Saturday, 3 April 2010

While waiting for the Main Event to kick off...

...a few bits and pieces.

The current Private Eye (No 1259, 2-15 April 2010, p.5) has its usual  'Number Crunching' piece:

2% increase in number of qualified nurses working for NHS in England last year
6% increase in number of consultant doctors working for NHS in England last year
12% increase in numbers of managers working for NHS in England last year

This echoes figures I saw earlier in the week concerning recruitment trends in Higher Education:

...figures obtained from the Higher Education Statistics that in the UK higher education sector in 2003-04, there were 10,740 managers, while in 2008-09, this had grown to 14,250, an increase of 33%.During that time the number of academics increased by 10% from 106,900 to 116,495 while the total number of students rose by 9% from 2,200,180 to 2,396,055.
I hope all those extra managers has made us all healthier and more educated in recent years.

For those, such as me, who like a bit of intelligent bank bashing, you may enjoy the thoughts of Simon Jenkins and Larry Elliott. Mr. Elliott also takes issue with the idea that we are living through a 'Spring of Discontent' of industrial action equivalent to the 'Winter of Discontent' of 1978-9 which proceeded the Conservatives' 1979 General Election victory. To put it crudely, it is like comparing a hurricane to a fart. He also says that we have already had a recent 'Winter of Discontent', which saw (that hackneyed media cliche) 'bully-boy rule':

...we had the winter of discontent for finance, in which the bankers downed tools and withdrew their capital. Nothing moved in the credit markets. Governments were held to ransom by the strikers and eventually capitulated. In the autumn of 2008, when it seemed no western bank was safe, there was a huge injection of public money to recapitalise those who had proved to be self-seeking and incompetent.
...the banks were rewarded for their failures with loan guarantees, unlimited borrowing at 0% interest and an opportunity to offload their toxic assets. The upshot has been a rapid return to profitability in the financial sector, which has given the banks the opportunity to pay lavish (and undeserved) bonuses. Whingeing in the City about Alistair Darling's one-off bonus tax adds insult to injury.

Let's hope rational, intelligent discussion on the growth of public sector managers and the baleful influence of the City of London will take place duruing the forthcoming General Election campaign. Then again...

I hope to knock out one post on the Net and related stuff in the next couple of days. Then it should be Show Time ad nauseum...

No comments: