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Wednesday 26th November 2014
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A functionary's meddling is never done

Posted by Nick Abbot on June 03, 2014 at 13:14PM

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Modern life is rubbish. Actually, modern life is sorting rubbish. And then paying someone to take it away. This is on top of your council tax, which you thought covered that, but doesn't.


You can add it to the things that your council tax does not cover, like providing street lamps that do not make you blind when they are switched on. New LED street lamps are of such a ferocious luminosity that, if they were in an operating theatre, the surgeon would ask for them to be turned down. They are so violently bright they don't so much illuminate the front of houses they are sighted outside, as set fire to them. Having street lamps that you can live with, and sleep with, is not covered by your council tax.


Neither is providing you with somewhere to park while you avail yourself of the delights of the High Street. Shop owners and costermongers also pay their council tax but their contribution does not include allowing any customers to get within walking distance of their wares. The council spends the money the shop keepers give them on employing uniformed profit reducers to patrol the vicinity of “ordinary hard working people” going about their business, to ensure that they do not get any customers because prospective purchasers can't park there.


Enjoying the open spaces, that you have paid the council to upkeep, is also not included in your council tax bill. The list of things that are not allowed on any green space that the local authorities have control over is so long it would take you 'till park closing time to read them all.


You may not: play ball games, catch games, betting games or organised games. You may not cycle, skateboard, waveboard or hoverboard (when they invent it). There are to be no barbecues, electronic music, acoustic music, singing, keep fit classes, and no dog walking in specified areas. You may not run, hold hands, dance, or wear brown belts with black shoes. There is to be no pleasure in the pleasure grounds.


The parish governors are very clear that they will not allow residents to obstruct, disturb, interrupt or annoy anyone in the area, despite it seeming as though they appear to consider it their duty to do exactly that all their waking hours.


They won't even allow their citizens to enjoy their own homes. If you wish to knock through a wall from one reception room into another, the council will send round the building inspector to suck his teeth and insist that you must also make your whole house comply with every edict that the council has ever written on the subject of building regulations, despite the fact that it would be cheaper to knock your whole house down and start again.


If you want to increase the size of your home, to have a bigger kitchen, for example, the council will first say “No” and then, when pushed, will demand that you install a disabled ramp to your front door, fire proof your furniture, get a water saving bath and de-claw your cat.


If you fail to adhere to any of its unhinged strictures, it will use the money you gave it in council tax to sue you, which will be like beating you over the head with your own fist.


Of all the rules and regulations with which the council has contrived to make your life worse, the ones concerning your rubbish are the most labyrinthine. When we sort our waste, as we are told we must, we imagine that it is carefully taken to a spotless facility that transforms our detritus into rainbows and angels' breath. We do not expect it to end up festering all together in a big hole in the ground, which is where much of it is destined.


Despite that, there are so many rules on what, where, how and when you may dispose of your unnecessaries that they would need to reclaim all the used paper in the world just to print them out.


First, you will need another house to keep all your bins in. There is the grey wheelie for household waste, a black box for mixed glass, another for tins and aerosols, a blue bag for cardboard, a blue box for paper, a slop bucket for food, an orange bag for plastic bottles, clear bags for batteries, a different one for bulbs and a green wheelie for garden waste, which does not include thick branches, soil, rocks, or anything else you might want to get rid of from your garden. They will take grass cuttings but only if you pay extra and buy special bags from the library that they have closed due to budget cuts caused by spending all their money on the recycling police.


When you have got that lot sorted, then there are the rules about when you can leave out this multi-coloured container collection. The grey bins are collected on the first Monday of the year and then fortnightly thereafter, unless it is a Bank Holiday, when they will skip a week, The blue bins are collected on the following Monday, but not the blue bags which are to be put out every other Tuesday, along with all the other bags except ones to be determined at a moments notice by the council for no reason whatsoever apart from the merriment of the rule makers.


Bins, bags and boxes must be left in alignment with the planet Neptune and on a spot so precise that GPS technology is not accurate enough to help.


The council insists on all of these things, and interferes with your life to such an extent that it is hard to believe they can do it on the money they rake in from us. It is quite an amazing achievement.


If it wasn't so annoying, it would be excellent value for money!

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