Friday, 24 February 2012
Labour Isn't Working Again - Thanks to Labour
Aha! say the loony left, look at those evil capitalists profiting from and even defrauding the public purse. The A4e case is manna from heaven for those who regard all public employees as ministering angels and anyone in the private sector as evil and rapacious.
Let us therefore point out a few facts to them. It seems that the fraud at A4e was actually committed by only 4 people, that they were committing what may well be a criminal offence, something not unknown in the public sector one might suggest, we only have to ask our MPs and those who try to police their expenses.
Fraud and criminality takes place in all walks of life but is actually much more common in the public sphere where controls tend to be more lax. I used to work for a local authority where helping yourself to stationery was seen as a perk of the job as was taking your fair share of sick days. I once went on holiday with a couple of colleagues, one of whom, on our return, erroneously claimed that her lack of a tan was because she had been ill the whole time and not because she had to sit in the shade constantly wearing factor 100 for fear of burning. Her boss spoke to human resources and she was given the time back as sick leave. Elsewhere in the same department, some of the then student grants staff created some fictitious students and pocketed their grants.
We have to challenge this increasingly pervasive but bizarre notion that profit making business is a bad and corrosive thing for society. What do they imagine made Britain rich and powerful in the world, the NHS and welfare state? Most of the advances we have enjoyed in technology, science, medicine, food and entertainment come because people somewhere saw a chance to make money and competed with one another to provide it. We are offered a service and pay people who, if they do it well and we keep going back, make profits. It drives innovation and hard work. It is why capitalism, for all of its flaws, flourished and the communist block collapsed. It's why when the Berlin wall fell the east Germans emerged from their side in Trabants instead of VW Golfs.
And do they imagine that those in the public sector are immune from the profit motive? A salary is your reward for work done. A nurse may well get a warm glow and great job satisfaction from doing his or her job but she makes a profit in the same way that oil and car companies do. She or he uses the spare money, their profit, to spend on what they want. It's the way modern advanced economies work, yet this seems to be news to the left.
The commotion this week about work experience is another example of the bizarre mindset of some on the left. Work experience is slavery and exploitation they shout from their high horses. No it's not. It does what it says on the tin. It gives experience to those who lack any, gets them out of the house, teaches them the rewards of work and getting up in the morning and gives them an opportunity to start their careers instead of languishing at home.
Taking people on this way is not costless to these businesses. Even those expected to stack shelves have to be shown what to do and how to do it.
And so what if it means stacking shelves? We all have to start somewhere. Most of us have done jobs like stacking shelves, waiting or serving in pubs and bars. It's a question of what needs to be done to earn money, something which you might imagine the Labour Party would appreciate.
Episodes like this tend to support those of us who think they have ceased speaking for the working population of this country and now seem to spend their time supporting those who don't want to work, whilst allowing hundreds of thousands of immigrants in to take the jobs and depress the wages of those who do want to work. That Forrest and his gang genuinely think they have identified an idea that will win them support shows just how other worldly they are. But then what should we expect from people who have always worked in the public sector and done very nicely out of it indeed. It's probably why they think it needs to be expanded ever more and that this will mysteriously grow the British economy. It's why Britain is mired in Gordon Brown's debt and Labour's only answer is to borrow more and create more public sector jobs.
Labour still isn't working and the Labour Party still struggles with the concept.