Thursday, 18 March 2010

Creeping Reliance On The State...

I wondered, while writing yesterday's post, why we are so passive, so eager to acquiesce to authority - or in the case of those uniformed brain-donors, what looks like authority.

And the more we do it, the further they will go. In the comments, Mud in the Blood points to this horrific story:
Ian Taylor, assistant head of parking services at Tendring, said staff had already been out in the areas involved making an assessment of the hot spots to see what needs tackling.

“What we are specifically looking at is anti-social parking; that is parking which does not necessarily contravene any of the regulations but annoys and upsets people and can cause friction in the community,” he said.
Yup, you read that right - there aren't enough real parking offences in Tendring, so they are out dealing with instances of legal parking that 'annoys' people.
“There are no easy short term answers to some of the issues we face but with support and co-operation we can win over hearts and minds.”
Aren't we supposed to be doing that in Iraq, not Tendring? And it's really hard to see how this is supposed to be doing that, given that:
Any vehicle parked anti-socially will get a notice telling the owner exactly what the problem is.

Notices can be issued by PCSOs, Civil Enforcement Officers, Street Wardens and authorised officials – and they can follow up with a visit to the motorist’s home.
Yup, you read that right too - a mouth-breather in uniform will come to your home if you persist in carrying out your offending annoying behaviour.

WTFF..?
Photos will be taken of incidents and kept on a database making it possible to identify repeat offenders.

If people persist they may then be given a Fixed Penalty Notice as a last resort.
They may be given a FPN for something which isn't against the law? How the hell is that going to work? Are the authorities going to try to enforce it regardless?

Seriously, when are we going to stand up and say 'Enough is enough. You are paid to enforce the byelaws, and keep the streets tidy, and nothing else!'

Because if we don't, the ultimate result is likely to be a step backwards, as noted by Patently:
"The problem was, apparently, that the school "had no written medical procedures for staff"

Evelyn Leslie, headteacher at Offerton High School , said there had been no medical policy in place at the time of 11-year-old Sam Linton's death in December 2007.

This is pathetic. I blogged long ago that rules and procedures are not enough. This is yet another example; if someone can't work out that a child who is going grey and unable to breathe needs an ambulance NOW then the existence of a policy statement in folder 5, tab 7 stating that an the teacher should notify the designated emergency medical coordinator (see folder 3, tab 2, section 5.6.2 for the current holder of this post) who should immediately call an ambulance is not going to be much help."
Quite.

But it's what will happen more and more frequently with a populace used to obeying authority, never questioning, always unthinkingly following rules. When those rules are absent, they are paralysed.

I don't want to live in such a country. Do you?

12 comments:

Obnoxio The Clown said...

You already live in such a country.

TheBigYin said...

Go on Obo, rub it in why don't ya.

dickiebo said...

Yea. We already do!

mark said...

I don't understand Britain's new found love of all these petty rules either.

Is it to do with the general decline in civility meaning that people want to have a rule to back up all their interactions with others?

Or is it that people want to shirk responsibility by hiding behind rules?

Many probably fear that their bosses won't back them up if they exercise professional judgment or discretion so they prefer a rule.

Or are too many people simply too dumb to think now?

It's a mystery. And I don't think we can blame the EU for this one. Britons are doing it to themselves.

Furor Teutonicus said...

In earlier years I read avidly, books about China, and the way the place was run. The methods of the "Red Guard", and all that kind of stuff.

People today look for parallels with Britain and the DDR (East HGermany), or the Soviet union.

When they do not find them, or find that the similarity is not 100% they conclude that the parallels are tenuous, and therefore they have no need to worry, "We are not in a police state".

They are looking in the wronf place.

Try looking at China, particularly during Maos period.

The car parking example could have come STRIGHT from the "red Guard" text book.

patently said...

I hope they put a note on my car. Because they will get a curt letter back.

I hope they turn up at my house. Because they will depart with their ears brim full of fleas.

I hope they give me a FPN, because I will have my day in Court.

(thanks for the link, btw!)

Anonymous said...

I read these things and I still can't believe I am reading them or that they happen. The country is f**ked! This is all so bad for my mental health.

Jiks said...

It's very easy to lose hope as the country goes to hell but there are two things at the root of all this and they can both be solved I think.

First, we are losing money at a remarkable rate. Secondly all these non-job types who think they are Darth Vader or something are running around thinking up creative ways to ruin our lives and at our expense too.

Simply fire them all and both problems at least stop getting worse. I know theres more to do than that but thats a start dammit. If we had a proper Opposition they might have been able to grasp this ...

Joe Public said...

Come on guys, we've all swerved around the protrusion left by the "we'll park here & walk to the kerb" driver.

banned said...

The examples he gives of anti-social parking "Issues set to be targeted will include parking in front of dropped kerbs, at junctions, on pavements and grass verges" are already covered by rules and regulations but look at dropped kerb parking.

This used to be policed in response to a householders complaint. You could summon a Traffic Warden to ticket an offender blocking your dropped kerb or even have his car towed away.
Now however it has become an absolute offence to park in such a manner. So, even if you are visiting your parents house and park across their exit, with their implied and actual permission, you can still expect to get a ticket in the post. It is probably also the case if you can't be bothered to park on your own drive and instead choose to park across your own dropped kerb. FPN, £40 ta very much.


But remember people, provided you have the correct documentation you can park your car anywhere all year long provided that there are no properly signed regulations saying that you may not.

JuliaM said...

"You already live in such a country."

I don't believe it's a trend that can't be reversed, at least if someone has the will. But the opposition certainly isn't the place to look for that someone...

"Or are too many people simply too dumb to think now?"

Or too unconcerned, so long as they have their entertainment each night...

"Try looking at China, particularly during Maos period."

Yes! This is much more the parallel, isn't it?

"If we had a proper Opposition they might have been able to grasp this"

Ah, if only...

JuliaM said...

"This used to be policed in response to a householders complaint. You could summon a Traffic Warden to ticket an offender blocking your dropped kerb or even have his car towed away.

Now however it has become an absolute offence to park in such a manner. So, even if you are visiting your parents house and park across their exit, with their implied and actual permission, you can still expect to get a ticket in the post."


Because it became less a way to keep traffic flowing, and more a revenue-generating scheme.