Private sector's stunning dullness

It is cheering to see the New Statesman (Leader, 2 July) questioning the current consensus, which holds the private sector to be the home of dynamism, efficiency and flexibility, and regards public servants with near condescension. I have some reason to be dubious about this orthodoxy. I translate and abstract, mostly articles from business and management journals. Even though they purport to relay the newest, most exciting management techniques, these articles are usually mind-bogglingly tedious, combining a prose style of stunning dullness with an apparent inability to communicate information briefly and concisely.

For such a reputedly dynamic sector, it seems strange that its literature appears to be designed to induce unconsciousness in the reader. Having read quantities of this stuff, I'm beginning to suspect that the Dilbert comic strips might actually be straight documentary rather than a spoof on the business workplace. Our public employees already battle with long hours and relatively low pay; will they now have to contend with every new management fad that comes along?

Claire O'Beirne
Amersham, Buckinghamshire

This article first appeared in the 16 July 2001 issue of the New Statesman, How long have we got?