One recent morning at breakfast, Simon told the story of a lady who got a parking ticket, and then was fined on top of that, because when she returned the ticket with her fine, she had copied the number of the ticket wrong; the extra fine was for that as the ticket said to enter the numbers correctly.
She fought it and, several hundred pounds later transferred to lawyers' pockets, she won.
Several years ago, we got a parking ticket in the car park near the Plymouth Hoe and the Aquarium. We'd have been back to our car in plenty of time, but the pedestrian drawbridge was raised just as we (and a lot of others) got there to let a sailboat pass from the boat basin into Sutton Harbour. We were TWO MINUTES late getting to the car. We thought the guy must have written out the ticket before the appointed hour, just in case, because he was only two rows away from us when we arrived. We paid it. But there's this: they KNOW that bridge is going to go up with no warning, and, depending on the number of boats going through, it could take a long time to come back down. At the very least, there should be a ten-minute grace period; anyone going from that car park to the Hoe or Aquarium will have to cross that bridge, and there is no other place to park.
So, anyway, what does this have with bludgeoning the middle class with a thousand deadly idiocies? Easy. Control. The upper class is currently, in the UK and the US, arranging for the early deaths of the poor and the working class. After a Brexit, the people most likely to starve will be the poor; those most likely to be malnourished will be the working class; both will get scant medical attention in the pared down NHS; the middle class and above generally has some sort of gap insurance. We do.
So the Rees-Moggs, Boris Johnsons and Nigel Farages of the world have pretty much got the poor and working class under control; miserable now and heading for early death.
But what about the middle class? The Tories have already diminished UK government-run schools and, with the need for the middle class to pay for gap health insurance to maintain what they were used to, they don't have money for private educations anymore. But damn, those pesky, educated middle class people just keep hanging on.
|This photo accompanied a story in The Guardian about the homeless dying on the streets of the UK.|
What to do? BREXIT. What a great idea! Make sure the things they buy cost lots more by destroying the customs union with the EU. Make sure the cost of cars and fuel and food all go up wildly so they will, finally, have to spend their last penny to get by. Who knows? Possibly they'll have to give up their gap health insurance so they, too, can wait 6 weeks for an emergency heart bypass, or watch their kid die for lack of funds to pay for out-of-NHS cancer treatments.
But until all that happens--although it's happening well enough already--what in the world will the ruling class do? No, they cannot get rid of ALL the poor, working class and middle class. But then, they need a few of us to mow their lawns, wipe their butts in the old age home, and run their office on zero-hours contracts with no benefits.
Brexit isn't here quite yet. But even after it is, why not send the middle class into misery any way they can, the ruling class thinks.
How better than to make sure they spend money and time dealing with cockamamie bureaucratic rules about parking? The parking companies do have a ways to go until they get as good as destroying people as the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) has become, especially since the introduction of Universal Credit.
Universal Credit. Sounds innocuous. Maybe a new loan scheme available to everyone....
But no. It's a cunning little Tory government system whereby people already struggling to survive are suddenly supposed to become masters of the financial universe to get the social safety net support once available simply because they needed it. With Universal Credit, those who are in hard times have to perform MBA feats to get any help, and to keep it. And they must also be available any time of the day or night for inspections and/or phone calls from DWP.
Recently, a woman was docked part of her disability pension for an entire year because DWP said she couldn't properly document her disease, although her doctor had made the point clearly that she was not going to be able to work again. Ever. THEN they assessed an additional penalty--wait for it--because FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER she had missed a telephone call from the witless automatons hired by the DWP on the zero-hour contracts.
The DWP has honed their killer craft for a year now on the poor. I have no doubt that the government, needing to get rid of the mouthy middle class--now objecting to losing their right to travel in the EU, to study there, to move there, to work there, had to find a way to shut us up. The DWP model, and that of the private parking companies selling their services to government, have shown the way.
And on top of the constant drip of useless bureaucratic rules throughout UK life, now MP Kate Hoey (rhymes with hooey) has decided it would be good to expand private gun ownership in the UK. So what? So this: When people are starving, if they can get hold of a gun, they might well hold up a store, or invade a house. And with Brexit, people WILL be starving.
Whose stores will they hold up, and whose houses will they invade? Why, the middle-class, of course.
So basically, Hoey wants to open season on the middle-class, making them infinitely vulnerable and nervous as well. By the way, the despicable Tory government has already cut the national police force by 21,000, and has removed the local cop house from all but the largest towns. Callington, the medium-sized town about 4 minutes from us by car, lost its police station a couple of years ago. The nearest is now in Saltash, 20 minutes away barring farm vehicles on the road. I cannot recall the last time I saw a bobby walking the beat in Tavistock, as I always used to do--before the Tory horde began its rape of the UK.
Shortly, in a new column, what PUTIN hopes to gain from having the Tories destroy the decently educated British middle class.
Copyright 2019, Laura Harrison McBride