Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A man's got to do what a man's got to do


WALKING through one our major cities a few months ago, past the pubs full of smokers and the news bills about some toddler who’d just gone missing in Portugal, I was accosted by a man outside the railway station.

He seemed a pleasant enough chap and proceeded to tell me how he’d lost his wallet and had no way of getting home to his wife, who was nine months pregnant. Could I possibly help him with a few pence towards his train ticket?

Well, I’m never one to turn away a needy case so I slipped him a couple of quid, wished him well and thought no more about it.

Last week I was back on the same patch, strolling past the 16-year-old beat bobbies and the schoolkids in Kevlar blazers, when I saw the same man approaching people outside the railway station and, occasionally, pocketing a pound coin after a brief conversation. I was gobsmacked.

What kind of sick society do we live in where a man has to spend 100 days begging outside a railway station and still can’t manage to raise enough money to pay for his extortionate train fare? Where was he going? Aberdeen? First class?

And what about his poor wife? Did the birth go well? The poor bloke’s child is now two months old and he still hasn’t seen it. That can’t be right, can it?

So I gave him a £50 note, waved away his grateful protestations, and pointed him in the direction of the queue for the ticket office. Sometimes a man’s go to do what a man’s got to do.

I SUPPOSE we can’t entirely blame the police for employing children to patrol the streets. It’s so much cheaper than getting a real policeman to do the job. Never mind the £30,000 a year and a solid gold pension with a bad back at 40; a couple of kids will do the job for a bag of sweets, a bottle of Dandelion & Burdock, and a quick go on the flashing lights and siren in the patrol car.

And then there are all the other laws proper policemen have to enforce. Banging up pensioners for illegal gardening for a start. For eight years, 79-year-old June Turnbull has tended a flowerbed alongside the road that runs through her Wiltshire village. And then someone grassed her up to the Health and Safety Nazis.

Mrs Turnbull has now been told that she can’t tend the council-owned space in future unless she erects three warning signs, employs the services of a lookout and wears a high-visibility jacket. Quite why she’s been spared the hard hat, I don’t know. Maybe there are no life-threatening window boxes in the vicinity.

Luckily, Mrs Turnbull, who pays for the plants out of her pension, is made of sterner stuff than the wimps who cravenly caved into things like the smoking ban. “They can send me to jail if they like,” she says. “I just want to be left alone to do it.”

That’s the spirit. We need to rebel against nonsense like this. And who better to do it than grumpy old folk?

PERHAPS THE
veterans of Horwich, near Bolton, might take a leaf out of Mrs Turnbull’s book. There they’ve cancelled this year’s Remembrance Sunday parade after police refused to conduct the usual rolling road bock system and insisted on road closures and marshals … at a cost of £18,000.

I have an idea. Why doesn’t the British Legion just march on regardless? These people handled Dunkirk and Burma. Two spotty 16-year-old beat bobbies eating sweets and swigging Dandelion & Burdock aren’t exactly going to be much opposition.

The only way to deal with the choking grip of the jobsworths in the Turkey Army is to defy them at every turn. Civil disobedience should be the order of the day. Bring it on.

IT’S NOT often a mere citizen gets to change the world, but I honestly believe that I’ve made my mark.

How? Well remember when I turned up at the cigarette counter at Tesco’s with five bits of shopping only to have the Olga Klebb on the till bark at me: “Only three items here”? And remember her reluctance to let me pay for three items, return to the empty queue, and then pay for the other two? And the subsequent animated discussion?

Last week I was in there again only to see, behind the fag counter, a sign reading: “Tesco provides a safe environment for staff and customers so any physical assaults or verbal abuse will not be tolerated.”

I felt a bit warm inside all the way home.

I MUST admit to being completely baffled as to why Wee Gordon Broon is so keen on demanding the release of five inmates of the American holiday camp at Guantanamo Bay.

None of these men are British, but they had “resident” status when they were detained overseas. One, nabbed in Afghanistan, is said be have been Osama bin Laden’s interpreter. Another, a Jordanian who was arrested in Gambia, has been linked to the murder of Ken Bigley. The others are similarly tainted.

Once we get them back, it’s going to cost us £7.5 million a year to monitor them around the clock, and it’s a safe bet that a pair of 16-year-olds swigging pop and eating sweets won’t be involved in the operation.

So why, Gordon, why? Have you not had enough excitement in your first few weeks in office?

YOU KNOW
these soap-dodgers camped up outside Heathrow Airport? Well one of then was on the telly the other morning explaining what they were up to – typical crusty, clearly a professional protestor, only he had come over from Ireland.

How did he do that then? Swim? And I bet he won’t admit that ferries churn out 10 times more nasty emissions than the easyJet from Dublin. What a bunch of hypocritical humbuggers.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Tony Kerrison said...

Hi Baz,
I get a real kick out of reading how my Council Tax is spent, and that a portion of it is to help the wonderful Thames Valley police in their ceaseless efforts to protect us. Imagine my pleasure when my wife rang their non-urgent stuff number last night to enquire what might be done about the extremely loud music that was shattering the peace at 12.30am, & was told 'The Home Office relieved us of any responsibility for things like this 7 years ago, but we can give you the number of the local council'. My wife then said that if she went round there to ask them to turn it down and got assaulted, would they turn out for that? Answer: yes. So citizens who desire a bit of peace and quiet have to have GBH done to them before the law swings into action The council, who are now, apparently also in the policing game, had no call-out number, so it would have to wait until tuesday morning, by which time the noise would have, presumably, stopped, so no joy there, methinks. In the event my wife went and asked the noise-makers - a bunch of Poles renting a house, by the way, - to turn it down. They didn't. So I, and a large, tattooed and somewhat riled neighbour (whose young kids had been woken up by the row) went round and asked a little more forcefully, and this time peace returned. If we had used violence to get them to shut up I expect the Old Bill would've been round in no time, and I'd now be inspecting the graffiti in my cell. What do we pay all that money for, if we've essentially been abandoned to police ourselves? How dare the Home Office, whoever they are, deny citizens the protection of the law? Aren't they supposed to be OUR servants? Despair comes easily in modern Britain.

2:45 AM  
Anonymous tony b.liar said...

Tony's spot on: our brave Mr Plods are practically useless, though not so much by their own doing. They have been emasculated by a decade of Nu Labour's obsession with their politically correct targets, performance indicators, health and safety, tick-the-box lists and a plethora of legislation designed to keep them snug and warm in their cars instead of getting out onto the streets and sorting out crime.
Years ago, the local bobby would know the yobs on his patch and if he caught them [or even if not] give them a good seeing to round the back of the bike sheds, instead of filling in a form and waiting for a soft magistrate to give them "community service" and a slap on the wrist.
Ms Jowell was told by every single respected organisation that the liberalisation of drink laws would result in our towns and cities being virtual 'no go areas' full of drunken yobs. And so it came to pass. Ms Jowell? She was rewarded with a new job by wee Gordon Broon, despite also cocking up the liberalisation of gambling. Wonder how much the casino operators and the drinks industry paid her?? Just a thought.
The solution? Vote the bastards out at the next election, which can't be far off. Even if it means you have to vote Tory, do it!!!!

1:56 AM  

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