It seems that everybody hates bureaucrats. In fact, the word has almost become a pejorative. Why? Because the idea of a faceless, nameless person is a useful scapegoat for both politicians and newspapers to blame for the current state of the UK economy. But I don’t think this is necessarily fair.
Bureaucrats have been called a few things in their time: fat cats, red tape lovers, pen-pushers, health and safety pedants, jobsworths, dickheads… the list is endless.
On the topic of dickheads, just last November the Prime Minister claimed that Britain needed to clear out all the “bureaucratic rubbish” hindering the great entrepreneurial spirit of Great Britain. Tally-ho. This sentiment bounces all the way down the country’s Conservative echo chamber, with the Daily Mail earlier in the year shouting that “[a]lmost 30,000 town hall pen-pushers earn more than £50,000 when councils are cutting front line services.”
There are even anti-bureaucracy organisations, such as the People Against Bureaucracy Group. Although “Founded 1976″, if their website is anything to go by, they’ve been doing nothing at all for 37 years. They’re probably too busy being all efficient in the private sector.
So, why do people hate bureaucrats? The main reason would seem to be jealousy. Would you like £50,000 a year for an office job? I would.
Jealous or not, it does raise the question: does the UK have too many overpaid public servants? Well, after doing some research on the Internet, which was neither qualitative or quantitative, I discovered that the number of staff in the civil service has dropped by 40% since the late 1970s. However, the amount spent (taking inflation into account) has remained the same. So, we could conclude that the UK employs fewer people who do a better job, which might justify that controversial £50,000 per year council salary.
What amazes me about anti-bureaucratic sentiment is that it seems to presume that the people doing these jobs are monsters and not just people trying to work to the best of their ability while supporting a family and furthering their career like anybody else. Is it really their fault that they earn what they do?
I say embrace the bureaucrat with open arms. They aren’t that bad, really, and the chances are you may even end up becoming one. And maybe you should; there will be no time for self-loathing when you’ve got a local council to efficiently run!
So, what do the haters think the day-to-day life of a bureaucrat is actually like? Let’s imagine!
THE DIARY OF A BUREAUCRAT
I woke up late this morning and decided to pull a sicky as I didn’t get to bed until 3am. The Whitehall lads came down for the football but we decided to go out and waterboard some frontline workers instead. Then we hit the town; John from HR is an ANIMAL after a few expense-funded cocktails and tends to take things too far, although I did think it was hilariously ironic how the nurse had to check herself in to A&E and wait while the backroom staff filled in the paper work. Lol!
I took the Jag into work today as the lazy bastards working in the Underground were on strike again. I saw some school children playing conkers in the street without safety goggles on so I gave a couple of them a beating courtesy of the HSE. Eyesight is a gift wasted on children.
Big news! A new shipment of pens arrived in the office. I pushed them around for a few hours and then asked my boss for a pay rise. I went in optimistically high at £100k but settled for £120k in the end. There was some meeting about wasted resources in the public sector but I couldn’t be arsed to go. Instead I just stole some office equipment for the kids and drank cold tea because the kettle was confiscated for health and safety reasons. Too right; bloody dangerous thing anyway.
The share price of Red Tape Inc. was at an all-time high, so after a tip off from one of my contacts I sold some to pay for my cat to get liposuction.
‘Worked’ a 10-3. The weekend begins! I can’t wait to watch all six series of ‘Yes Minister’ on Sunday.