UK market must seize opportunities

8th of March 2012
UK market must seize opportunities

ECJ's correspondent in the UK looks ahead to what could be a difficult year for the country's professional cleaning sector.

Almost too late to wish you a Happy New Year and nearly time to think about Christmas 2012.

This is a year of opportunity, or so the prime minister tells us. We have so much to look forward to and wrestle with - the euro crisis; the Queen's golden jubilee; the Olympic Games; increasing metal thefts; higher rail fares; a new rail line now laid out to avoid the properties occupied by the wealthy and influential - and so on and so on. Some poorer people may also benefit but by accident so to speak. A new series of Downton Abbey. Is there no end to this cornucopia of delights?

The PM is certainly right about opportunity. The only doubt is if we will seize it. Politicians speak of it but do little to make it happen but that should be no surprise. There may be an important debate in the House of Commons, or so we are told by the media, who wish to write of it and engage in endless debate on radio, TV, internet, iPad, myPad, XBox, YBox etc, while earning vast sums. If one watches our parliament in session on television one discovers that this ‘vital’ debate is attended by the proverbial two men (dogs not admitted except guide dogs).

The opportunity to drive the nation forward exists and many are doing their best to ensure it happens and this particularly applies to the maligned cleaning industry, which continues
to develop, innovate and yes work hard - a quality almost unheard of.

Yet what interest is shown in our industry? Only when disaster strikes - Mid Staffordshire Hospital, Maidstone Hospital and the constant reports of the neglect and lack of care for the elderly at which state we will all ultimately arrive. The extraordinary campers outside St.Paul’s cathedral opposing capitalism and anything else they can agitate about, a story now grounded by the pressure of other stories. The cleaning industry did get a mention here in respect of the faeces found inside St.Paul’s itself. Can this be a country of which we are proud?

Best in the world?

Do we not we have the best education system in the world, the best television in the world and the best healthcare in the world thanks to the NHS? We have won most international sporting events before the game has begun. We boast the best doctors, the best nurses, the list is endless. And we could be all of these things with harder work and better far better management, particularly by government and employers.

Realistically, we have a second class education system and our NHS - that bastion of achievement - has become second class thanks to inertia coupled with an overwhelming sense of importance, which the facts do not support.

The last shall be first and that means that the cleaning industry which already sets a fine example, must take the lead, showing what is the best and ensure that failure is not praised or expensively moved on to create damage elsewhere.

Much is made by politicians, the authors of most of our ills, about not rewarding failure. Let us see them lead by that example, and ensure that they do it.

The rewards are there to be achieved. All we have to do is to make it happen. Now.


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