Keep smiling Pike!

June 9th, 2010 by admin

To cut public spending is supposedly going to be both difficult and painful, yet we are everywhere presented with such obvious folly and waste. The NHS has spent £40,000 on a poster campaign to cheer up the residents of deprived housing estates (smiley face good, grumpy face bad), whilst Suffolk County Council has hired a new press officer at a rate of £700 per day. This woman supposedly commands a salary commensurate with her experience, yet her previous employers are said to be the Countryside Agency (presumably a Quango) and the Alzheimer’s Society (a charity). Have these organisations been paying her similarly inflated rates? If so, how did they come to lose their grip on reality? I cannot believe that there is anything she does or could do in the workplace that entitles her to lead a life of luxury. For anyone who is reasonably personable and articulate, being a press officer must surely count as one of the world’s less demanding jobs – isn’t it just a matter of feeding the odd story to the media? – and one questions whether Suffolk County Council would cease to function if it left the position vacant. On the other hand, £700 per day might be a fairer rate for those who are risking their lives in Afghanistan … As for the glum council tenants, why not hand out free Dad’s Army DVDs, a cheaper and far more effective way of cheering them up?