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The GOS gets lots of emails from readers, often with some very cogent points to make. Most are too short to make a whole Grumpy Page, so he has selected a few and put them together.

From P**** V*********
Good afternoon, Cap'n,
Read the following and maybe you'll wonder how former P.C.Triggol made it to be a Detective Chief Inspector.
Appeal to help solve number plate conundrum (Taunton and Bridgwater)
Police in Somerset West are appealing for the public's help to solve a mystery which has seen more than 50 car registration plates go missing from vehicles this year.
Since the start of 2006, cars appear to have been randomly targeted with plates being stolen from both the front and backs of vehicles across the Taunton and Bridgwater area.
Now police want help in a bid to track down who might be responsible or the reasons for the thefts.
There is also a warning for those involved that they are committed a serious offence which could see them given a criminal record.
Somerset West Det Ch Insp Martyn Triggol said: "It is a real mystery to us why these number plates have been taken.
"It would seem that supermarket, college and school car parks have been particularly targeted, but we are unsure what the motive for the thefts might be.
"If it is young people who think it might be a joke to steal the plates, we would remind them that it is a serious offence which could result in a criminal record that might impact on them for the rest of their lives."
In most cases the plates have been unscrewed before being taken, but there appears to be no pattern to thefts.
DCI Triggol added: "We would ask anyone who knows where these plates are or who might be responsible for the thefts to come forward.
"A lot of people have obviously been inconvenienced by these thefts and a significant amount of police resources have gone into investigating them."
People can make their registration plates more secure by using clutch head screws which can be obtained from most car parts stores.

If DCI Triggol hasn't realised and/or detected the fact that many people are cloning number plates to avoid the consequences of the spiteful, greedy and useless 'cash-cameras', then one must ask if he is in the right career. Then he has the temerity to ask the public to help solve the 'mystery' (no mystery to me, mate!). The mystery is how the Somerset 'Old Bill' manage to promote idiots with this level of short-sightedness and ignorance. He must be another candidate for 'W of the W'.

From T** W*****
Hello again, Captain Grumpy.
What can we do about the constant bombardment by BBCtv with their self-promotional adverts? It has now got to the stage where there are anything up to 12 of these adverts between every 2 programmes, and what really annoys is where they cut off the end of, for example, the weather forecast in order to squeeze in one or two more adverts.
I have tried to get on to BBC websites with my complaints, but somehow they always seem to cut me off. Perhaps that is just down to my lack of computer literacy - I am a "silver surfer" after all (Me too, mate, in spades! - The GOS).
I am sure BBC staff must get a hefty bonus for each advert they manage to squeeze in. But do they not realise that these adverts are counter-productive? I have lost count, over the years, when we have not watched programmes, simply because we have got fed up with the constant adverts for them.
And we have really got fed up with the constant repetition of the phone number 08700 TEN TEN TEN. If we eventually decide, in spite of the annoying publicity, to invest in digital television, we really do not need to be reminded every 15 minutes or so.
All right, all right, I know Captain Grumpy can always advise me that I have benefit of the "off" switch. To counter this argument, may I point out that we have already worn out the "mute" button on 2 remote controls !
The GOS says: My current obsession on the television is the use of numbers instead of prices. You may say I ought to have better things to do than watch the adverts, but they're often better than the programmes themselves
Every second advert has some ignoramus saying " buy this car for only seven nine nine five" when what they mean is "Seven thousand, nine hundred and ninety-five pounds". OK, I know it's a little longer, but on the other hand the proper version is English. I don't speak gobbledegook, and don't want it spoken to me. A recent sofa advert had me rolling on the floor in fury when it mixed its languages and said "Buy this sofa for one four nine nine and save over five hundred pounds!"


From P**** V********* again
Apparently TfL (that's Transport for London to those of us who live in the sticks like me - GOS) are breaking the law thousands of time every day. When you phone to pre-pay their congestion charge they take your vehicle details and record the conversation (for security purposes, they say). A friend of mine asked if they check the details with DVLA and the guy on the other end of the phone said that they do this immediately. Unfortunately for them, under the Data Protection Act they are only entitled to do so if they believe a non-payment offence has taken place. Thus they are in breach of the DPA.
Of course, the 'fines' they impose and the escalation of those 'fines' for late payment are also all illegal under the Bill of Rights, but they won't let the law of the land interfere with their cash collection.

From P****
I am informed that the recipients of the pre-paid reply cards are actually charged by weight of items delivered. I intend that every pre-paid reply card sent to me uninvited shall be returned glued to a brick.

From G****** S****
How about forming an English National Party?
Make it colour blind and secular.
Make our leaders actually responsible for their actions, i.e. bent ministers/officials get dismissed with no pension.
All local and government meetings must be open to us and the press.
If we don't do something soon the BNP will just walk in.
The GOS says: Hi G******. Good idea but needs work, I think. ENP sounds a bit too much like BNP. Why not just kill all politicians?

From MWJ
Dear Mr GOS, Some time ago I had the honour of receiving an invitation from my Sovereign, requesting the pleasure of my company at Her garden party next week.
I'm really quite busy at the moment, but Her Majesty is probably looking forward to it (God bless Her) and I'm sure she will be up all night making cucumber sandwiches. Perhaps she even plans a knighthood as a surprise - not before time, I might add. In any case, there will be hell to pay if the DoE finds one kebab left on the barbie.
So I graciously accepted. It should be a very relaxing day. The invitation said to park in the drive (by which Her Majesty means The Mall, which will be closed to the riff-raff for the occasion).
But I still have to pay Ken bloody Livingstone's congestion charge!

From T**** W*****
Will politicians never learn ? Why do politicians never learn from History ?
Margaret Thatcher gave us the Poll Tax despite history telling us, from the 14th century, that this tax will never be accepted. And our present politicians still will not let it go - it brings in too much revenue. So SOPT (Son Of Poll Tax) is still with us in the form of the Council Tax, and we still have vociferous opposition to it, mainly from pensioners, for whom it is particularly unfair.
Then Bush and Blair insisted on invading Afghanistan, despite history having shown that no-one had invaded that country - and won - since the time of Alexander the Great. The full might of the Red Army could not prevail, and they had to cut their losses and withdraw.
Then we come to Iraq. I remember saying, when it first became evident that Bush, aided by Blair, intended invading Iraq, months before the actual invasion - "I thought the Americans had learned their lesson in Vietnam - well, they will just have to learn it all over again." And so they will. However long they manage to postpone the inevitable, they will eventually have to come out with as much dignity (or lack of it) as they can muster.
When can we "elect" politicians who can think through, and understand, the results of their actions, before they embark on these hopeless adventures ?
The GOS says: That's a rhetorical question, right? You surely don't expect a sensible answer, because it ain't going to happen

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