...... and why a Conservative victory at the next election won't make a whole heap of difference.
Being no longer idle, I fall behind on my discretionary reading, so it was only last night in the bath that I read Rod Liddle's piece on Jeanie Lynch from last week's Speccie. Jeanie is ‘Lead Officer for Equality in Children and Young People’s Services for Devon County Council’.
I can't think of any other example which illustrates quite so clearly why we have a national debt of £1.3 trillion, unfunded liabilities of another £2 trillion on top of that, and a government that consumes 50% of GDP.
Jeanie's week: Monday - Value the Difference course; Tuesday - "Building resilience for our Gypsy, Roma Traveller Achievement Services"; Wednesday - Day Off; Thursday - "Children and Sex" speech; Friday - "pulling together diversity data".
Liddle: "‘Building resilience for our Gypsy, Roma Traveller Achievement Services’. What does that mean? God knows, but she concludes, in her diary, that gypsies and Roma and travellers need to improve their ‘resilience skills’. You wonder for a moment if this cheerful middle-aged woman is teaching gypsies how to fight. ‘Grandmother’ and ‘sucking eggs’ is the first response which comes to mind. You wonder also if the people of Devon wished that their local council was instead teaching gypsies to be a bit less resilient, all things considered, or perhaps to have the requisite resilience to pack up their caravans and move to Cornwall or Somerset or Dorset. But Jeanie has only contempt for the people who pay her salary (let’s be honest — the gypsies don’t, do they?): she says the travellers face horrible discrimination from ordinary people in the wider world. Those awful people in the wider world."
Liddle discovers that there is a veritable platoon of Acts of Parliament (that would be Westminster AND the European one, natch) that makes all this worthless guff a requirement. It is not so much a matter of choice as the Law of the Land. Jeanie probably pulls in around £30,000 for this stunt. But Devon is a big old area, so she'll need a car. Call it another £3,000 on autolease. There will be expenses of course, and petrol, and oodles of stationery costs as Jeanie publishes all those glossy handouts on anal sex for 8 year olds and pamphlets telling the policemen of Tavistock not to be beastly to pikeys. And, when Jeanie finally retires to her cottage by the sea, aged 60, there will be her pension. For ever. And it's unfunded. The children she teaches anal sex to next week will be paying Devon County Council's taxes in ten years' time, partly to fund Jeanie's final salary, index-linked pension scheme. Come to think of it, a good few of them will be employed by the Council, too. Outreach Co-ordinators, probably. Or Clotted-Cream Safety Standards Invigilators.
Devon County Council is run by the Conservatives. Liddle concludes that even if they wanted to, they are buggered:
"And so, if you’re the newly elected ruling group of Devon County Council you may well be tempted just to sigh and let Jeanie go about her work.
This stuff, this ludicrous nonsense, has become unavoidable. We cannot get rid of it. And my guess is there’s a Jeanie doing her business for every county and borough council up and down the land and a Gypsy, Roma, Traveller Achievement Service in every relevant council up and down the land and a Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans (sic) History Month coming to a school near you very soon. They want kids, incidentally, to celebrate the life of a famous LGBT person from history and suggest computer science would be a good place to start. Poor Alan Turing, once known as a brilliant mathematician. Now known as an unhappy homosexual."
Read the whole thing. You'll laugh and cry.