self-importance and stupidity of the jobsworths given the task
of implementing these reforms"
We make no apology for reprinting this Richard Littlejohn article from the Daily Mail. As he frequently does, Littlejohn expresses exactly what the majority of us think …
To no one's great surprise, assaults on dustmen have increased again. Both physical and verbal attacks are up by a fifth over the past year. It is a sad, but inevitable, consequence of this government's decision to put refuse collection in the frontline of the punishment culture.
Tempers boil over when householders find their rubbish hasn't been taken away because they've fallen foul of the byzantine rules which now govern the simple business of emptying the bins.
Refuse collection is at the very heart of the social contract between taxpayer and government. Under Labour, it has morphed into an unnecessarily complicated and draconian regime, which has resulted in an upsurge in fly-tipping and an urban plague of rats, mice, flies and foxes feeding on rotting waste. If you want to know what has gone wrong with the governance of Britain over the past 11 years, you need look no further.
I don't blame the dustmen, even though some of them are more than capable of making the worst of a bad job - for instance, refusing to empty bins which are three inches too far from the kerb, or sorting through your plastic sack and dumping the 'wrong kind' of waste on your driveway.
That's not to condone anyone giving a dustman a slap, simply to understand the provocation. The real culprits are the ministers who seized on ridiculous European landfill targets as a weapon to reduce public services, raise taxes and impose heavy fines. Don't forget, it was the Slop Bucket Kid, David Miliband, currently putting himself forward as the saviour of the nation, who pushed the notion of scrapping weekly refuse collections.
And never under-estimate the sheer bloody-minded vindictiveness, self-importance and stupidity of the jobsworths given the task of implementing these 'reforms'. When this insanity reaches street level, it's no wonder it erupts in violence. In the face of such bovine intransigence and incompetence, some people feel they have no recourse other than to reach for the baseball bat.
Over the past 12 months, the number of assaults on dustmen has risen to 228. In Hertfordshire, for example, an angry local resident attacked a dustcart with a broom while the driver was sitting in the cab. I'm reminded of John Cleese's manic thrashing of a dead Austin 1100 in "Fawlty Towers". The lunacy of the recycling rules and the Stalinist zeal with which they are enforced has the capacity to unleash the inner Basil Fawlty in us all.
In Southampton, armed police were called out after a greengrocer held a dustman at gunpoint.
Lee Marshall, of the Local Authority Recycling Advisory Committee, said the reaction of the public was 'out of proportion'. He told the Mail 'I find it incomprehensible that people can go to these sort of lengths over rubbish collection. It beggars belief.'
Yes it does, old son, but not in the way you tell it. What really beggars belief is that where we used to have sanitation departments, we now have overpaid supernumeraries like Lee Marshall sitting on grand committees, presiding over ludicrous recycling strategies while simultaneously neglecting the fundamental task of emptying the dustbins.
What beggars belief is that no one in any position of authority grasps their basic duty to the people who pay their wages. They are hired to collect the rubbish a minimum of once a week. That's the deal. Full stop. What happens to it after that is entirely a matter for them.
Frankly, they don't care what happens to it, either. That's not what it's about. The sole purpose is to bully, tax and fine people, to show us who's boss.
No matter how much of our household waste we sort diligently into different categories - paper, glass, food, etc - most of it gets chucked on barges and shipped off to China.
What beggars belief is that councils are employing people to tear open plastic sacks in search of something they have deemed shouldn't be there - and then using anti-terrorist legislation to persecute innocent old ladies who mistakenly place a cornflakes packet in a box intended for newspapers.
Only last week there was a story about someone in Blackburn who called the Old Bill after two men climbed into his garden using a stepladder. The householder thought he was being burgled. It turned out they were two officials from the council checking for non-regulation dustbins.
What beggars belief is that local authorities are setting up CCTV cameras at rubbish dumps and turning away gardeners with a couple of sacks of grass cuttings.
How dare a jumped-up jobsworth like Lee Marshall call public anger 'out of proportion'? To my mind, we're not angry enough. In France, they'd burn down the Town Hall faced with this kind of dereliction of duty and bare-faced impertinence.
How the hell did we reach a situation where such a wildly unpopular policy can lead to armed police being called out to resolve a dispute over a dustbin?
It's because we don't live in a democracy. We live in a quangocracy, governed by self-righteous prigs like Lee Marshall, who use sentimental garbage about polar bears as an excuse to throw their weight around and give some kind of meaning to their own worthless existence.
The latest wizard wheeze in the West Country is councils telling people what to eat to cut down on their waste. They want us only to buy food which comes without packaging. Try doing that next time you're in Waitrose. Before you know it, you'll be fined £500 for putting a fish fingers packet in your dustbin.
Frankly, it's none of their damn business what we eat. Their job is to empty the bins and dispose of the rubbish however they think appropriate. That's what we pay them for - not patronising sermons on why we should all live on a revolting diet of lentils and home-made muesli.
Sorry to say, but until someone batters that simple reality into their thick heads, there are going to be plenty more dustmen on the receiving end of a right-hander.
The GOS says: Oh yes! Couldn't have put it better myself!
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