Saturday, April 29, 2006

Bureaucracy in action

One consequence of having young children (one of whom is an early riser) is that you find yourself watching children’s television programmes. The storylines I see through bleary sleep-robbed eyes in the morning may be a little far fetched but they have nothing on some of the real life problems I regularly confront in Monmouthshire.

Here are two examples I came across yesterday: On the road between Monmouth and Chepstow in the middle of the Monmouthshire countryside lies the little village of Trellech, population – a few hundred. A recent development has seen half a dozen houses built into a cul-de-sac. They are very easy to find at night because unlike the rest of the village, not to say the miles of open countryside which surround it, the narrow cul-de-sac is lit up by an array of piercingly bright streetlamps. The residents complained that they did not move into the countryside expecting to find their rooms lit up like a prison camp after a breakout so I made enquiries.

The developers didn’t want the expense of putting in streetlights every few yards but were told to do so by the Council. The Council don’t want the expense of paying for electricity every night to light up a cul-de-sac in an isolated village but say they are following government guidance. As a result at great expense a rural idyll is being lit up like Wembly Stadium on cup final night. One nil to the bureaucrats. I have been promised that next week someone from the council will be coming out to try and shield the houses from the lights which neither they nor the council want, but which a regulation states they must have.

The same afternoon I visited to a farm in Dingestow. Had the farmer not been good friend I would have located it easily enough from the stench of a decaying cow which had been there since Tuesday. Why was this bloated rotting stinking carcass lying a few yards from the front door of a respected farming family? Because Under EU regulations it is now an offence for farmers to deal with their own dead livestock. When a cow dies they have to wait from a government approved livestock collector to remove the carcass. The company with the contract for Monmouthshire are based in West Wales and various excuses had been offered for their non-appearance to date.
Only the EU could come up with a set of regulations that could allow this to happen. Only Britain would be stupid enough to adhere to them.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Two items catch my eye in today’s news. A whining rant from a race relations advisor “Professor” Ted Cantle. Cantle appears to be a big noise in race relations and suggested that blacks and Asians cannot be safe living amongst whites. Comments like this perpetuate the favourite myth of the grievance industry that racism is something caused only by whites and that only blacks and Asians can be victims of it. Cantle also complained that parts of the country are “unhealthily all white.” I wonder what would he have said had anyone described parts of London as being “unhealthily all black”?

Faith in our nation was restored when I read an interview with Rear-Admiral Amjad Hussain. Britains first Muslim Admiral told how through his own hard work and ability he was able to rise from being the son of a penniless immigrant to a senior rank in the armed forces where he has served his country with great distinction. I heartily congratulate Admiral Hussain our country could do with many more like him. And merely by his example he will do far more for race relations in the UK than any number of whinging white liberals like “Professor” Cantle.