Thursday 10 June 2010


The Tories have promised to get people off Incapacity Benefit and JSA and into jobs.

They have also promised to drastically reduce the size of the civil service, presumably by sacking staff, and to increase the age at which men and women can retire.

This is a subject I’ve visited before on the blog, and I do so again because according to the
Dundee Courier a new study by the GMB union shows that there are 650,600 people of working age in Scotland who are economically inactive and 175,200 people registered unemployed. But, as of this week, there are just 21,700 notified job vacancies across Scotland.

The Tory’s policies will increase unemployment by large numbers. Each year a certain number of people retire to be replaced by school or university leavers on the job market, but with the age for female retirement rising from 60 to 61, then 62 and by stages to 65 to make them at long last truly equal with men, there will be fewer people retiring and fewer vacancies to fill.

Then there are the civil service cuts that the Tories have promised. They will be swingeing; vast numbers of staff can be expected to go and in addition there will be the people who depended on these civil service personnel to spend their money in their shops, restaurants, gyms, hotels....etc. They will downsize too. And so the miserable cycle of unemployment will begin.

The Tories say that the private sector will supply the ne
w jobs, but exactly how that is going to happen I’m not sure. Mrs Thatcher managed to created quite a number of jobs in finance and insurance, but ...well, the bottom has kinda fallen out of that market here, and in any case most of the existing or soon to be unemployed would, had they been capable, have taken that kind of job with big fat bonuses when they were in supply.

Where are the jobs going to be for the people who actually live in the country and aren’t some fairy tale dream that the politicians have created? You know, the ones that find reading and writing hard; the ones that can’t spell too well; the ones that speak with heavy regional accents and bad grammar; the ones that swear lots and punctuate with F***s rather than commas and semi-colons?

Currently in Dundee 5100 people were chasing 797 jobs and 20,300 people of working age were recorded as economically inactive. That’s around 25,000 people chasing 800 jobs (31 people for every job) and that’s before all the redundancies from councils and civil service.

And one of Dundee’s biggest private sector employers D C Thomson, the Courier’s publisher announced over 300 redundancies today.

So who will create these jobs? We might need around 800,000 of them across Scotland.

I’ve worked in the employment business for 10 years and more now and I can’t see foreign companies bringing manufacturing jobs here unless we bribe them with all manner of costly concessions, and allow them to employ eastern Europeans. For the life of me I can’t.


  1. I would disagree with you on one point Tris. There are not around 25,000 people chasing 800 jobs. There are 5100 doing that. The rest haven't made any effort to work.

    But I would agree it's wrong that we give vast sums of money to foreign companies and then they employ foreign labour.

    It never ceases to amaze me that folk ask 'where are these jobs'. Why can't people create their own? What's so wrong with the education system these days that people can no longer use their skills for their own benefit?

    What Scotland needs to do is be kinder to the private sector. Reduce business rates for a start.

    The tories' policies will have an effect and one is that the black economy will grow much bigger. You see, many of us have a survival instinct. I know folk in Dundee who barter these days - no money changes hands only skills. Sensible.

  2. Withdraw from the EU and take control of our borders and fishing grounds. Then our fishing industry can be rejuvenated along with the associated industries of processing, transport, boatbuilding etc. Because we had control of our borders immigrant labour could be confined to those with required skills.

    For the life of me I cannot understand why the SNP wants to be ruled by Brussels while moaning about being ruled by Westminster.

  3. I don’t think it is in any way reasonable to expect everyone who is unemployed to become self employed. Not everybody has the instinct and skills for that and not everyone can afford to do it as a second income stream while a partner has another job.

    I would be quite happy to have a referendum on Europe in Scotland after we have shaken off the yolk of London, just the same as I would want a referendum on the future of the crown.

    As to the jobs, there aren’t any it’s as simple as that and I can’t see the Tories wanting to put in the investment necessary to bring real jobs to the UK.

  4. Hey, Tcheuchter, have you ever worked on a fishing boat? I have (very briefly, it near killed me). About half the crews i saw were from Eastern Europe or the Philipines. The only reason they're not all Scots is because Scottish people are too lazy or scared to do a job that can net them £100 a day as a starting wage.

