The Cabinet Office Armchair Generals
The inner nerd in me loves strategy games – whether its the cut and thrust of commerce and society building that is ‘Settlers of Catan’ or the more prosaic appeal of ‘Risk’. Hell, I’ve even dabbled a bit in Warhammer 40k – but this was purely because the kids were into it…
It would seem that some boys however are loath to leave their war-games at the office door. How else can you explain ‘senior government sources’ breathlessly briefing the press about ‘war gaming’ sessions in the Cabinet Office, aimed at frustrating possible industrial action in the public sector (see here and here).
Its obviously very sophisticated stuff – as illustrated by the rationale offered by one ‘war-gamer’ to the Daily Mail.
“We are looking at who we are p***ing off and when we are p***ing them off. We need to be ready for everything.”
Smell the testosterone!
Of course, rather than developing plans to draft in private strike breakers, it might be helpful if the armchair generals behind this exercise start from the premise that its actually not a good idea to wilfully ‘p**s’ their own staff off in the first place. I suspect millions of public sector workers – and the tens of millions who rely on those services will be – as Brendan Barber noted in his response to the news – ‘aghast to hear that the Cabinet Office is spending time, effort and resources working out how to frustrate possible industrial action in the public sector, rather than focusing on how to avoid it in the first place.’Lets hope the grown-ups in the Cabinet Office see a little bit of sense and shift their focus from ‘war-war’ to ‘jaw-jaw’ …