Monday, January 05, 2009

Telling hoodies not to polish the slide with bread paper

I BET that when you bought your Lottery tickets on New Year’s Eve, you didn’t think that your hard-earned cash would be going towards paying almost £40,000 a year to a Community Space Challenge Co-ordinator in the London borough of Southwark. But it did.

That’s just one of the many non-jobs highlighted in the end of year report from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, and by no means the daftest.

What a Community Space Challenge Co-ordinator actually does is described as “Telling young people ‘at risk of offending’ how to use public spaces”. Quite what that entails I’m not sure, but presumably it involves wandering around the local park telling hoodies not to polish the slide with bread paper and to perhaps try not to stab each other while queuing for a go on the witch’s hat.

We should not belittle this job. Southwark is a tough patch, where even the area’s top clergyman is liable to get legless at an Irish Embassy reception, clamber into a stranger’s car and throw the owner’s children’s toys into the road shouting “I’m the Bishop of Southwark. It’s what I do”.

So who else is on this Roster of Nonsense? Well, there’s the £42,000-a-year Head of Participation and Inclusion at Hertfordshire County Council, whose job description seems to be “encouraging people to play musical instruments”.

What about the £37,000-a-year Head of Communities and Partnership in Charnwood, tasked with “ensuring that community issues are resolved with lasting solutions”?

And then there’s the £20,000-a-year job of Street Football Co-ordinator at Moray Council in Scotchland … err … organising and promoting street football. Actually, I quite agree with that one. I can think of no better use of public money than getting kids away from their computer screens and out into the fresh air … as long as it’s not my wall they’re kicking the ball against.

The problem with this explosion in the number of State apparatchiks is that public sector workers used to be rewarded with generous pensions for all their years of lowly-paid toil for the benefit of others. But no more. The average public sector worker was paid £21,413 in 2008, more than those on the private sector average of £20,715.

Furthermore, despite the economic implosion engulfing us all, their jobs are still regarded as much more secure than those of the rest of us. It’s the Turkey Army principle, where NuLabour must create safe jobs for the people most likely to vote for them next time around.

The place to see this obscene snout-in-the-troughery to full effect is in the jobs section of Wednesday’s Guardian. There, despite the recession and jobs losses already in the thousands, the number of public sector posts up for grabs has increased by 14,000 in the past three months. In the past three months. Something to think about when your new council tax bill drops through your letter box this week.

I SUPPOSE I can see why all of our Olympic gold medal winners picked up further gongs in the New Year’s Honours (even if Sir Chris Hoy is just a very fast paperboy), but why was the tax-dodging Lewis Hamilton granted an MBE?

OK, so he won the Formula 1 drivers’ championship, but he triumphed in a rich man’s sport where the size of your team’s wallet more or less decides where you finish in a race. And seeing as he’s already decamped to Monaco because he was tired of being “pestered” (by the Inland Revenue, mainly), that to my mind disqualifies him from any kind of official recognition.

THE STUPIDITY of the general British public never ceases to amaze me. In the forefront of these plebeian poltroons are the idiots who phone 999 for ridiculous reasons.

There’s the priest who called the cops when staff at the WH Smith shop at Manchester Airport wouldn’t let him use their toilet, despite the availability of public conveniences all around. (I suspect he may have been communing with the Bishop of Southwark.)

Then there’s the woman who complained that she couldn’t get through to Strictly Come Dancing to cast her vote, the man who phoned up because staff at a takeaway had put mushrooms on his pizza and, sadly, former Page 3 girl Linda Lusardi – her of the goosebump diddies – who dialled 999 for permission to use the hard shoulder to get to her pantomime in time when stuck in a traffic jam. Listen, love, it’s not all about you. We drunks who fall downstairs have 999 needs as well, you know.

NEW YEAR’S EVE was somewhat muted in the Beelzebub household after a stand-up row over Israel’s decision to bomb the Gaza Strip into submission. (Yes, I know, but we’d run out of the usual arguments over Christmas.)

