IN Homer’s Odyssey, Odysseus encounters in his journeys a small island inhabited by the Lotus Eaters, a people rendered apathetic to the cares of life after eating the fruit of the lotus tree. The more they eat of this addictive narcotic, the more they desire it, to the point of forgetting of any purpose beyond obtaining more lotus.
The fable of the Lotus Eaters is helpful in any attempt to understand the incompetence of our leadership. Preferring to grant woke indulgences and checking out from their responsibilities to the people who elected them, our government ministers just can’t help themselves as the lotus proves too alluring. A fawning media that feeds their egos has achieved the functional equivalent of narcotics. In order to get more lotus, they continue to prostitute themselves for the sake of ensuring their popularity, position and opportunities.
But whilst the Lotus Eaters couldn’t help themselves once fallen prey to the plant (and that is certainly a fair analogy for most of the halfwits running things these days), it must be the case that some actually do understand how badly they are doing and the damaging consequences of their failures as servants of the people.
In the world of business there is a term, ‘strategic incompetence’, which means performing a given task so poorly that others will take note and not ask for it to be carried out again. The concept has been adapted by pop psychologists in the catchphrase ‘weaponised incompetence’ to describe a partner in a domestic setting who intentionally fails at a chore or does it so half-heartedly that it is never expected to be done properly or at all.
Without going into the specifics of said incompetence (you can read one of many pieces about it on the pages of TCW here) the collective and cumulative failures of our politicians amount to criminal negligence. As they constantly pander to woke fascists, climate alarmists and CBDC-ists plotting to further invade your privacy and ultimately digitise all facets of human life, the roads fall into worse disrepair, children suffer the trauma of life-changing mutilations, families struggle to cope under the weight of spiralling costs and debt, and you can forget about seeing a GP in person or securing a hospital appointment before 2028.
The fact that a ‘divide and conquer’ approach to the procurement of more lotus has resulted in local councils jumping on the climate emergency bandwagon to lock down residents into 15-minute zones does indicate an intentionality to it all.
Witness the grandstanding around the Northern Ireland Protocol between our former and current Prime Minsters, as the latter is charged with renegotiating his predecessor’s shockingly bad deal with EU bureaucratic crooks like Ursula von der Leyen.
In the context of the incompetence on Ireland by way of self indulgence by our leaders it may be worth examining the writings of the celebrated Irish author James Joyce, who devoted a chapter in Ulysses to the Lotus Eaters. He attributed their slothfulness primarily to narcissism, which is an accurate label for our tax-happy Chancellor, giddy-for-the-cameras Prime Minister and the unbearably drunk-on-power lot of them.
The current thinking among therapists on addressing this sort of weaponised incompetence is to set boundaries and establish accountability. We should insist on at least as much from those running things, and refuse to accept their failures, as each adds another nail in the coffin sealing the fate of us all to become poorer, sadder and less hopeful for the future.
It’s time to hold these Lotus Eaters’ feet to the fire.