Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Empires strike

As this is based on a story - Speed camera fines used to buy plasma TVs and T-shirts - about speed cameras, you may wonder what it is doing here.

Well, for a start, I am about to leave for a week's writer's retreat (time to brush up on the day job skills) in Inverness, and as I journey to the far North my Road Angel will have pride of place on the dash, allowing me to look at the road and not obsess about staying within a few mph of a limit.

But mostly it is the point about how these quangos spend their money, which does resonate with our experience.

One could, just, accept that revenues generated by such things do help if they are ploughed back into improving matters on the ground. But they simply are not.

Be it an EU fund or fine-related income, the vast percentage goes to creating and maintaining empires that benefit none but those within them. Offices (head and regional). Salaries (it's easy to be not for profit when you blow a bundle on a six figure board). Pensions. But then there is the creeping trend towards self-promotion. Massive amounts on propaganda to justify their existences.

And this I think is where we at suffer, especially when applying for support. We too are communicating. And that rains on some cosy parades.

Maybe now our rates are going through the roof (that we just insulated, thereby improving the desireability of the property and hence its value), they can divert some of the money to, oo, I don't know, catching dangerous, uninsured drivers?