Applause please…

…I have a theory that I know to be a truth, of which I am so certain that I haven’t bothered to gather evidence to support it. And it is this; that the only thing certain about a Public Sector plan is that it will be wrong. But for some reason we still relish the production of them, we throw huge amounts of time into them as well as large sums of precious tax-payers money at them, and we eagerly anticipate their creation. When they are unveiled we are in awe of the people who share them with us.

I was at a meeting recently where a succession of reasonably well-paid and fairly senior Public Sector employees delivered presentation after presentation to a mixed audience; Power-Point has never been so abused but I guess we’ve all got that T-Shirt eh! Each presentation contained the usual set of thoughts and speculation about what needed to change, why what had happened in the past hadn’t worked and what we should all be focusing on as we were collectively encouraged to start “looking forward”… it reminded me of the joke about Economists, that they will all be able to tell you tomorrow why what they predicted yesterday didn’t happen today, and have you noticed how no-one says “looking backwards” perhaps they should start because we might learn more from past mistakes? Anyhow, after each presentation the speakers were applauded and it struck me as odd, odd to applaud someone other than a clairvoyant or a football manager for speculating about the future whilst being paid handsomely to do it.

Isn’t it funny how quickly our individual and collective memories fade, that instead of asking what happened to the last set of whiz-bang ideas and plans that clearly never worked (hence the need for new improved whiz-bang ideas) and instead of holding people (Public Servants) accountable for them, we just applaud the “new thing” that is put in front of us? I wonder if it is because we like it when other people come up with solutions to all our thorny problems; it saves us from exercising our own intellect and rewards lazy thinking?

Next time you see a Nurse, a Bin-man, a Policeman or a Fire Fighter, give them a round of applause; they might never have used Power-Point and they probably won’t be expecting your applause, but I think they’ll deserve it.


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