One inch of Global Warming fell on
Off the main drag (say anywhere more than 1/8 mile distant from of city hall, police station, tax offices and court buildings) the ‘main’ roads are today cleared in only the middle and their gutters are used as sidewalks by pedestrians who are utterly afraid to use its ice-rink pavements.
Shops are under stocked and unvisited, the elderly have been banished from the streets, and I’m told that ambulances are now only attending those who firmly state that they are dying.
One of the chief justifications for putting up with government and all its control of us and its endless taxes is that it can provide cheap, efficient, collective protection measures against disasters and thus maintain civilised life in the face of emergencies and routine, large scale problems where there’s not a relatively easy and tax-efficient quid or two to be made in the usual ways of imagination, organisation and hard work. Thus the poor and the weak and the sick and the elderly who could never afford expensive road-gritting services; who don’t have large domestic staffs or employees to draft in to help; and who aren’t strong enough to remove the ice from their own pavements need not be imprisoned in their homes now short of the basic necessities of life, such as food and drink, or rapidly chilling if they haven’t paid their heating bills on time due to the snowbound non-collection of their pensions.
If any natural rights or consequentialist libertarians want to suggest insurance-based schemes in a low-tax environment, go ahead. You might be right on this one. You can scarcely be worse than our tax farming master muppets. The might also suggest that everybody pull themselves together all pioneer manly-like and copper up for snow shoes or skis, but wait till you get arthritis sonny-boy, and see where it gets you.
Castle City is still an ice rink two days after the tiniest snowfall and although the relatively young and fit can get around town - along with those lucky enough to live near where the politicians and their attendants do their stuff; of whom I am one - the suburbs out of shouting distance of the administrative centre was pretty much Wrinkleyfrei today. You could even get around Marks and Spencer’s at lunchtime and teatime. So, one inch of snow = pedestrian death trap for the over-fifties; the disabled; nursing mothers; the mentally deficient, and children.
Sixty-five years of the Welfare State and what you can expect after a couple of hours of ordinary winter weather is the choice between imprisonment in your home or risking life and limb. Lord Beveridge, you should see this day.
As Dumb Jon commented on my disbelieving post yesterday, you can bet that the bureaucracy will grow from this, and not shrink. I was already thinking along these lines, but good ol’ Jon, well, he just loves to point out where I missed a little bit of Leftie evil up there in the shadowy corner where even my polemic splatter marks don’t quite reach.
So I thought; why wasn’t this dealt with better by the authorities? I mean, we’ve always (most of us and most of our ancestors) lived on a large island in the North Atlantic between the Gulf Stream and the Arctic for thousands of years – since it was a peninsula, in fact.
Are snow and its icy consequences any surprise? Who should deal with the aftermath and learn any lessons that need to be learned, I wonder? Do the leaderships of
Knowing something of the bureaucracies involved, and having filled out several forms for jobs with each authority, I can be sure that whoever will have the job will have been recruited not only for an impeccable CV and a career structure that will have ticked all the right managerialist boxes, but will either exactly fit the desire racial mix that County and City want, or will be statistically accounted for as something to improve upon. And all this useless knowledge will have been gathered, stored and pondered upon by numerous people whose salaries might have been spent on something else. Such as more salt or grit.
Instead, they are likely doing jobs like these, or asking the NHS for protection money, as in: Nice little hospital you go there Sunshine: wouldn’t want it to fill up with all these broken gaffers and grannies, now would we?
Here comes the positive, which we might expect from a conservative government we’re not going to get:
Mandatory emergency work commitment for all jobseekers during times like these.
If your rent, council tax, food, lighting and small quantities of food and clothing are paid for by the public and all you have to do is watch TV and make more babies, then it wouldn’t be reviving the Triangular Trade to insist that you turn up at City Hall to be given photocopied maps and shovels and brushes and directions to a number of residential areas to clear, starting with the main paths from ‘social housing’ and especially sheltered accommodation for pensioners, to the nearest shops or buys stops into town.
One ‘diversity awareness’ session per year for each City and County employee to be replaced by training each one to join a rota to co-ordinate church and youth groups to do emergency shopping for the elderly and those on Incapacity Benefit or Disability Living Allowance. The Housing Benefit and Council Tax Benefit departments of the local authority who have such information on computer could contact such people by phone to see if they need help after, say, two days to see if there’s any problem, or send scouts out to the phoneless on the third day (hah!)
Phone lines to be made available to charity groups (and the teachers whose schools are closed for ‘safety reasons’) to co-ordinate further and tailored needs of particular individuals such as those who must attend hospital or GPs very soon. Dialysis and maternity cases a priority, perhaps.
Clearly, they’ve got this much worse dahn sarf, but the North will cop its own packet one day, sure enough.
Now, lots of folk can look after themselves, but there are tons who can’t and I’d guess that some of them live all over the country an icy pavement or two away. It wouldn’t take a genius to think up a few coordinating jobs for local government to do in these cases, which is handy because I doubt that local government has one.
Homo Heidelbergensis survived in Britain half a million years ago with sticks, stones, and bones, and unless we go down the Leftie route of saying that things were much nastier in the past, so why all the hoo-hah about violent crime today?, I’d like to suggest that modern man, with all his technology and vast tax wealth and communications, could do a little better for the elderly and sick during a cold snap than just laissez-faire, or enriches vous, or sauve qui peut.