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Friday, April 29, 2005

 

Things that make you go Mm-hm.

Really nice day today, sun shone, the trees heavy with blossom and that fabulous green that tells you that things are alive and pulsing after the long winter layoff. Real shirtsleeves weather. Good day for baggsying the longest foot patrol and not bothering to return to base until close of play. So that is what I did.

One thing that gave me a fixed grin which made the punters think I was taking the piss was; The Tory assertion that ‘Blair will lie in order to win power’ – er, ahem guys. We the public, already know this (He’s a politician – of course he lies); hence the new definition of the word ‘Blair’ I’ve been hearing used as an irregular verb and adverb; meaning to act sincerely while telling humungous porkies to win contests / elections. Hence;

I Blair (Admission of guilt – never used)
You Blair (Accusative. Used immediately prior to fisticuffs)
He Blairs (Descriptive.)
She Blairs (Descriptive.)
We Blair (Collective admission of guilt prior to mass Seppuku. – Not likely is it?)
They Blair (Who you lookin’ at pal!)

Examples of use. First person past imperfect; ‘I’ve been Blaired’
Collective past imperfect; ‘We’ve been Blaired’
Accusative present tense; ‘You’re Blairing me!’

Etcetera ad nauseum. I’m sure you can come up with many others.

To close. Was checking my links last night and found a site which listed my blog called ‘blogshares.com’ which gives this blog a fluctuating monetary value. So this means my occasionally rabid ramblings are actually worth something? Can I refloat on the stock market splitting two for one if I think the shares are over valued?

Hang on a minute, where’s my dividend?

Thursday, April 28, 2005

 

VOTE FOR BILL STICKER! (Part 3)

This is the final blog entry covering the manifesto of the Bill Sticker party.

Broadcasting

The whole of the BBC (TV, Web and Radio) to be slimmed down, devolved and removed completely from London. Welsh Broadcasting to be moved to Aberystwyth, likewise Scottish Broadcasting to Dundee. Both towns have Universities and you can’t commute there from Islington. Radio 1 & 2 to be moved to Manchester & Birmingham respectively. Radio 3 to Croydon. Radio 4 to Little Snoring, Norfolk. BBCTV to be split between Exeter, Bristol, Swindon, Norwich, Leeds, Sheffield, Glasgow and all other regional broadcast locales. Why? Lets have some regional talent doing the shows. Almost anything’s better than the output at present.

While we’re at it – put Graham Norton back where he belongs, on the Cabaret Circuit and sack whoever paid him five million out of the licence payers fees. Same for Dickhead and Dom.

Education

If we need more education, education, education, we want more Teachers, Lecturers and courses that actually mean something. Colleges and Universities to only receive funding for courses that turn out graduates whose degrees are linked to proper work-related qualifications. Anything else will have to be self or privately funded. No more degrees in Politics or Media studies. Pass levels to be adjusted to reflect real achievement. Let’s raise the game, not just the figures.

While I’m thinking about it – let’s protect the Teachers better. Any person physically assaulting a member of a Teaching staff to be automatically prosecuted for criminal assault. Threats to teaching staff to be dealt with in similar manner. The legal assumption should be that any accusation has to be proven beyond all possible doubt before teaching staff are removed from duty and that a child under the age of majority is not the most reliable accuser / witness. Not this dangerous inversion that exists at present. Bring back corporal punishment. Sometimes it’s the only language some kids understand – and yes, I was caned three times when I was at school.

No more ‘Social Engineering’. Let’s have private scholarships / grammar school places for the gifted. If this smacks of ‘elitism’ – so what? There will always be those who are more intelligent / gifted than others – why should a system try to drag everyone down to the same low level?

Unemployment

A real toughie. We need markets and have goods / services to sell and trade in them so people have proper jobs to work at.

Urban and general Transit Infrastructure needs to be improved so that people can commute to and from work more easily. That will soak up a few jobs to start with. Improved telecommunications infrastructure, the resultant cable laying will take a few more off the dole queue. A ‘National Grid’ for water supplies will provide a few years jobs while the economy rebuilds. No more hosepipe bans.

Restrict immigration / end asylum so that those British Citizens currently on disability / unemployment get first crack at proper retraining and work opportunities. ‘Work restart’ campaign to get older workforce retrained and mobilised with subsidised work placements and a guaranteed job with market wages should they be able to cut the mustard after completing their retraining courses. Active headhunting of British Citizens with slightly outdated skill set so that they can be given another chance at a decent career plus the opportunity to become more productive & well paid.

More encouragement for investment in research & development in the fields of ‘pure’ research in physics and biomechanics.

More encouragement for investment in innovation via local Chambers of Commerce.

More overseas development assistance for UK employers to expand export markets.

Less bureaucracy on the back of small business.

Immigration

No more ‘Asylum’ applications allowed. Skilled immigrants only allowed to stay and work on a points system similar to Canada’s, only a little more strictly enforced. 24-hour turnaround deportation with no appeal. Destroyed / lost / forged papers mean automatic and immediate return to point of origin with no appeal and no return to the UK. It’s unfair, but not so unfair as increasing the burden to the UK taxpayer and lots cheaper than letting illegal immigrants stay.

Race Relations

A fairly obvious course of action is to ditch ‘positive discrimination’ policies as these only serve to give the racists on both sides ammunition. No more ‘quotas’ for the same reason. Religious hatred laws to be repealed as these give fuel to the same problems. Racism of whatever form is bad. We need good-natured tolerance, not fawning submission where ethnicity is concerned.

We can do without the infernal box ticking mentality of the bean counters and ‘Gender compliance Officers’. Such things bury great societies which thrive on mutual tolerance, diversity and cultural cross pollination.

Defence

Should mean exactly that. No more Iraq or Bosnia type ventures unless we get paid properly for it. Why should our taxpayers foot the bill for other countries problems? Proper care of active service veterans & widows. A policy of armed neutrality with an emphasis on quality kit, fit for purpose.

Foreign Policy

No interference in the affairs of any other state. Assistance for British Citizens only. No more foreign aid (They only go and spend it on the dictators latest toys.). Extension of territorial waters to 100 miles or international border in centre of dividing sea. No more Iraq’s or Bosnia’s. They’re too bloody expensive.

Agriculture and Fisheries

Agriculture; Better subsidies for ‘organic’ food production to assist small farmers. Easier licensing for ‘Farmers Markets’.
Fisheries; No non UK registered / crewed boats within territorial waters. Conservation zones rigidly enforced to allow regeneration of fish stocks.

