I heard the other day that Bath City Council are to allow a private company to patrol the streets looking for people dropping litter and issuing on-the-spot fines of £150. Drop a cigarette end in the gutter and the private company's bounty-hunter will approach you from their hiding-place and demand £150, or else.
Or else what? Well if you refuse to give them your name and address, they will follow you around wherever you go, and f that doesn't work they will call the police. The police don't really have the time to attend the scenes of such serious crimes against society, so they will demand a high fee from the private company to do so, and the fine you will eventually be forced to pay on pain of imprisonment will double or triple.
The councillor who instigated this latest money-spinner was on TV saying that of course the private company will make a lot of money from this new enforcement of an old by-law. After all, what would be the point of paying their officers to patrol the streets if they did not? Patronising cunt.
We are currently undergoing a 'period of consultation' about measures to be taken to clean the air of the city of exhaust fumes and pollution. They have already set up number-plate recognition cameras on all key routes in and out and invested in the software and operatives to run them. This will have cost a great deal of money, but it will be a very good investment. The daily charge to get in to the 'clean air zone' will be extremely high. They are talking of £16 for a car and £100 for a coach or lorry.
People like me who live in the centre and have to drive a car to suit their job or budget, and who cannot afford to buy a brand new car or electric vehicle will be - on top of the council taxes and parking fees - charged £96 a week for the privilege of holding down part-time work in old age, plus an extra £16 if we want to go out of town and go back home on Sunday.
Central government is all for this, because it means - guess what? - extra revenue all round. They have been preparing everyone for schemes like this one to be rolled out across the country by putting out highly spurious statistics on how many people die every year from air pollution. They measure the fatalities in the hundreds of thousands. It's bollocks, and they know it.
Bath's 'consultation period' is, in fact, just 18 months to allow everyone's anger to burn out so that when the time comes we are wearily resigned to being fleeced - yet again. They don't want our opinions. They have already made their minds up.
Somebody has to pay for this prolonged period of austerity, and it's not going to be the people who caused the need for it.
Saturday - Thank you to everyone who sent commiserations on my brush with ill health. Sadly this is what happens when eighty is past (much younger for some people -...
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