    The skipper and Scottish crew of the boat i worked on reckoned EU intervention has caused them a lot of hassle in terms of form filling, regulations etc. but it's all that has saved certain stocks from being totally wiped out.

    Chances of Scotland leaving the EU are as negligible as those of my preferred option which is for the government to tax the super rich (i'll go with earnings over £100,000 which is super rich compared with life on a minimum wage) to within an inch of their cosetted lives and invest the money in huge public infrastrucure works (new railways, roads, hosptials, schools anyone, renewable energy?).

    I'd also cut the armed forces to a rump civil defense force and put all those skilled, fit young people to work on something a bit more useful than blowing up Muslims. And dinnae even strt me on nuclear bombs. A truly immoral waste of money.

  5. I can’t see foreign companies bringing manufacturing jobs here unless we bribe them with all manner of costly concessions

    The problem with foreign companies is that most companies who have manufacturing bases outside their own countries are in the main looking for cheap labour and when the going gets tough then the offshore manufacturing bases are the first to go.

    What Scotland needs is a strong economy with lots of home-grown Scottish companies who won't cut an run every time the market changes.

    The problem is that as an effective region of England we have no control over our energy policy, oil or renewables, which could be used as a tool to create a lot of industry and no control over the economic levers of power such as tax which could be used to kickstart our industrial base again whether that base is heavy industry, light industry or services.

    The unemployment rate in Norway is 3.5% while in the UK it's 8.0%. The Scottish rate is probably above that.

    It's that old, "Union Benefit", again.

  6. My point, and indeed the Union’s point , Subrosa, was that, under the government's new policies there will be 25,000 chasing 800 jobs. Everyone must work they say. But they have failed to explain how they are going to make that happen when everything they do is having the effect of adding to unemployment.

    At the moment the truth is that a great number of the 5100 are looking for work, because they are untouchable (by employers). Maybe they have been in and out of prison for shoplifting; maybe they have been murderers, or rapists, or paedophiles or whatever, yes, I’ve dealt with them all and many of them would love to work. They are prepared to do all sorts of stuff and some of them do things for free and hope that the employer will take them on, but they don’t, because employers are greedy and if they can get things done for nothing, or for a few quid on the side, that’s much better than paying wages.

    Oh yes, that’s a generalisation, but it’s also a generalisation that the unemployed are necessarily lazy or that MPs are a bit on the crooked side, or that Lords are just big fat useless old men who suck the country dry. (Some of them are big fat useless old women who suck the country dry.)

    Some people can’t read or write and some of them can’t say a whole sentence that anyone can understand. And no, I don’t mean that they are foreign. There have always been people like that. I know people in their 80s who are like that. The difference was that once upon at time there were jobs like that too. Sweeping up in factories, working in the canteen buttering pieces for the workers, packing on the line, washing things down, clearing up the litter, labouring to a tradesman were all jobs that the not too intellectually gifted could do. Now these jobs no longer exist. But the people do.

    I remember when Gordon Brown spouted the same crap when he set up New Deal. Everyone must work. And I thought, aye Brown, it’s a long time since you met ordinary people.

    And it’s the same thing for David Cameron and his new found buddy Nick saying that everyone must have a job. How many are they going to employ? The Dept of the Deputy Prime Minister and Constitutional Affairs employ anyone from the dole queue, with no standard grades and a vocabulary of 250 words at a stretch? They don’t want people who slurp their soup and don’t know that Jesus Beaujolais is cheese not wine?

    Why don’t the unemployed start businesses? No one will lend them money; they wouldn’t know how to start; they are too stupid and too disorganised and in a lot of cases too despondent.

    They come from a class that was always employed; usually for very small wages, but they were happy enough, more or less, or they accepted it. They worked and they didn’t think. Generalisations again of course, I accept.

    One of Mrs Thatcher’s big mistakes was to think that because she, the girl of a humble corner shop grocer could do what she did, everyone could. They can’t. She was exceptional. And by that I mean that she was an exception. No compliment intended!

