Saturday, August 11, 2007

[smallmindedness] petty bureaucrats strike again

Arch-criminal June Turnbull [79] hard at work flouting the law

Excuse me whilst I pause for a few moments and collect myself, regain a little self-control, you understand. All right, I'm ready now.

Regulars know that I often blog on the macro-crims in the fetid recesses of Britain, Europe and America but I don't get upset about them. It's just a job warning everyone what el creepos are up to.

What does upset me though and upsets me greatly are the jobsworths, the petty bureaucrats, the mealy-mouthed pedants, the regulation spouters and the like. In other words, the pedants who run Urchfont in Wiltshire, whom the Lone Voice [Newport City] deals with at his blog.

In a nutshell, June Turnbull, 79, has been working on a public flowerbed in her village every year for no remuneration and she pays for the flowers and compost out of her pension [hundreds of pounds so far].

Suddenly, recently, a highway inspector "caught" her doing it, reported her to the Wiltshire County Council who have now "ordered her to carry three metal signs, post a lookout and wear a fluorescent safety jacket".

She says:

"I come and work on the flowerbed at the drop of a hat when the weather is fine and I have some time to spare. I can't drag around three great metal signs and have someone standing by in case I might want to do a bit of work on it.

I work there until the gardening is done. I love doing it. It is my bit to keep the village tidy. It is a lovely little village. I don't care what they do to me. I will continue working on the flowerbed."

The council has retaliated by ordering her to:

"stay away from the flowers until she complies with their safety regulations."

Mrs. Turnbull has replied:

"They can send me to jail if they like. I just want to be left alone to do it. It is a very pretty flowerbed. I have tried to make it look very natural."

Residents credit her with "transforming the flowerbed into a gorgeous focal point, which helped Urchfont win the title of Best Kept Village in Wiltshire two years ago" and to be fair, Parish Council Chairman Peter Newell thinks the County has gone over the top on this.

The mental deficient who ordered this thing, Peter Hanson, divisional highways manager for the county council, has insisted:

she has no "Section 96" safety licence and thus must cease work for her own "public health and safety".

Can anyone tell me if public lynchings are illegal these days? More seriously, is there any "recall" mechanism in local government procedures which could be invoked to rid society of this sort of moron?

You can hear the defence now:

"If we start making exceptions, yes even for this old lady, where would we all be, eh? Law and order would break down before we knew it."

Rustic Urchfont, hotbed of septuagenarian crime

The Lone Voice concludes:

Hurrah for the endless sheets of paper that need to be filled in before anyone can to do anything in this nation, hurrah for the many countless and pointless bans, rules, red tape and assorted bull shit that now make up this merry isle.


Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Totally agree with you - madness. Poor lady. You'd think they'd be GLAD someone was voluntarily doing something to make their corner of the world a better place. Nutters!

jmb said...

If this were North America, the reason for all this caution would probably because they were scared of being sued by said lady should she come to harm while performing this undertaking. Which, if it were North America, she probably would, since some lawyer would encourage it and take her case on a contingency basis at no cost to her, so why not?
Now they've warned her everything will probably go on as normal, after the fuss dies down.


Typical England .. and they will never admit to being wrong and recanting anything!

Miss Smack said...

The world is struck down by too many laws and rules meant to 'protect' people when in fact, they disempower people.

Stupid - great post though.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

Good points, people and the one about litigation made me stop and think.