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What Power do Diversity Outreach Co-ordinators Have?

The Heresiarch, who is usually subtle in his analysis, left a comment on my last post.

“The cuts are going to make diversity outreach co-ordinators miserable by making them unemployed.”

Well, I’d like to think so. But I wouldn’t bet on it.

Meanwhile, the left is arguing that there’s no significant waste, and any cut to expenditure will result in Nurses being thrown onto the dole, Policemen being fired and the decimation of “front-line services”. They don’t believe the DORCs will be fired either.

So.

Much as I distrust bureaucracy, there are some people working in the public services who care about those services which are delivered by local Government. Surely they can see that, when the choice between firing a DORC and, say, a bin-man or teacher, who is going to survive the cut? Left and right seem to agree that it’s Miss Jones who will be saying goodbye to class 2b, and the DORC who will continue to collect her pay-cheque. Am I totally naive to believe that to not be the case?

What is it about DORCs which makes them so difficult to fire? Surely they can’t ALL be in possession of pictures of their boss up to his nuts in an 8-year old?

Why do we change the clocks?

10:10 (remember them?) whitter on about having lighter evenings if we maintain British Summer Time (GMT+1) all year round. Because this would cause people to use less lighting, this would apparently save energy. It’s wasteful to sleep through daylight in the morning, they argue. Such a policy would also, RoSPA claim save lives by having lighter evenings. They believe we should be on Central European time, GMT+1 in the winter and GMT+2 in the summer.

Aren’t we missing a trick here? The reason there is a “rush-hour” is that apparently, most jobs start at 9am (Though I’ve never had one that started so revoltingly late). Wouldn’t it be better if we could, instead of faffing about with clocks twice a year, break the tyranny of the “working day”? Flexibility should be the key: If you need daylight for your job, farmers for example, get up earlier. If you want, as BST Campaigner, William Willett did, a round of Golf in the evening, go in to work at 6am, and leave at 2pm. If you’re the kind of lazy slug person for whom Mornings are not your thing, arrange for your lie-in with your employer but stay on at work later. This would mean less congested roads as people’s commutes are spread out over several hours rather than a rush at 8:30, resulting better use of infrastructure, lower energy costs (if that’s your fetish), and a happier work-force, because flexibility increases happiness, as does cutting commuting times.

Schools, for example, should be free to change their working day to maximise daylight so the kiddies can be seen on the way to and from school, if needed. Why does a school have to start at 9am? Why not 8am or 7am? I would expect organisations in the far North of Scotland to make the most use of this flexibility, because they have the least daylight to play with sunrise at around 9am, and sunset at 3:30, you could either have no travel in daylight, or one commute in daylight by starting before or after dawn. I don’t know, and crucially neither does the man in Whitehall at least not for everyone.

The “working day” is a fairly modern phenomenon. Before the industrial revolution, people were largely paid piece work: they earned depending on how much they produced. Most manufactures where done by hand. However with the mechanisation of process, industrialists needed regular hours to keep the machines served. This led to the weekly wage, and the culture of presenteeism: your productivity was defined by the machine you served, your job was to be there to serve it, on time. This culture of presenteeism has survived the demise of the industries that produced it.

The clock should reflect natural phenomena the one thing even the most hardened bureaucrat would not argue he could do anything about: I would like noon to be when the sun is at it’s zenith. Otherwise it’s confusing to our circadian rhythms, another subtle cause of stress in the modern world. Instead of adapting our clocks to the requirements of Industry, why not adapt to the requirements of industry to our biology and the natural world, and give people greater autonomy over how they live their lives into the bargain? We do not live in an industrial, factory-centred world any more. Most people have jobs in the service industry in one form or another. Perhaps some people would like to go shopping at 7am, perhaps others at 9pm. With flexible staffing, this could be achieved with an overlap between the “early shift” and the “late shift” in the middle of the day benefiting not only the employee, who gets to structure the day more flexibly, but the employer who gets his shop/factory/call-centre/whatever open for longer. The customer benefits for the same reason.

Here’s my campaign: freedom to organise your life as you and the organisations you’re part of see fit. GMT all year round.

Something for the Milliband Brothers perhaps.

Why would anyone buy M&S padded briefs for men wanting “frontal enhancement”. Imagine picking up a girl whilst wearing these (surely the reason one would buy them is because they think this might be easier). At some point before “making the beast with two backs” is a little bit of manual exploration. “Are those padded briefs?” she’d ask. “Yes. Yes they are”, you’d reply.

Sheepishly.

And before you ask why I was brousing “Lingerie Buyer”, a good friend runs Amoralia, who make pretty maternity underwear, and I follow their blog. So there.

To Sell out, or not to sell out?

“No man but a blockhead ever wrote except for money”

a bon-mot attributed as all such quips are to Mark Twain Samuel Johnson. As I am “the Chap” in question here, go over to Mara’s Musings and answer her question in the affermative for me would you?