15 March 2010
The world of local government
Filling in application forms is a soul destroying activity, especially where the work involves the Magical Kingdom of Localgovernmentland. This is a land where the concepts of profit and loss do not apply, and where someone else has to produce the monies that the elves and pixies who make up the Magical Kingdom's population spend freely.
So for instance if you are a lecturer seeking work in the further education sector, having degrees from Russell Group universities and a modest list of publications to your name is not enough to even get an interview these days. You must be able to demonstrate "a commitment to diversity," and prove that your belief in the council's policy of "working towards the eradication of sexism, ageism, racism" is total. Presumably you do this via the two-minute hate, thought your friendly old Exile. Alas that is not the case - what you have to do is know the buzzwords that are in vogue at the moment and make damn sure that they go on that application form. Then a committee will spend a whole day going through those forms and will only invite for interview those people who have met the complete person specification.
Being a cynical old sod who had lived far too many years in Mexico, I decided that the system must work the same as it does in that country. Namely the issue is not what the papers contain, rather that there be lots of them with lots of writing on both sides of the sheets. Then the papers go into a file which goes into an archive and everyone feels that they have done their bit for the day. And the job goes to someone's cousin, or to the person who stumps up the biggest bribe.
However in the Magical Kingdom of Localgovernmentland that is not the case. This is because the kingdom's administrative elite, the polyocracy, really do go through all this drivel line by line. Let's face it, if you had a third from some scratty old poly that John Major allowed to degrade the name of university, you would feel pretty bloody insecure as well, wouldn't you? As part of the process of self-justification you would take old tosh like this very, very seriously indeed.
Neither this blog, nor its writer, will be supporting the Tories at the coming general election. That said, wouldn't it be nice if Prime Minister Cameron decided to send an army of troglodytes into the Magical Kingdom and reduced it to ashes?