Once upon a time, when Doctor Who was properly scary, I used to cover my eyes with my hands and watch it through the cracks in my fingers. At the moment that’s how I am viewing life and no it’s not because of we’ve a narcissistic PM who’s called a general election in order to boost her numbers, nor is it anything to do with the US President who seems to be hell-bent on stirring up a storm over North Korea. What’s frightening me is the lack of common sense that pervades in areas of life where things should run smoothly.
For example, my local council recently refused to pick up my recycling and when I queried why I was told it was because the bin had a plastic carrier bag in it. I pointed to the list the council stuck side the lid when the council supplied them which said plastic bags were accepted and was promptly told they had changed the rules “…and we have leafleted everybody about it”. Except me it seems, or as it turns out quite a number of people on my street weren’t aware. I accept that changing the rules is part and parcel of development and not really an issue as I can remove the plastic bag and put it in the bin with the other stuff that goes to landfill. What really stuck in my craw was that when I asked them to come and pick it up they said they wouldn’t and then pointed out that if I did it again I would be issued with a fine for being a repeat offender. It doesn’t incentivise me to play my part in recycling if this is the sort of attitude I am faced with.
Another example involves the same Council who which decided to construct cycle lanes across the borough thereby flying in the face of opposition from residents and businesses the majority of which said they didn’t want to a Mini-Holland. Since starting the work the borough has had more tailbacks than the M25 on a Friday evening and businesses have complained about a noticeable downturn in trade. More recently shoppers were quite literally imprisoned in the local supermarket as a new traffic light system to allow cyclists through on the main road simply didn’t cope with the volume of traffic that the supermarket has. All this stemmed from not listening.
Clearly decisions need to be taken in all walks of life, but what constantly bemuses me is the rush to do so, without properly thinking or talking things through. People in positions of relative power seem to be more concerned with point scoring “Oh I got this scheme implemented” rather than work through the proposal right through to the minutiae and work out how people will be really affected.
I’m not convinced that things will change much since schools are saddled with the ridiculous requirement to “teach to test” for SATs and GCSEs in order to produce the benchmarks the government want to see. To my mind we are in danger of churning out generations of children who will be able to produce grammatically perfect documents but won’t be able to communicate effectively. I can but hope that we keep banging the drum for more common sense and over time I will be able to unfurl my fingers from over my eyes and watch life without too much fear.
Until next time, much sweetness