Oblivious but facing oblivion


What do you call a man with a seagull on his head?

In the 19th century news was often out of date: After all, whether in the printed or verbal form, it had to physically travel. And yet, my impression is that because of the paucity of information available, when the news did arrive it was widely consumed.

People were therefore informed if a little out of date.

Today things are very different. The news is available 24 hours per day and in more formats than you could possibly imagine; TV, radio, internet, blogs, comic books and of course newspapers and magazines.

Hell, you can even get your news from twitter should you want to.

Despite this torrent of news it seems that in many ways we are less informed than ever.

For example, it is distressing to me how many people have not really grasped the seriousness of what is going on in the public sector right now. If the coalition Government follow through on their proposals (and there is no reason to see why not) and this leads to a conservative 10% reduction in public sector staffing that would come to well over 600,000 people losing their jobs.

Many local authorities are actively talking about one in four (and sometimes one in three) of their staff losing their jobs.

Despite this I have been surprised by the number of people who have failed to grasp the link between the budget and their jobs. At many informal meetings I seem to be the only one who knows what the CSR is, let alone knows what date it is on.

I think there are two reasons for this obviousness (which is a word!). The diversity of news and information available means that the consumer gets to choose whether they want to read about the CSR, the Big Brother house or the football scores. No longer is there an expectation that all three come in one package or are read at the same time.

Also, I think many staff feel that whatever happens will happen and why worry about it.

So, we all sit vaguely oblivious moving towards oblivion (or at least major job reductions). My fear is that this will come as a major shock to some people and might pierce the current fa├žade of acceptance when it comes to Government cuts.

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3 Comments on “Oblivious but facing oblivion”

  1. LG Worker Says:

    I do agree. I’ve been very surprised how unprepared people in my office have been for the current restructure that is happening. If you had read the writing on the wall it was clear it was coming. I’m also surprised people don’t seem to see that this will be the case for a few years yet.

    News may be glorified gossip but it keeps up informed. We need to be ready for the hard times that are clearly here and continue to come.

  2. LG Worker Says:

    Took me ages to work out the joke under the picture!

  3. localgov Says:

    Good points, well made.

    Same here, I have to actually make sure that some of the people I work with understand that there are going to be serious amounts of cuts and that people they are laughing and sharing a coffee with may not be around in the team for very much longer (they may not even be themselves!).

    It’s a fine line between being prepared mentally and emotionally for the CSR and staying motivated and focussed, but a big part of that is actually knowing it exists and what impact it might have.


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