Random Musing

“Isn’t your pants’ zipper supposed to be in the front?” – Hobbes- Calvin and Hobbes

Waspsnest’s Contributors

The Wasp
Mr Raccoon

Doublethink is alive and well at the Department of the Environment.

Doublethink according to Orwell in 1984 :

The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just as long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies – all this is indispensably necessary. Even in using the word doublethink it is necessary to exercise doublethink. For by using the word one admits that one is tampering with reality; by a fresh act of doublethink one erases this knowledge; and so on indefinitely, with the lie always one leap ahead of the truth.

Thankfully, we haven’t (yet) got the Ministry of Truth records department so we can compare the following :

Exhibit A, The BBC April 2011 :

Fines for residents who break the rules on rubbish collections in England are to be scrapped.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman is expected to announce next month that the charges will be outlawed in all but the most serious cases of fly-tipping.

At the moment, people can be fined with a fixed-penalty notice if they repeatedly break the rules covering rubbish collections, such as recycling incorrectly or leaving waste out on the wrong day.

The government will now remove most of those powers from English town halls, following a promise last year to scrap them.

Exhibit B, The BBC May 2012 :

Households who overfill their rubbish bins or put them out at the wrong time will face smaller fines from now on.

The government has cut maximum charges councils can make from £110 to £80, in a move it says will promote “common sense” among officials.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: “The threat of a £110 fine for a simple mistake such as putting your bin out an hour early suggests the punishment doesn’t fit the crime.

“Today is the first step towards a return to common sense. People should be encouraged to do their bit by putting out their rubbish in the right way, but hefty fines are not the way to do it.”

Something of a change of message there and so much for the “promise” to scrap the fines.

From the second article, I particularly like the quote from Gobshite of the Week ™ Clyde Loakes (Labour if you must know) :

But Clyde Loakes, vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s environment board, said: “Councils do not penalise people who make one-off small mistakes like leaving out their bin on the wrong day, so it is important to put this into perspective.

These fines are part of the package of tools councils use to clamp down on fly-tippers and people who leave unsightly rubbish, creating a blight on their roads, streets and neighbourhoods.

Fines are only ever issued as an absolute last resort when nuisance neighbours have persistently left waste piled up in the street and wilfully damaged their local environment or refused to co-operate.”

So there we have it – refuse to co-operate and get a fine to contribute towards the Chief Executive’s Town Clerk’s pension pot.

As an aside, Clyde Loakes seems to be crying out as a target for anagram finding but the best I can come up with is Slack Old Eye!

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