NHS

Pretty simple this one; fewer bureaucrats, fewer managers and ‘box tickers’, so the money can be spent on better front line staff and proper disinfecting of hospital and medical facilities. No uniforms to be worn off hospital sites with proper changing facilities for staff. Cut down visiting hours to late afternoons and evenings so that front line staff have time to do their job properly before the unwashed hordes of nosepickers descend and contaminate the place.

Police & Law Enforcement

Reintroduction of the Transport Police with full powers of arrest and detention. Their duties to include; security at Ports, Airports and Public Transport termini and deportation of unwanted immigrants. More ‘Beat Officers’ working from local Police Stations in the towns and districts they serve. Fewer internal compliance reporting requirements for Police force generally, allowing more time actually on patrol. Less ‘bean counting’ when it comes down to crime and law enforcement. You can’t count things which don’t happen because there was enforcement presence, same as good maintenance practice keeps your repair costs down.

Reintroduction of the death penalty for murder. To be automatically applied for child murder, poisoning, terrorism, multiple murders, (Including previous offences) or killing a Police Officer. Method – Lethal Injection. Body to be destroyed and not released to relatives. Appeal system will need to be revised allowing proper examination of evidence to establish that any conviction carrying the death penalty is ‘safe’.

Environment

The Hunt ban unlawfully pushed through Parliament is to be repealed and all the Environmentalists and Animal Rights activists to take the place of foxes in the celebratory post ban hunting party. (That one’s for my mate Staghounds)

Failing that, said environmentalists will be humanely gassed or shot so that at least the Badgers can have a laugh too. GreenPeace to be prosecuted under the Trades Descriptions act for false advertising (What were the statistics on that oil rig, pray?) along with any other charity which is found to distort facts and figures to solicit donations. If a charity claims to be environmental or ethical – it will be asked to prove it or be prosecuted for false advertising.

Housing

John Prescott’s mouth to be demolished to make way for new housing in the North East. Devolution of Government departments to the regions to provide work for the Regions. This shift should do some good while cutting the need to pay extortionate London prices for office premises. It’ll hurt the Duke of Westminster’s pocket and a few property speculators, but they can afford it.

Devolution of Government

To be contracted out to several Technical Logistic companies with orders to ‘shift the kit’ and take no nonsense from any two bit little empire building mandarins who want to stay put.

Also, if Britain is to be a terrorist target, then let’s make it really hard for them to hit more than one element of government at a time. Then for the one time they do get lucky, they won’t hurt so many people in one go and life can get back to normal, fast.

MP’s and Members of the Upper House to work on a ‘telecommuting’ basis from their local offices so they can be on hand to serve their constituents first and Parliamentary business second. We can save some serious public money on MP’s expenses there, I think.

We can also save money by taking over old factory premises (Jobs for Rover / Longbridge?) and refurbishing them for government offices. As for those who work in them – be a lot cheaper than living in London chaps.

Well, that’s my manifesto. So. Can I count on your vote, then?

Regards,

Bill Sticker

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

 

How people react to getting nicked

What really goes on in a Traffic Wardens head when he / she hears certain key phrases? Here are a few examples below.

“I was only there for five minutes.”
This is a blatant lie and everyone knows it. We are neither convinced or in any doubt of the offenders guilt.

“You didn’t give him a ticket – he your mate or something?”
If you grew up, stopped whining and got out of my face I’d be booking him right now – just get out of my way bozo!

“You should be paying me for this.” (Waving Parking ticket under my nose)
Not really, you arrogant bumptious poltroon. You should be paying for your own short sighted carelessness, now get out of my face – halfwit.

“What’s this!”
It’s a Parking ticket, slaphead. You got caught, tough.

“What did you give me this for?”
You didn’t notice the double yellows / restriction signs? – Go get your eyes tested.

“We had an understanding with the last Traffic Warden.”
The moon is made of Edam, the world is flat and your mother is a bowl of Hyacinths.

“But I’ve parked here for years!”
But you shouldn’t have been parking here all that time should you? Give me a break.

“You could have told me to move on!”
Yeah, but you’d have driven away laughing at the Traffic Laws. Laugh this one off sunshine.

“I pay my Council tax!”
So do I. What’s that got to do with the price of fish?

All of the above are excuses heard in the space of one working Sunday. In the words of Marvin the Paranoid Android – “I hope you know I’m feeling very depressed.”

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

 

Fuel Tax Protests

With regards to the planned go-slow and protests about the current price of petrol and diesel, my stance is; I support the protestors’ actions. Er hang on, some of you might say; you Bill Sticker, having publicly stated your position re law enforcement coming down hard on the side of the powers that be. Is not a little hypocrisy creeping into your high moral stance, hmm?

Not so, I respond. While the rules are the rules with regard to double yellows etc, there is room for legitimate protest. I sympathise with the fuel tax protestors because the fuel tax ‘escalator’ and recent EU rule changes gives overseas competitors an unfair advantage.

As far as I am aware, the EU rule change allows heavy goods vehicles up to 44 tonnes upon the public highways of this country, an increase of 12 tonnes on the previous weight limit. Bigger trucks have bigger fuel tanks, these bigger trucks fuel up in, say France, and have enough juice to pootle around Britain for a working week, and not have to refuel until back in a country where diesel is much cheaper, thus allowing these operators to undercut UK hauliers.

The purpose of the fuel tax ‘escalator’ was supposed to discourage excessive vehicle use and reduce congestion. Not unsurprisingly, this has not happened. All it has done is push the cost of travel by road skywards without apparent benefit. Out on the streets we see more big silly gas guzzling 4x4’s, more single occupant vehicles and no reduction in congestion. So the ‘tax ‘em off the road’ strategy is proven to be a failure and should be reversed, only funnily enough it can’t because all the cash thus ripped off the British public has been chucked down one of Gordon Brown’s gaping financial black holes. Oh yes, before anyone drags out the tired old argument “The Tories started it” – In that case, if the current New Labour administration is so good and wise – Why don’t they stop it? Because they dare not, cannot and will not.

Quote of the day

Talking to one of my older neighbours today while out walking the dog first thing this morning. We chatted about the pre election news and the blatant duplicity of politicians. Just before we parted to walk our respective dogs home he vouchsafed; “Politicians are like Bananas, they start out green, turn yellow, and there’s not one of ‘em straight.”

Put a smile on my face for the rest of the day. Says it all really.

Monday, April 25, 2005

 

Patrolling

One of the blogs I read on a regular basis is the one produced by the Policeman who goes by the pseudonym Dave Copperfield. Dave appears to believe that getting Police officers out on the beat, patrolling the streets on foot is a good thing. Not unnaturally I tend to agree with this view of the world. Well I would, wouldn’t I?

