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Thoughts on the green-bin front
HERE is what is to be found in my green bin this week. First of all there is upended within its slimy confines a slightly short, yet bulky man whose spiked hair appears to be full of tattered bits of greenery.
Let’s put him the right way up and apologise. I’ve no idea how he got in there. Perhaps he happened to be passing when my wife the gardener heard about his council’s suggestion that we might in future have to pay for our green bins to be emptied.
Maybe she pointed out, before depositing him in the bin, that he has already closed the local tip. What, she might have said, was she supposed to do without a tip or her green bins? Besides, you should hear her husband grumble when he had to fill the car with all that deliquescent, fly-blown greenery and drive it all the way across town, belching fumes all the way (from the car that is).
She might also have said that she thought we already paid for green bins through the council tax.
Once extracted from the bin, the gentleman in question may have protested, while picking stagnant ivy from his suit, that charging for empty green bins was only a proposal at present. But we all know how suggestions end up becoming fact with this council, sometimes before anyone knows anything has even been suggested in the first place.
This is what happened with the litter bins: one day they were there and the next they were not. Puzzled locals wandered around scratching heads, saying they could have sworn there was one there yesterday. Then with a shrug they dropped their litter on to the ground. Some time later the tourists started writing letters to The Press, saying: “Lovely place, shame about the litter.”
There seems to be a theme running here: take a service connected with rubbish of some sort or other, mess it up and then mumble about Government cuts if anyone complains.
Well, I hope they do complain about the threat to charge for green bins, which would in essence be another sneaky doubled-up tax: as so often with tax, you pay once and then pay all over again.
Aside from that, this proposal just seems to be another way to annoy the people the council is supposed to serve. And to think, I voted for them (sorry about that).
One of the quirks of democracy is that a party gets a majority, and not necessarily a large one, from a smallish turnout and then carries on as if everyone supports them to the hilt. The truth is to be found somewhat further down the slippery pole of expectation.
As for those green bins, it falls to me to pull them round to the front of the house. Sometimes they are so heavy that they could very well contain a council leader.
• LEADING scientists said this week that maths should be compulsory for all pupils studying for A-levels. This strikes me as a good idea, although it wouldn’t have done at the time.
The scientists believe that a dire lack of mathematical understanding permeates society and I have to admit that it has certainly permeated me. Lord Rees, the Astronomer Royal, was quoted as saying: “We need to ensure that fewer people are bewildered and bamboozled by numbers.”
As one who has been often thus afflicted, I have to agree. I could count on the six fingers of my hand the times that numbers have confused me.
• JUNIOR Treasury Minister David Gauke made headlines for saying people who paid plumbers or builders in cash to avoid VAT were in effect as bad as big-time tax dodgers. Yet according to reports, Mr Gauke once advertised for an unpaid intern: isn’t that just the other side of the pocketed coin?
It has never been easy to work out exactly what value has been added by this tax. Some of it presumably went on the £8 billion tax bill for the Olympic Games, with the sponsors who paid the remaining £1 billion writing all the rules.
Oh well, enjoy the Games. Just don’t wear the wrong sort of trainers while watching the TV or else there might be a knock at the door.