In the ‘60’s there was a swing away from “the establishment” toward “rights for the common working man”. In this country we had a ground break TV show called “That Was The Week That Was”. The material was satirical, cynical and, at times, downright treasonable but they a shone light into murky holes and dragged sleaze and corruption out into the open. It was great stuff.
But now, in my opinion, the pendulum has swung too far. The “common working man” has become the enemy of good, honest, hardworking citizens. I was told a story this week that typifies the petty bureaucracy that is now blighting us.
A friend of mine had her wheelie bin stolen. She rang up the council to ask for another bin and was told that they wouldn’t supply her with a new one. She had two young children in nappies, so she asked what she should do and was told to take her refuse straight to the tip. As you would expect she was incensed, and kicked up an almighty fuss. But the council wouldn’t be moved. No new bin and that was that. She rang them so often to complain that in the end they refused to take her calls. Luckily she had good neighbours who allowed her to deposit rubbish in their bins and that was how she managed to get by.
This lady is a ratepayer, a teacher and her husband’s a computer programmer and because they were diligent and careful with their finances they had managed to buy their own house. A few streets away lived her cousin who was not a ratepayer, had never worked in her life, lived on benefits, and, along with her children, lived in a council house. She complained to the council that her wheelie bin was too small and was immediately issued with a “family size” bin.
One day my friend was in town when there was a political rally taking place. She marched up to the front of the crowd and told her story to the candidate and the next day was issued with a new bin.
Obvious it was within the remit of the council to supply new bins; they had, after all, supplied her cousin with a new bin and, after the candidate intervened, supplied her with a new bin too. So what was going on here?
It is my belief that because she was perceived by the council to be a “successful person” living in her own house she was penalised and because her cousin was perceived to be “underprivileged” she was rewarded. Come back “establishment” all is forgiven. You aren’t the enemy after all. The “common working man” is!
And finally …..no-one ever says 'It's only a game' when their team's winning.
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