The Bitch and We the People!
Author: Michael Knell
Lately we are hearing an awful lot about the public sector and cuts to services, which brings me to ask: why do so many people want to make their careers in the public sector? Are they actually needed? Is it really to serve we the people, or is it to satisfy a yearning for self-importance that some feel they have a need and a right to control the rest of us? In my lifetime, the public service sector (and in this article I use that term widely to include everything governmental) has to be one of the fastest growing 'industries' on record, and I am far from convinced that has been to the public's advantage. Some services are undoubtedly essential, but so many are not.
Too often, I feel, officialdom has grown alarmingly, and at a great cost to us both financially and socially, simply because some people in government haven't understood a certain problem, or perhaps, as I more frequently suspect, they have chosen to ignore tackling the true problem head-on because another way furthers their own need to expand and substantiate their regime. As an example: local planners will all too often gloat about a housing scheme they, in collusion with a development firm, have put together. Whole estates are built for 'first time buyers' with little consideration given to who these people are, or what they do. A great number of them will be couples setting up home together in order to reproduce and raise a family of their own. Which brings me to ask: why are so many of these estates built without all the necessary amenities for children in place, or at least securely locked into a program to be available at the right time?
The public purse now employs whole armies to 'police' disasters brought about by government officials, both local and national. From the council workmen needed to erect the 'No Ball Games' and 'No Parking' signs, to the police and environmental officials required to enforce petty rules and regulations, and the effect all this confrontation has on the community, it smacks of those in public service not working in the public interest. Simply put: in my example kids need somewhere safe to play (including ball games), teenagers to meet and become engaged in worthwhile pastimes, and people - residents, visitors and service people alike - need convenient places to park their vehicles. Provide all these things upfront every time, and we will have no need for several of those costly armies of officials, and none of the subsequent 'aggro'. But then, who in the public sector would ever want that? It works against the underlying trend to expand this ever-growing authoritarian regime, doesn't it?
Today we have whole government departments that do little more than try to think up ways of setting up new departments in order to further expand their systematic control of we the people. Another example here: when did you last see a child prosecuted for smoking? If you've never seen one, I'm not surprised. Searching, as I have considerably, though it is illegal to sell tobacco products to those under eighteen years of age, I can find no enforced law to stop a child from smoking. Why is that, when it sounds so stupid? Could it be that by not tackling the problem head-on, but instead trapping the likes of shopkeepers into making underage sales puts a lot of money in local government coffers, and requiring a considerable army (at our expense again) of officials to police, it expands that regime which loves to control us?
Stepping aside from one's inbuilt prejudices is hard to do, but if you can, I ask you to consider one of the greatest problems we have today in society: recreational drugs. Since the dawn of humankind, right up until the last century, they were never considered a major problem anywhere in the world, and before being made illegal they involved no criminal activity whatsoever. Now see that against what we suffer today, with the billions and billions of pounds wasted on countless public service officials, and supported voluntary groups, losing the battle as they try to tackle a horrendous problem involving criminal gangs, gun and knives, that only officialdom itself has created. For just a tiny fraction of what the drug problem costs us today, with all that criminal activity and counter-activity (not to mention two-thirds of the prison population), we could provide far safer recreational drugs for those people who want them, and treat the few who can't cope and become addicted,just as we do with alcohol and alcoholics. So why don't we do that, and all feel a lot safer? Really, it's a no-brainer, isn't it?
It will win me no friends, I know, but from what I've witnessed in my lifetime: providing we maintain those much-needed services for the likes of our poor, aged, and infirm, I believe decimating the public sector will, in the end, be a great benefit to we the people. Today in town after town there are streets, and sometimes nearly whole estates, of families where for three generations no one has been employed, and to feed these people with their benefits we now have other towns where just about everyone relies on the public sector for employment. That cannot be right.
When the state returns to providing only what we the people want of it, instead of what it wants itself to further its own ends, we shall see in the freedoms released a growing employment and financial stability as worthwhile jobs start to reappear, replacing all those worthless government schemes, jobs and initiatives, cooked up at great expense and involving masses of unnecessary manpower, just to camouflage the true state of our nation while feathering the public sector nest. The best future for any country requires the public sector depending on the people, to be their servant and to do their will, and not the people depending on it. No one in public service should expect to have guaranteed employment, enjoy countless perks and jollies, and receive massive bonuses, or a guaranteed ginormous pension pot, when those of us living in the real world do not have the same guarantees.
It's high time some remembered which part is the tail, and which is the dog. If push should ever come to shove, they may find we the people don't just bark, we own the biting end!
The Bitch! (13/08/10)
About the author: "The Bitch!" column, written by the author Michael Knell, appears on the Blackpool Gay Scene website http://www.astabgay.com weekly, though it is only rarely gay in content. Find out more about Michael and his published books at http://www.michaelknell.com where there are also a few free short stories to read, and a couple of disturbing novellas to download.
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