Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Yet another roundup of news from the Nanny-State of England

Some more juicy tidbits from the "health and safety police" busybodies across the pond. For those that are new around here, we list these stories because they provide cautionary lessons about where our country will be in just a few years, if we let the nanny-staters in our own government have their way and begin inflicting insanities such as these on this country. I go into more detail here.

It's way fun, too.

All of the following are actual news stories, and are not made up in any way.

--------- A police officer in Kent, England, has been forbidden to ride his bicycle on patrol until he passes a "bicycle proficiency test" given sometime in the future, but apparently not anytime soon. The cop, Nick Barker, who has been riding bikes since he was a child, now has to catch a bus to get from town to town on his beat:

"The ban on PCSO Barker, who joined the force last year, emerged at a meeting when locals asked why they had not seen him much recently."

He's probably not going to be of much use for the foreseeable future, unless all of the crimes happen at the bus stop.

--------- Six city councils in England have decreed that fish and chip shops must begin using salt shakers with five holes, rather than the usual 17. They've even been nice enough to use taxpayer funds to purchase the shakers, in order to save their wards from the ravages of oversalting their food.

"Officers collected information from businesses, obtained samples of fish and chips, measured salt content and ‘carried out experiments to determine how the problem of excessive salt being dispensed could be overcome by design’."

As street crime rises and rises. It's good to see that they have their priorities straight.

--------- 67-year-old grandfather Victor Abrahams, who has an office in Barnet, in North London, has been hit with a $200 fine for putting a For Sale sign in the window of his Ford Escort, because "running a street business" seems to be illegal there. Apparently the local commissars frown on that sort of capitalism.

"And why is the for-sale sign in my car window any different from a delivery van with the name and phone number of the company on the side? Or why is it different from a driving instructor's car that has the name and details of the driving school on the side?"

It's different because the powers-that-be say it is, regardless of whether it makes sense or not. Now shut up and pay your fine.

--------- Parents who have not had mandatory background checks will no longer be able to volunteer to carpool kids to sports matches, beginning next year. This will affect hundreds of thousands of soccer moms and dads, as many of them will probably just decline to be the designated driver, due to the aggravation and hassle of the new "scheme":

"'The new scheme offers improvements over current checking arrangements because the volunteer parents only have to apply to be registered once thereafter the school or club can do subsequent checks that they are registered quickly, on line and free.'"

Did you understand that? I didn't. Of course, this new policy may be all for naught, as

--------- Children under age eight in England will no longer be able to play in soccer leagues, as their fragile psyches may be permanently damaged if they actually lose at something.

"Graham Spencer, secretary of Colden Common youth football club near Winchester, Hampshire, added: 'I am not sure how you can actually play football non-competitively.'"

Oh, I'm sure they'll find a way. Not with hugs and pats on the back, though (See above).

--------- A British canoeist is arrested, hauled down to the police station and fingerprinted, and has his DNA taken, all because he decided to paddle down a river without paying a private company for the privilege.

"'It was such a joke, even the officers at the station were laughing about why I'd been arrested.'"

I'm not amused. Why does a private company decide who gets to use a public waterway, and how do they end up convincing the cops to do their dirty work for them?

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