The Brown Future - The Telegraph Gets It
At a time when the rest of the country is making economies, it is intolerable that the public sector should be immune. Businesses are cutting costs and laying off staff. Individuals are postponing planned purchases and shopping around for special offers. The coping classes are finding it harder to cope than ever.
Yet, for our functionaries and quangocrats, the credit crunch doesn't exist. The Guardian supplement continues to advertise non-jobs on the state payroll. GPs are to benefit from a 58 per cent increase in pay (this is what "investing in the NHS" means). Senior council officers continue to draw their six-figure salaries - despite being ultimately responsible for the investment decisions that led to hundreds of millions of pounds of local authorities' funds being stashed in Icelandic banks.
The loss of such money in the private sector would lead to cutbacks, starting with those who had given the duff advice. But local councils, like all government agencies, invariably favour their hirelings over their ratepayers. In their present predicament, their instinct is to demand more cash from the taxpayer, not to curtail their expenditure....
...Until now, Labour has refused to countenance any diminution in its client state. But, as the recession bites, voters will be less tolerant of the glossy leaflets being pushed through their letter boxes by local authorities.
They will no longer grin resignedly at the armies of gender mainstreaming advisers and liaison units and disability awareness counsellors and compliance officers producing their plans and strategies and consultation documents, breaking off occasionally to sue each other for discrimination. Nor will they be fobbed off by the claim that reducing these bureaucracies will mean "cuts to vital services" or "taking money from schools and hospitals". People are starting to hurt. They want the pain to be shared by those whose salaries they are paying.
That is the sort of Leading Article our papers should be producing.