My argument is as follows; one of the things the statistic led model of modern policing fails to take into account is the human side. The feeling that there’s someone on hand who can actually do something about the many acts of petty theft and vandalism that plague communities. A foot patrol is so much better at this than one in a car. On foot you get to observe the minutiae of life, the little details that car patrols can so easily miss. Those two lads wandering up the alley behind that terrace of houses might or might not be up to no good, but if a uniformed grown up gives them the look that says “I’m watching” then there is, generally speaking, less of a temptation to let those baser impulses for mischief out of the bag. I recognise of course that there are a minority who will damage, steal and disrupt no matter what you do, but those of weaker will are less likely to be led into temptation, so petty crime problems should decrease in most areas.

In intelligence gathering circles, this kind of patrol activity produces what the senior spooks call HUMINT, one of those military pseudo acronyms which are short for Human Intelligence gathering. In Iraq, as with so many other modern conflicts, HUMINT is sparse and leads to some serious cock-ups. Where this kind of information is not gathered, the picture of what is really going on is incomplete and other means cannot replicate it.

The Police Community Support Officers are an okay(ish) idea, but without the power and authority of arrest, the bad guys are not going to take them seriously. By the time a PCSO has been called, identified a problem and called real Police, bad guy has legged it. Full Police officer could have been there, nicked miscreant and filled out his Pocket Note book. All he needs to do is be there.

Thus I would make the case for a more human scale of Police force. By all means let us have the fast response support units as backup, but let us also have someone regular who just walks and talks; someone who by just being there can provide a focus of confidence for the public. Not some machine for generating crime / offence statistics like a speed camera. Cameras can only record offences – it takes a real live human being to keep the peace, which is what the public need. Not crime statistics which are only the domain of the half informed.

On that subject, I wonder what’s happened to the car crime statistics since we increased our foot patrols? I bet no one has bothered to look. If they haven’t gone down I stand corrected.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

 

Proof of idiocy

Well, it has long been suspected that the BBC has a political bias to justify it’s nickname – ‘The Blairite Broadcasting Corporation’; but interfering in a Political Parties general election campaign? – Ouch guys, you’ve just ‘outed’ yourselves. Mrs Sticker was heard to sneer, “Well they wouldn’t do it to anyone else would they.” And she generally votes Lib Dem.

I shall explain; The BBC allowed one of their producers to equip hecklers with microphones and send them to disrupt a political meeting where the speaker was the Tory leader Michael Howard. This is a trick William Randolph Hearst would have been proud of. This is not the act of an ‘Unbiased’ organisation whose ideal is to ‘inform and entertain’. The only information I get from a stunt like this is confirming the cupidity of the producer; the only entertainment, hearing of said producers dismissal.

By taking a Political Party’s (The New Nazi - sorry Labour party) side, the BBC has nailed it’s colours to the mast and discredited its reporters / presenters as being stooges for the current administration. I reiterate, it is supposed to be an impartial, non-partisan organisation.

Personally I deal with bumptious chuckleheads with attitudes like this every day. The ones who think that everything they do is right; and when caught out attempt to foist the blame for their plight onto others. That's what this stunt reminded me of. The news is this - you boys ain’t fooling no-one. I am currently compiling a list of motorist responses, which should bring a smile to the lips of any student of human half wittedness.

Meanwhile, back on the subject; I suppose it’s bad enough that much of the BBC’s broadcast material is so lowbrow and saccharine (See my post, ‘Why do I dislike Natasha Koplinski’) – now politics? Let’s have decent satire by all means – but this kind of bias is well outside the Beeb’s remit. Smacked wrists! Don’t let me catch one of your outside broadcast units you naughty little tinkers!

Saturday, April 23, 2005

 

Yellow lines

If it weren’t true then you would have trouble believing it. Unless you’re as cynical as I have become.

How can you make such a mess of painting one or two yellow lines? Sheesh! Just follow the links to see some parking absurdities.

  1. Now this is just plain daft The painting crew must have been lunching on some serious liquid - Mine's a large one.
  2. Triple yellows! (WTF do they mean? It’s not in the TSR & GD.)
  3. Improperly terminated lines (These are pretty common)
  4. Ouch. Hey look Ma!Roadkill! (All together now - Ahh)

Friday, April 22, 2005

 

Samizdat

Credit:
The original text for this piece is not mine, but it’s so good it deserves reproduction. A blogger called Hotbobs whose blog is no longer available originally wrote it. Cass Brown of Cancergiggles fame reproduced it. I’ve altered a couple of lines, but it is one of those entries that are so true they should be reproduced ad infinitum. Should this blog fail, would someone out there be kind enough to keep the thoughts behind this entry going.

We Shouldn’t be here

According to today's regulators and bureaucrats, those of us who were kids in the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's probably shouldn't have survived.

Our baby cots were covered with brightly coloured lead-based paint which was promptly chewed and licked.

We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, or latches on doors or cabinets and it was fine to play with pans.

When we rode our bikes, we wore no helmets, just plimsolls and fluorescent 'clackers' on our wheels and hardly any brakes. We popped wheelies, fell off and lost skin in the process.

As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags. Riding in the front passenger seat was a treat.

We drank water from the garden hose and not from a bottle - tasted the same.

We ate dripping sandwiches, bread and butter pudding and drank fizzy pop with sugar in it, but we were never overweight because we were always outside playing.

We shared one drink with four friends, from one bottle or can and no one actually died from this.

We would spend hours building go-carts out of scraps and then went top speed down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. After running into stinging nettles a few times, we learned to solve the problem.

We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back before it got dark. No one was able to reach us all day and no one minded.

We did not have Playstations or X-Boxes, no video games at all. No 99 channels on TV, no videotape movies, no surround sound, no mobile phones, no personal computers, no Internet chat rooms. We had friends - we went outside and found them.

We played football and cricket, and sometimes that ball could really hurt.

We fell out of trees, got cut and broke bones and teeth, and there were no lawsuits. They were accidents. We learned not to do the same thing again.

We had fights, punching each other hard, getting black and blue - we learned to get over it.

We walked miles to friend's homes.

We made up games with sticks and tennis balls and ate live stuff, and although we were told it would happen, rarely were eyes poked out, nor did the live stuff live inside us forever.

We rode bikes in packs of 7 and wore our coats by only the hood.

Our actions were our own. Consequences were expected.

The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of. They actually sided with the law. Imagine that!

This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers and problem solvers and inventors, ever. The past 50 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas. We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned how to deal with it all.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

 

Sunny day

Today has been quite nice weatherwise. For the first time this year I’ve been able to lunch outdoors, look happily at the blossom and listen to the birds coughing in chorus. I’ve managed to avoid watching TV and answering the doors to the various political canvassers. Just disconnected one of the wires to the doorbell, set the phone ringer to ‘silent’, cracked open a bottle of chilled Chablis and enjoyed some al fresco vitamin D conversion in the back yard.

