When I started as a public sector worker, long since demonised, I didn’t start with that title. I was employed as a Civil Servant. I was very young, about 18, and I had just left school. And when I was trained, I was trained to understand the importance of political impartiality, and I was trained to understand the importance of continuity between governments and I learned to understand how our political system was supposed to decide our services and the importance in a democracy of that neutrality from those delivering.
My adult life started with Blairism, and so did my worklife. One of the things Blair was smartest about was shifting language, and had I known, when I accepted that tiny salary(less than 8grand but with decent training/pension/chanceofprogression)that the language we embraced to modernise was the language selling off those services and principles, we would have been upset. Finding titles rebranded consultant should have been a giveaway. After a long time in different parts of our public sector, some more visible than others, not at decision making level, just as a clerk or front line person or professional, I grew to despair of the way changes were not examined or discussed.
My understanding of politics grew as my understanding of the distance between politics and reality grew. Finally coming across the layer which ensures that is the case with the anti-cuts movement, it has been an education and a half really.
Finding out that the voices silenced by respect for their role, are used by Union leaders maintaining an anachronistic culture which by definition is indifferent to them, to play out eighties revivals has been staggering.
Watching the war in Whitehall, and the difficulty that the government now find themselves in across our public sector, reminds me that even when those shouting can’t hear it, all those people who work under the principles I valued, even if I now reject them, have been doing exactly what I told the left they would be doing.
But they were too busy waving placards to notice.
The political spectrum redefined, and now the marketisation those peoples voices should have been used to discuss, is undeniable and the voices that hid it are no longer qualified or able to even recognise it. Which is delicious in many many ways.