Archive for October, 2022


October 30, 2022 4 comments

I’m 77. I have a dog who demands that I walk him twice daily. It’s good for both of us and it gives me an opportunity to reflect on life, death, the meaning of existence and the contempt of civil servants for those who pay their wages.

I was one myself, a long time ago. I dealt with the media rather than the general public. I hope and even believe that I made more friends there than I did enemies. My approach was that I was there to help, not obstruct. But I was a middle man. When I had a problem usually it was with someone within the machine, who regarded public information as his or her, (usually his in those days) private property.

Many people think of civil servants only as those employed by central governments. In fact there are far more, four times the number if police and fire services are discounted.

Today I would like to focus on just one of them. A couple of years ago on a nice Sunday morning I might have taken Eileen out in her wheelchair. (Oh how I wish I still could.) A few years before that it might have been my grandson in his stroller. It I had done so this morning I would have been unhappy.

In the next street to my house there are in place temporary three way traffic lights. Large and largely unnecessary warning signs for motorists have been erected, on the pavement, blocking it and parents and carers on to the roadway. They were erected on Friday and left for the weekend at least.

The person who took the decision to do that was a civil, ie public servant. Surely to God there is something in what my old boss used to call standard operating procedures that says you do not block pavements with road signs.

Why am I so grumpy about this? It’s because I believe that every decision made and every action taken, instructed or authorised by a public servant should be considered in the context of a simple question. How will this impact on the people who pay my wages?

My local authority has a slogan: ‘You spoke, We listened.’ Really?

Categories: General