I’m concerned that if I don’t say something insightful soon, I will be cited by a leading politician as an example of a public sector worker who clearly gets far too much holiday. Ironically all I’ve had over summer is four days on the continent, and I’m now about to take a week in some cold, wet portion of the British Isles, which should be very enjoyable. Silence has been caused much more by the lack of anything terribly exciting going on, by some increased demands on both what I optimistically refer to as my “9ish to 5ish” time, and on my spare time, for a string of reasons with which I won’t bore you. Suffice it to say that if I can’t find time for 140 characters it’s even less likely I’ll find time for 500 words all that often.
And yet… it feels busy but there’s an eery calm going on. All the big issues in local government are either trundling along on their merry, productive, but faintly dull paths (think Total Place – fascinated by it and what comes out the other end, but it’s not exactly bloggable) or else they are going into a presumed state of suspended animation as the general election edges ever closer (think unitaries). Otherwise I could trade in gossip – and yes, I love gossip, but I’m neither quite anonymous enough, nor quite well-connected enough to know, and pass on, reliable tidbits. I could tell parochial stories about Councillors nobody has ever really heard of, or I could pass on third-hand ‘probably true’ gossip about why people are or aren’t chairing particular LGA committees. But I won’t.
Nonetheless, for the 150 people a week or so who are still inexplicably coming back to see whether I’ve said anything new – yes, I’m still here, I’m still reading blogs, and I’m still thinking thoughts. Most of them are “I wish I had a multi-year pay settlement right now” and “Inflation is going to be about 5% in Spring, isn’t it?”. Oh well, to be honest if I had to choose between a pay rise and more job security, I’d take the job security – at least until I’ve accumulated enough redundancy entitlement to pay for a career change to something that is likely to prosper in the next decade. My fallback plan at the moment is to tutor resits for what we shall call “well off but less academically inclined” children who fail their A-level Politics (or at a push Religious Studies, Philosophy, History – I know about all sorts, me…) but whose parents remain keen for them to attend university. No idea how big that market is. Perhaps I could tutor for the 11+, that might be a growth industry soon.