This blog tends not to do “angry”: that’s the preserve of others, or it was until today. So what changed? Simples. I made the mistake of reading the first item in Fat Dick Littlejohn’s latest waste of space, time and money in the Daily Mail. The 800,000 pound man – whether measured in money or flab I leave to others to figure out – has yet again decided to demonise those who work in local Government.
I am not a career local Government worker, but a freelance. On occasion, however, assignments come up in the public sector, and thus I plead guilty to some knowledge of the environment in which these people – yes, ordinary human beings – operate. Here are a few comparisons of my last local Government assignment, and the private sector one that followed.
Offices: Private Sector air conditioned and modern Public Sector a variety of non air con buildings, one of which was years overdue for “redevelopment” – four years ago.
Receptionist: Private Sector full time Public Sector none – security guard filled in mornings only (if available).
Parking: Private Sector free Public Sector pay, unless on call.
Catering: Private Sector free drinks vending machines Public Sector hot water free, everything else you bring and pay for yourself.
Pay: [on a personal sample of one] Private Sector around 20% more than Public Sector, plus they could afford to renew my contract.
When Fat Dick tells of “keeping worthless bureaucrats in the style to which they have become accustomed”, you know instantly that he’s never set foot in the world of local Government. Any proposal to give staff a decent working environment is howled down by local politicians courting votes. IT equipment and software gets updated less frequently than in the Private Sector. The most able and talented staff are loath to enter, or remain in, a job where drawing a pay check is enough to get them demonised by groups like the so-called Taxpayers’ Alliance.
Some of us have been fortunate enough to see inside local Government, and know the reality of public service in the 21st Century. For Fat Dick Littlejohn, though, ranting and smears replace any attempt at research, and for this he trousers hundreds of thousands of pounds a year.
Nice work if you can get it.