The wisdom of The Big Society!

Posted 25 Jan 2011 by Walaa Idris

I was surprised this morning when I read that staff at an Edinburgh council still call directory enquiry to find phone numbers and information at a cost of £14000 a year to the tax payer. But the cherry on top was learning that they spend £185 per month in calling the talking clock.

Reading the article, a couple of things sprang to mind; one their jobs must be so unstimulating because they were constantly checking if its time to go and two, what century do these people live on? We all use the Internet (I assume like the rest of the country they are inter-web connected) to check and find out just about anything these days, yes, including what time it is!

We might all ask ourselves;“do these people wear watches” or “do they know how to use Google” but the serious issue here is the collective attitude of some, that government money is other peoples’ monies and therefore its fair game for misuse. Dare I say that attitude is not the reserve of that council; and there are many publicly funded and owned institutions out there that have employees who share this approach to public funds! It comes from an inbuilt total disregard and indifference to public money and property – as if there is an unwritten unspoken understanding that if it’s publicly owned then it must be free for all.

It is here, in this type of situations where the Big Society can make a difference – and NO, not by doing something for nothing, as some would like us to believe. But by treating what’s owned by the public the same way we treat what we personally own – look after it, treat well, guard and protect it because it’s ours!

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