tests #TomEllis

Dr Wifey and I have vegged out through 5 (count ’em, five) seasons of the ludicrous, luscious, delirious and devilish show Lucifer. It’s about (spoilers) Lucifer getting sick of Hell and deciding to own a nightclub on Earth. He teams up with an LAPD detective to solve murders, which always miraculously help him/them cope with whatever Personal Growth Issuez they have.

So, gritty noir kitchen-sink David-Simon-esque realism then…

But that is the point – the actors and everyone else know precisely what kind of show they are in. They keep the gurning, winking, fourth-wall-breaking to just the right side of it all falling apart.

Behind the scenes, for the shiggles I think, it seems the writers occasionally serve up some dialogue so batshit, so OUT THERE that it can only really be serving one purpose – can the actor deliver it straight, without corpsing? The two leads, Tom Ellis (eye candy who can act and sing) and Lauren German, pull it off every time.

It’s a testament to their professionalism (and that of the best boy, the grip, the cameraman and everyone else who doesn’t start howling).

Where am I going with this?

I want to call this thing, this “deliberate creation of total implausibility as a test to see whether people who are being paid to keep a straight face can keep a straight face” the Lucifer Ploy (sounds like a Robert Ludlum/Stephen King cross-over, doesn’t it).

And I want to say that pretty much every meeting of Manchester City Council that I have ever attended – scrutiny, full Council, Executive, the late-lamented Paperclips Subgroup, they ALL have had senior councillors and strategic management team people pulling the Lucifer ploy.

Today it was some utter drivel about Manchester having a proud record of delivering affordable housing.

What are the motivations behind the Ploy? Best I can tell, there are three.

a) good old fashioned pissing-on-people’s-legs-and-telling-them-it’s-raining Perception Mananagement. Tell it with a straight face and because you are an official source, the journalists will print it, and once it is printed, people will believe it (“They wouldn’t print it if it wasn’t true”).

b) to troll those who you know know better (aka “owning the libtards” as they say in Amurikka)

and c) (and this is most important)

c) is a LOYALTY/Professionalism test. The most important part of the Lucifer Ploy is to check the reaction of your fellow actors strutting and fretting upon the stage. If they are not keeping a straight face, then can they really be relied on to be a loyal part of The Team? Are they safe to promote?

I learned the right lines, but I’m in the wrong show…

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