Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keith Hann Column

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Keith Hann Column

Article excerpt

Byline: By Keith Hann

While monetary inflation may have been under pretty tight control for the last decade, the inflation in British people's aspirations and expectations has continued unabated.

In my own parasitic trade of PR, I always worked on the assumption that the client's needs came first.

I gave them honest advice ( telling them what they wanted to hear would have rendered my service worse than useless ( but if they wanted something practical, like a cup of tea or some urgent photocopying, I went and did it.

Now PR agencies are multi-layered specialists in delegation. Because if even your account management trainees come equipped with honours degrees in PR from Bridport University (formerly the West Dorset Institute of Further Education and Turnip Grading), do you seriously expect them to degrade themselves by nipping out and putting the kettle on?

Something remarkably similar seems to be happening in most other walks of life. In the NHS, when every nurse is a graduate, should it be any surprise that there isn't a rush to perform the bottom-end tasks involving bedpans and wiping?

Or taking a mop and bucket to the dirty corners of a ward that have been neglected by the cleaning contractors?

Where the needs of the patient were once paramount, one gets the niggling feeling that the object of healthcare is increasingly to provide rewards, status and job satisfaction for its providers.

In the apparently sacred cause of social mobility, we've created a situation where everyone seems to pass exams (and most of them get As), thereby rendering the exams worthless.

Where half the population go to something that at least calls itself a university, and emerge expecting a nice, cushy job behind a desk, ordering other people around.

To address this surplus of chiefs over Indians, we end up importing hundreds of thousands of immigrants who are prepared to do the things that we consider to be beneath our dignity, but which still need to be done. …

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