Monday, August 09, 2004

The march of the brain-dead officials

As newspapers dwell more and more on the sensational and trivial, becoming little more than a branch of the entertainment industry, the news for grown-ups seems more and more to have retreated into the business sections of the broadsheets – although even there it struggles for space

No better example of this phenomenon can be found than in story in today's Times, one rehearsed previously in this Blog. Tucked well down on page 23 is a story by Elizabeth Judge, headed "EU rules could benefit 'garbage mafia'".

"Britain", writes Judge, "is at risk of being overrun by 'garbage mafia' gangs following the introduction of new EU directives". Surprise, surprise, the EU rules that have trebled the cost for businesses of disposing of waste have created a lucrative niche for cowboy operators.

It seems that illegal waste disposal incidents have already increased 40 percent in the past two years and with the cost of disposal rising, the lure of illegal operators will be even greater for business owners.

In Italy, apparently, Judge informs us,

…the problem of the garbage or "eco-mafia" has been present for many years.
Gangs undercut legal waste businesses by up to 400 per cent before dumping the
waste on illegal tipping sites — often natural beauty spots.

The business of dealing in illegal waste tipping is so big that criminal gangs are
believed to be making up to €2.5 billion (£1.7 billion) each year. Of the 80
million tonnes of waste produced each year in the country, 35 million are
believed to be handled by criminal organisations.
Herein lies the tragedy. Faced with the spectre of a similar criminal upsurge, do our brave officials and politicians rethink their strategy? Do they for one minute ask themselves it is that their regulatory system that is creating the problem, and go back to the drawing board? Oh no!

Instead, this is what we get:

In an attempt to curb the problems, government officials and the Environment
Agency have drawn up plans for a national illegal-tipping prevention centre. The
centre would also liaise with officials in European countries with similar waste
problems — such as Italy — to share information and to clamp down on
cross-border activity, where waste is transferred from one country to another.

Under the new plans, police will stop and search trucks and lorries and,
for the first time, a national database of fly-tipping incidents will be used to
target "hot-spots" where criminal activity is most problematic.
These people are utter morons. They take a system that worked tolerably well, turn it into an utter shambles and create opportunities for criminal enterprise that previously did not exist. They then throw buckets of public money and hire phalanxes of officials to fail to sort out the problem of their own creation. And the result? More taxes, more officials and a lower quality of life.

Thus does civilisation collapse – not through the barbarians at the gate but through the depredations of brain-dead officials and politicians.

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