Yeah.

Of course my chilled out mood will all go to pieces tomorrow when I am once more crossing vorpal swords with the general dyslexic. I’m just enjoying life for the time being.

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

 

Musings V1.2b

As it’s my day off, for a change I had a lie in. Found my eyes drawn to a copy of Max Ehrmans ‘Desiderata’ that Mrs Sticker has hung on the bedroom wall. I never really liked it as a piece of poetry, it doesn’t scan too well and comes across as rather wordy, turgid and slightly pretentious. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be a piece of inspirational verse but it reads like prose.

Must be the job getting to me, because when I read the phrase ‘You have a right to be here’ I always think of double yellows, Penalty Charge Notices and giggle slightly. I think I need to get out more.

Have made up my mind which way I’m voting anyway. There’s no Monster Raving Looney candidate (Read their ‘Manicfesto’ here)so it’ll have to be UKIP. I always thought it rather odd that the party started by David (Screaming Lord) Sutch as a joke sometimes has more plain common sense than all the others put together. Not that they’ll ever win a parliamentary seat but they come as welcome light relief to all the hand wringing, back patting, baby kissing (Does this make politicians paedophiles?) ‘professional’ politicians.

Wonder if I’ll get a chance to nick a campaigning politician this election. Make an interesting conversation in the mess room;
Traffic Warden 1 “Who’d you get then?”
Traffic Warden 2 “I got the Tory.”
Traffic Warden 3 “I nailed the Lib Dem.”
Traffic Warden 4 “I booked John Prescott.”
Traffic Warden 1 “Oh, so that’s where you got the black eye from.”

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

 

Musings V1.1a

Some of you will note that I’ve published my blogfeed, contrary to my previous post about anonymity. I reckon thus, if my employers want to cut costs they’re going to fire me anyway. Might as well be hanged for a sheep as for a lamb, as the proverb goes.

My blog and certain others keep on getting tedious pro Blairite posts in the comments by a very silly anonymous person who signs themselves pretentiously as ‘A Lurker’. I used to read his / her comments and laugh uproariously at their naiveté. Nowadays I just think “Ho hum” as one of those long, boring, dull, insipid, vapid, interminable, poorly thought out, preachy comments rambles on and on and on and on without realising that nothing will change my ….…. Zzzzzzzzzzz.
 

Musings V1.0c

All these people who are now accusing pop performer Michael Jackson of child abuse wouldn’t be the same ‘caring parents’ that allowed, nay encouraged their ‘vulnerable children’ to stay with the self same slightly weird pop personage would they? Personally, I wouldn’t have let mine within a twenty-mile radius. Or does the lure of easy money have it’s own peculiar form of gravity? Just sharing my thoughts, you understand.

Monday, April 18, 2005

 

Getting annoyed

I deal with a number of difficult and often emotionally charged exchanges during my working day. Getting round the pejoratively charged verbal assaults takes a great deal of character (I think so anyway) and using ones brains, you know, that grey lumpy thing inside your skull. Getting annoyed or angry simply doesn’t help you deal with any situation, no matter how satisfying it might be in the short term. Getting people to see the error of their ways as well as handing out a Parking Ticket to them is no easy task and requires diplomacy and not a little tact – maybe some good running shoes too, but that’s another matter.

This rule however, I ignore when I hear about the ballot box stuffing going on in certain major cities. I get angry, incandescent even, to think that the very basis of our freedoms, so hard won in the 19th and 20th centuries, at the loss of so many lives, are being chucked down the pan because certain New Labour members can’t trust the will of the electorate. Such behaviour galvanises me to vote against New Labour, no matter if I like their electoral manifesto or not. I don’t like cheats. I’d rather have Geoffrey Archer or Jonathan Aitken as Prime Minister than Tony Blair, Gordon Brown, or even heaven forfend, John Prescott. The two old school Tories might have been sleazy and corrupt, but at least they would never stoop so low as to cheat the electoral system.

Now I’m not accusing the Prime Minister or any of his MP’s of ordering or being complicit in the ballot rigging reported in Birmingham for example. However, they are the top of the party machine that is tainted by association with such practices. They allowed it to happen. The same as if the Liberal Democrat or Conservative hierarchies were to allow ballot rigging to be done by their members. Rigging elections is heinous, it is criminal, it is nothing less than an act of treason against the British electorate.

I’m sure that any enquiry would absolve the New Labour machine of any official part of this scandal. Then again, there have been a number of incidents throughout the tenure of this government that raise a querulous and suspicious voice inside the conscience of any believer in liberty and democracy. Weapons of Mass Destruction? The questionable forensics surrounding the death of David Kelly? Forcing the Queen to renege on her coronation oath? Repeated use of the Parliament act? The emasculation of the House of Lords? Trying to roll back the liberties and freedoms of the British people with ID cards and the Civil Contingencies act? Peter Mandelson? The Hinduja’s? Lord Levy? Rover? How many other ‘incidents’ do we have to endure before we wake up and kick this lot out?

Up until this year, the old Prevention of Terrorism Act needed to be renewed every 12 months. Yet the threat of Irish Republican and Unionist terror groups was very real throughout the 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s and ID cards etc were not thought necessary. So how will such measures avert the purported threat from ‘Islamist’ terror groups? As I posted in a previous blog entry, if we go down the route of repression, the terrorists have won. If ballot boxes need to be ‘stuffed’ to keep New Labour in power – theirs will be a pyrrhic victory and we, the British electorate, will be the losers.

As I am too fond of saying – I’m only a Traffic Warden - and it’s pretty damn obvious to me.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

 

VOTE FOR BILL STICKER! (Part 2)

Welcome back to the Bill Sticker manifesto. If you can be arsed to read all this blather, prey continue (That is not a spelling mistake).

Legislation which the Bill Sticker party would amend / repeal upon being elected;

Human Rights act – Too open to abuse by the unscrupulous.
Civil Contingencies Act – No government should have the right to suspend democracy – if it has then we are no better than some third rate banana republic and no longer a democracy.
Prevention of Terrorism Act 2005 – Too much power concentrated in one place
The Work & Pensions act 2002 – no more Pension Fund ‘tax raids’
Immediate restoration of the principles of double Jeopardy and Habeas Corpus.

Legislation which the Bill Sticker party would introduce;

A succinctly written framework constitution in plain English covering exactly what Governments can and cannot do.

