Of course, it goes without saying that the various privatisations of the Thatcher years did turn out – mostly – to be a success, especially the privatisation of Dial a Strumpet. However, just the other day my own dear wife Maureen was yearning for the days of British Rail and its over-manning. Always partial to a bit of over-manning whenever possible, Maureen has fond memories of some rail trips when sometimes as many as half a dozen staff members would ease themselves into her compartment in order to make sure she got the most satisfaction possible from her ride.
She often joked at the time that by the time she had made full use of those British Rail staff members they were as limp and as exhausted as the traditional British Rail sandwich of fond memory.
These days, however, it is all about efficiency, with Maureen on her privatised rail trips having to satisfy herself with only one, or maybe two, staff members for her whole trip and for a woman of her appetites this is nowhere near enough. Even the mighty Little Frigging blacksmith, and amateur fireman, Strom Thighhammer has had to concede that Maureen has left him limp and defeated a few times… well, after quite a few times.
So, maybe, there is something to be said for over-manning, after all it is not just Maureen who says so, several of the Little Frigging ladies at their coffee mornings have had to offer each other a hand of comfort or some oral support because of the various shortcomings – as the ladies would have it – of the village menfolk. Many of those ladies have, many times, expressed a fond desire for some over-manning too, should a situation demand it, insisting, for example, that any plumber or similar tradesman visiting their homes brings with him at least one apprentice or assistant in order to bring full satisfaction to the customer they are servicing.