Fire Sale Soon
Possibly in order to distract attention from the Tessie in Wonderland trip that is the Psychoactive Substances Act, or perhaps because she has some slightly eccentric ideas about the best way to appear less silly than Michael Gove, the Home Secretary has gone off on one about the fire and rescue services. Though held in great affection by the communities they serve, it appears that parts of the fire and rescue services allow a toxic and corrosive culture of bullying and harassment combined with a lack of accountability. They are, in other words, quite unlike either the Conservative Party or those upstanding people at G4S, with whom the Home Secretary has virtually no marital connection whatever; and the solution, as might be expected, is to implement a radical and ambitious programme of reform (demolition and privatisation, in Standard English). The general secretary of the Fire Brigades Union expressed cautious agreement about the need for fairness and accountability, but was impolite enough to point out that it was the Conservative administration of 2010 which, with its little yellow enablers, removed the diversity targets that were then in place. He also showed mild surprise at the Home Secretary's claim that the size of the workforce had been unchanged for ten years, given the hobnailed efficientisation measures in which her own government has been indulging over the past six. It is as yet far from clear how far this pedantic attitude will help when it comes to constructive collaboration with the legal genius behind the migrant cat story and the Psychoactive Substances Act.