Friday 22nd April 2011 was the end of my penultimate week working in Local Government. Monday the following week was the beginning of my last week in paid employment. Not a full week however because it started with a bank holiday Easter Monday and finished with a Royal wedding and a day off work for everyone. And not much in between as it happened because with accrued annual leave it meant that I had completed my last shift at South Holland District Council.
I worked there for ten years and in truth it was a wonderful place to work, it was satisfying and rewarding and in the time that I was there I had the privilege to work with an excellent bunch of people and I am proud to have been associated with an organisation that achieved an external inspection status of excellent.
I had hoped to work there for a while longer but then came the economic downturn which made life difficult for everyone followed by the biggest disaster to befall the country since 1997 and the election of a Government with a determination to make the public sector pay dearly for all of the failings of the commercial sector, the banks and their legions of cronies amongst the massively over rated private sector business classes.
And so it sems that everything worthwhile in our society must suffer. Not just Local Government of course but the National Health Service, the Police and the state education system as well.
So with careers and reputations destroyed in a tsunami of Tory dogma hundreds, thousands, of committed public servants are swept away and sacrificed on Cameron’s scrapheap in a vicious attack to deliver an ideology of smaller government achieved through a crude and blood-thirsty process by little people whose bloated personal ambition exceeds their own modest abilities.
The last three months had been difficult. Obliged to work an extended notice but obviously not part of the future, increasingly excluded from the present and the past all but air-brushed away as ten years work left the building in green recycling bags or suffered the ultimate indignity of going through the shredder!
And so began a different life starting with a ‘gap year’. Except for a five week break in 2000 when I was made redundant in a previous job I have worked continuously since I left University in June 1975 so I belatedly took the break that most people now seem to take immediately after study. I will probably want to work again at some point but the problem with that is that what I do now is all I really know how to do and what I know is that I don’t want to do it anymore!
The following week I became an unemployment statistic and didn’t need that old suit anymore!