March 9, 2010

A Music License?

Trying to save money? Wanna just stay home with your dog and watch TV? Well, if you live in Britain, it's going to cost you. Since 1946 there's been a television tax levied on each TV you own that receives a signal; today, the license costs $220 per year. As for that 12-year old Basset Hound of yours who sleeps all day, never leaves the house, and whose most aggressive action involves sighing and blinking once every twelve hours, he's going to cost you even more: under proposed new measures unveiled today by the Labour government all dog owners would be required to get dog insurance that would cost up to £500 - approx. $770 Canadian - per year.

No matter where you go or what you do, the bony finger of the British state will find you. In Watford, parents who want to play with their children in recreation areas must first go through criminal record checks. Staying home won't necessarily help you escape the intrusion of the state: several years ago the Labour government's Children's Minister, Beverly Hughes, proposed forcing parents to attend special classes where they would learn to sing nursery rhymes to their children. Without Labour's policies, the Minister pointed out helpfully, "We could be on the road to ruin."

Not everyone appreciates the help. When the mother of a five year old girl received a letter detailing a litany of health risks her daughter would face in the future because her body mass index was one-percent outside the recommended limit, mom was appalled, and its no wonder: take a look at the child in question. Actually, take a close look, because she might be following you: various local Councils recruit "environment volunteers" as young as seven to report people for offenses ranging from littering to making too much noise to putting out their trash on the wrong day. The little recruits "are given information packs about how to collect evidence....which could later be used in criminal prosecutions."

In an essay titled Nanny State Britain is Killing Common Sense, Dr. Eamonn Butler writes:

"The organisers of a Christmas party in Embsay village hall were told they needed a full risk assessment, and nut allergy warnings on the mince pies. Schools have banned playground football. Clowns in Zippo's circus couldn't use trumpets in a three-minute sketch because they'd need a music licence. Manchester taxi drivers cancelled their annual outing for needy kids because each cab would need a risk assessment, each child would have to be accompanied by an adult, and each adult would need a six-week criminal record check." (emph. mine)

If you think jettisoning your worldly possessions will put you in the clear, think again: an unemployed man who accidentally dropped a ten pound note was fined £50 for littering.

Posted by EBD at March 9, 2010 9:54 AM

I don't know if it's the exact same or part of the "music licence" cited, but at a hobby board I belong to British posters have related that companies that even just have a radio playing in the shop or office are fined and forced to buy a licence or stop playing the music because it's rated as a "performance". I don't know for sure, but I think it's like our tax on tapes and discs etc. with the money going to government-run arts-supporting programmes, supposedly to "help" the artists.

Posted by: andycanuck at March 9, 2010 10:26 AM

Addendum: one poster even reported that some dick in the workshop J(and not some government inspector nosing around) reported the company, so the company pulled the music entirely.

And thanks for showing what a load the BMI is. I recall an NRO writer reporting that he and an NBA star both had the same BMI despite having different body shapes but when everyone is overweight, then the government can control everything about you to save you from yourself. (It wasn't Steyn, by the way.)

Posted by: andycanuck at March 9, 2010 10:31 AM

My God. Is there no end to this leftist madness.
When will the people revolt?

Posted by: dastardly at March 9, 2010 10:31 AM

... and the J( is a typo on my part and not a hint at the dick in question's name.

Posted by: andycanuck at March 9, 2010 10:33 AM

No wonder Labour has welcomed the Muslims into their ranks...they have less "rules" to follow and having Sharia would be less paperwork!

Posted by: glacierman at March 9, 2010 10:39 AM

One has to ask what is wrong with these people's brains?

One also has to ask what it will take before the brits call foul and do something about it. Armed revolution seems a tame response, really.

Posted by: Jason at March 9, 2010 10:46 AM

Ah well there is a God after all....

A local member of the constabulary, noted for his zealous enforcement of firearms etc laws....happened to be at the local metal recycler, selling empty cartridge brass from the Police range...when I noted a few LIVE rounds in the bucket.

I summonded the locals, another jurisdiction, who attended recorded my complaint and at my insistance, busted him for conveying amunition to an unlicenced entity in an unsafe manner.

Prior to that they cautioned me that I would likely be subjected to frequent traffic stops/searches.....

The charge was thrown out by the Magistrate...after he yelled a lot at the alleged offender. The magistrate advised me to "come back if you should be subjected to harrassment."

The local deputy chief got the guy a position with another Police service. He takes the position that "power trippers" severely interfere with good Police relations.

