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Boris Johnson - a dubious synaptic link

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Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog: Boris Johnson - a dubious synaptic link

Marty's "Living life in chapters" A self development blog

Friday, September 21, 2007

Boris Johnson - a dubious synaptic link


At work the other day, apparently there was some rubbish that had been dumped at the property next door that annoyed the proprietor of the home for elderly and infirm. My colleague noticed and retrieved a paperback in mint condition, written by the archaic and gaff ridden Boris Johnson. A man who is almost a caricature of himself but I can't help having a little fondness of because he possess the skill of self depreciating humor.
Well, as you might have guessed. I've started reading "Have I got views for you" and it is quite amusing. His style of writing about political experience is somewhat similar to that of John O'Farrell from the far left of British politics. "Have I got views for you" has had me laughing out loud a few times in the last couple of days. There is a wit that proves great intelligence in this man. He is what I'd describe as a good old fashioned English eccentric mixed with occasional dollops of real common sense. There are a few pages in the book where he describes the anomaly currently in the UK parliament that Scottish elected MP's have power to vote for legislation in England, but NOT Scotland and vice versa. This is made all the more concerning now that we have a Scottish Prime Minister in Gordon Brown from a Scottish Constituency.

Another paragraph in the book refers to the gross amount of Non jobs created in recent years by the government in civil service. Now that is something I have first hand knowledge of: -

Back in 2002 I was looking for work whilst recovering for a serious bout of stress and managed to be offered a job with Capita who were recruiting for their then latest government contract, The London Congestion Charge as administered by Transport for London. I didn't really want the job because it was not due to start for about 3 months after the offer and I was, in any case holding out for something else that did not come to fruition.
I had the doubtful honour of being titled as "Reporting and Quality Control Officer" and my place of work was to be a former brewery building in Hanbury Street, sandwiched between Commercial Street and Brick Lane. Now when I say this was to be my base, I was immediately presented with obstacle no.1.
"Sorry Mr. Dickerson, but due to high security and other set up issues, you will have to work from the offices of one of the sub contractors in Shadwell." (said sub contractor was furiously working on manipulating statistics and producing reports to make the number plate reading software look more accurate than it really was).
So, this led to a regular additional journey on the Docklands light railway for about 3 months to a cramped office with limited resources. When I did finally get moved to Hanbury Street, I met with much hostility from the sycophantic "jobs for the boys" back scratchers club, these my so called Capita "colleagues". I also witnessed much hostility between Capita and Transport for London who were (in my colleagues eyes) seen as significantly more an enemy than Satan himself! The upstairs area was full of TFL "employees" and "consultants" tapping away at their computer completing reports, graphs, and spreadsheets. I was told on my first day that I wasn't allowed a computer! Cue first tangle with the site manager when I made waves about this and insisted. Said site manager was overruled and we became close buddi........... erm.... I DON'T THINK SO!
It took me a couple of weeks to realize that the job I had been employed to do was in fact already being done by about 20 other TFL employees upstairs. Talk about being de-motivated. I was left with about 3 hours work to spread across a 37 hour week, so needless to say, I spent many hours surfing the web in the pretense of real work feeling guilty about earning a small crust for a "Non Job".

It was reading about "Non Jobs" in Boris Johnson's book that led me to this scribble. I did of course finally manage to escape the nightmare of the Congestion Charge Image Centre building in November 2003 when I (thank God) received the opportunity to change direction completely and work in what I'd describe as a finally found vocation, working with and supporting young people.

There is another synaptic link here in that Boris Johnson may possibly run for London Mayor and would then have the responsibility for the London Congestion Charge. I suspect that if he wins, he will likely slash wasted spending and cut all those non jobs such as the one I had and make better use of public money. Who knows? Boris comes across as a bit of a fool at times, but I suspect he is far more intelligent than people give him credit for.



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