Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Because Unintended Consequences Are Merely Job Creation For Politicians

Yes, the tumbleweed has been having free run of the place of late, but I've been uncomfortably busy for reasons I partly explain here.

To be frank, I'm fair frazzled after days of picking through pages and pages of eye-watering, tax-funded, nuclear-tipped banality that is the modern day public sector 'invitation to tender'. Bank holiday Monday was spent drafting a Business Continuity Management Plan as ordered by Labour's Civil Contingency Act 2004, whilst the past two days have consisted of compiling method statements (as required under EU tendering directives) comprising in the region of 9,000 words of suffocatingly-absurd public sector office-speak.

I'm about a quarter of the way through.

Local authority staff may well talk of 'positive procurement strategies' and 'service satisfaction milestones' while buying cod and mushy peas from the chippy, but it's a vocabulary which is hard to learn for the rest of us who usually add to the economy rather that drain it.

I'm also off to Prague again on Friday for another vital reminder of what lifestyle freedom actually looks like. As such, apart from a much-needed blogroll update (something I hope to get around to tomorrow), and Saturday's link tank which is forming rather quickly this week, there won't be a lot posted here till Monday ... so those of you with a mischievous streak, please play nice in the comments while the place is unattended. No porn (unless it's excellent), no drugs, no smoking or drinking, no playing any games but conkers, and definitely no slagging off politicians without good cause (ie, if the day contains the letter 'Y').

Before that, though, I'd just like to point out that Anne Milton is possibly the most deranged person ever to have sailed under the Tory banner.

Yep, fresh from hiding cardboard boxes for the good of the nation, she has come up with another corker from the Ministry of Crappy Ideas.

Cars could be banned from residential roads to allow children to play out in the street, a heath minister has suggested.

During a debate in Westminster Hall, Mrs Milton said: "On Sundays, they close certain streets so that everybody can play in them. That is an outstanding idea."
Because there's nothing better than encouraging kids to feel safe when running out into a road without looking, now is there?

Good grief.

Previously in the 'what could possibly go wrong' category.


Mark Wadsworth said...

All those lovely reg's are of course brought to you courtesy of The European Association Of Large Businesses Who Can Cope With That Bit Of Extra Admin.

Sure, there is a cost to filling in the forms, let's say £5,000 (or whatever) per business small or large, but to a large business, it's a drop in the ocean, and if they can thereby shut down a couple of smaller businesses who would have undercut them by £10,000, then they are quids in.

Dick Puddlecote said...

MW: Yep, absolutely. As I've said before, we are beneficiaries ourselves as it is decimating our smaller competitors. A few weeks ago, one of them retired and sold his small business to a larger rival. I've since heard that a couple of others are close to doing the same thing.

We've even talked about getting into the small business buying, er, business ourselves.

Still don't make it right, though.

Curmudgeon said...

Yes, because it's not as if we're a 24/7 society now, is it? All people ever do on Sundays is go to church and then go for a walk in the park.

If traffic is banned in your street you are effectively held prisoner in your house. Wonderful. And this moronic cow is not Caroline Lucas, but an actual government minister.

Pat Nurse MA said...

Ahhh - I'm so jealous. You must go into the Mucha restaurant. Wonderful ambiance. Cultural menu, class, art, jazz pianist, smokers.

Make sure you note how there are no mythical "fogs" of smoke in those places where smoking is allowed. ventilation actually does work whatever the lying bigoted mentally ill smokerphobes have to say about it.

Rick said...

method statements (as required under EU tendering directives) comprising in the region of 9,000 words of suffocatingly-absurd public sector office-speak.

Nine thousand words?!? Good grief. Can't you just cut n paste some corporate gibberish used elsewhere? Is there genuinely somebody at the other end whose specific job is to sift the applications by actually reading these theses that you and all other applicants are obliged to produce?

WV: 'commic'. Most appropriate.

Dick Puddlecote said...

Rick: No. I tried that. But we have to respond to specific questions. They write around 40 words, then I am required to write 2,000. It's that kind of ratio.

There are just five responses. 500as introduction, two of 2,000, one of 3,000, and the last is 1,500. Once done, there is no guarantee of even a red cent by return, but if you don't do it, you have no chance of getting a red cent of work for the next three to five years.

I know that some competitors (because we are all part of a trade org and talk to each other at events) are throwing their hands in the air and not bothering ----> less competition.

Good for me as a larger supplier, but I'd prefer to slug it out with the little guys rather than their being bounced out by way of bureaucratic veto.

Anonymous said...

Sunday street-closures have been a permanent feature of San Francisco for about two or three years now. They first started calling it Healthways (a take on "highways"), but I think they have quietly changed the name simply to Sunday Street Closures.

It originated five to seven years ago in some of the streets inside Golden Gate Park and became permanent there, especially helpful after the city built their new underground parking garage, which charges a per 20 minute fee for parking. Closing down the streets and forcing everyone to park underground brings in a fortune.

They rotate the regular Sunday street closings, which began two to three years ago, throughout various "lucky" neighborhoods of the city and just like someone stated, anyone living in these neighborhoods are held captive, unable to drive in or out. It's a boost for mass transit fares though.

They call it a "big success", but they call everything they do a "big success", including their draconian anti-tobacco legislation which has become prolific. "Big Success" should almost be granted trademark status at this point and San Francisco city/county government should hold the usage rights.

For the health and anti-smoking obsessed crowd, it gives them a chance to exercise in the streets, as the city provides charity booths, some of whom charge a fee, to instruct in the ways of yoga, exercise, things of that nature. If one doesn't conform comfortably, then one probably shouldn't be in one of these neighborhoods when streets are blocked off. Outdoor smoking is always prohibited.

For the elderly of course, who can't walk well or need their cars to get around, they are held captive until Sunday night rolls around and the police come and remove the barricades.

In the Noe Valley health-fanaticist rich-yuppie area of town, they are also proposing to close down the main downtown business district along 24th Street permanently (forever) and filling it in with grass and park benches, no smoking allowed of course as is already the case there, so that part won't be changed. Noe Valley has a periodic outdoor farmer's market and the big no-outdoor-smoking signs were posted there light-years ahead of the city now requiring these signs posted all over the city - literally everywhere.

The more traffic nightmares they can create, the more to get people to no longer buy cars may be part of their longer range goals behind all this street closing. It helps feed into the global-warming and second-hand-smoke fear mongering when reality hits the population in the face, thanks to street closures and smoking bans and anything else they will be dreaming up soon.

Angry Exile said...

As I said over at the Filthy Engineer's wrt Anne Milton's dribbling idiocy, they really are just Nu Labour with blue rosettes, aren't they?

JuliaM said...

Just what would it take for the leader of a party to stand up, after one of these ludicrous flights of fancy, and say 'I apologise to the House for the abysmal quality of this MP from my party, and I'm withdrawing the whip on the grounds that they are just too utterly dim to represent anybody'..?

Caedmon's Cat said...

"Cars could be banned from residential roads to allow children to play out in the street, a heath minister has suggested."

Haven't we had enough of heath and his discredited legacy?

Woman on a Raft said...

From JuliaM's keyboard to David Cameron's lips.

Anonymous said...

Only "certain streets"? Surely then the chiiildren have to cross roads which still have traffic to get to those streets? Perhaps she envisages their parents driving them there. Oh wait....