Categorized | alan's blog

Look for the silver lining…

Look for the silver lining…

Just for a change, there’s a dark cloud hanging over Britain. Instead of the usual one we get from having to deal with the Government and all its works, we’re covered in volcanic ash.

By a stroke of absolutely brilliant planning – OK, by sheer blind luck – I’m not flying home this weekend but driving, so I can collect my new motor. Which means the inevitable disruption at the airports won’t affect me, although there must be an awful lot of upset people out there.

I’ve had a read of the main party manifestos (sorry, chaps, but I refuse to take UKIP or the Greens seriously). I’d like to say they make interesting reading, except they don’t. There are clear differences between them; Labour’s big state vs the Tories’ personal responsibility vs the Lib Dem’s mutually exclusive proposals (have you seen what they plan for power supplies in the future…?) but nothing that blazes off the page and says “This will make things better”.

I can understand why, of course: Labour have no new ideas, Tories have no figures and Lib Dems have no clue. While work for us freelancers seems to be picking up again, it could all come to a shuddering halt if the markets don’t like what they see as the Election progresses, which is a worry.

My other concern, especially for those working in the Public Sector at the moment, are the promises to cut the “overheads” of the back office staff. Sorry guys, but while Gay Outreach Consultants might have a marginal role in the scheme of things, what I’m currently doing is saving my client a significant amount of money. I suspect I’m not alone either, since people do actually understand the need for efficiency and there are a lot of improvement programmes going on. But I don’t suppose for a moment that anyone will actually do a cost-based analysis of who should be cut and who retained, it will be ten percent of headcount off please and no excuses.

That said, some in the public sector have a strange idea of how to save money. There’s a programme running here that will spend around half a million to see how much they can save by consolidating systems. I said I’d do it for two hundred thousand, but sadly they didn’t take me up on that.

Still, in a way it’s good news for freelancers. If you can’t recruit – which seems to be the most likely short term outcome – you still need people to do the work. More to the point you need them for as long as it takes to finish the job then you let them go. Precisely what us freelancers deliver.

As they say, every cloud has a silver lining…

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Image: plane by danmachold

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