Posted by: sasquatch at March 9, 2010 10:52 AM

Its not Big Brother, It's Bigger Brother!

Canada has been on this dangerous slope since PET have a look at the article today by Lawrence Martin(Borque) he suggest Canada's on a different slope & shows his mind reading skills stating what a Majority of Canadians want.

Posted by: bryanr at March 9, 2010 10:54 AM

The Canadian schools too banned playground football (called soccer here).

Take a close look at at least several schools in Peel district (Mississauga, Brampton, Caledon just West of TO), run by a fascist clique, which used to be lead by a 'mentor' Mr. Johnston and with active participation of Ms. Budetic, Mrs Tindall and Mr. Trachsler.

That clique has instituted concentration camp policies, which as one parent reported, included the requirement for students to produce a special pass in order to move around school (one pass for washroom, another for library, third for the office etc.)

The schools required of gym teachers to bend the rules for popular games such as ball hockey, basketball and tag in order to make games non-contact, gender neutral and accident-proof. They banned boys from skipping and eventually prohibited running, all while students with 'special needs' were allowed to throw rocks at other students.

I received pictures and footage from that concerned parent, in which students are being yelled at when they step on snow in winter (banned behaviour).

Morale is, quit ridiculing Britain - your own house is not in order.

Posted by: Aaron at March 9, 2010 11:05 AM

Remind me to never, ever live in Britain. Dear Lord.

Posted by: Mark Peters at March 9, 2010 11:06 AM

Sir Paul is rich enough.

Posted by: Simeon at March 9, 2010 11:20 AM

[......They banned boys from skipping and eventually prohibited running, all while students with 'special needs' were allowed to throw rocks at other students.]

Yeah....same all over.....

Posted by: sasquatch at March 9, 2010 11:22 AM

Having just re-read 1984 (the last time I read it was under threat of failure in high-school English) the similarities are uncanny.

Children spy's (at least "The Party" called them what they are)
State authorized play
State authorized parenting
State authorized entertainment
All for the common good.

Posted by: duffman at March 9, 2010 11:23 AM

The bottom line is, we don't see any civil outrage in Britain over this excessive nanny state tyranny so we have to assume Brits like bending over and taking nanny's boney finger up their tush.

Posted by: The Watcher at March 9, 2010 11:23 AM

Jesus H Christ

Posted by: RCGZ at March 9, 2010 11:23 AM

Seems to me that when Marie Antoinette was having a bad day back in 1789 she is really only the most famous of the multitudes to lose their heads.

It occurs that it was the bureaucracy that ultimately sacrificed their hat holders dutifully standing in line to contribute.

Probably why government types are furiously spending every dime they can conceivably make an excuse to spend on some such program or other in order to retain said hat holder.

Nevertheless the bureaucracies arrogance and condensation to the populous is so egregious, that with luck it may not matter.

Hey the teaparty movement got off the ground why not French revolution 2 just make Western World revolution 2

Posted by: Jeff Cosford at March 9, 2010 11:24 AM

And beware the notorious Easter egg hunt, because many youngsters have grass or egg allergies. (But egg plant is okay[!])
I thought the PC disease was bad enough in the United States, but it seems to be a pandemic.
It's not even Britain any more, let alone Great Britain; it's just uk.

Posted by: Ramon Daley at March 9, 2010 11:25 AM

BTW what will YOU do when they try this crap here?

Posted by: The Watcher at March 9, 2010 11:26 AM

"The Canadian schools too banned playground football (called soccer here)."

The local schools here have banned the use of bats (can be used as a weapon) and softballs (too hard and likely to cause injury). Now the kids are forced to play a bastardized form of softball using a large, spongy ball which is struck with the hands.

On the positive side however, the kids are still allowed to run the bases ... for now.

I also strongly suspect that keeping score is verboten. Musn't encourage competition as this may lead to aggression and hurt feelings.

Posted by: biffjr. at March 9, 2010 11:30 AM

Is there any hope for Britain? I'd like to say yes but its residents seem to have lost the ability to do anything beyond whining and complaining.

The tax and regulate offensive by the government is typical of the political class but the attack on the family is creepy. What parent in their right mind would so meekly allow these intrusions into family life? Beyond their repulsive control freak nature, these measures are ineffective. Similar to gun control laws, family intervention programs will cost a fortune, expand the civil service and be ignored by its intended audience - parents who criminally neglect and abuse their children. Social service workers are too intimidated and/or politically correct to confront those parents.

