Thursday, 12 November 2009

A taste of Paradise

Last Wednesday night a police car stopped beside me as I parked outside my home. I could get out but his passenger window was open and the officer inside told me to

‘Get into your car and put the headlights on,’ which I did. ‘And now walk to the front of the car.’

I obeyed, and one of the headlights was broken. News to me. Well, I never.

‘Oh,’ I said, all citizenly.

‘Get it sorted,’ came the voice from a now disappearing patrol car.

Well, they can’t say Mind how you go, sir, anymore, can they?

Thursday evening after work (I walk to work, so no driving for me between then and now) I picked up a replacement bulb from Halfords and, after a mere twenty minutes of staring upside down at my oil-stained Haynes through fog-obscured spectacles and with a spelunking lamp strapped to my skull, plus acquiring some sore knuckles, and the artistic deployment of three distinctive and ever-popular Anglo-Saxon verbs later, my offside headlight was as good as, well,… as good as that on any car that was made in Britain in the past twenty years and is affordable by the likes of me can be.

Then it was back into the house for dinner and a DVD with Mrs. NW, ignoring the fireworks and the piteous howling of the dog from next door.

Next day, I drove back from the gym and parked the car and my next-door neighbour asked me if I’ve had a bump.

‘No,’ I said, ‘Why?’

‘Because you had a lot of coppers looking at it yesterday,’ he said, ‘They were all from a big van, and they were looking closely at your car.’ That would be Thursday the day after the first copper pointed my headlight problem out.

This Monday night I put the recycling out. Three oblong plastic boxes with flat lids: one for plastic; one for paper and metal; one for cardboard and glass.

This process involves picking up each box lid and pouring the rain off it onto the yard’s concrete (we keep the boxes outside because they’re too big and dirty to keep in the kitchen or the living room or to drag them up from the cellar, see?), then replacing it and carrying the box to the front door ready to take out and put on the pavement. Repeat twice, but remember to lock the back door on your way with Box Number Three in case the local welfare recipients decide to nip in while I’m at the front to pick up any unconsidered trifles, etc.

On the Tuesday afternoon I got home and the boxes were empty, except for the plastic-recycling one, in which a number of punnets for small tomatoes and a box for cheese spread still lies, all unwanted. I reversed the process with the added fun of lifting the plastic box to the top of the wheelie-bin into which non-recyclable waste is usually placed and collected fortnightly, alternating with the recycling collection, and tipping what the picky recyclers have left into that one.

This Tuesday morning I drove to a training course which was held in a well-known local government building situated a mere conventional Hamas rocket flight from Castle City. It’s a nice building: comfortable and well maintained, and in its lobby area were numerous leaflets on health and safety and anti-Racism and other services that local democracy provides. There’s also a wall covered with photo portraits of successive mayors and a display case containing awards and certificates: for recycling local waste; for Investors In People; for energy efficiency: and a scale model tank presented to its home council by the local regiment.

It was too cold to be comfortable all day. Throughout the day-long training course we all wore our fleeces and pullovers, and most of us kept our coats on, too. The toilets were gloomy because the lights were set to off unless you insistently pressed the on-switch with a bit of heft behind your shoulder. It was a relief to get back into my car, whack the heating on full, and drive back to Castle City and the unwanted tomato punnets and the lonely Dairylea container.

This is all political.

This is also utterly unnecessary.

There is no need for policemen to be rude, patronizing bullies who order people around without a ‘please or ‘thank you,’ - let alone the formerly universal ‘sir’ I’d have expected only ten years ago. How hard can it be to say ‘Your left headlight’s not working, sir, please fix it before you drive at night again’? I don’t know what they hoped to achieve sending a large van full of police in broad daylight to check my car, unless it was formerly owned by a gangster, or they were hoping to find something wrong that’s towable or finable. It’s not a pretty vehicle, but it goes and I maintain its safety systems as well as its going places systems – until a bulb goes, and then I replace it. The police are busy, it seems, throwing their weight around with harmless people in their sights. I’d love to know what they were all doing the 10 nights to date when my car has been vandalized in six years of parking on this street. In all that time I got one cop car suggesting we install cameras, two plastic PCs (of whom one though tit funny me replacing my wandering wing mirror in the rain) and one Saturday morning an actual SOCO who found nowt, bless her, but she did finger-print the thing. I no longer look forward to speaking to the police confident in the belief that I’ll be treated politely and listened to as I once did. Some officers certainly put their lives and health on the line – and I’m grateful for that – but rudeness and not being interested in ‘minor crimes’ at the same time? Not encouraging.

