Public sector workers are starting to really feel the heat. Not only does The Spectator devote its main article this week to the 'public sector fatcats' but according to The Times, the Treasury is considering using council pension funds to rescue PFI projects where the private finance has run out.
Council workers might even be denied pies with proper pastry and zero salt in their lunches to set a good example. I don't have any evidence for this, but when there's still a wintry chill in the air and the economic talk has daily servings of extra gloom, I think we should all be entitled to some comfort food.
Ross Clark's Speccie article was never going to be entirely sympathetic to public sector workers, was it? But his list of jobs with high salaries, such as Northamptonshire Council's executive director of customers and strategy on £145,000 p.a, shows there is a lack of communication on the part of councils as well as sometimes questionable salary banding.
The leader of the latest issue of Total Politics discusses the jargon used by politicians. Instead of explaining their activities, it merely creates a divide between the public and our democratic representatives that is dangerous and damaging. The same applies to councils. They can help themselves a huge amount by ditching the jargon. Instead of lazily justifying their officers salaries by simply stating they're in charge of large budgets, keep your officers' job titles to maximum of four words and use a common-sense bullshit indicator if any obtuse language creeps in. It's not a complicated move and it doesn't help the many myriad financial issues that our councils are dealing with. But it would help explain to the laymen and women of Britain what these well-paid people do in public sector positions far more articulately than is currently happening.
The public sector will take hits in this recession from the media and politicians but changing the culture of language in our local authorities is an easy and effective defence. Dump the jargon.