Martin Durkin’s programme on Channel 4 last night certainly did not hold back. It was dramatic and powerful. It had some clever footage at the beginning with politicians repeatedly saying they were going to “spend”, “spend” and “spend”. This was followed by analysts and former chancellors drily saying that government did not have any money of its own. It was all the public’s money.
I particularly enjoyed some of the visual demonstations of otherwise dry figures. There was a tall, transparent tube. Its total height represented all public servants – said to be seven and a half million. Then along came people dressed as representatives of the different front line services: a nurse, a policeman and so on. Each came with a bucket of liquid representing how many of them there are. After all of the liquid representing the front line services had been poured in, the measure had only reached just under two million people – and that included those employed in the private sector.
“So what do the other five and half million people do?” asked Durkin. There was then a mock quiz show based on “what’s my line?” in which a panel tried to work out what jobs people did – often involving words like “consultant” and “coordinator”.
Added 12th November 2010. It seems one can catch up on the this programme for nearly a month on this link: http://www.channel4.com/programmes/britains-trillion-pound-horror-story/4od