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A Different Elephant
When William Dennenberg was asked to write a short story on the theme of “the elephant in the room”, he chose as his elephant the problems faced by governments forced to break the law in order to defend it. The task, as given to him, required the story to be written in a period of three hours, and here we present the result after it has been edited only slightly. He insists that it could be vastly improved, but we believe it worth publishing as it is.
William Dennenberg was first interviewed by us a few years ago after the publication of Royal Flush prompted interest in his theories about the use of verbal economy. Here his style is different, but still economic, as may well be appropriate to a tale of what he describes as “the glimmer men”. What he illustrates here is the danger that occasionally the men given godly power to eliminate undesirables can go doolally, convinced by their righteousness that everything is permissible.
What can a quasi-autonomous government agency do when this problem is itself to be eliminated? Government itself has little control apart from budget restraint, and must keep deep blue water between the agencies’ actions and its own visibility. The elephant is there, but must be ignored at all costs. It is a difficulty both America and France have faced in recent years, but where Dennenberg’s fictional episode is based, in Britain, the elephant is politically impossible to recognise and agencies must keep their own houses in order.
The Hit: Deus le Voelt is a PDF file. We are negotiating for a second story in what is now to be a series aimed at television. The Hit: Plausible Denial — watch out for it!
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© 2006 The Baronage Press