Saturday, March 22, 2008

Whatever you do, don't be right... (contd)

A wise old bird once advised TMP that most people were ready to forgive just about any failing in a human being from pinching the office paper clips to murder, except one: never, ever be proved right about any contentious matter. Otherwise widely interpreted as: "no one likes a smart arse".

So the sight of The Boy David cycling the wrong way up a one way street and sailing through a red light has probably boosted his street cred with many sections of the population who find the tedium with which our lives are micromanaged by Gordon's nannies needs to be offset by an occasional rebellion. Right on Dave; up the revolution! Squeeze your toothpaste from the top!

TMP still knows folks who insist that everything in Brown's garden is lovely, and that he is doing a wonderful job (yes Ron, we mean you - and you can afford to be in denial with that fat bank pension to loaf around on). After all, retail sales were up in February (food price inflation) and unemployment down (more bin inspectors). However, the lag between the reality of the financial market meltdown and the person in the street is massively buffered in this land of the eternal jobsworth, because so much employment is paid for from public (ie yours and mine) purses of one sort or another. Everything from the NHS to the BBC and your local council is nicely buffered from the immediate consequences of the real economic world, and inertia will take time to wind out.

However, costs will have to be cut, and the biggest cuttable cost of the lot is the public payroll. This is our opportunity to cull the millions in contrived job creation schemes and just leave the smartest and most capable, equipped with all the tools of modern technology.

The big challenge (boringly oft mentioned herein) remains what these displaced folks will actually do, once rumbled. Blair started inflating public employment (his infamous "project") to reduce the number of claimants on the principle that the net cost of employing the extras needed to support our wastefully inflated layers of local government - who in turn pay tax on their sinecures and VAT on their spending - was probably about the same as keeping people of such limited ambition and skills on the dole. But vastly better political value on the employment stats.

The history of the world has learned many times over that the best way to mop up employment quickly is through a vibrant economy of small and flexible businesses. However, in the UK that economy is now largely in the hands of immigrants who cleverly only employ other immigrants, because the indigenous British have been educated to do anything but work for a living ...and vote Labour. A building firm comprised of hard-working Polish plumbers and Jamaican decorators would have little use for a redundant council bin inspector, who would in any case spend all day twittering about risk assessment and health and safety. Mind you, any displaced public employee could almost certainly make a cracking cup of tea.

Yes, it's a very big bullet indeed, but someone has to bite it before it bites us.

Hmmm.... bullet? There's an idea! How about a return of conscription to plug the gaps in the front lines of the government's misguided foreign adventures.? Now there's a vote winner if ever TMP heard one...

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