Rants.... Things That Tweak My Tail!
I know lots of people who work for local councils.... actually almost everyone will know someone who works for a council because there are so many people employed by them!
These days i have to cut up my cardboard waste into small pieces and take them to the recycling centre every week because Bexley Council Stopped collecting my cardboard....despite the fact that i was paying them to do so..They Said...' The Lorry cant cope with the type of cardboard i put out for collection'!? i asked what was so different about my cardboard from any other cardboard they collected from shops around the borough? i recieved dumb silence for an answer
Is it just me who feels like i work and pay my rates so that the borough of bexley can afford to administer their own pensions!!...i see very little else for my £7,500 per year
£7,500.00 per year whilst they try to extort money from me and others at every turn....
I recieved a visit from a very condescending clip board carrying ignorant woman who insisted that their (the councils) pavement was their property and that in order to put a sign on it i would have to pay for a license. I say ignorant not as an insult but in the true sense of the word because in their haste to rip me off a little more they failed to notice that 'Their' Pavement was only passable by pedestrians if i allowed them to use my property because 'their' pavement has a tree that fills the entire width of the walkway!
BTW i thought the Pavement was OURs.... after all we all pay for it, dont we?
I was sent the following via email,
i take no credit for the brilliant observations it contains and i have no idea who it wrote it but thought i would share.....
I hate legislation. Ask anyone. Thou shalt not drive without wearing a seat belt. Thou shalt not smoke in a pub. Thou shalt not rewire thine own house without a certificate of competence. Thou shalt not have a pump action shotgun in thy wardrobe if it’s capable of firing more than three shots. Strewth.
Governments clearly have an obsession with dreaming up more and more ways to stop us doing pretty much anything and everything, especially if it’s pleasurable. If you believe the statistics, the Tony Blair and Gordon Brown comedy duo created more than 3000 criminal offences in just nine years (that’s one for every man, woman and child in … well, Buckden, Cambridgeshire—or, if you prefer, about one per day.
It’s recently become illegal to impersonate a traffic warden (not that I can figure out why you’d want to). The Yanks, we learn, can now pretty much extradite/snatch/kidnap any British citizen in the country whenever the whim takes them. Worst still, having thrown most of the Magna Carta into the recycling bin, modern Britons are now, broadly speaking, treated as guilty until proved innocent. And you can be arrested these days simply for hating someone—which leaves me up to my neck in something warm and brown because there are an awful lot of people on my pump-action-shotgun-in-the-wardrobe, must-kill-before-I-die list.
Now, most of us have fathers or grandfathers who fought the bloody Nazis, etc, in order to give us the freedoms that for so long we’ve taken for granted. But in this Orwellian nightmare from which we’re currently unable to awaken, the government is racking up new laws faster than the Whitehall scribes can commit them to their I Phones. Ignorance of the law never used to be an excuse, note. But it certainly is now. No one in the country can possibly keep up. But guess what? I’m actually thinking of writing to my local MP and advocating (just) one more law for the books:
Thou shalt not flog new items on eBay without a bona fide trading licence issued by the Ministry of Fair Game.
Think I’m kidding? Then think again. What started as an amusing idea back in 1995, when Pierre Omidyar created AuctionWeb, has since turned into the commercial embodiment of Frankenstein’s monster that’s become one of the greatest horror stories of our time.
Put simply, eBay isn’t funny anymore. It’s not quaint. Or convenient. Or good value. Or fair. Or efficient. Or honest. Or accurate. And it’s certainly not in the consumer’s interest (which is what a significant part of the Blair-Brown law-making frenzy was all about). What eBay really is is a huge wrecking ball smashing through the legitimate trading concerns of the nation, and through the wider world at large.
Did I just say legitimate?
Yes. I did. Because 50,000 fly-by-night pilots flogging cheap Asian knock-offs from the dubious comfort of their bedrooms can hardly be called legitimate. And it’s not actually cheap Asian knocks-off that we have to worry about. It’s cheap everything, and of course it’s relatively easy to be cheap when you’re not paying rates or VAT or income tax or liability insurance. It’s easy being cheap when you’re not hamstrung by the Health and Safety fascists and when you don’t have to adhere to the reams of modern employment law (another successful Blair-Brown how-to-wreck-the-British-economy plot), and when you can just up sticks and dump your laptop in the bin and go on that world hiking tour leaving 500 disgruntled customers fighting it out between PayPal, MasterCard and Visa.
In short, the current trading paradigm is unworkable. It makes it impossible for LEGITIMATE businessmen to go about their lawful activities because we’re in the midst of nothing less than a trading anarchist’s revolution that the government is too frail/stupid/incompetent/corrupt/all of the above to do anything about.
The free market is one thing. And long may it endure. But allowing an army of latter day online eSpivs to undermine long established, time-hallowed, workable and generally satisfying business practice (and ethics) is something else. And in the light of the recent banking fiasco, it’s pretty obvious to everyone this side of death that human greed and idiocy will always prevail over moderation and restraint.
When asked by the French government what they could do to help French businessmen, Voltaire famously said, “Laissez nous faire.” Leave us alone. Well I say, “Laissez nous NOT faire.” Because it’s not fair. EBay stinks. It’s underhand. It tells you that you’ve “won” things when you’ve paid for things (usually through PayPal which—guess what?—eBay owns). It lulls you into thinking that its traders are all honest Joes when a significant proportion are outright crooks. It corrals you into waiting days, or weeks, to find out whether or not you’ve actually bought something. But most of all, it reduces the whole world to a cheap and nasty lucky dip that undermines the earth beneath the feet of the people who’ve spent years developing a business and playing by the rules and rightly expect a little protection from the state in return for the numerous levies they’ve paid.
What’s that? Someone call me an eBaby? Hardly. Ebay has a place in the world. Let me be the first (or last) to say it. It’s a fine institution for second hand marketeers and stolen art pieces. It's a wonderful environment to study illiteracy and banality. And it gives you something to do while your broken legs heal.
But for the average, decent, hardworking motorcycle dealer, or plumbing supplies shop, or DIY emporium, allowing eBay to exist as it currently does is a stab in the back by the backsliding politicians of this miserable era in which we live. It’s a slow motion train wreck that few of us are going to walk away from.
So what’s the answer? That’s trickier. Maybe there is no absolute answer. Maybe that train is just the unstoppable future that you're either on board of, or tied to the tracks beneath its wheels.
But we certainly need some controls on who sells what to who. We need some checks and balances to ensure an even playing field for LEGITIMATE traders (oops, that dirty word again). We need to ensure that we retain our precious high streets and backstreets and sidestreets, and that the consumer still has a place to buy his or her wares where the dealers are real, not virtual, and where the dog can see the bloody rabbit before handing over his precious coin (and they can do something about the rampant monopoly of Tesco while they’re at it).
You can find your MP at the usual place: House of Commons
London SW1A 0AA. Put pen to paper, put paper into envelope, and stick the envelope where even the Royal Mail can’t fail to find it.
Alternately, do sod all and plan for a long and demoralising life on the DSS scrapheap.