Are we drifting towards a dictatorship?
It's not often I get political - I hate politics; in fact, I hate anything even vaguely political but I have an observation.
In what appears to be an increasingly desperate bid to stay politically popular in preparation for any future elections, it appears as if Gordon Brown and his labour crooners are drifting towards a dictatorship. Two examples:
- I hear tonight that teachers are to be given an MOT style test every 5 years and kicked out if they fail. We already have procedures for incompetent teachers but only after layers and levels of support have been tried and failed. Surely that's better. Instant dismissal after a single failed 'test' is extremely draconian at best.
- Watching the BBC London programme this evening I discover that anyone protesting against the Olympics are be be arrested and prosecuted during the Olympic Games. Even displaying an 'anti Olympic' poster could land you a fine of up to £20,000. The police have been given extra powers of forceful entry in order to gain access to any building that displays or is involved with any form of Olympic based protestation. I seem to remember huge discussions on Human Rights being had over the Beijing Olympics - it seems we are none better. I'm not normally on the side of the Human Rights bods but this one seems a step too far!
I wonder what will be next in the steps towards dictatorship. Ridiculous laws on drinking and boating imposed by Europe perhaps, laughable health and safety regulations insisting on dangerous bollards at locks and lethal 'guard rails' - who knows where this increasingly downward spiral might lead us?
BTW the fridge is working fantastically at present! This evening I even had a glass of apple juice that waso cold it burnt my throat as it went down - now that hasn't happened for years! The thermostat is set on no 3 and it holds consistently in the blue 'fridge' section of my thermometer, even in the 38 degree heat that my classroom registered this afternoon.
I notice that Andrew Denny has blogged regarding licence renewal. Well it is my annual battle with BW again. I pay for my licence by Direct Debit so the system is automated and I need do nothing but read the form, check the details and sit back and wait. The problem is that my licence expires end of July. The new licence is due to be sent out automatically around 15th July. I break up on 17th July and vanish immediately for the summer. Very close and quite likely that my licence won't get to me in time given that it is sent to my London address and then needs to be forwarded to my school by my father. A whole summer of cruising with an expired licence on display and many waterways officials at sites such as Harecastle and Standedge to explain to - quite apart from the scouring looks and audible 'tut tuts' at locks. I phone BW and explain. "Sorry", comes the reply, "the system is automated and there is nothign we can do". POPPYCOCK - press a button somewhere and help this law abiding licencee to remain within the law and BW rules please.
If my licence doesn't arrive on time, I would urge everyone to phone BW and report me - if they can't be bothered to help, then let's waste their time and force them to be more co-operative in the future or I will have the same battle next year and all future years!