  7. Hello Tcheuchter:

    I'm doubting that the good old fisihing industry would be able to create 800,000 jobs, some of them for people with cancer or who are blind or old, but it's a good start... lol. After all, if they have to work, they have to work. It's what Camerclegg says....

    It would be interesting to get the SNP to set out their policy on Europe and why they are pro European.

    Acvtually as all the English governments have been violentloy anti-Europe, Gordon Brown's and Margaret Thatcher's in particular, I'm rather surprised that England and as a result Scotland is a member of the EU in anycase.

    The UK seems to hate them with a passion. But we are still there. It's a mystery.....

  8. Yes Munguin. I agree. A referendum once we are a separate country.

    The current SNP government has no choice but to go along with the English government on membershiop of the EU. We lack the autonomy of say Greenland, which, despite being a wholly owned subsidiary of Denmark was allowed to come out of the EU because that's what its people wanted. (Specifically because of the fishing issue.)

    Lucky old Greenland being owned by Denmark. Why couldn't we have been that lucky. We drew the short straw and got England, a notoriously unpleasant colonial master.

  9. Doug:

    Bang on there. The trouble is that our economy is controlled by that which is good for the south east of England. Nothing else.

    Things have got better since there was a parliament in Scotland deciding how the pocket money gets spent. Prior to that it was Dover House in London that made all the decisions and they knew less about it than I do about Mozambique.

    Tax would be a help to establish a proper Scottish Financial system, but it has to be a wide range of meaningful taxes. Not two or three little things. Balancing tax properly is the key to a good economy.

  10. Doug: The real unemployment rate here is far higher. They never count anyone who is on a course, New Deal placement or anything like that, because they call the dole money that they get a Training Allowance. I'd say it was more like 12-15% unemployment in Scotland. And if you add the ones that they can transfer from Incapacity, because they are capable of doing something for 2 hours a week, then we will be looking at 25%.

  11. Naldo: I'm be scared myself of a day on a fishing boat. I get queasy looking at a glass of water.

    I'm not sure about the EU. I've always seen to as "socialism by the backdoor" as Thatcher once called it.

    She hated it; therefore I tend to think there must be something good about it.

    It has certainly redistributed some money that would never have been redistributed had it been left to the Brits, and it's given business opportunities and presumably that means jobs.

    And I agree with you. Much is said that is bad about the fisheries policy (and of course the press here just love to blame foreigners for everything bad), but people who really know about it know that whilst it has caused all manner of problems, if it hadn't been for the conservation work, there wouldn’t be any fish left.

    Of course few of us amateurs actually know what we are talking about. Few understand the economics and the ramifications of being in or out. Most go with their gut instincts and prejudices for or against. Some go on what they read in the papers. If they read the Daily Mail then they are probably almost vomiting with hatred for whole thing.

    Well, a referendum seems sensible to me. People will vote, based on their prejudices. Politicians will be forced to give a proper analysis, remembering that they will have to cope with the outcome.

    At the moment the EU is a handy way of blaming someone else for things that go wrong, and politicians like that.... they might be a little less critical of it if it was likely to disappear.

    They might have to actually take the blame for things that went wrong.

    And what would the Daily Mail have to write about?

  12. I agree with DougtheDoug we do not want to be a cheap labour country for anyone, that eventually leads to lower wages and living standards all round.

    My fear is that while we are still tied to this useless union the second great energy opportunity that Scotland has, renewables, will go the same way as the first, oil.

    All the good jobs, all the manufacturing, and all the profits will leave Scotland, and we will be left with the semi skilled and unskilled jobs.

    Why are there no Scottish companies producing the wind turbines? Who makes the electricity generators? Are the wave power generators Scottish owned or are they just Scottish subsidiary companies of multi national companies.

    In 2011 the SNP should be campaigning on the vast potential of the renewable energy industry, and if we continue to do nothing to get our country back, we will see all the benefits disappear from Scotland. That would be preferable to watching some prat run up a hill and shout Scotland. Do we really expect people to vote SNP so someone can do that?

