The Gulag was a system of forced labor camps established during Joseph Stalin’s long reign as dictator of the Soviet Union.Gulag prisoners could work up to 14 hours per day. Typical Gulag labor was exhausting physical work. Toiling sometimes in the most extreme climates. Food was rationed, bread was a staple and baked on site. To make more loaves with the same amount of flour and make hungry bellies feel full the authorities decide to add sawdust. At first just a little and then a lot. The result more loaves. However sawdust has no nutritional value and soon resulted in sever constipation. There were reports of guards and prisoners crouched down literally trying to work it out with a pencil!
This image came to mind when considering the impact of austerity and doing more with less in the public sector.
Blair Mcpherson former local authority director, author and blogger www.blairmcpherson.co.uk