Guest post: Up in the air
Posted on October 25, 2010
This is a guest post by Polly.
I bought a t shirt on the way home from work the other night. A £15 t shirt, which I could just about afford a week from payday but still I felt a bit – guilty- even though it’s hardly a £750 dress…
The reason I felt a bit iffy about a £15 t shirt is that – like about half the country I’m wondering how much longer I’ll have a job. We have already had the first redundancy in our office, thanks to the extremely smackable George Osborne and his comprehensive spending review.
The image of Osborne, being slapped on the back by Cameron in congratulation for ruining millions of lives, sorry delivering the comprehensive spending review, with a smug expression on his face reminiscent of a proud toddler who’s just done an enormous pooh right in the potty will sadly stay seared on my memory for quite a while. Not only does he not give a flying fuck, he looks positively pleased with himself, rather like the local squire’s son having ravaged the village maidens and left them impregnated and bound for the workhouse.
Private Eye covers and gallows humour aside, last week was fairly grim, and this week promises more of the same. Including oh joy, a visit from the big boss, accompanied by HR. I wonder what they’re going to tell us. We are obviously not going to have the privilege of being specially dragged down to London like my first in the firing line colleague, but instead delivered (potentially) the bad news by either the deranged, supposedly senior HR woman who reminds me of Violet Elizabeth Bott, or her annoyingly upbeat eminently smackable junior operative who used to work in retail? Can I have George Clooney instead please? And nobody has any clue what this bad news could be. Maybe the whole regional office is going, speculation is rife.
All I know is I want to spend this week off my face on something, and am seriously considering having vodka and valium for breakfast on the big day, either that or phoning in sick. Look if I’m being got rid of, just send me a text m’kay? Don’t add insult to injury by informing me in a special pious sad manner, with lots of platitudes and then – no doubt – high fiving each other when you get on the train. Particularly if you are someone I hate and have always wanted to smack anyway.
And why is Osborne doing this anyway? Well it seems nobody rightly knows, because actually, it might not save any money. And once he has put 500,000 people out of work (plus all the knock on unemployment in the private sector, effects on the housing market etc etc) the condems are going to spend lots of money getting us all back into non existent jobs.
So let’s just run over that again. Public sector workers (paid from central funds) are to made unemployed and forced onto benefits (paid from central funds) with some fairly hefty redundancy costs (paid from central funds) and then given government help to get back to work (paid from central funds).
And this is going to save money how exactly?
Well there’s a fairly large body of opinion that says it isn’t and it’s going to completely bugger up the economy once and for all – similar measures certainly did in Ireland. Though Clegg is fearlessly striking back against the loony left forces of the um – institute of fiscal studies.
The real reason seems to be that a) large sectors of the press and public seem to be under the delusion that public sector workers are somehow unreal and will simply disappear into the ether if made redundant and b) that it’s all administration which is completely unnecessary. Low paid administrative jobs that are mostly done by women.
Clegg, Cameron and Osborne don’t get it. They don’t get first of all that actually letters do need to be written and budgets need to be controlled and filing needs to be done, and stuff needs to be generally well – administered. Possibly because their experience of low grade, low paid administrative jobs is somewhat limited. But also they don’t get that actually people need money and most of us have to earn it. Because they were all born with shedloads of the stuff swilling around – the concept of actually not having any money to buy food or pay the rent or the electricity bill or the mortgage simply does not compute.
We’re not genuinely a consideration to this lot and let’s not kid ourselves we are. We are there to be got rid of, and rearranged as they please, like deckchairs on the Titanic. Dave, Nick and George don’t give a shit about us and they never did. All those promises Dave made about no compulsory redundancies in the public sector, and child benefit, and winter fuel allowances, a load of hot air? Cuddly Nick, the voters friend, did he just want to get power at any price after all?
I cannot tell a lie, I am shit scared at the moment of what is to come- worst case scenarios of being flung onto the dole for life running through my head, since I don’t buy somewhat less than gorgeous George’s optimism about our economic future for a millisecond. But most of all chaps, we proles are REAL PEOPLE. Not just surplus baggage.