  13. Capitalism is based on exploiting finite natural resources to be manufactured by cheap labour to sell to a consumerist society. World finite resource availability is shrinking whilst number of consumers is increasing! Time to jump ship and get local.

  14. Its quite simple 'WORK' is no longer the answer there are not enough jobs in the private sector there never was and there never will be.

  15. Aye the EU thing's a funny one for me. Tony Benn hates it and so does Thatcher. I think it has done a lot to redistribute wealth and to shore up liberal social laws on stuff like minority rights and capital punishment. I'm also right up for freedom of movement between EU states. But there are downsides like the outrageous cost of its bureaucracy, an apparent lack of democracy and some diminution of member states' rights to set their own agendas based on their own needs (though i think that bit gets exaggerated by the Daily Mail and other frothing right wing peddlers of hate).

    In a referendum i'd vote to stay in but i'd like to see massive reforms.

    What about a referendum on membership of NATO? What's the point of that one?

  16. Tris.

    I think what the Tories will do is to privatise some of the public sector areas that can easily adapt to cutting off the apron strings for Mr Public sector.

    I agree with Subrosa and Scotland and indeed the UK have to be kinder to the private sector. Scotland depends to much on the public sector and Labour have created a culture of big resource waisting governments.

    People do have to be more creative in today's society and remember we don't live in a something for nothing culture that Labour dreams off.

    Unemployment will rise through the Tory policies but it will be nothing like the 80s and today's people will be more adapted to change than those who lost jobs in heavy industry.

    The name of the game is, some pain today and tomorrow's gain.

  17. "Withdraw from the EU and take control of our borders and fishing grounds."

    Unacceptable under any situation. So thats a non-starter ...

  18. "My point, and indeed the Union’s point , Subrosa, was that, under the government's new policies there will be 25,000 chasing 800 jobs"

    Brilliant point. But Scotland does need to have a stronger private sector [even most SNP supporters acknowledge that it would help their cause also].

    But Tris is right, if you cut and dice the public sector employees, then you need to encourage new business start-up....perhaps it is time that the Holyrood parliament got powers over Scots business tax rates? ... oh heck, lets just have full fiscal autonomy!!!!!!!!

  19. Dubbieside:

    I think you should send that to the SNP. You're dead right. We don't want cheap jobs but we do need factory jobs, and the green technology is right where we are going to find them.

    But even at that we have to have the kind of Labouring jobs that some guys are happy doing. Hard physical work. Time after time I've heard lads asking me if I can find them a good "man's" job. of course it's politically incorrect but no number of PC police is going to make these guys want to be typists.

    Once we have control over our taxes we might be able to encourage more good work here, possibly from other parts of the islands.

    Meanwhile another 5,000 apprenticeships this year, announced by the First Minister today, is a big boost. 40,000 in all. That's fantastic... and to quote Mrs Thatcher "Rejoice at that news".

    Above all we must find jobs for young people before they get into the habit of idleness.

  20. Cynical.... Time to be Chinese don't you think?

    I note that they are all over bothr French and English Africa like a rash, taking away anything that is of any use. Just like the Europeans before them.

  21. Tris

    There is too much PC when it comes to jobs. When I was at school there were guys who could not pass an exam to save their life, but give them a bit of wood or some metal and they could make things.

    now if you cannot pass exams you cannot get apprenticeships so the guys that are no very good with their hands are getting the apprenticeships and the guys without qualifications are on the scrap heap no matter how good they are with their hands.

    In an independent Scotland we would still need laboring type jobs, but if we had our own industries at least we could pay decent wages.

  22. Well Allan, I agree that we need to encourage the private sector. It beats public sector work that we have to pay for and the idiotic pensions we have to pay them.

    But I have to say thatI can't understand how public services can be run by a private company. We've already seen Labour's PFI, and how much it has cost. The rich banks get richer and we pay more in interest and rent payments a year for a hospital than the whole thing cost in the first place.

    Every pound that government puts into them, they scrape off the first 20% for profit. So to my way of thinking it is a waste of my taxes.

    Private sector jobs have to be real private sector. They need to make things.