Financial legislation covering;

Pensions:

1. Parliament & Public Sector;

All MP’s and public representatives (From Local Councillor to Peer in the Upper House) of whatever status to not receive any monies from the public purse by way of a pension at the end of their elected term in office. The same principle to apply to those who have served as government ministers. Members of Parliament are to be responsible for accruing their own pensions out of their own salaries, same as the rest of us. This provision to include the Judiciary, as they get paid well enough and should be independent of any potential political threat to their pension status.

The same scheme to apply to all members of whichever house of Parliament retrospectively. That’ll larn ‘em.

2. General Pension Funds & Savings

No tax whatsoever to be levied upon personal or private pension funds unless they are drawn as a lump sum prior to retirement age, in which case any profits from such schemes to be taxed as unearned income. Company pension funds to be held in separate accounts which cannot be accessed by anyone but the beneficiaries or the fund loses its tax exempt status. Company executives who attempt to ‘milk’ said funds to be charged with fraud and embezzlement.

No tax to be levied upon private savings accounts if said savings account has no withdrawals for a ten-year period.

Exemptions

(i) Disability pensions awarded by court for personal / industrial injury
(ii) Private, non judicially awarded personal / industrial injury pension

If this doesn’t make saving for your pension attractive – I don’t know what will.

3. Taxation

Love it or hate it – someone has got to pay for everything. However, as only British Citizens will be eligible for Social Security benefits / free NHS treatment, the overall burden of taxation should be much reduced. All non British Citizens will have to be funded via private insurance or their own countries arrangements.

‘Ring fencing’ of taxation monies

National Insurance contributions to be used solely for the purposes of funding pensions and the NHS, as originally envisaged.

Road fund licence & tax on fuel. Exclusively for the upkeep / policing / building of the public road / rail infrastructure. Removal of the fuel tax ‘escalator’. Reduction of fuel tax duty from the current level @ 47p per litre to 30p per litre. Tax breaks for manufacturers / distributors of low emission vehicles.

Sliding scale of road fund licence based on cubic size of vehicle and engine size. Sure you can have that big silly 4x4 with the three-litre engine, but expect to cough up serious pennies for the road space. Same for trailers.

Income tax for the general taxation fund.

With a significant lowering of taxation demand caused by a considerably lowered contribution to the EU – VAT may be significantly reduced / abolished leading to a lower cost of living for UK Citizens.

Local Taxation;

With a reduced need for EU directive related enforcement / monitoring required, a much reduced administrative overhead is anticipated. Whilst local taxes may not have any immediate significant reduction, the overall effect will be one of halting the above inflation Council Tax rises.

As for Unemployment, NHS and the Environment – wait for the third and final pre election blog entry sometime in the next ten days. It’ll be a stoater.

If anyone asks, you heard it here first.

Friday, April 15, 2005

 

Et in excretis ego

Which translates roughly (& politely) as ‘And I also am in trouble’. Never rains but it floods. I don’t think I’m about to be ‘Dooced’, more like ‘traduced’.

A little bird (Or a big ugly vulture – if you catch my drift) has been fluttering around making noises about ‘cost overruns’ and ‘revenue decreases’. A decision has been made. A list of names has been compiled, and guess what? Despite consistent good performance, old 515 (me, Bill Sticker) is on that list. Mainly because the powers that be seem to be working on the ‘Last in – first out’ principle. Oo-er. Could all be bollocks of course, but I’ve seen Pete our Union rep and he's seriously worried about something. Hmm. I think I’m going to need a new job – fast. Time to call in a few favours and sort out me references don’cher’know.

This blog may be coming to an end far sooner than anticipated when it will become the "diary of an ex Traffic Warden" (All right, all right, stop cheering.).

Thursday, April 14, 2005

 

Morals and philosophising

Have spent the last two hours deep in conversation with Mrs S about our respective roles in life. Both of us have a problem with the low level of perceived intelligence and integrity in the UK’s general populace. She from her work perspective, I from mine.

We have both come to the conclusion that we are both hopelessly naive and set our moral sights way too high. Both of us are, by even my Fathers exacting standards, quite moral people. We are good, insofar as ‘good’ can be described as neighbourly, law abiding and as honest as it is safe to be in these corrupt and lowbrow days. “Whoa, hang on a minute Bill; ‘corrupt and lowbrow’, aren’t you going off the deep end a bit too readily?” Chimes in my internal dialogue.
“No, I don’t think so.” Is my internal response.

My proof is as follows; Behaviour is corrupt because of the culture of ‘instant gratification’ that has grown up since the 1950’s, a child of the Cold war with it’s fear of nuclear obliteration. Many people want everything right NOW. They want perfect bodies because the glossies tell them that will make them happy. They want perfect sex because they think it will make them happy. They want perfection in their views because perfection means that they will not have to think any more, and that will make them happy. The more they want, the more lowbrow and depraved their behaviour becomes. Lust and gratification replace love. False hysteria replaces real emotion. Sugar and chocolate fed ‘rushes’ replace our need for satisfaction. In the end it all descends into a kind of solipsism where only ones immediate desire counts. It all falls apart when each gratification palls in the face of mindless repetition. Virtues such as intelligence and neighbourliness are unfashionable and sneered at whilst crass ignorance and selfishness are applauded. The words loyalty, love, strength and honesty become just platitudes regurgitated by politicians in their search for power.

If it sounds like I’m ranting – well you’re dead right there. I’m sick of it all, and I’m going to make a difference tomorrow – even if my only weapon is a penalty charge notice. For the time being.

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

 

Ticking the damn boxes

Got pulled into the office for my ‘appraisal’ today and got a look at the forms our Management use to keep tabs on our performance. Fortunately I’m reasonably competent at what I do, so the interview only took half an hour.

However, being the ‘experienced’ person that I am, I learned long ago to read upside down and back to front very quickly. This is a useful skill for rapidly reading rows upon rows of pay and display tickets in car parks without ricking my neck or having to do handstands. Such is the publics’ predilection for sticking these things every which way up.

The appraisal went okay and the verdict; Bill Sticker gets to keep on walking the streets. Not the fastest booker on the planet but a ‘valuable and effective employee’. Even if Senior Manager wanted to know why I wasn’t as fast slapping tickets on windscreens as some of my contemporaries. I responded that I did the job properly as directed in the manner I was taught, then quoted the guidelines back at him verbatim. He couldn’t argue with that, seeing as he was the one who wrote the cursed things in the first place. Me, I just kept a straight face and did the nod and smile on cue. One thing I did notice was that the faster bookers have a much higher cancellation & appeal rate than me, so phew, got away with that then.

