2 years ago
After arriving back home from a recently unsuccessful foray into the work market, I spent a little time updating myself with myriads of unread emails, great piles of snail mails and a good look at the world’s news.
Apparently, in the outbreak of January 2008, Gordon Brown announced that that year was going to be a year of ‘change’ for us all. He likes change, does our Gordon. You may recall that when he got the top job back in May 2007, he said we needed change then too – somehow hoping that we’d forget that for the past 10 years he’s been the Number 2 (that works on more than one level) in the government, the policies of which we now needed to change.
Anyway, I’m still not sure what this new ‘change’ was all about… whether it’s the same change we needed back in May 2007 but hadn’t got around to yet, or some new change he’d just come up with because the last changes were all rubbish. Anyway, when things are going badly, just tell people there’s going to be change and they’ll be reassured - won’t they?
Only in the warped world inhabited by sound-bite politicians maybe!!
You see, I reckon that when Gordon Brown took over, Tony must have left the dictionary at Number 10 open at C for change, because while Gordon is obsessed with ‘change’, Tony seemed to have a thing about ‘choice’. Apparently, we all wanted more choice in public services, and that’s what he gave us all.
You can imagine the discussions in households the length and breadth of the country. “You know what? I was going to send young Stanley to the excellent local school, but now that we have choice, I think we should broaden his experience and send him to that hell hole across town featured on ‘When Pupils Attack’…
Or perhaps something like this... “I was going to have my in-growing toenails sorted at our local hospital, but now we can choose, I fancy taking a risk. I’ve heard there’s a filthy place just down the road where you’ve got a 70% chance of getting an infection and losing body parts after even the simplest procedure.”
We didn’t want choice like that you fools – we just wanted the service easily accessible to us to be a good one. Not hard to understand is it?
But no, choice was the thing.
Remember when you wanted to find a phone number and you simply rang 192. Someone in Basingstoke (or somewhere) answered the phone and gave you the number. It was simple.
But how much better it is now to have a choice of people to consult - all based somewhere on the Indian subcontinent with only a passing familiarity with the English language and the geography of the country.
Because now, for more money than you ever paid before... you can be given the opportunity to talk to a taxi firm in Crewe, when you really wanted a Kebab shop in Cardiff. But you did however, get to choose who gave you the wrong number.
Going back now to Mr Brown and his ‘change’, I can think of one change I’d be very happy to make.
The only problem now is that for once, there isn’t a great deal
of choice between the available options!
Not to worry though, because since then we’ve had a general election and having been given our full rights, we made both a choice and a change. A whole new Government came to pass... and a move perhaps into total Con-Dem-nation. (Did you see what I did there?).
But alas that god-damned dictionary still lies open in wait for us. With its pages still stuck open at C. And now the watchword of this governmental term, appears to be CUTS. Cuts in governmental spending from all directions.
Well I can see the point I suppose. The cutting of wasteful services and overburdening administration costs in all things has to be a good thing, surely? It could be so good for us all.
So let’s have a look at what cuts have been made...
Well naturally the most obvious cut to be made will be the axing of all winter road services, like the gritting of roads in icy weather. That will save us all millions wont it? And then, with the savings we make by not keeping the infrastructure moving, we can still afford to put up Christmas decorations and lighting in all our town centres. This will obviously encourage outsiders who in turn will spend all their money within said town centres – Great thinking Batman... Or is it?
Never mind the cost to business and industry, loosing over 1 billion a day in lost productivity through employees not being able to get to work with the complete collapse of transportation of all sorts.
And now, these very outsiders they were hoping to attract, are all stuck in snow storms on motorways across the land. Unable to realistically afford to even consider spending money they were unable to earn in the first place.
But that doesn’t matter either anyway. Because if Joe and Josephine Bloggs were ever to make it to the shops, there would be nothing left on the shelves for them to buy anyway.
Already in some parts, the panic buying has started with essentials like bread, milk and even petrol being snapped up in bulk and replacements not managing to get through due to the state of the roads.
So now, having finally made it back to the comfort of my own home, albeit without the luxury of food and probably heat in the long term, all I can reasonably hope is that these politician types find the dictionary once again and look for the entry marked... Common Sense.
Because then and only then, will we ever make any form of change towards progress.
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