    We used to do that. The Germans still do. Industry's not all in China or Vietnam. There is just a demand for good quality manufctured good. Scotland can go that as well as Germany.

    We just need people to trust us.

    And we need entrepreneurs. But you don't get them with the kind of banking sector we have.

  23. Aye dean... full fiscal control would be a good start....

  24. Race Equality Secret Service;

    Your blog and your post appear to be racist to me.

    I deplore racism, of any kind, and although I accept that everyone is entitled to their opinion, if their opinion is racist, then they can have it anywhere else but here.

  25. Niko: There are far too many jobs in the public sector where the main points of the job description appear to be:

    Filing of nails;

    Being abrupt with people (including customers) who interrupt filing of nails;

    Filling in a risk assessment for filing nails;

    Gossipping about last night's date whilst filing nails;

    Going on courses, and filing nails;

    Talking on the phone to friends;

    Filing nails whilst talking on the phone to friends;

    Chewing gum whilst doing all of the above.

    Time they disappeared. Half of Dundee Council could go tomorrow and no one would notice.

    If we are going to have public sector work, it should involve improving our road and rail infrastructure for example.

    (Oh and a traffic warden on duty outside my house to book the lazy tosser who can't walk 10 yards, so he parks on double yellows right outside my house!)

  26. Tris

    Just in case you haven't noticed (you haven't) the people who were 'improving our road and rail infrastructure for example'

    are being made redundant already under the Labour Government cuts........

    there is going to be a hell of a lot more of them.

    Your problem like many is a blind hatred of public sector workers some like in all walks of life are bone idle(but they are also crafty)

    and at the end of this those bone idlers will still be there 'filing nails' and a lot of good people will be on the dole for a very very long time....

    and the brunt of any cuts and their consequences will not fall on the South East of England (Toryshire).
    It will be the North and North Britain to feel an almighty pinch once again..

    still make the snp happy.

  27. Tris, you're unreasonably harsh on public sector workers. In fact you grossly generalise. My wife's a civil servant and for the last year and half has been by far the largest earner in this household. She earns about half of what i'd expect someone doing a similar role at say Standard Life (where i've worked) to earn. She now faces the real prospect of redundancy on very shabby terms after 26 years service. She chose to work for the civil service because, she's (what you may consider) naive enough to believe in providing a service for society. She never wanted to work for a bastion of capitalism like Standard Life.

    I've contracted in both public and private sectors (banks, insurance companies, local and Scottish governments) and have to say that the levels of waste, number of slackers and mismanagement were similar in both sectors. The only difference was that so many people in the public sector genuinely believed that what they were doing would benefit real people and so many in the private were in it simply for the money and the free bupa cover.

    For at least the last 4 years, the workforce in my wife's department has shrunk alarmingly. When someone moves or retires, they are not replaced and their workload is passed onto those remaining. There is a freeze on promotions, pay rises have been risible and the fantastic pensions you bang on about are related to final salary, which in her case, will not be much at all.

    Why do you hate the public sector so much and where do you think we'd all be without low paid employees who work so hard to support the services that we in a welfare state take for granted?

    Maybe we'd all have been better off if Churchill's Tories had won the 45 election eh?

  28. tris,

    I foster three children so work very closely with public sector workers who are ultimately responsible for the children. One of them has, for example, responsibility for thirty "difficult" children and their families.

    I have found them all unstintingly dedicated and helpful but if one of their managers make a mistake and I've seen a few over the years it is the poor worker at the coal-face that gets the blame.

    When I was incapacitated for a while they spent hours of their own time helping me, literally, to get back on my feet.

    Of course, there are idle and incompetent individuals in public service but I would suggest that they are the exception rather than the rule.

  29. I appologise to all public sector workers.

    I'm one myslef actually.

    Maybe I'm just unlucky with the lazy unpleasant twats I meet in Dundee City Council and Tayside Health Board, particularly the filthy and unpleasnat ones at Ninewells Hospital. These people include people I work closely with when I get get them to get their lazy arses into gear.

    I meant no offense to any of your wives.

