Since the Blair-Brown spending spree kicked in, any educated middle-aged, middle-class lady at a loose end was able to become a ‘manager’ in the NHS. No formal qualifications, and rather little training required.
Just in case any of them are reading, to put ‘manager’ in inverted commas is not to diss the many ladies of my acquaintance who have followed this course: rather to indicate that the ‘programmes’ they run are, how shall we say, not always delivering bedrock healthcare necessities as would have been understood by Bevan, Bevin or Beveridge.
It’s not just the NHS. Who are the legions of small-firm solicitors who have fed off legal aid in pursuit of fatuous causes ? Of social workers who ensure that all manner of newly-minted ‘human rights’ are delivered ? Middle-class ladies, that’s who.
In other words, as government spending has soared out of control providing all manner of ‘services’ that could not really be described as adding to the GDP of the nation (or even, frankly, its well-being as properly understood), and though the ‘clients’ are frequently of the hoi polloi, as a cash transfer it has been significantly in favour of middle class ladies.
Which means that legal aid slasher Ken Clarke is indeed correct when he says that Middle England has yet to see the full force of what’s coming: disposable income in many a middle-class household is going to plummet - even if the Spectator thinks this is “one of those truths that should go unsaid”.
And for every protesting voice of a ‘client’ who is about to lose his or her service in t’Cutz, there will be another, rather more articulate voice of the about-to-be axed service-provider. The Budget could be very interesting.