Posted tagged ‘opposites’

We’re not that different when all is said and done

July 1, 2011

Just try taking one side away...Speaking with my father recently I was told a story from my youth. At four years old I was watching a boxing match between a black British and a white American boxer, and watching my dad getting excited as the Brit took the upper hand. When asking him which one I should cheer for he told me the black boxer was ours – confused, I calmly told him I didn’t understand what he meant and asked what colour shorts he was wearing otherwise I couldn’t tell them apart.

As I grew older I struggled to understand the differences in status and class which meant so much to my parents. I couldn’t understand the differences between me, friends from school who went on skiing trips and those whose parents had no need to work who we met on holiday. As far as I could see, the only difference was that I didn’t have to wear a blazer and tie to school.

As I started work I initially struggled to work out the differences in authority and power of those I worked with, treating all with a friendly comeraderie and ignoring any undertones of formality. Now, why on earth am I bringing this trip down memory lane up?

Because I am now facing another blind spot – I’m struggling to see a real, identifiable, quantifiable difference between public and private sector workers.

With the strike action from yesterday and the pension arguements which rumble on, with the salaries of public sector servants at the top end of the scale being compared with the PM and their private sector counterparts, with the current cuts being made to the public sector and the various places the public wants to place the blame for them; I fear we are rapidly dividing the country up into opposing sides on the private and public sectors, and I fear for the impact this has. (more…)