  30. Oops only part of my last comment posted.


    There are huge areas in the public sector that could be privatised. Take Ineus, a private company who help long term unemployed people get back into work. I have worked beside the company on several occasions during recruitment days and so on and the support they offer long term unemployed, regardless of backgrounds, do a great job and have a high success rate.

    They do a far better job than the JCP yet have a fraction of the staff.
    Any public department could be privatised even if it does not make a profit. I just think huge public sector departments make a hash of running themselves where if they were privatised then more accountability would come to the foe.

    Obviously health, policing and education would stay public but the current waist in the public sector should be cut.

    But I agree with you and we do need more manufacturing jobs and get people back into skilled employment again.

  31. Tris, i reckon it would take a lot more than you've dished here to offend my wife.

    And to be fair, she really does have impeccable nails, a hawkeye for the risk and a tendency to chew gum. Really.

    Okay, i'm a bit o a leftie delusionist but i genuinely believe the private sector's overrated. It's full o money grabbers and it was the banks not the cooncils who got us all into this bloody mess.

  32. Allan, do you realise that these cuts in the public sector that you seem so keen on are real people's jobs? Actual livelihhods?

  33. Jeez Naldo. I'm left of Stalin in many ways, but I do see what I see. I know that there are hard working people at the bottom of the civil service and there may even be one or two in Dundee Council, although frankly I doubt it. Certainly their management are the worst you could hope to meet anywhere probably in the entire universe and they spend most of their time doing health and safety and equal opportunities and performance indication and bollox like that. All the time the roads are falling to pieces and the public transport is a joke .

    I understand that the private sector is necessary, in as much as anything is necessary to bring in money, but there instead of laziness I see greed from bosses and stress in workers.

    If I had my way it would be to create hundreds of thousands of jobs, which would probably go to the private sector, by building roads, railways and what have you that would bring us up to the standard of the average European country instead of some third world dump, which is what we have been allowed to become by the English governments that thought of us as some weird little county to the north of Cumbria... and Cumbria itself was a weird little county somewhere to the north of something or other... .

    Anyway, I'm glad your wife's nails are nice. It makes a big difference to a woman, dontcha think?


    I'm getting it in the neck from the left wingers here for being too right wing, and I'm getting it in the other side of the neck from the right wingers for being too left wing.

    It's one of these can't win nights for poor wee Tristan.

    I think I'll have an early night..... I don’t think I’m cut out for blogging.

  34. Allan,

    The minute you put public sector work in the hands of private enterprise, you have to expect that for the same money you will get less because someone has to be making a profit.

    I can't comment on your example, Ineus, because obviously I don’t know their work, but I can say that I've seen these private companies doing JC+'s contracts on a pay by results basis, and it is a disaster.

    I won't quote actual examples because it's possible that some people would recognise themselves, but I will say that, the margins paid by the government are very small, and there is a balance between what you get paid for taking someone on to your books, and what you get paid for placing them in work.

    In your bid for the contract you have to specify what percentage of your clients you guarantee to get into work within 13 weeks. JC+ demand 55%, but in order to get the contract you have to be prepared to offer a bit more. But it’s dodgy. These are 'difficult to place' people... but there are hard to place and hard to place..... So some you are going to turn down because you know that even if hell freezers over, you will not ever get them a job. But turning them down means your cash is tight for registration payments. However, if you take them on to get the registration payments, then you have to be aware that when you don’t place them with 13 weeks, your placement percentage will go down. It’s a balancing act. But I’ve seen some very very unsuitable placements made, just to get the money.

    But here’s the big question. People who work in private and public sectors are not different. The culture of management is different.

    If what we are looking for is the efficiencies of the private sector, all we need to do is kick the asses of the management of the private sector and make them work as if there were in the private sector. Then we get the efficiencies without actually having to pay the 10-20% over the top for the fat cat profits....

    PS.. I’ll remove the rogue post.... As Spook always said to me when I did that... ‘It’s OK Tris, I clean up your mess!!’

  35. Niko...

    Who was improving the road and rail infrastructure?

    It's the worst in Europe. It's even bloody well worse than England's for heaven's sake.

