Labour Party people don't know how the real world works.
Apparently, the "real world" consists of people in the private sector. Those of us currently working in the public sector are apparently occupying some kind of fantasy world, hyperspace, 4th dimension - hell I don't know, the mechanics of it are never explained.
I do have some sympathy for people who've given themselves over to ideology to this extent. When I left university, full of socialism, I was less than chuffed at working in the private sector, where your worth is measured not by how much use you are to society but by how well you are able to part fools from their money (yes, that's a grossly unfair description of private enterprise, but bigotry is exactly what we're talking about here.) As I got older and less stupid, and worked for a while in the public service, I realised that imagining you can fit the world into your little ideological box is foolishness of the highest order; that in fact, a great many people in private enterprise were of essential value to society, and a great many in public service of little or none. The last 15 years I've alternated in and out of the public and private sectors and don't rate one higher than the other in the aggregate. They both have their place.
This is a lesson sadly unlearned by many on the right. Time and time again I see people like me characterised as not living in the "real world" (Hello-o! There is only one! If you're seeing other ones, I recommend a psychiatrist!), for the seemingly impardonable sin of working for a publicly-funded institution. It's a testimony to the fact that a lot of right-wingers never come to realise the foolishness of imagining that the world fits into their little ideological box. For examples, look no further than any of the ACT or Libertarianz blogs.
A simple contrast. Today staff at my work were addressed by Dr Al Rowland, a senior lecturer in genetics and plant biology and apparently not a denizen of the "real world." Al came up with the tests that proved British and NZ servicemen suffered serious genetic damage while observing nuclear testing at the behest of the UK govt. Contrast Al with Mr John Key, an undisputed participant in the "real world" of separating people from their cash. Unlike Dr Rowland's abstract and pointless achievements, Mr Key made shitloads of cash by shifting currency from one place to another on behalf of clients, exploiting fractional differences in exchange rates. Uh, right. So, like, one of these guys is an ivory-tower type dealing in abstractions and offering no discernable and demonstrable practical benefit to society, and the other lives in the "real world." Well, yeah on the whole I have to agree, Kate. But I don't think we're both talking about the same person.