Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Libya Needs its Own Kafka

In the same inbox, I get a link to a story about the marvellous future for Libya's tourist industry, and another link to a tale of arsey immigration authorities, which "reflects confusion in government policies".

Being a European involved with Libya is a bit like sailing over an ocean: what you see is peacable, beautiful or dangerous by turns; but the point is, you have only the dimmest idea, can barely imagine, what is going on beneath the surface. There, huge beasts are eating vast quantities of little fish and knocking seven shades of shite out of one another.

Perhaps it's something to do with a significant route for advancement being through a centralised bureaucracy. Talented people will gravitate to it, and commence careers of hidden but bloody and bitter office warfare.

Only a theory, but one based on the fact that at least twice, I've had my classroom eyed up greedily by apparatchik warriors. In one case, we were shunted out of a perfectly adequate training centre. A classroom, you see, if all the little desks are replaced by one enormous desk, makes for a magnificent office: and a trophy in a victory over the education department in your branch of the bureaucracy.

So it could be that the tourist visa fiasco is the splash on the surface of some fierce battle beneath the waves between pro- and anti- tourist factions. We'll probably never know. A Libyan Kafka would be a marvellous thing.