  36. Naldo you are right- these are people's jobs, these are sources of family income. However there comes a point where the gap between what a country can afford to spend on public sector jobs and functions has to be balanced off against what we can afford.

    Sadly in areas like Scotland, North East England, Northern Ireland we see an unsupportably large public sector. Thus we need to rebalance -i.e lay off people.

    Hardly something anyone can take delight in. But tell me, what is progressive about supporting an unaffordably large public sector and simply passing the debt over onto the next [my] generation? I have to agree with Lord Myners on that one...

  37. Dean, ma man, i don't believe that the public sector in Scotland is unsupportably large - the work my wife and her colleagues do is actually vital to the interests of the country (i won't say what it is cos Scotland's a wee country and i don't want her to be identified).

    I reckon the public sector should be supported by a progressive taxation system which takes money off rich people and invests it in the national interest. There are too many uber rich cats in Scotland who do not contribute enough to the public purse. And i hate to keep going on about this (not really) but it was the Fred Goodwin types who bugggered it all up for us in the first place. They should bail us out not people like my wife.

    Tell you what though, mate, it could all have been so different if Charlie had stopped at Edinburgh, put the Stuarts back on the throne of Scotland and left England to fight its own silly battles with France.

  38. brownlie

    Maybe I've just been unlucky. Ninewells hospital for example, is the dirtiest most unmpleasant place to be and the nightshift staff on at least a couple of wards take some beating for their lack of care and attention and ability to pick thier noses on duty. To the point where there's something going on here on my part with the Minister responsible. So, I'll say no more here.

    I admit however that the opposite was true in Edinburgh Royal to teh point where I will not set foot in Ninewells for aftercare. I prefer to make the journey to Edinburgh, painful though it is.

    I've rarely had the pleasure of a truly helpful person in Dundee Council. But there's time, who knows, maybe one day. Pretty much the same can be said of JC+, the Inland Revenue, DVLA. Of course there are good staff, but they are well outnumbered buy bad ones. Maybe it's management's fault. No, no maybe about it. Thew staff are not trained properly and are rude and curt. A half way decent manager would stop that.

    I've glad you've had such a positive experience though. I'd hate anyone else to go through I went through in Ninewells.

  39. tris,

    Maybe they have to file their nails to make nose-picking less painful.

    I'm by no means saying that all is well but in general the face workers are okay. If they are not then their supervisory structure is inadequate and is not geared to the needs of the public. There is absolutely no reason why one hospital should be dirty and unwelcoming whilst another is clean and helpful.

    In our local social services office there must be around forty administrators and only half that much social workers and as these workers do their own paperwork what on earth are the administrators doing? Human resources, which you may be familiar with, have more personnel than there are social workers.

    I put in a report to the toothless and useless Care Commission regarding childrens' unit and, according to the front-line staff, their inspector was outraged and promised action. He then went to HQ and nothing more was heard. That was three months ago and I'm still waiting his report.

  40. Aye Brownlie... the nose picking is probably less painful with well filed nails.

    Well, that's what I have been talking about really, the admin staff, who sit there at reception and give people a foul look if they clear their throats and dare to interrupt a private conversation with colleague about last night's activities, or indeed about the iniquities of the boss and their deadlines which they can stick up their... etc.

    And the completely useless management and supervision that allow this to happen.

    I agree that standards across hospitals in Scotland should be more or less the same, but I can assure you they are not. They probably aren't from ward to ward.

    The trouble is that there are far too few senior staff likely to turn out at night. The chances of being caught having a fag out of a window, or sitting at the desk telling jokes while patients are crying with pain are few and riskable. And with the sisters spending their entire time filling in paperwork and the cleaners being contracted out, and therefore not under the control of the staff nurse, they don’t bother their lazy backsides.

    I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for anyone's report. They take years sometimes... (Pressure of lunch, er I mean work.)

    I hear that the English Dept of Communities bought themselves 28 Parisian-designed sofas for their London Offices at £4120 each to provide ‘’a peaceful oasis’’ at work..... = £134,000. The Parisians must have thought that they had won the lotto.

    Splendid, though to have a peaceful oasis at work... if you're a camel. People are usually there to work.