What amused me was the crude tools they were using to appraise my performance. I shall explain; everything we do is logged on our hand held computers. Every street we visit, every stop to use the toilet (Which is logged in the twee little transatlantic idiom of the menu system as a ‘Comfort break’), every car we start to book and end up moving on is in the hand held log. The statistics off this are downloaded to industrial strength spreadsheets and turned into whizzy flashy graphs, which mean absolutely dick. What all these graphs and flashy thingies fail to appraise is the human side of the job. Advising worried disabled drivers who are having trouble with some of the more arcane restrictions, giving directions to lost truckers and foreign tourists who have, by some godforsaken fate, strayed off the beaten tourist trail. We do a lot of this. We even get used as ‘eyes and ears’ for CCTV when some of their reprobates stray out of the cameras field of view. Not to mention fixing damaged pay and display machines. Unfortunately, due to the hand held computers software, all the aforementioned activities have no menu entry and so do not get recorded. What this means is, if you have a particularly busy day with the helpless and hopeless and your distance and number of streets drop, along with cars booked, then the god of the ‘tick box’ school of management turns his unwelcome malevolent little eyes in your direction.

As someone else called Bill once wrote; ‘Oh brave new world that hath such creatures in it’. Not in the same context of course but I can appreciate the sentiment behind the words.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

 

Labels

Why can’t we see more bumper stickers like this? “Sic hoc adfixum in obice legere potes, et liberaliter educatus et nimis propinquus ades", which translates: "If you can read this, you are both very well educated and much too close.”

Beats the hell out of the usual cheap lowbrow nonsense we see on Britain’s roads. More Latin and Greek wit please. On the other hand maybe not, unless we want to encourage tailgating by academics.
(“Mum, there’s a strange man looking at my rear!”
"You shouldn’t have bought that horrible Renault Megane dear.”).

Monday, April 11, 2005

 

Sad days

I’ve been feeling a little low today, no particular reason; just sad and wistful. Rudyard Kipling’s Chant-Pagan has been rattling round in my head. Maybe I’m sickening for something. Maybe it’s just the scent of blossom that sometimes sneaks past all the noise and diesel fumes of the streets. Catches you off guard, taking you to a place you once knew and loved.

Not that I was ever a squaddie in Kitcheners Army, just that I find myself looking back to a time and place when life felt more free. Mauvais temps, mauvais chance, n’est-ce pas?

Sunday, April 10, 2005

 

The eyes have it

Went into my corner shop for some biscuits a few weeks ago. Left the dog outside to wait for his customary treat for sitting still and being good. New manager recognises me as a regular and engages me in usual banter about weather, then looks me straight in the eyes and asks. “So what do you do for a living?”
“Oh, nothing you’d find interesting.” I told her flippantly, turning to leave.
“You a Policeman?”
“Er, no. What makes you think that?” I replied, a little nonplussed.
“You look like a copper.” She persisted.
“What?” Now I’m confused.
“You look at things. You pay attention. You’ve got that intense look about you.” She expanded.
“No, I’m not a Police officer.” Okay, so where was this going?
“Come on. You can tell me.” She persisted.
“You sure?” Oh all right.
“Yeah, I want to know.” More fool her.
“I’m a Traffic Warden.” I shrugged. There was the obligatory embarrassed pause. At length she says. “I think I’d rather be known as a Copper if I were you.”
“Yeah, right.” At this point I made my exit. That was getting a little too spooky for my liking.

Being an honest husband, I related this conversation to Mrs Sticker and youngest, who both confirmed that since I took this Traffic Warden job just over a year ago I have developed a certain expression around the eyes; 40% observance, 55% suspicion 5% Thousand-year gaze. Curses! How can I ever play poker and win again?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

 

VOTE FOR BILL STICKER! (Part 1)

As anyone who has not been hiding away from all news sources will know, on the 5th of May 2005, the UK is holding a general election. All things considered, I thought I’d dip my toe in the murky political waters and see if anyone likes my policies.

Policy 1; Constitution.

Reform of the Upper Chamber of Parliament.
The current political appointee-only system in the House of Lords is to be abolished. To replace the current make up of the upper house the Bill Sticker Party proposes:
A non-partisan system of elected independent members to sit for fixed seven-year terms
Minimum age of candidate; 50
Maximum number of terms allowed to serve; 3
Total number of members to serve in the upper house at any one time; 499
Repeal of the Parliament act 1911 and 1945 ensuring that the new upper house acts as a correct and proper constitutional ‘Brake’ on the House of Commons

House of Commons & Lords.

Implementation of a ‘Single transferable vote’ system of proportional representation for both Houses of Parliament

Fixed term Parliaments for the house of Commons of to serve five years only



Policy 2; European Union.

Immediate secession from the EU to become an Associate Member only such as Switzerland with trading agreements only. The UK to retain full control of all domestic policies including;
Defence
Immigration
Social Security
Transport

Policy 3; Transport.

In order to improve the lamentable current state of driving and congestion on British Roads, The Bill Sticker Party proposes the following;

Mandatory ten year re tests on all UK drivers (Eyesight & written part of test only). Failure to pass / comply to mean immediate suspension of licence followed by confiscation & destruction of all vehicles owned by licence holder if licence not re tested / passed inside three calendar months. Same penalty to apply for driving without licence.
Reduction in the maximum size of vehicles allowed on UK roads from 44 back down to 32 tonnes
Towing Caravan ownership regardless of size / capacity to be restricted to full members of the Showman’s Guild exclusively. Motor Caravans & vehicles converted for residence (Temporary or permanent) to face the same restriction. Showmans Guild will not be allowed to change terms and conditions of membership.
Motorway driving speed limits to be increased from the current 70mph to 90 mph. Driving at less than 70mph in 1st overtaking (Also known as 2nd or ‘Middle’) lane and / or forcing other road users to ‘undertake’ will result in immediate road safety questionnaire at roadside. Failure to pass test with less than fifteen correct answers out of twenty will mean immediate confiscation of vehicle & mandatory re test. Motorists who fail this test to be conveyed to the nearest means of public transport to make their own way home at their own expense.

More to come next week.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

 

Winding up and down

Working the early evening shift for another couple of days this week before I get another day off. This afternoon I nicked a dodgy looking BMW with darkened windows and shiny extras parked on ‘no loading’ double yellows. Driver not seen, no permits of any sort, so booked and sorted in less than five minutes. Nice easy ticket, bang to rights, lets see him worm his way off that one.

