Thursday, November 23, 2006

Bin Loading - the new terrorism?

This made my blood boil: £100 fine if you dump food in the wrong bin

So I wrote:

"Bin there, done that, got the ASBO

Have you been a victim of Britain’s bin bureaucracy? If you have contact us on
0871 520 2982 or email

Forgive me writing slightly off question, but as the "Have your say' section didn't seem to have a topic for this yet I hope you'll understand.

As a committed believer in not wasting anything (one look at the site signature will show you by how much), I am totally in support of anything to encourage recycling (though it’s a shame that householders not being acknowledged better for their unpaid labour role as daily sorters). Reuse & repair is even better, but the box-tickers don't seem to like that as much as it can't be measured as easily to claim a met target).

Such extreme methods of enforcement can only lead to a total backlash, and result in an even worse environmental situation... and possibly civic disobedience.

We are talking fines, and possible criminal records, for 'offences' that are pretty minor anyway, but for which people might not have committed. Where is the burden of proof going to be? Who is paying for all these new officials (and their qualifications are...?), not to mention the lawyers and court time for the inevitable appeal and case dismissal. So far they forces of Bin Loading have scored how many convictions? At least the courts still have some sense of justice, sometimes.

We need to get people to want to do the right thing: being their mates, helping and advising. Not by nannying, not by threatening... but by incentivising and rewarding. Show the ones that do will that they are appreciated and others will follow. Ignore the small minority and concentrate on the majority. This country is getting obsessed by fines first, workable procedures (to actually avoid the fines) second. Our authorities are almost running a protection racket: "Shame if this Tesco carrier ended up in your paper wheelie squire... whoops.. look at that. That'll be a pony or you're nicked"

Come to the Science Museum next month to see how much fun we can have... whilst saving."

Sorry (again, all round), the guy's a genius

Dodging a bullet

This story in the Telegraph caught my eye: Cheap bullets put lives of paratroopers at risk

I've pretty much given up on not being 'moderated' by their blog pages, so I wrote a letter:

Should the story about the low-cost, defective ammo supplied to our troops prove as shocking as reported, may I suggest as a way of establishing who is responsible and punishing them via a modern-day version of an ancient practice: a witch hunt. We release all involved into the woods and let our fine armed forces pursue them, armed with the ammunition in question. If there is no problem, then their innocence (post mortem) will be established. If however they survive, guilt will be clear and they can be suitably promoted sideways with full pension and benefits. Why is we reward officials only for saving money as opposed to getting best value to do a job right? I'm still waiting to find out who thought not making Navy warships (Sheffield/Falklands) fireproof was a good idea.

Actually, and having sent it, there seem to be two extremes. Penny-pinching to an unsafe degree. Or spending waaaay over the odds (in the case of anything environmental - consultants, research, contractors, etc). Something to do with villas being free for compliant signatories perhaps? Whichever way, those who have the power seem to see careers and benefits develop nicely no matter what.

It's (Not All) A Gas, Gas, Gas

Good news, in that it is 25 times more, er, bad a greenhouse gas: Global methane rise slowing down