Solving the World's problems with common sense and a flamethrower.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What's Mine, Isn't.

A Council Officer enforcing the Recycling laws.

I always thought that burglary was a simple thing. Some shell-suited, fake-Burberry-wearing Chav scrote kicks in your door, helps himself to your TV, DVD player and valuables, takes a shit on your living-room rug and heads out. Simples. Of course, in recent years I've also known that when you get burgled you're supposed to help the chav scrote carry your stuff out to his Saxo before you can get a crime number from Plod and start the interminable argument with your insurers.

But the point is that I'd always thought that burglary was illegal. That is, it was Against The Law.

Clearly, I was wrong. Burglary is now the domain of the State, I'm delighted to report.

The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London. The Proceeds of Crime act will now be used against fare dodgers, families in arrears with council tax and other 'minor offenders'.

Oh, lovely. So forget about the shell-suited chav - now all it will take is a mustachioed council Jobsworth with a clipboard and dubious social skills to leave your house empty.

Imagine, dear Reader. Given that once they were given the right, Councils used anti-terror laws to monitor bin collections, school catchment areas and even teenage smokers, just how do you imagine the local officious brigade will implement their newly-garnered rights?

Got a parking ticket? We'll have your car, you evil miscreant. Oh dear, your Council Tax payment's a month late. That'll cost you your telly and your next years' wages, thanks very much. And God help you if you put the wrong plastic in your recycling bin. because we'll repossess your wife and sell her into white slavery, mortgage your children on the internet and flog the family dog to an environmentally-friendly sausage factory. You're a criminal, you deserve it.

The only upside I can see is that it's unlikely the Council Official will crap on your carpet.

In one stroke, this legislation effectively nationalises property. You no longer own the goods you purchased with the sweat from your brow - you merely borrow them from the State, and they will now have the right to remove those goods, legally and at a whim, on the flimsiest of premises.

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, "well, OK, this is awful law, yet again trampling on the rights of ordinary hard-working citizens and lumping them, yet again, in with criminals. But it's alright, we only have to wait until the General Election and the Conservatives will repeal it". Right?

Wrong, I'm afraid. Not a bit of it.

Remember, the country (and thus the Government) is skint. They've run up a level of debt beyond all comprehension. They don't have money, and they can't tax us any more than they already are. So they need some way to get their hands on what little we have remaining.

By using dubious laws to seize our personal property, the State achieves a triple whammy. One, they nick your stuff and flog it, raising immediate cash. Two, the proceeds can be used by the councils to supplement their budgets, meaning the Government has to give them less. Thirdly (and this is the sheer genius) YOU have to buy a replacement for whatever they've yaffled. Which puts money into circulation in the economy and allows the Government to point to recovery.

Sheer genius. Well done, chaps. Even at my most eloquent, I cannot find the words to elucidate just how much I fucking hate you.


Gareth said...

"Got a parking ticket? We'll have your car, you evil miscreant. Oh dear, your Council Tax payment's a month late. That'll cost you your telly and your next years' wages, thanks very much."

You know as well as I do it won't even be like that. It'll be;

'We say you got a parking ticket so we're taking the car.'

'We say you are late with your Council Tax so we're taking your telly and wages.'

Whether you have or have not done those things, the State will assume you are in the wrong, steal your stuff and then you have to try and get it back.* And of course they were wanting to change the rules on court cases to make wholly innocent people pay the State's expenses.

This is the world of Terry Gilliam's Brazil.

* Can't they be more like Doctors? First do no harm. Any such sweeping powers without judicial oversight (and even that is getting dodgy now - see Operation Rize) will catch a lot of wholly innocent people in the bureaucratic mire, all just to attempt (and likely fail) to catch a few big fish. The cost of righting so many wrongs will be enormous. The cost of failing to prosecute the Mr Bigs will be enormous. The blight on many peoples' lives will be enormous.

banned said...

Some years ago I had a fight with my local council over council Tax ( which I won ) it took several months and 6 appearances in front of the mags.
Under this new regime they would simply have sent in the baillifs who, you will recall, no longer require your implied consent to enter but can break and enter at will to steal enough of your stuff to cover not only the councils claim but their Bill too.
If You have the cheek to try and stop them You will be up for assualt > criminal record > CRB/ISA blacklist > Lose Job > Lose house > life on the street.

Nice, thanks Labour.

Anonymous said...

Any fucker who enters my house uninvited will find him/herself staring down the business end of a Remington 1100.

Jim said...

@Henry Crun:
I don't think a shaver will do much to stop them.............

Onus Probandy said...

I'm a huge believer in evolution. Not simply as some convenient way of growing interesting exhibits for the local zoo, but to explain all activity of life.

Economics is, to me, nothing more than survival of the financially fittest. I did a doctorate on growing computer programs using genetic methods -- only the programmatic "best" survived. The creation of an environment were some behaviours will give positive results, and others will give negative results will always result in more of the behaviour that gives positive results (from the point of view of the individual undertaking the behaviour).

Enough waffle, my point -- if the state does enough of this eroding of property law and civil liberties, they will be changing the environment for the game and the population will adjust to get optimum results. The adjustment could well be -- I refuse to work: people who earn money, pay taxes, have possessions, behave reasonably are punished for those behaviours. Therefore, those behaviours will be reduced (one might argue that it is already happening).

Pretty soon, governments will find that it is more important to protect the rights of its productive citizens, as that is the only incentive they have to continue to be productive. If they do not, they will be governors of nothing.

If they take my car off me for not paying road tax, just once, I won't be able to go to work. I then won't be employed, I then won't have a house, and I won't be paying tax. When I am in that position, do they imagine that I shall say "I shall strive harder to gain back all that I have lost"? Or is it more likely that I will say "fuck it, there is no winning in this life, I will accept benefits until I die"?

Devil's Kitchen said...

You forgot...

"Four: they keep you cowed and scared and reminded of just exactly who you owe your life, liberty and property."