So what, I hear people say, just another booking, right? Not according to your friend and mine, PC49, who passed by in his rinky dinky little squad car just as I was walking round the corner of the next street. He pulls up, waves me over with a grin and says; “You know whose car you just nicked?”
“Bloke who’s just got a parking ticket for being in the wrong place?” I hazarded.
“Yeah, right.” His evil grin got wider as he related his version of exactly who the BMW belonged to. From what he told me the guy was a regular item on the Drug Squad’s ‘My Favourites’ list with an alleged habit of dealing abruptly with problem customers in an unfriendly manner. Not proven of course, but that I should be aware that he was under surveillance and not to get in the way.
“So you’re telling me I shouldn’t have booked him?” I asked. Tell you the truth I’m more concerned about my Manager finding out that I’d passed by a car in clear contravention than the wrath of some small time drug lord. These guys aren’t dumb and tend to settle parking fines quickly out of petty cash. Leaving incriminating bootmarks all over traffic wardens draws unwelcome attention to their activities and is thus bad for business is my reasoning. What’s sixty quid to one of them? – loose change that’s what.
“No.” was the response. “Just don’t get in the way.”
“Well I’ve booked him now, so that’s that. Can I borrow your spare set of body armour?” I asked. At this, PC49 winds up his window and drives off, leaving his grin fading behind him like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. What’s he up to?

Suspicious chap that I have become, I made a point of short cutting across another part of my beat to get back to the restriction I’d just booked the BMW on. On my way there my footsteps took me past one residential street where I saw the very same BMW, boot (trunk) open, owner unloading computer workstation into house with help of one of the residents. Resident recognises me as one of the people who allow him to park somewhere near his own house at night and gives me a friendly nod. Owner of BMW, a slightly tubby guy in his mid twenties with keyboard pallor scowls but says nothing as I walk past. Just as I’m going out of earshot I can hear whining litany of complaint about Traffic Wardens from BMW owner. So it was all a wind up! Who said our Police were wonderful? Grr.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

 

Parking on the Pavements

Now I don’t want to rain on anyone’s parade but; some of you really make it easy to give out parking tickets. Let me explain. When you see a road marking such as double yellow lines you know that means no parking at any time. You have three minutes to set down and pick up passengers so long as the driver does not leave the vehicle. Delivery vehicles get a bit longer. Disabled drivers with blue badges may park for up to three hours unless there is a loading restriction denoted by signs and / or single or double kerb markings. In which case even they get booked.

What some of you don’t seem to appreciate is that the parking restrictions cover the footway or pavement (For transatlantic readers - Sidewalk) from the edge of the property (Property line) next to the road out to the centre of the carriageway. I had a bonanza day with the general dyslexic yesterday blocking the footway, one of whom challenged me, saying, “I’m not on double yellows – you can’t nick me!”
“Yes you are sir.” I responded. “If I may enlighten you.”
“I’m not on the double yellows!” He frantically repeated this mantra – like that was going to do him any good.
“The restriction runs from the white line in the centre of the road to the edge of that house there sir.” I pointed out, wondering how this guy passed his driving test. I pulled out my already dog-eared copy of the new edition highway code and pointed out the restriction rules to him. Driver still did not believe it. “That’s not right. You’ve got the old edition.”
“This is the new edition sir.” I said in a world-weary tone of voice, pointing out the date on the back. “You show me a newer one and I’ll speak to my office.”
“I’ve got it at home.” He bullshits then stomps off. Yeah right. I believe that like I believe Tony Blairs’ election promises. He’ll learn. They all do eventually. It’s just the word ‘eventually’ that gets so depressing.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

 

Using my discretion

Since I work for a Local Authority and not the Constabulary; I am bound by a slightly different book of rules. The chief discrepancy between what I do and what one of the old style Police employed Traffic Wardens did is simple; I am not allowed discretion. For example, if a vehicle is in contravention of the Traffic Regulation Order – then I have to book them, whether in my judgement they are in the right or not. Officially, no one gets the benefit of the doubt. That is down to our office. On the other hand I can use my own judgement to a certain extent.

Not having discretionary powers and using my own discretion could be viewed as splitting rather a fine legal hair. If I may expand this line of reasoning; should I see one of our ‘regulars’ who I know takes the mickey, said person will get no mercy whatsoever. On the flip side of this coin, a person with an obvious mobility problem will get my ‘wagging finger’ and told quite firmly to display their disabled badge properly next time – or go and get one. Although in both circumstances the official line is to “Book ‘em Danno” regardless, why waste time on a ticket you know will get thrown out anyway? I’d rather spend more effort getting the guilty properly bang to rights than booking every poor benighted fool who has made an honest mistake. If they move on before I can slap it on the windscreen – fine – just don’t make a habit of it or you will get done.

Of course that’s just my modus operandi. A lot of the others just do what they’re told and book everything in sight. Personally, I like to think my method is a little more discerning and yields fewer rejected bookings, thus saving my employers the cost of handling more challenges and appeals. Does knock the old ticketing numbers down a tad, but not to the point where my employers take unwelcome notice. We are supposed to be about keeping the streets clear, according to head of department, not as revenue raisers – he ought to tell that to our next level of management up. Revenues drop slightly and all of a sudden its headless chicken time.

Now a confession like this without the shield of a pseudonym, false e-mail and home address with spoofed IP could, in the normal scheme of things, cost me my job. However, I just thought I’d set the record straight. We’re not all machines, but the system we work under is. You could say the guys on the streets are more sinned against than sinning. By way of an experiment you could always try being nice to us – you might be pleasantly surprised. Some of our lot certainly will.

Monday, April 04, 2005

 

The Mourning bandwagon

Had a two-minute look at the TV this morning (Bad move), then again ten minutes later (Even worse). Wall to wall coverage on the death of Pope John Paul II. Okay, if you’re a Roman Catholic, I’m sure this grieves you deeply as he was the head of the Roman Catholic Church.

Wait a moment, at the last time of asking, the UK was not, and has not been since the 1600’s, a Catholic country. At the moment I think we’re supposed to be a ‘Multicultural’ society. So why is even the left wing leaning Daily Mirror running effusive coverage? I seem to recall articles from not so very long ago in that very publication, which were less than kind to the old gentleman. For no matter what you might think about the man’s church, at least he believed truly. Which is not what might be said for the media in one of its regular fits of sales figure led hypocrisy. Kind of like the Sunday Sport seriously actively promoting sexual abstinence.

Not being a member, past or present, of any organised religious belief I find these effusions slightly reminiscent of an old ‘Not the nine o’clock news’ sketch from the 1980’s. The scenario was a TV political chat show where (Correct me if I’m wrong) Griff Rhys-Jones and Mel Smith were playing the part of opposing politicians. Right in the middle of a virulent slanging match, Mel’s character drops dead of a heart attack and Griff’s character turned his abuse into an emollient speech about how sadly missed this ‘great statesman’ will be and what great friends they had been.

Our managers don’t seem to think we’re all that bright, but even my colleagues were commenting slightly sniffily that “Didn’t they have a go at the Pope over his stance on contraception or something?”

