TAKE A look at this architect’s drawing of the chic Cambridge County Council headquarters – built in 2020 with £18m of taxpayers’ money.
Go there today and despite the provision of 350 desks, the “workers” you see are conspicuous by their absence.
A member of the public who visited the headquarters last week was informed by a receptionist that no one works there “because covid guidelines”. pathetic.
As Tory MP Jake Berry says: “We’ve seen Covid restrictions being rolled back across the country and it’s hard to believe the only place they haven’t heard of it is in Cambridgeshire.”
Right. Yesterday the council refused to give details of how many staff are left to work from homebut you can bet the majority of those absent will be happily mingling with the crowd at their local supermarket, mall or pub.
The national image also does not stand up to scrutiny, with many government buildings standing virtually empty, with two-thirds of the workforce remaining in some cases to work from home.
But the efforts of Brexit Secretary Jacob Rees-Mogg to officials back to work was described by his cabinet mate Nadine Dorries as “a touch of something Dickensian”.
She adds: “Why do we measure bodies behind desks? Why don’t we measure productivity?”
Perhaps Ms. Dorries should read the letter pages of the country’s newspapers, where hardly a day goes by without readers complaining about the time it takes to get their passport, driver’s license, power of attorney, whatever.
Outside of the Twitterati (largely populated, one suspects, by those who are on the state payroll), there are plenty of regular workers on Rees-Mogg’s side — especially when they leave home to work every day because they are have to.
The retail workers, the truck drivers, the emergency services workers – to name a few – who have struggled through the peak of the pandemic because had they stayed at home the country would have ground to a halt.
Or the self-employed who, unlike civil servants, don’t have the luxury of working from home while still enjoying all the work perks like sick pay, vacation pay, expense reports and a gilded pension.
Also, they often have to outsource their childcare, unlike certain WFH government employees who are reportedly reluctant to return to their desks, happily assuming they can do their jobs and take care of their children at the same time.
Current productivity levels from some government agencies might suggest otherwise.
You see, if WFH can be successfully achieved without sacrificing productivity, then I’m all for eliminating the misery of commuting.
But if that’s the case, why, just two years ago, did Cambridgeshire County Council spend such an obscene amount of taxpayers’ money on a large headquarters that doesn’t seem to be needed?
Let’s equally bash up all those spectacular government buildings in prime locations across the country and pour the hundreds of millions they’ll bring in into schools and hospitals.
And if civil servants are to have the flexibility to stay at home, their labor rights should be aligned with those of the self-employed, who in many cases have relinquished worker status (and all the perks that come with it). because they wanted more flexible working arrangements to accommodate childcare etc.
In fairness, you can’t have both.
The general practitioners will vote to shorten their opening hours to 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. you are open could have fooled me
MISTRESS ALINA AND HER HOLE NEW LOOK
VLADIMIR Putin’s alleged lover has reportedly got a ‘new look’.
According to Russian magazine Cosmopolitan, “something has really changed” in the former Olympic gymnast’s face. Alina Kabaevawho is rarely seen in public but was spotted at a charity event in Moscow last week apparently looked “noticeably prettier”.
The magazine added that Ms. Kabaeva, 38, is one of the “most mysterious and secretive women of our country” and that “it is not possible to accidentally see her on the street or in shopping malls.”
Though those pesky spring moths clearly know where she lives.
SHARON OSBOURNE launched her new show on TalkTV this week and will be settling into the family home in the UK.
Husband Ozzy will join her this summer to fish at the large site.
In an interview she did while still in LA, she says: “He can live a life there that he can’t live here. You are followed, even at the doctor’s there are paparazzi outside.
“He must wander and be free. I know he will find peace there.”
Which of course privacy loving Harry and Meghan would have gotten if they had chosen to stay in the leafy grounds of Frogmore House and enjoy the royal protection that comes with the Windsor Castle setting.
Instead, they chose to raise the sticks and move into the global hub of show business and all the 24/7 attention that comes with it. Imagine that.
HE’S NO CLEVER TREVOR
WE know social media is full of fake news.
Be it words twisted to promote a specific political agenda or one of the Kardashians using body-altering filters, much of the content is not what it seems.
But US amateur pilot Trevor Jacob has taken the tricks to new heights by pretending his plane had previously been in trouble intentionally crash for clickbait.
Significantly, every angle of the drama was carefully recorded with multiple cameras, and after it was discovered that Jacob was already wearing a parachute and the side door was open prior to the alleged engine failure, the Federal Aviation Administration concluded that the stunt was a planned one , and rightly revoked his pilot’s license.
Meanwhile, a crashed plane unnecessarily litters the beautiful California mountains.
KEIR’S MOOT PINT
Lisa Nandy, secretary of LABOUR, which is “aligning,” has warned Sir Keir Starmer that voters want him to focus on managing the cost-of-living crisis rather than obsessing over Partygate.
Hear hear. Especially as the Labor leader may throw rocks while standing in a glass house.
Imagine the scene. With the rest of the country in lockdown, you’ve been working with various colleagues all day when one of them decides it’s time for a little break.
Then one of the following two scenarios happens: It’s your birthday and someone brings a cake that you don’t eat; It’s not your birthday and someone brings beers that you drink and pizzas.
However, it seems that Scenario B is seen as entirely acceptable by participant Sir Keir, while Scenario A, involving the Prime Minister, is punished with political death by a thousand sharp remarks from the opposition.
I’m sorry, but I really can’t figure out why they aren’t treated the same way.
BRIDE BEFORE AN EVENT
AFTER Rebecca Short vacationed in the US, her relatives were delighted to see the photos she posted from Disney World, Florida.
But when she then shared her unexpected wedding snaps, they were less than thrilled.
Her surprise groom is Manuel Ovante Jr., whose pen pal profile says, “I get on well with myself and tend to be a chump. Very loyal to people I care about.
“No one is perfect so I hope not to be judged on past mistakes.”
Sounds harmless enough. . . until you learn that one of the “mistakes” was that he shot two men after he and his buddies went into a house to look for drugs in 2008.
But that small detail didn’t stop 26-year-old Rebecca from making the journey from her home in Chipping Norton, Oxon, to marry Manuel on death row in an Arizona prison.
She even brought a cake that reads, “Till death do us part.”
At least she has a sense of humor. Sounds like she needs one.
The world’s oldest person – 119-year-old Kane Tanaka of Japan – has died. When asked in 2019 what the happiest moment of her life was, she replied, “Now.”
Perhaps a lesson for all of us to live in and enjoy every moment that we are left.
ACTOR Kiefer Sutherland says he doesn’t own a computer because he doesn’t want to spend his time answering emails.
Good idea. But unlike the rest of us, what’s the bet he has “his people” doing this for him?
https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/18383873/councils-work-from-home/ Okay, if municipalities want to work from home, they’re selling their posh offices and scrapping their convenient perks