Of course, there are shades of elf and safety in Canada. I was asked to bring treats to a daycare Halloween celebration but nothing too sweet, no nuts and no eggs. My first thought was an empty snack bag with a drop of vanilla and sprinkling of cinnamon - great smell and no forbidden ingredients. I'll bet today's kids will regret their plastic bubble childhood devoid of adventure.

Posted by: LC Bennett at March 9, 2010 11:32 AM

I can remember being downtown Halifax with my dad one day going for lunch.

A member of the local constab was writing up a ticket for a delivery van that was double parked while making a drop off.

Dad wandered on up and asked said constable what he was doing. Informed of the horrendous nature of the crime, dad asked him if the driver was making the effort to drop off the package and begone as soon as possible. Admitting that was likely the case, dad asked him why then was the constable doing his best to screw with the guy's day?

At this point he starts to play the part of PC Shiny Buttons mentioned above and demands of dad who he thinks he is to be making suggestions. Dad handed him his card. "Chief Investigator, Nova Scotia Police Commission" imprinted below dad's name (and proudly, my name as well). Shiny starts trying to justify himself for a few minutes but eventually gives up the ghost and the ticket.

The last thing he heard from dad was as we walked away, "G#%&^%*n Holland College trained assassins, wouldn't know common sense policing if it bit them in the #$%"

Thus was I given lesson number 348 in common sense from the smartest man I ever knew.

Posted by: AtlanticJim at March 9, 2010 11:32 AM

Who lost England? This one gets filed under Jihad-UK.

Posted by: d lindberg at March 9, 2010 11:37 AM

AQtlanticJim, right there in a nutshell is the source of all that stuff EBD reported. Guys with a little power, exercising it. Management comes by, dresses Little Power Guy down, he gets right back to it as soon as management is around the corner.

Multiply by however many official government minions we have, instant tyranny.

And anybody who thinks we don't live in a soft tyranny here in Canada hasn't traveled. We really do. Britain's is only a little bit farther down the road than ours.

Solution? Tax cuts, obviously. Fewer numbers of jerkoffs with a little bit of power. We can never get rid of them entirely, but we can certainly cut them back about 80% to 90% from where we are now.

However the social side of the equation needs seeing to as well. Freedom is half the story, the other half is responsibility.

Kathy Shaidle's unrelenting public mockery of victims and victims' groups is an excellent example of what we should all be doing a lot more of. Sets the stage for tax cuts when you can openly mock overweight welfare kings and queens for being lazy social vampires.

Posted by: The Phantom at March 9, 2010 11:52 AM

Many years ago, when I lived in Manitoba, I was out mowing my front lawn one day and there, before my eyes, at the front of the lawn, just beside the city's sidewalk, was a $50 bill!!! Of course, I picked it up and pocketed it and chalked it up to God rewarding me for working so hard to keep my property in good shape. Good thing the poor sot who dropped it wasn't caught, I suppose, or he might have been charged with littering. So I guess I did two good deeds that day. All the more reason for the reward.

Posted by: Louise at March 9, 2010 12:05 PM

Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four was not
intended as an instruction manual!

Posted by: John Lewis at March 9, 2010 12:23 PM

Lindberg @11:37; a lot of sh*t can be laid at that door, but not this. This they've done to themselves! It probably started with Council flats;
you know the old saw, "He who pays the piper calls the tune."

Posted by: DaninVan at March 9, 2010 12:45 PM

The urge to regulate lies deep in the English soul, apparently. I was born there, so I have some experience with it. It's worth mentioning that the kind of people (like my parents) who find British society smothering tend to emigrate to Canada or Australia, mostly, so that just further enriches the remaining nanny-state gene pool.

Here's an absurd example of this urge to regulate. In 2007 I was making a quick visit back to see some aging relatives, and managed to get in a round of golf with an internet buddy on another forum. His golf club was a bit on the snobby side, but I wasn't noticing anything radically different from a posh course here in Canada (not that I have much dealings with them, I play at a very user-friendly layout).

Anyway, while I was warming up for my round on the putting green, I put a couple of golf balls on the fringe of said green and pulled out my seven iron to chip the balls at one of the holes. As soon as I did that, some knob was bellowing at me that it was forbidden to chip around the practice green. Wasn't like I was taking a divot, I was just bumping them on to see how they ran.

It wasn't so much the rule, but the vigilance that got my attention.

