Is procurement a dramatic or comic profession?

3 March 2011
As the person responsible for SM’s legal pages, I feel I have erred by not yet catching up with the BBC’s new legal drama Silk. Often when programmes such as this are broadcast there is a bit of debate about how “realistically” they depict the profession involved. The writer of Silk, Peter Moffatt, has an advantage over most, having been a barrister himself and having already created the well-received legal dramas Kavanagh QC, North Square and Criminal Justice. Moffatt appears to have passed the credibility test. A review of the show in the Daily Telegraph by a barrister, praised the “sober, yet entertaining, portrayal of the profession”. We’ve mentioned before how procurement has played a peripheral role in some TV shows (and I’ve seen plenty more examples since I wrote that), but we haven’t ever seen it in the starring role. “Exciting” professions tend to dominate the schedules, with shows about the police, doctors, teachers, politicians and spies. But what about a show about a procurement department? Office life and the individuals involved offer enough dramatic potential to make it work. And in most cases so many of these procedurals barely offer more than a cursory look at the actual job involved anyway. And if not dramatic, what about comic? We had a taste of it with the three-act play ‘Carry On Procurement’ staged at Bedfordshire County Council (which you can watch on our YouTube channel, or read here. That was an internal production to educate colleagues, but I could imagine a purchasing-themed version of The Office, The IT Crowd or even The Thick of It (I’m sure some of you have worked with a CPO like Malcolm Tucker before). Maybe purchasing’s Peter Moffatt is just waiting for his or her big break.
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