You are to be directed to the Underdog

David Davis

Good one here about GreeNazis and FOE.

6 responses to “You are to be directed to the Underdog

  1. Sinister or absurd? Both, I think.

    It is self-evidently ridiculous. I wonder how the officials concerned are able to do this stuff with a straight face. For the trader concerned, it’s just another cost, another strand of red tape, another instance of official bullying. It seems to me that such officials should, to use the modern vernacular, “get a life”.

  2. Unfortunately jobs like “inspector” tend to attract the very worst sort of person; the last sort of person in fact who should be doing such a job.

  3. I think that most of those euphemistically termed public “servants” are totally unsuited to their jobs. And I don’t mean state or local authority employees only – our elected representatives can be pretty bolshie as well!

    I had a rather sharp e-mail exchange with a local district councillor who really “got the hump” with me. I assume it was because I seemed to be less than impressed with a “grant” of council taxpayers money, which was to be used by the private estate I live on, to install certain facilities normally provided at public expense. It ended with him threatening to “inform ALL the residents of xxxx why the application failed”. I, of course, invited him to go right ahead!

  4. A lot of the commentors said the “council should change its policy” that is not normally how “policy” works.

    What normally happens is that the officers (the people in charge of British local government – for example in law in an emergency the “Chief Executive” openly gives the orders, not the elected leader of a council) follow laws and regulations set by national government.

    Nor is this recent – even way back in 1875 a whole string of things (under about 40 headings) were mandated by national government.

    No one debated in Blackburn and Darwin Council Chamber that human hair must be taken to special sites – there was no debate and no vote on it. And councillors will normally have no say in such matters – even if there is no national regulation as such.

    That is not how “policy” works – please remember that “local democracy” is a bit of an illusion.

  5. Also remember that British officials are very hard working (not always a good thing).

    And (and this is important) unlike (for example) in the German tradition – regulations do not have to achieve an objective.

    Regulations (in the British tradition) are free standing – they do not even have to be claimed to achieve anything (there are no “administrative courts” here). They must be enforced – because they must be enforced.

    An official (local or central government) may even agree with you that a regulation serves no rational purpose whatever and, in fact, causes great harm.

    However, he or she will still enforce the regulation – even if it utterly destroys your life.

    P. Robinson – the grant may well have been from the councillors slush fund (an increasely important part of a council life) I forget what the official name for the member’s slush fund is.

  6. Yes it was – I don’t know the official name either. I didn’t realise such things existed before this incident, and I can’t say that I was particularly pleased to find out that councillors are given funds to effectively “bribe” their constituents. A £100 grant was what was being discussed here – I wonder how much council tax has to be raised to be able to “give” £100?

    What I find so appalling, is that this councillor clearly thinks he is being such a wonderful servant to his constituents, by handing them back tiny amounts – OF THEIR OWN MONEY! Of course, as a district councillor, I appreciate he has very limited scope to do anything (probably a good thing). However, I still feel that the tenor of his responses (to what I thought were perfectly reasonable points) encapsulated the general attitude of public servants – we may elect some of them, we may call them public servants, but we are expected to do as we’re told and be grateful for the small “crumbs” they so graciously distribute.