WW's Weekend Window on the World

The best and most coruscating analysis of the new Shadow Cabinet is provided by Toby Young. He declares that its members are overwhelmingly White, Priviledged and Heterosexual. It's true. I have said this before but Ed Balls went to the same school as Ken Clarke. The only difference is, Ken got in on a scholarship for people from poor backgrounds, and Balls was paid for by his parents. If Labour had been around in Clarke's schooldays, Ken would never have had that advantage.

Still on Educayshun, I notice that Katherine Birbalsingh, aka Miss Snuffy of the now offline To Miss with Love blog, has been suspended by her school for speaking at the Tory Party Conference. The good Archbishop Cranmer is incandescent about it. Katharine has played cat and mouse with her various employers for sometime over her blog, even though she has been consistently fair and reasonable in her blogging. This is not the first time she has had problems. And all because she dares to point up the fairly obvious flaws in the education system.

Before everyone gets too excited about the Hutton report on pensions and the predictable Union reaction, may I say that for workers in the public sector who really make a difference, that is, doctors, scientists, key civil servants etc, people who work hard to deal with the consequences of your lifestyle choices, professionals in the public sector work for less and get lower salaries than their commercial counterparts. It is not unusual for pay reviews to go on for three or four years, only to decide you were not getting a penny more. Labour introduced the concept of later retirement, and for sometime now, NHS workers have been through a process that favours elective retirement at 65. This chilling excerpt from the Telegraph makes it clear that people who have worked in the public sector for decades may have their pensions plundered:

Retiring at 60 will rapidly become a thing of the past; final salary schemes will go; and public sector workers will have to meet more of the cost of their own pensions. And these changes will affect not only new entrants but those already in pension schemes, too. 

The final salary pension was just about the only perk public sector workers get. There are no cars, laptops, phones or free porcelain fillings. Most even have to fund esssential travel in one way or another. If the value of public sector work is degraded any further, all those who are left will be the wasters and idiots and awkward types who hate you. The rest will have taken the banana boat out of here.

We areconstantly being told that we are in a heightened state of alert over the Terrorist threat. Sorry to be blunt, but you stand more chance of being poisoned by botox than blown apart by a callow young Muzzie with peroxide in his pants. Terrorism only works because people get scared of it. We should be more scared of the dim women and fat slobby men (I have encountered several this week) who drive in the outside lane on dual carriageways talking on their phones, totally oblivious to the rest of us. When I am ruler of the universe, talking on the phone and driving will carry a mandatory public flogging. Sharia law, bring it on.

I am giving the quizzes a break for a while. They are a lot of effort to do and the last one was about as popular as hemorrhoids.

But cheer you up, here is a piece of music. It's cheesy and horrible, and that's your punishment for not playing with me.


Richard said...

That music is awful. Awful.


Ruth@VS said...

I hate to take you to task, WW, but I must do on the public sector issue. It is hard to generalise, as the public sector is made up of various groups, and you are right that in certain specialisms they are paid less than commercial rates. However the vast majority of foot soldiers in the public sector are administrative and manual workers, all of whom get pay and conditions far higher than you could dream of in the private sectors. I have a public sector pension pot in my cupboard, and I was shocked to see how much the value of my pension had risen in the last year I spent in Local government. One year in a higher paid job basically doubled my entitlement, far above my contribution level. Hutton's recommendations are fair in my view.

Jim Baxter said...

Man o man, that makes Juke Box Saturday Night sound like Bruckner.

Please don't do that again.

Terrorism. Yes, quite agree. See my post from last year on the subject on that dunderheid Tom Harris's site - when we were all still deluded that he was any different and still speaking to him.

Interesting that when the bombs were falling nightly in the 40s the government covered up any failures in morale. Now when bombings are so infrequent they encourage fear.

Perhaps our morale is higher now than they care for.

Richard said...

@Jim - yes, from "Keep Calm And Carry On" to "Panic!!!"

@Ruth - agreed. I worked in the public sector from age 23 to 42, and in the private sector ever since, in jobs of a similar level of responsibility. It was only last year that my salary in the private sector exceeded my salary when I left the public sector in 1995. The private sector has a few mega-rich top cats, and a lot of drones on £18-25,000. The public sector seems to have a lot more people in the middle, say at around £35-45,000. Teachers are a good example.

jim said...

The final salary public pension scheme is routinely abused. Drones are given a 'management ' role in their last year before retirement and hey presto their entitlements double on retirement. Fireman use this scam a lot.

Dave said...

Horrible music WW. A bad imitation of West Side Story?

One point about the yawning public pensions deficit. So far no-one has mentioned the huge non-contributory pensions paid to all the Local government CEOs. That act alone must have emptied the pot surely?

Ruth@VS said...

Not sure about CEOs - the Local Government scheme is, in most cases, the only public sector scheme which is fully funded (though we do pay for it with our council tax). As far as I know, CEOs simply get huge entitlements because of their ridiculously high pay.