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March of the jobsworths

Posted by Richard Saturday, May 13, 2006

double-click to enlargePerhaps it is only this blog that could immediately see the connection between this headline (left) in our local paper, The Telegraph and Argus, and our membership of the European Union.

The story recounts how staff at the local tips have been subject to a rising toll of threats and abuse, to the extent that police have had to be called in, while extra staff and security personnel have been recruited.

The trouble has arisen because massive charges have been imposed on tradesmen wishing to dispose of waste at the sites, on top of a complex new system of licenses and permits. Traders have been turned away if their paperwork is not correct, while others have objected to the charges. In all, staff have suffered 90 incidents of violence in just 18 months.

The reason, of course, why this draconian regime is now in force is because of the EU’s landfill directive, which is making it progressively more expensive and difficult to dispose of waste – and incidentally is leading to a massive rise in fly-tipping - hence the upsurge in frustration and violence.

But do the powers-that-be learn any lessons from their experience? Of course not. As with their response to the fly-tipping problem, they simply ratchet up the controls. This is truly the march of the jobsworths, all courtesy of the EU.

Multiply this a thousand times, however, as the grip of rules and regulations tighten, and we could be looking at our future. Who in their right mind, even a decade ago, would have ever thought it necessary to post security guards at waste tips?

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