Parliament is in charge of the overall police system and there are political appointees on all the County constabularies’ Police Committees. I guess Parliament and the political appointees aren’t doing their jobs properly in letting this deterioration happen. I hope that they aren’t doing their jobs properly, that is.

Britain’s full of holes in the ground to put domestic rubbish in - old quarries and mines and modern incinerators now burn so hot that much waste can be rendered harmless by them. Instead, we have to recycle. I’m pretty fit and healthy for my age, what with the swimming and the dancing and all, but I have mild arthritis in my knees and fingers. Kneeling down and standing up to sort rubbish into different bins in cold or rain or hail or high winds or whatever is not a comfortable experience, and I pity seriously disabled or doddery old people who have to carry these stinking bins through their homes because the recycler lorry crews don’t come up the ginnels at the back of our terraces – unlike the wheelie-bin people. Do Greens ever wonder how nasty it is for the old and the infirm to have to go through these Gaian rituals weekly or more often? And who asked for this silly regime other than the politicians? Others agree, whilst some hold onto their communitarian dream of universal obedience to the gods of eco-religion – see the comments to this post.

Politicians have decreed that recycling is good and that its opposite should be criminalized, and so there goes privacy.

I got to spend an uncomfortable day in a poorly-heated council building because the council concerned wanted to ‘reduce carbon emission’ in order to protect ‘the planet’ from the global warming of a world that’s actually getting colder. The politicians and the politicians alone have the power to keep us deliberately uncomfortable. I’m all for thrift, and especially so in the public sector where I work, and I imagine that the idea of chilling or even freezing people who volunteer to work in the whacky world of benefits is actually alluring to some of my readers, but putting your employees and guests into rooms like old-style cold-slab pantries? Isn't that actually rather cruel, and what the trade unions are supposed to fight against?

Back in 1997 I dreaded the imminent arrival of the New Labour project; expecting it to represent every kind of foolishness made flesh as decades of Left-wing, State-worshipping grudges were transformed into policy to build their heaven on earth. I expected that they would, and was not disappointed that they did bankrupt the public finances and I expected that their reign would basically be like living in a student union all year round.

But if you’d told me that after twelve years of them being in power I’d find myself: nervous of the attentions of British policemen in the hours of darkness; forced to scrabble about in the dark and rain with my household garbage; and be physically chilled on purpose by their local satraps, I’d have laughed in your face.

Welcome to Paradise.

Let’s destroy it.


GCooper said...

Another bull's-eye, NNW.

The difficulty I'm having at the moment (well, one of them) is working out just what it is we can do to achieve the destruction of this nightmare.

I don't believe I know anyone who thinks things have only got better. I don't believe I know anyone who thinks boy Dave will be much of an improvement.

So what does that leave us? UKIP? The BNP? The former is uninspiring, the latter, chilling.

So where to from here... ?

JuliaM said...

Well, this might help, although if you are recruiting people who need this sort of training, then I'd say there's something very wrong in your recruitment standards...

North Northwester said...

Thanks GC. Nothing new to our little circle of bloggers and commenters, but still there's something to the habit of saying the truth over and over. It keeps eyes on the prize, and helps us keep the faith. That's what propaganda means. And for me at least, that's the answer. New Labour and the crossbench political class didn't spring unbidden from Tony Blair's forehead: ready to destroy our constitution, ancient freedoms, and the nation. It was the result of years of attacking our country and culture in little bits whenever and wherever the opportunity arose. From kitchen sink dramas to the subtle and not too subtle subversiveness of the Sixties politician satire programmes, through the authority-loathing Monty Python and O What A Lovely War, generations of Britons have learned to despise this country and the habits of mind and speech and manners that reinforced and reproduced the good government principles that grew out of Magna Carta, the Glorious Revolution, the Scottish Enlightenment, Victorian public service and civic pride, and so on.
So there's no single party or aspect of daily and political life that our side needs to use or to control - we need to get in and use them all to restore and repair our injured land.
I prefer the UKIP because it exists and doesn't have the BNP's Left-wing economic policies, but as our assailants are pretty much everywhere - in classrooms and editorial boards, health authorities and town halls, there's plenty of scope to have at them. For what it's worth, long journeys start with single steps, but they do have a final one too. I keep saying, it's a long war.

Julia, really, you've hit the nail on the head. Formally teaching adults in classrooms what they would once have learned at their mothers' knees, is as much a symptom of the overall malaise as its cure. If a copper can't tell the difference between acting tough with 'a scumbag' and telling some minor clerk to change a light-bulb, then I for one don't believe that 'lessons have been learned.' But then, are they ever?

