I worked for a quango, the Health Education Authority, just before the last big government change. I remember everyone being very excited about the prospect of funding for targeted health promotion work and evidence-based education around all aspects of health. The Authority was also famous for the HIV/AIDS iceberg adverts and its wide range of leaflets. I started work there just as email and the Internet were starting to make big in-roads into sharing information both public and otherwise. I actually remember someone ordering flowers via the Tesco website for their mother and being very impressed.
I was shocked to see the HUGE list of quangos and organisations that will soon be disappearing from our lives and was struck by the notion of not missing them until they are gone. Who else will monitor and evaluate some of the most important aspects of our lives? Who will look after the waterways - surely there are an important environmental part of our lives if nothing else? The things that those quangoes look after will not go away - someone, somewhere will have to pick up their work. Will it be the local authorities facing a budget cut of 25%? I'm not a politician, nor an economist but it seems to me that slicing swathes of both large and small will leave huge gaps that eventually will have to be re-established.
Perhaps that's the plan? Take away the organisations that have sustained us and been developed for the last few years, wait until the pain has subsided and then somehow grow them again? It's like emptying the house of food in the interests of a clear-out just to realise that everyone is still hungry and having to nip out to the shops again.
This little rant takes me to time travel - I do have a real sense of deja vu in all areas of life at the moment - for goodness sake, Supertramp are doing a huge tour this year and UB40 are out and about celebrating the 30th anniversary of their dole-queue-reggae. I'm back at college and thinking about wearing leggings in public. The unions are getting uppity and I think I saw a batwing mohair jumper in M&S last week.
We're on our way to the 80s. It's inevitable. Crack open the Liebraumilch and get the Black Forest Gateau out, Kajagoogoo have got a new single out.