Friday, 24 February 2012

40 soon. Why blog now?

I'm in my 39th year of existence, it is 2012 and this is my first ever blog. I've managed this long so why even bother? This wednesday past I was delivering Mental Health Awareness briefings to Probation staff at South Yorkshire Probation, and I had a sort of mini-epiphany. I've always liked training delivery for frankly narcissistic reasons. Whilst in mid-flow, providing I'm doing things right of course, I am the focus of attention of a group of people, and that is a buzz. What I realised this week is that as I get older and my social calendar grows more sparse the degree to which this is important may be becoming disproportionate. I can also acknowledge a slight high when people read and respond positively to something I've written and I must say that having the second most 'liked' recent article on The Quietus is particularly warming .Venting spleen on the other hand tends to alienate an audience, unless you're of course you're witty critic, so for this reason I suppose blogging can fulfill a purpose. That reason being staying relatively sane in the face of a scurrilous, festering problem.

On Look North today amongst the usual dark stories of petrol theft from fore-courts and the lack of progress on the Bradford 'Hole' there was a brief article about councillors in Scarborough voting to have iPads provided on the public dollar. They claim that these iPads will save the public £53,000 as they will be equipped to receive documents electronically rather than by paper mail. Whilst I acknowledge that most council chambers are frequented by slowly dementing wheeze-bags high on gravy I still find that claim a strange leap of logic. Out here in the world even the most ardent Steve Jobs fan would never make the claim that he invented email. But of course they know this, they have council laptops and emails addresses already, they are simply a set of lying shits. That they are said shits is only symptomatic of a broader problem. The tacit acceptance of lying, shitty behaviour within the upper echelons of public services is rampant. I recently worked for the corporate arm of a major NHS mental health provider trust and, having always had a fairly dim view of the purchaser/provider split in the NHS, it came as little surprise to me that whilst specialist diabetic nurses are being laid off information departments are wasting hundreds of thousands of pounds on spurious nonsense such as corporate software licences that are not only totally unnecessary, but practically unused. I wasn't even surpirsed by the amount of time senior managers spent blowing smoke up each others' arses and trampling all over the most basic cornerstones of patient care. What did surprise me on the other hand was the degree to which this is utterly accepted as normal behaviour and any protestation greeted with blank stares an an utter lack of shame or understanding of why their priorities are askew. The Scarborough council have the same disease, as does the government but then of course that is where it all starts. I used to despair of the 'Management Culture' incubated by Blair & co but it has gone on to have a number of hideously arrogant and filthily behaved progeny and they, not the jobless classes or the immigrants, are turning this country to shit and I hate it.