Beware of Geeks bearing GIFs said...

Good post - yes, frightening, isn't it NNW?

Dick Puddlecote's blog has an article about an ex-soldier handing in a sawn-off shotgun that he found in his garden to the police, they promtly arrested him and then he was jailed under a trial by jury - something normally reserved for South American countries, not old Blighty.

This insanity is not exclusively reserved for the public sector, it's private as well. One of my client, a large blue multinational, has HSE signs everywhere stating that you cannot walk around the office with plastic cups of water - they must be sealed with a lid.

Also, it is now mandatory to hold onto the handrails while traversing a set of stairs.

When told by this by my contact (we're good friends) I, not being classified under the genus of PC invertebrate, simply said: "Do I look like a retard, John?"

It is all so scary. Although everyone complains about this creeping authoritarianism, they simply shrug their shoulders and carry on. Very dangerous, it will end in tears. And bloody revolution.

GCooper said...

As you know, NNW, I support the UKIP too - though I have to say without much hope of a significant outcome - and possibly, in the light of some of the darker hints dropped by Dr North over on EU Referendum, not with much hope of change, even if they pulled off a miracle win.

The Spectator/Mail piece on Soviet infiltration was particularly interesting in this respect, not least because of the naming of serving cabinet ministers.

I used to scoff at the Denis Wheatley school of 'it's all a Communist plot'. I'm not quite so sure now.

James Higham said...

You poor sod - shift house over our way and all will be well.

North Northwester said...

Thanks James, but move Mrs. NW away from her fan base? I don't think so!
Well done on the Albion Alliance thing; I think it's a great idea. Guerilla democracy, and all that.
Cunningly disguised post in its support on the way...

North Northwester said...

BGBG, thanks once more.
Yes, I think that there's another point here - if the United Left and their Quislings and appeasers in the so-called private sector persist in treating us like children, and then variously allow others they are supposed to be helping to neglect to death or abort real children, it shows at the very least an epic sense of proportion malfunction.
You stay away from them uncovered English water cups, John Book.


Yes: we UKIP types are a real party now, aren't we - with our own corrupt, disgraced, embezzling MEPs? Though I note that ours is gone and the Westminster pickpockets are still there. I have to say what needs to be done isn't a one-election problem, nor is it purely political in the old sense of competing parties with distinct agendas to choose from [I wish!]. We need to practise ideological ju-jitsu against our foes here. They have long preached that the personal is the political, and they are correct. As we live, as we talk to our friends and acquaintances and especially as we act whilst no-one is watching it can move the world towards one more like what we want. If all those 'satirists' and 'social commentators' and Arts Council funded traitors inspired [read 'tempted'] young people to sneer at authority, to behave contemptuously towards good manners and good faith like everlasting adolescents, then we can reinforce the morals and practises that we have inherited, and hold onto them, if we act courteously, cheerfully, and honestly in the face of all that subterfuge and (self)delusion. They've been at it for decades, and so must we be. So I refuse offers to buy rip-off DVDs and I won't buy Ben and Jerry's ice cream or download films without paying for them, or undercut other cars on the motorway, etc, and I let people know why I do so. Politics is the personal. Yes, I come over as pompous and a goody-goody [analyse THAT phrase and examine who uses it the most!], and I'm a million miles from being perfect myself and I know it. But in Hell a simple act of kindness is a revolutionary act.
So there's UKIP, and posting here at TJAT five times a week , and pressure groups such as this here at the new Albion Alliance and letting my colleagues know, when I can get a word in, that the whacky world of benefits is bonkers BECAUSE it's the whacky world of benefits... and by the way who bankrupted the joint in the first place anyway? The personal is the political, and as there's so many of the buggers, it's not like we're short of a target or two, is it?

And you've got me started on the communist thing again. Hmm, that's a good idea for another post...

I never said that stealing was NEVER justified.

JuliaM said...

Turnabout is fair play, as they saying goes... ;)

This is what the police can expect if they carry on in the same vein as they have been doing. Someone needds to have a word in little PC Delicate's ear about how she and her colleagues are beginning to be viewed.

North Northwester said...

Wow Julia, the comments to that post say it all, don't they?
Once upon a time (and not so long ago) it would have been instinctive for most members of the public to want to help the police - at least to the extent of calling such an incident in for someone to investigate. Now - well, I don't suppose even a decent citizen with a few beers and more inside him contemplates spending the end of a Saturday night out at the cop shop, perhaps explaining that his mobile call was a report rather than a confession, as a fun thing to do, or frankly worth it.
'Lessons will be learned' and 'they never learn' aren't so far apart these days.


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