Tuesday, October 07, 2008

So why does Postman Pat need a helicopter?

IF YOUR local post office has been closed down lately, you might be interested to find out where the money supposedly saved has gone – on Postman Pat’s helicopter, that’s where.

Yes, the big-nosed Greendale postie who never once stole a tenner from a child’s birthday card and was seemingly content with the company of Jess, his black and white cat, and the occasional bunk-up with Mrs Goggins has suffered the fate of too many children’s characters. He’s been ‘updated’.

The new Pat, due on a TV screen near you around now, has had his little van replaced by a fleet of new vehicles including a helicopter, a ‘stunt bike’ with a sidecar for Jess, a forklift truck, and a large eco-van, whatever one of those is. And alas, Greendale is no more, and Pat now patrols a new ‘bustling’ town populated by a working mum, a Chinese shopkeeper and, inevitably, a wheelchair-user. It seems no programme is complete these days without the token cripple, even children’s cartoons.

I’m not sure he’s going to be happy in his new role. And if the stresses of modern-day city life take their expected toll, don’t be surprised to see Pat ‘going postal’ and laying waste to the sorting office with a 12-bore.

And meanwhile Bob the Builder has been laid off because of the credit crunch and spends his days drinking cheap cider on a bench outside the off licence while shouting obscenities at passers-by.

YOU’LL NO doubt be relieved to know that while the world’s financial markets have been in turmoil, the petty, selfish, nitpicking whining of the nation’s jobsworths has continued unabated.

We must go to Hull, where the parents of newborn twins are to be sued by a midwife who tripped over a folded buggy at the foot of their stairs during a home visit. Yes, this signed-up member of the Turkey Army is not content with just holding down a public sector job-for-life with a gilt edged pension, but now wants to take advantage of the sickening compo culture bleeding our local authorities dry. Where there’s a claim, there’s blame. And guess who pays in the end, suckers?

Did you think that the Bin Wars that have replaced a single, simple service from your local council with a mad, blinkered creed that seems intent on criminalising half the population had reached its zenith? Think again. Waste minister Joan Ruddock has just announced that people who throw their litter into the wrong street bin risk on-the-spot fines as part of the government’s recycle-as-you-go scheme.

Yep, there you are with your Gregg’s steak and onion pasty wrapper and, as an honourable citizen, you have decided to put it in a bin rather than just discarding it in the gutter like a common scrote. But wait, instead of one litter bin there are now four. That cellophane wrapper: is it recyclable plastic? Are you sure? And that cardboard tray: is it ‘cardboard’ or is it ‘waxed cardboard’? These things matter.

Nervously, you make your choice, and before the cellophane has hit the bottom of the bin, one of the government’s High Street Stazi has leapt from behind his illegally-parked van and hit you with a £110 fine – which is more than you’d get if you’d been caught shoplifting. I tell you, when the masses rise up against the State in this country, it won’t be because of political idealism; it’ll be because some poor old bloke has been a bit cavalier with his potato peelings.

Next stop is Bristol, where the city council has told allotment holders that they shouldn’t padlock their sheds because if they do, thieves will only go and kick their way in through doors or walls causing expensive damage which must then be repaired from the public purse.

Presumably the next step is to order council tenants not to lock their front doors in case they further inconvenience burglars. It’s enough to make Postman Pat’s cat laugh.

BUT IT’S not all bad news. In the High Court this week Mr Justice Blake ruled in a test case that five Gurkhas who had fought for this country should be allowed to live here in perpetuity. This means that another 2,000 Nepalese, including two Victoria Cross holders, can also take up official residence. And about time too.

The right result then, but you have to ask yourself which Home Office nincompoop decided in the first place that loyal soldiers who had fought with immense bravery on our part “did not have sufficient connection” with this country. Jacqui Smith might now be promising new rules and a review of all cases by the end of the year, but surely the person responsible for such stupidity – plus all the anguish and the massive legal costs – should pay the price? Fat chance.

A READER writes: “Travelling back from Jakarta, I bought a bottle of gin in Kuala Lumpur only to have it confiscated in Amsterdam.

“OK, those are the rules. But why is it safe for me to carry a bottle of gin from KL to Schipol in an approved security plastic bag, but not for me to carry it from Schipol to Durham Tees Valley? Who makes up these rules and how do we stop them from doing it?

“Not to mention that if I were a terrorist, I would possibly be the first English, fat, 64-year-old terrorist ever.”

And you can’t argue with that.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Early in the morning
Just as day is dawning
He picks up all the letters in his...


1:13 PM  
Blogger Man in Oz said...

Great news about the Gurkhas,Bazza, but what shame must all right-minded people feel abot the degrading treatment given to men who have served Britain so well since 1814.
What can you expect from a government which elevates Mendacious Mendelson, who famously described the military as "chinless wonders", to the Peerage,and spends millions defending the rights of Abu Hamza,et al. Sickening.

9:33 PM  

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