Mrs Beelzebub, an old school Leftie, can’t see beyond solidarity with the poor Arabs. I take the view that if someone was firing 100 rockets a day into my country, the time might well come when I’d like to put a stop to it.

Either way, it wasn’t the most propitious of starts to a new era. The twiglets went uneaten, the champagne went flat. The dogs hid in their bed and the man next door got a right roasting for setting off his Roman Candles after the good lady had taken to her bed.

Ah, well. A Happy New Year to you all.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I see you've been chasing Mr Bentley's wife again. People must be beginning to talk...

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Polish the slide with bread paper" - What is that a euphamism for?

8:32 AM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Schizophrenia strikes again.

8:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

WHat is bread paper??

10:08 AM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

You youngsters don't know you're born.

Bread paper is the waxy paper that used to be used for wrapping sliced white. You rubbed it on the slide to make it quicker.

I remember when it was all fields around here ...

11:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In my day, Baz, Gran would cut the loaf by holding it to her bosom and attacking it with the knife relative of the hacksaw. The loaf never came wrapped in paper, as I only ran across the street (wending my way through numerous horse'n'dray wagons) to fetch it from the non-corner shop.
BTW, Dave's master plan is to sack all the Guardianista recruited job holders, thus saving the nation billions, as it is cheaper to have them on the dole.
Remember, folks, you read this scoop here first!
Tone Control

5:38 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Goat said...

You've not been to the park for years, have you Baz? The Witch's Hat was banned aeons ago by the HSE as being 'inherently dangerous'. Sic transit the massive slides: those enormously high ones in cast iron with a wooden cage on top, painted a universal dull green, and with a brass suface that polished up nicely with a Mother's pride wrapper.

Messrs Wicksteed, I salute you.

1:59 AM  
Anonymous baby boomer said...

We would just use a candle on the slide, drawing a wriggly line as you went down first time. Initially it slowed you down but then after a few fat kids had been over it, the thing became like greased lightning.

It got rid of the wimps who used to fly 6 feet off the end before they hit earth then ran off moaning to the Parkie.

Eeee happy days!

2:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baby Boomer - did you also get on the swings, swing them as high as the laws of physics allowed, then launch off to try to land on the grass rather than the tarmac under the swings?
My mate broke his ankle in an attempt to beat the length record...
Happy days!

7:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lewis Hamilton lives in Switzerland

7:16 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what's 'lives' a euphamism for?

8:27 AM  
Anonymous Vincent said...

What's a Witches Hat? Sorry, never heard of it in the colonies. Being hoodies you were refering to I thought maybe they were lining up for a gang bang.

12:55 PM  
Blogger Grumpy Goat said...

A picture of the 'notorious' Witch's Hat appears about halfway down this page. The cone pivots around the central pole and also rotates.

They were all ripped out of British playgrounds in the 1970s after a spate of children getting crushed against the central pole or flying off at high speed.

7:33 PM  
Anonymous Baby Boomer said...

Of course, Anonymous, didn't everyone?

Witches Hats were great fun but there weren't many about. Did see a horrendous accident once when one lad came off and used his head as a brake on the tarmac (no soft mulch in the playgrounds then).

No such fun these days. The H&S Nazis have much to answer for.

12:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey I only asked what paaper bread is - but I knew what the witches hat was.

11:29 AM  
Anonymous Baby Boomer said...

Polishing the witch's hat was particularly frowned upon .. especially in a public park!

2:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea, according to "new research".

Just how big is this c***'s kettle?.

6:07 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And what powers his ISP? A woodburning stove?

11:05 AM  
Anonymous Chris said...

Hmm, Gaza: 1000 Palestinians dead, 13 Israeli. Not exactly a fair result, considering the Israeli's are supposed to be attacking Hamas. Mind you, I'm amazed their American hardware isn't backfiring... considering the number of friendly-fire incidents the Yanks have inflicted on British troops in the Gulf.

12:15 PM  

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