For three days this week, I found my self ensconced in a high end four star hotel in the Midlands. I was attending a conference as an exhibitor and as part of a team talking about transforming the way people work. A friend refers to these type of events as live-in love-in’s .. I can see why!
What disappoints me (although it certainly came as no surprise) was the distaste with which my private sector organisation was held. We were described as making a ‘land grab’ into areas on which the public sector should be focused. Similarly, we were criticised for making any amount of profit along the way – it appears a charitable non-profit making approach may have been tolerated. However, anything above break even was morally reprehensible and contrary to natural justice. Finally, we were criticised for having too much financial clout and choosing to operate in a non unionised environment.
A few things struck me as odd. Firstly, despite lambasting my company (along with others), the organisation concerned were happy to have approached and secured a 5 figure sum to sponsor their event. Also, what of the cries of decadent and cavalier overspending by organisation such as mine? They may have sounded less hollow if they weren’t being made from the Crystal bar in said hotel during a black tie dinner … again funded by the organisation being lambasted. As for the land grab .. I have some sympathy. There are areas I think the state should deliver services in preference to private sector suppliers. However, speaking for my organisation, it has only moved into areas where the public sector has vacated .. or where it has shown itself completely unable to deliver services that the public want, when they want them.
As for unionisation .. I, (along with any other member of staff) am free to join a union of my choosing. I simply choose not to as .. to be frank.. they provide no benefit to me in my working life. If you wish to join then there is no issue from my perspective. However, please also respect my wish and right not to be forced to join anything I don’t wish to.
So I hope the delegates paused a little to think that if they were to get the utopia they describe the first thing to go would be these pointless live-in love-in’s.