It's a cruel joke that having left the EU, this post-Covid malaise risks us becoming the lazy man of Europe, says Mark Dolan

Britain isn't working, and it needs a right royal kick up the arse.

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Britain isn't working. After two years in which public sector workers have been sat at home baking banana bread and catching up on reruns of “How I Met Your Mother”, passport applications are through the roof, with thousands of people waiting in excess of two months to receive their fancy blue, post Brexit document.

That’s thousands of people who can’t travel for work , meet family and friends abroad or take a well deserved holiday. And the DVLA are surely the best example of public sector inefficiency, having inexplicably stopped producing drivers licenses, in inverted commas “due to Covid”.

“Due to Covid” are three words that strike at the heart of our economy now.

It's not just the public sector. Getting through to a call centre is a nightmare now “due to Covid”. GP appointments, seeing a dentist, getting the breakdown service to recover your car, fixing your broadband – all terrible now “due to Covid”.

Many Brits in the course of the pandemic didn't have the luxury of working from home – doctors, nurses, security guards, taxi drivers, dinner ladies, couriers, delivery drivers, cleaners. Millions of laptop based administrators and bureaucrats, Britain's army of pen pushers, have been all too happy dropping the kids to school, taking the dog for three or four walks and sipping a cold glass of Pinot Grigio, as they peruse their last emails of the day.

Shall you tell them or shall I that the party is over? The decision to work from home in their millions, which has seen a collapse in productivity, which James Dyson believes will cost the country 12 billion quid a year, was at best a strategic misjudgement on the part of businesses and the public sector, or at worst a scam to swindle the British public by downing tools and letting society, the economy and the Treasury pay the price.

Boris Johnson has rightly said work from home doesn’t work and Jacob Rees Mogg, someone pretty relaxed himself in the workplace himself, has fought a bold and brave campaign to get civil servants back to the office.

Customer service and public services have become crap over the last two years, with Covid being the excuse. But I'm not buying it.

Public bodies like DVLA and the passport office need to crack on now, get back to the office and do the job they are paid handsomely, including with gold plated pensions, to actually do. And if they won't play ball, let the private sector step in.

After all, it's many in the private sector who have soldiered on in the course of this pandemic, given that they are driven by the profit motive and have to fulfil the bottom line. No such commercial pressures are on the public sector, for whom accountability is a four letter word. But now look at the mess we are in.

No wonder Boris Johnson wants to axe 91,000 civil servants, that we have acquired in the last six years. These characters seem to grow like weeds in a badly manicure the garden. And I love this country, but Britain is turning into a crappy place, where no one seems to want to do any work anymore.

It's a cruel joke that having left the EU, this post Covid malaise risks us once again becoming the lazy man of Europe. I love this country, which is why I think it needs a healthy dose of tough love.

Britain isn't working, and it needs a right royal kick up the arse.