11 March 2006
Another modest proposal
I would feel happier is this had come out on All-Fools' Day, but since it's appearing now, I suppose it must be true. A council tried to fine a man £50.00 for dumping his rubbish in a rubbish bin. Basically, one Andy Tierney used a street bin to dump some junk mail while he was on his way to work. Officials from Hinckley and Bosworth Borough Council then tracked him down using the address on the envelopes. A first they claimed that he had dumped a whole bag of crap, including food, in the bin. Then they backtracked on that, but still tried to land him with a fixed penalty ticket - whatever that is. Now they have backtracked again and withdrawn the notice.
However, the council's chief executive - usually these are overpaid and unelected polytechnic graduates - has said that better information needs to be given to residents as to where they can dump their crappie. Street bins are not to be used for household waste.
There are a couple of points that need to be made about this. The first, and minor point, is that the opinions of unelected penpushers do not count for shit. I remember when a social worker had the temerity to call me up when I was on my way to have just such a shit: a couple of press releases and one complaint to the council later, and said social work slag was sending me letters when it wanted an appointment to see me and it was arriving with another bit of social work scum in tow. So I got to waste the time of two of 'em instead of just the one. These creatures are the types who used to be the factory foremen and chargehands. We have a responsibility as working class people to treat them as the scabby-arsed vermin that they are. They have lost whatever right they may once have had to say that they are part of the tribe.
Secondly, and far more importantly, the reason why the Victorians set up rubbish bins and public lavatories in the streets is that they knew that if they didn't people would dump rubbish and piss all over the place. It was part of a process - a collectivist process - that aimed at getting folk to see that the public space belonged, partly, to them.
The Thatcherites closed down the piss-stones and privatised the rubbish collection. Thus, if you go to Piccadilly in Manchester on a Friday night, just as the locals have finished taking their revenge for the working week by poring beer down their necks, you will find that the streets around Piccadilly stink of piss and are knee-deep in rubbish.
The excuse for keeping the piss-stones closed is to avoid them being used by homosexualists, but that is a nonsense. The police could quite easily ensure that such practises do not go on and they have enough public order laws to justify arrests and ensure convictions. No, the reason is that so-called Labour will not tax the middle class enough to ensure that these public services are restored.
The point about municipal public services such as toilets, dustbins and pavements, is that by running them municipally we can employ an army of toilet attendents, dustbinmen and street sweepers. Not only does this provide work for our people, but it provides work that comes with a union, a long-term contract and a pension at the end. It is the difference between having a job and having a shit job in other words.
By having these services we encourage people to once again think of the collective, rather than the individual. That, finally, is what socialism is all about: running things collectively to improve the lot of the urban working man, his wife and his kids.
Earlier in the week I commented on what a new working class party had to do to be credible. Well, here is a modest start: advocate municipal services to provide jobs for our people and decent conditions for them to live in.