Now I personally don’t agree with the Catholic Church on issues such as contraception, HIV, and who holds the keys to heaven; but neither do I rejoice in, nor mourn John Paul II’s passing excessively. I say only this; John Paul’s most enduring legacy will be his work at the end of the cold war in the late 1980’s in support of the democratisation of his native Poland. Hang on a mo’ - didn’t certain left wing dailies support the type of socialist regime his efforts helped bring down? The press and politicians seem to think the electorate have short memories. Not this part of it. There are some things I wouldn’t put in the bottom of the Hamsters cage.
 

In answer to my own questions

Now my hangover has cleared, and since the naughty people seem to have swanned off on holiday so there haven’t been many trouble spots to hit. Managed to cover my entire beat three times today – trade was very slack. So have been pondering the following whilst pounding my particular beat on a very quiet Sunday late shift.

Q: Is there a better way of handling stressors so any subsequent crisis of confidence is not so dramatic?

A: Yes: Don’t take it all so seriously.

Q: Should I care so much about keeping the roads clear when the General Dyslexic couldn’t care less?

A: Someone has to give a damn – Might as well be me. For the moment.


Q: Why sit still and take it all the time?

Need to develop a slightly sharper attitude, not so ‘Yes sir – no sir’ when the person you call ‘Sir’ isn’t fit to lick a beggars boots. Think of them sitting on the toilet wearing a comic relief nose. Don’t forget to keep a straight face.


Q: What the living hell am I doing in this damn silly job?

A: You need the money me old mate. Bills to pay etc.

Q: Is it time to get back into the private sector again?

A: Yes: Time to get the CV tuned and back out there. You’re not playing your championship game hiding in the cellar me old son.

Saturday, April 02, 2005

 

A few minor clarifications

Following several blog comments, there seem to be a few minor lapses in understanding of my somewhat idiosyncratic terminology. If I may I clarify.

General Dyslexic; A pejorative term aimed at people who can read restriction signs etc but seem to drift around the world as if it were some kind of pink fog where parking rules only apply to other people.

Traffic Warden; A general term for a Parking Enforcement Officer. A person employed by a local authority (District, City, County Council) or the Police whose job is to enforce the parking restrictions by means of handing out fixed penalty notices.

Chav; Particular cult of subhuman generally associated with dressing in Burberry pattern baseball style caps, cheap chunky jewellery, trainer type shoes and trousers (In the male specimen) incessant swearing and the need to look ‘tough’ (“Hard as nails – twice as easy to hammer in” says my mate Big Harry). This subgroup is renowned for its poor communication skills, sexual incontinence, ignorant, inconsiderate, occasionally violent and doltish behaviour. They appear to have reached pandemic status within urban areas and a cull is long overdue.

Politically Correct; A curious idea that by not calling a thing by its proper name decreases political, racial, religious or socio-economic tension when the converse is true. These ideas are widely promulgated in the academic / scholastic / public sectors. Where these memes come from no one is really sure; however, it has long been suspected that the ‘Islington Dinner Party’ is the point of origin. Under the updated Prevention of Terrorism and Civil Contingencies acts Islington will shortly be outlawed and the whole area put under house arrest. But will anyone outside of that borough care? In addition; ‘Dinner Parties’, under section 7c, paragraph 42 of the updated Prevention of Terrorism Act are redefined as criminal offences where all participants will be subject to summary arrest and imprisonment.

Hope that clears up any misunderstandings. Nighty night.
 

Stress

Interesting isn’t it? The way you can see the stresses building up if you examine a persons behaviour. Take yesterdays little outburst. In a job like mine, taking unjustified crap every day of the week is a high stress occupation. Even more so when the rules state that you are not under any circumstances allowed to bite back. Police Officers can arrest people who give them grief. Not so we Parking Enforcement Officers. We have to be able to take it up the chuff and still come up smiling. Not the easiest task in the world.

Before, when the heebies took hold and the price of petrol was lower I’d go out for a long drive with the window wound down and fresh air blowing the weeks detritus out of my head. No particular destination, just the open road and an early morning. Maybe end up in the Welsh Hills, Peak District, Norfolk, Shropshire, the Cotswolds or The Downs. Now of course that is economically unfeasible, as are a number of other little pleasures that once took the edge off the aggro.

Notwithstanding, what I wrote is still true, but on reflection I might have taken the time and energy to marshal my thoughts a little more intelligibly (And with less pejorative language) before pounding the keyboard. The home brew only helped exacerbate matters. My goodness, that stuff certainly shuts down the synapses. Alcohol may not be the answer, but the cold light of day certainly brings new and occasionally interesting questions such as;

Is there a better way of handling these stressors so any subsequent crisis of confidence is not so dramatic?

Why should I care so much about keeping the roads clear when the general dyslexic couldn’t care less?

Why sit still and take it all the time?

What the living hell am I doing in this damn silly job?

Is it time to get back into the private sector again?

Answers will be forthcoming shortly after my hangover clears.

Friday, April 01, 2005

 

No it bloody doesn’t

Britain backs Browns Tax rises? Yes, and I’ve got a thriving colony of fairies at the bottom of my garden.

This is my opt out statement. I personally object to having my tax money squandered and then being squeezed for more by this arsehole of a chancellor. Life’s tough enough as it is without having every fart subject to VAT. I now have no pension due to his raiding of private pension funds. Price rises due to his stealth taxes have reduced thousands like me to utter penury. Impressed? Like hell.

As for all the codswallop about it being to ‘Save the NHS’ – er excuse me, so why have deaths from MRSA (Amongst other causes) risen? Why do Doctors and Nurses need so many Administrators and Managers? No excuses, they’ve had almost eight years – this government have got to go while we’ve all got some money of our own left.

For all those who think that the State is the best mechanism for good deeds – What planet are you on? The State is the absolute worst mechanism for this purpose because it is so wasteful and inefficient. By the time your ‘Save the NHS’ tax snatch gets to the hospitals where the money is needed, the amount is a pale shadow of its original glory. Why? More tax inspectors needed to collect all the new taxes. More Auditors and assorted administrators and bean counters to pay out of the public purse – Over six million employees in the public sector. No wonder industry is collapsing – no country or enterprise can afford such a grotesquely distorted economic imbalance.

Consumer credit is the only real bolster for the British Economy at present. The housing boom that fuels consumer credit is already stuttering. When the crunch comes – Say hello to the IMF guys.

I know I currently work in the public sector, but at least my part of it is self-funding. Too much of our GDP has been thrown down the black hole of new labour incompetence. Anyone who can’t see that needs glasses – but if new labour get in again you might not be able to afford the lenses.
Pass me another bottle of my home brewed Elderflower.
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Location: British Columbia, Canada

Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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