Sunday, 21 December 2008

A personal rant.

I’m a bit annoyed.

I do spend quite a bit of time reading blogs. Lots of them are political ones and are pretty well known. Mike Smithson’s Political Betting is probably one of the best attracting comment contributors from all over the political spectrum. I do rather enjoy Guido and Iain Dale amongst quite a few others too. The main posts are always pretty good but as ever the comments left are where the fun really is. And where much of my aforementioned annoyance comes from.

Regular visitors (such as they are after my lack of blogging for the last few months) will know that I exist on just to the right of centre right on the political spectrum. The same tiny band will probably recall that I also work in a Hospital in a middle ranking Purchasing role.

And the odd thing is when reading blog comments it’s people on my ‘own side of the political fence’ with whom I get rather cross .

There seems to be the perception in much of the rightish blogosphere that workers in the Public Sector are brainless automatons who will shuffle into the polling booths at any given opportunity to vote Labour. Quite a few do. But quite a few don’t as well.

I do find it rather frustrating to read on a pretty regular basis that I as a member of a ‘client group’, will be in thrall to the monocular one. Actually I would suggest that I’m probably in a better position than many of them to discuss the waste of money and resources on consultancy services, non- jobs, government targets and the moral and motivations of my colleagues. Subjects of concern that get discussed by them on a fairly regular basis.

I know for example that a hospitals revenue budgets are constantly under pressure to be reduced and yet at the end of every year rules (and the law) have to bent to the extreme to spend capital money. Lots of ‘wish list’ kit gets purchased to spend capital money without any real thought to subsequent years supporting revenue expenditure. A new ‘machine that goes ping’ is a wonderful thing but you have to pay for its maintenance and in many cases consumables from the same departments revenue budget, a budget that is constantly under pressure to be met or reduced. And yet this isn’t a factor worthy of immediate consideration at the time.

‘Will you have the money to pay the running costs of this bit of kit?’

‘I’m not sure. But if not I’ll just have to be overspent again next year. Anyway it would be really embarrassing not to have spent my bit of the capital allocation. Questions would be asked so could you get on with things and place the order please!’

That’s ‘investment’ apparently.

I get to see the constant re-organisations that are a boon to the printers of letter headed paper and may look good as part of some sort of strategic plan but you know within a few years this will be reversed or revised, you’ll be back where you started.

I can see the waste of money and resources and yet I’m supposed by some to automatically support the government who by dint of policy condone this.

And I have to provide for my family on a barely average income. We do rely on the Byzantine tax credits system to make ends meet. I suppose that, in the eyes of some, pushes me even further into the embrace of the dark side. But I would rather have more of my own money left in my own pocket at the end of the month, not taken at source by the powers that be, than be sat supine with a begging bowl hoping that they haven’t miscalculated and soon will be demanding a refund.

I can see this and lots of my colleagues can too. There is as much grumbling about Gordon the Saviour of the World in my little patch of the Public Sector as there is outside in the productive economy too. There are supporters of the Dark One as one would reluctantly expect but to suggest that we are politically homogeneous unlike the rest of society is wrong. And the thing that annoys me more than anything else is the fact is that it’s my allies would think that.

It’s not quite as annoying as Brown essentially saying that the NHS is ‘their’ (ie Labours) NHS, but it runs a pretty close second.


CherryPie said...

I can sympathies with you here. I am quite middle of the road politically even thought it may seem I am very lefty. But that is because I work in the public sector and I am annoyed at what the government has done and how the media place their spin on it!

I am in the fight back position, trying to get the public services back to how they should be!

The Wilted Rose said...

I agree. I work in a university so we are not all lefties there either.

The only difference between an NHS hospital, a voluntary hospital and a private hospital is ownership and profit. The first is public sector, the second run by a trust, and the third privately owned and run for profit.

But the people who work in each type of hospital do the same job - though may get paid a lot more in a private hospital.

Scoring cheap political points such as the Telegraph and Dave Cameron do by referring to a 'pensions apartheid' is offensive and misses the fact that there are many public sector workers who do vote Tory.

Liz said...

Wishing you and your family a very happy Christmas and a great 2009!

jmb said...

Have a wonderful Christmas Grendel.

Louis said...

Good post Grendel. I used to be very left wing before I joined the public sector in a hospital and saw the way it was run. The idiots you talk about are exactly the reason I will never describe myself as right

Moggs Tigerpaw said...

Good Post. Good points.

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