Monday, February 19, 2007

Working For Politicians

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Back in 1997 most of our public service employees voted en masse for Tony. But as the Doc and his million commentators have been telling us for months, swapping the hated Tories for a snake-oil man turns out to have been even worse. Despite all that extra dosh.

Today has published an internet poll of 3,000 plus docs underlining the point:

"More than half of respondents (56 per cent) said that there had been no improvement in the NHS since 2002, when the Government increased funding. Only 27 per cent thought there had been.

Almost three quarters (72 per cent) did not believe that the extra money had been well spent, while 11 per cent said that it had. Similar views were held on the quality of care: 72 per cent said that there had been no improvement; 15 per cent said that there had been."

So what to do? Vote Tory?

"Faith in Labour’s ability to put it right is rock-bottom. Nearly twice as many doctors would trust the NHS with David Cameron, the Opposition Leader, than with Gordon Brown, though a larger number trust neither of them."

Of course, you'd expect the Docs to feel a little bruised, what with them being the bed-blockers to reform and all (eg see this blog). Morale among NHS bureaucrats- about to finally abolish waiting lists altogether- must be sky-high.

Mustn't it?

Er... well... not exactly.

According to the latest annual DoH staff survey, "84 per cent of the Department’s senior civil servants – more than five in six – did not believe that the Department was well managed, compared to 49 per cent for the civil service as a whole." And only one-third have any confidence in the department's leaders.

Switch to education. Are teachers any happier? A YouGov survey of classroom teachers has just found that half of them are considering jacking it in because of stress. Why? The key factors are lack of respect from pupils, and severe paperwork overload, both of which reflect a long long trail of political interference in the classroom.

But at least those close to the corridors of power must feel more valued. Surely.

Not according to the experience of Des Smith, the naive ex-headmaster "hung out to dry" by his old mate Tony over cash-for-honours. Things got so bad for him he considered following David Kelly.

We've known for a long time that all political careers end in failure. Unfortunately, with Big Government, the failure is not contained to Westminster. The painful lesson for all those millions who work for our politicos is that failure is highly contagious. And the more politicos promise, the more horrible and debilitating the outcome for all concerned.

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