It is a very regulated society. They have an extensive train system that is widely utilized. On almost every occasion, these trains arrive and depart exactly to the minute as per the schedule. It was creepy in a way. I took one train out to the end of some god-forsaken route and planned to take the last scheduled train back into a nearby city. Despite the fact that it was raining cats and dogs at 9:43 p.m. one evening, this two-car train came trundling around the corner and picked me up exactly on time. I was the only person on the train for the whole time it was moving back into the city, and of course it arrived there right on time as well. And no doubt somebody was watching to make sure I got off.

On the other hand, you can go into a pub and take out your glass of beer and wander a considerable distance from the door, and nobody seems to be regulating that. I suppose the fact that there are 700 people jammed together inside the pub has something to do with that.

Posted by: Peter O'Donnell at March 9, 2010 1:28 PM

Why are the people of England not fighting back? Have they become that numb and complacent? Do they like what their society has turned in to? People of England do something!!! What's the matter with you!!

Posted by: Warren Z at March 9, 2010 1:33 PM

Peter O'D:

Sorry, at my golf club just north of Toronto, it is also forbidden to chip balls onto the putting practice green. It's not a question of divots; it's a question of dents. We also have a chipping green, and the difference between the two surfaces is quite noticeable. Our putting green is smooth as glass (and in the middle of summer, runs about 12 on the Stimpmeter - our greens are very fast.) The chipping green's surface is rough and pockmarked, and if you try putting on it, the ball hops and rolls erratically.

Our greenskeeper is quite proud of our greens, and he protects them religiously. If nothing else, it has turned many of us into better putters. So, I can completely understand why some one would object, although I'm not sure that degree of vociferation was required.

Posted by: KevinB at March 9, 2010 1:58 PM

Perhaps my understanding of history is incomplete. How did Great Britain have an empire? Seriously. I can't imagine these infants ruling over two-thirds of the earth.

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at March 9, 2010 3:25 PM

Great story Atlantic Jim
have a look at the article (Via Borque)from Lawrence Martin Canada's preemadonna leftist reporter/promoter Re: Finaly the Conservative Vision is clear.
as i pointed out in prior post @ 10:54 Martin also has amazing mind reading skills saying the Majority of Canadians want.....& its not conservative.

i recall yrs ago(10?)a cousin over from scotland saying We never Won the War(ww2)
afterall look at their econonmies Refering to Germany & Japan, they are in better shape then us. We rebuilt them, it was the ideal situation to recreate them. However what also happened is the Socialist that were cutout(imprisoned or under tight leash)in Britain, N.A .. during the war infiltrated a capitalist society after the war, taking yrs upon yrs to slowly indoctrate Socialism ideals into societies that were ravaged from wars.

Posted by: bryanr at March 9, 2010 3:37 PM

Osumashi Kinyobe: As with the Romans, and the Egyptians who built the pyramids, the Brits who created an empire are not the people who live there now.

Posted by: Nemo2 at March 9, 2010 5:04 PM

The empire was created by those who left, not those who stayed.

Posted by: minuteman at March 9, 2010 5:21 PM

The urge to save humanity is almost always a false front for the urge to rule.

H.L. Mencken

Posted by: IanB at March 9, 2010 5:47 PM

EBD, you have given me a headache.

Posted by: Orlin from Marquette at March 9, 2010 6:23 PM

Sigh, Nemo2...

Posted by: Osumashi Kinyobe at March 9, 2010 7:12 PM

The 'License Fee'/tax is not per TV it is per household.

It is still b***s**t though.

PS It was originaly for radios. It is what funds the BBC.

Posted by: Colin at March 9, 2010 8:35 PM

Nemo2: The Egyptians could not possibly have built the pyramids. Not doable, not possible.

Posted by: Aaron at March 10, 2010 8:28 AM

Aaron: So who built them, Erich von Däniken?

Posted by: Nemo2 at March 10, 2010 8:39 AM

Do the logistics of that construction project and you'll arrive at the same conclusion.

W/o electric grid, roads, diesel fuel, diamond saws, laser rangefinders, helicopters and pen plotters it is impossible to accomplish.

A civil engineer is talking.

Posted by: Aaron at March 10, 2010 8:46 AM

But...there they sit.

Posted by: Nemo2 at March 10, 2010 11:02 AM

Another case of those who are being reduced to undifferentiated poverty, humiliation, persecution. Coming to love their abusers.
To the point they are almost insentient.

Government is not your friend.
Its makes ones conscience callused while, bleeding the soul into numbness.
The people of England & Canada have become relativist children. Becoming moral relative
cowards to their own fears. Not having any idea of right or wrong anymore . Evil is now the smell test.
No wonder their fire has gone out with the darkness the only future.

Posted by: Revnant Dream at March 10, 2010 8:13 PM