Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Let's hang councillors from the lampposts

I KNOW I keep calling forlornly for it, but the revolt of the pesto peasants – the day the victimised middle classes of this country rise up against the government – can’t be far off.

In the end, I don’t think it will be the disgraceful hike in car tax or the eye-watering cost of filling your fuel tank that does for this discredited NuLabour administration. It’ll be the Gestapo-like tactics of the Bin Police who’ll see local councillors swinging from lampposts while the Town Hall burns.

Not a week passes without another series of aberrations: this week’s horrors included the council in Plymouth forcing families to nominate an adult member of their family who could be fined and given a criminal record in the event of any bin-related malpractice; the stunned pensioners of Skipton being told that they had to lift the heavy internal containers out of their wheelie bins themselves “to spare the binmens’ backs”; and the case of arch criminal single mother Zoe Watmough of Bolton, who was fined £265 for putting her bins out a few hours too early.

These are garbage gangland tactics that not even waste disposal supremo Tony Soprano would dare try.

Try to question your local council about this institutionalised bullying and they’ll claim that it’s all down to central government. Collar your local MP and he’ll blame the EU if he’s a Tory or drowning polar bears if he’s Labour. That’s if he’s a “he”, rather than one of those appalling harridans who shouts down all opposition while never having held down a proper job in her life.

The truth of the matter is that we are being tormented because much of the Netherlands lies below sea level. No, really. Dig a hole for landfill in Holland and the whole place turns into Hull. And, because the Dutch can’t bury their rubbish, they’ve led the way in forcing through legislation that stops the rest of us doing it as well – even though we have more than enough empty coal mines to accommodate the next 100 years’ worth of disposable nappies or Waitrose carrier bags.

Just think about that the next time you’re buying tulips, or Edam, or dope.

FROM THE Bin Police to the Balloon Police. Sixteen-year-old Max Twizell was attending a charity event in Newcastle city centre when the pink, helium-filled balloon he was carrying escaped his grasp and floated away. This prompted a litter warden to pounce and present him with a £50 fine for littering.

Max’s mum, Lorraine, is rightly indignant: “Will the council fine every charity that holds a balloon race £50 per balloon, or toddlers in prams who accidentally release helium balloons?”

Stephen Savage, director of regulatory services and public protection at the council (and there’s a Turkey Army job if ever I’ve heard one) is predictably pathetic: “To some people this may seem harsh but we believe that to create a cleaner, safer city we must send out a clear message that this will not be tolerated.”

Well, it’s good to know that the streets of Newcastle are free from discarded balloons (although I’m not sure you could say that about the back alleys around the Bigg Market). If only they could do the same for knives, we might be making progress.

AND THERE’S till time for the Paddling Pool Police to make their debut. The amusingly-named Lourdes Maxwell (a single grandmother, if that makes any sense) has been putting one of those inflatable paddling pools in the communal garden of her council flats for the past 24 years. In all that time the two-foot deep pool has been used by her children, grandchildren and the kids of neighbours without incident. But no more.

Portsmouth City Council has now decided that this plastic peril cannot be used in future without the presence of lifeguards and a hefty insurance policy. We defer to another Turkey Army apparatchik, Nigel Selley, neighbourhood manager, who says: “We did not have sufficient assurances that the risks associated with providing such a facility would be well-managed. We have since spoken to Ms Maxwell and she is aware of our concerns for child safety and the risks associated with drowning.”

Yes, well, I’m sure the prospect of a submerged toddler has never occurred to her before, but there we go. Let’s just hope that Ms Maxwell (47) can afford to hire a couple of red-trunked hunks to keep the council happy.

NOW EXPLAIN this to me. Prince Andrew’s Berkshire house, the much-derided Sunninghill Park, is on the market for a mere £12 million – even though it doesn’t even have an inflatable plastic paddling pool on the premises.

Now along comes a Kazakhstani billionaire who promptly agrees to pay £15 million for the pile. Totally incidentally, this is a chap with whom Andrew has been doing a bit of business back in the old country.

Now that’s not right, is it? Why would someone cough up £3 million over the odds – money that wasn’t even being asked for – if there wasn’t some ulterior motive?

You might ask why this matters. Well the house was paid for by Her Madge, which ultimately means us. And while I don’t begrudge in any way the 80p a year that the Royal Family costs me, I’d rather it didn’t involve enriching a lardy-arsed, golf-playing freebie merchant with a ginger ex-wife and two fat daughters.

IT APPEARS that we don’t have room to discuss the government’s latest IT project, a £120 million Department of Transport computer system that only speaks German. And you’d really let these people administer an identity card database?


Anonymous Gabster said...

Barry - England needs you to be our next Prime Minister! Come on, take over the country today,,, it's not like you even need to be elected or anything. Bagsy be you deputy ~ I quite fancy the Prezza role, I even have a useful punch! Excellent blog, thanks.

4:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You may sneer at the Dutch (re waste disposal) but from what I've heard, from someone who lived there, at least they have a far better method of recycling their rubbish.
None of this sorting everything into different bins crap that we have imposed on us. It is all sorted at the collection centre by the authorities concerned.
Now that will kill a few Turkey Army jobs off very quickly.

8:34 AM  
Anonymous BOLOMK1 said...

Do these "Bin Police" not live in the communities they terrorize?
Can't they be ostracised/boycotted,met with public ridicule and derision when they leave their homes etc.?
Criminy sakes,make their lives Hell in some way and mahaps they will back off!

9:55 PM  
Anonymous DaveyP said...

Re the mother of the child whose balloon littering escapades must have had the whole country cowering at the obviously imminent threat of our streets being covered in latex, why did the woman not contest the fine?

I'd have been rather inclined to deny that I'd even committed an offence on their patch. "bring me the evidence", I'd say, and watch their man legging it into the sunset trying to follow said balloon.

What if it crossed council borders and landed within the area controlled by another local authority? Would they still have jurisdiction? You can almost hear the argument going round in circles: "You dropped litter in our borough" "It didn't litter your borough" "ok, you dropped litter in [b]our[/b] borough" "No I didn't!"

Oh what fun.

2:51 AM  
Anonymous he said she said...

With the end of Broon nigh, these Turkey Army footsoldiers are trying to justify themselves, before Cameron's Night of the Long Knives.

Nobody is indispensible, not even Regulartory and Diversity Officers.

1:48 AM  
Blogger mad sapper said...

perhaps this is all part of a cunning plot to shut the police force, always winging about how they don't get paid enough, everybody in the country will be able to fine or arrest somebody for something...
'corse, gotta vote for wee gordon to get the turkey dinner job in the first place.

1:28 AM  

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