June 23rd, 2008


The mayor of where...?

Listening to the radio this morning, I heard the mayor of somewhere defending his council's surveillance practices.  His council was using people in disguise to surveille* people failing to pick up dog poo, and litterbugs.  The law, remember, that broke our privacy to be used only in the most severe cases, that nobody would consider using for minor offences...

He said, entirely, so far as I could tell (for it was radio) straightfaced,  something along the lines of  ' I get more letters about dog dirt and littering than any TWO other topics! This is something the public really cares about!"

Well, yes.  Because people who witness illicit pooing**  or chip wrappings on a roadside are not usually injured, or traumatised.  Writing to a petty local politician is a sane reaction to an annoyance of that kind.   You don't write to the Mayor to complain you have been exploded by terrorists, that would NOT be a sane reaction, but it's not something that could happen without outrage!

There is a man who has totally lost the connection between what is genuinely important, and what sort of thing generates letters to the local council.  A perfect demonstration of why local politicians should be picked by lot from people who don't want to be them.

* I don't know, it is now!

** I am against failing to poopick, in case anyone is wondering.  It's a bad thing and it spoils places for dog owners as much as everyone else - possibly more so, dog owners that don't pick up poo provoke dog bans.
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