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Britain has changed so much in the last 10 years. It seems that everywhere you look, there are rules and 'guidelines' to keep us in check. If you put a foot wrong, you are cautioned.
Take online auctions, for example. You decide you want to get rid of a bit of clutter and earn some cash so you put a few items on eBay. Something sells, you pack it up and trot off to the post office (assuming you can find one) and you think that's it. Next thing you know, the buyer has decided that your description of three quarter length sleeves was wrong because she's got short arms and the sleeves reach her wrists. So it&'s time to open a case against you. Item not as described. You are warned that you MUST reply within 3 days or it will be ESCALATED. You may even receive NEGATIVE feedback. Strong words. All this for a 99p item!
Same with Amazon, you post an item and forget to confirm this on your seller account and there are notices in bold letters, telling you that you AGREED to ship within two days and now this shipment is LATE! Steady on...
If you park your car in town and get held up at the tills and arrive back a few minutes late, there are stern notices on the windscreen. If you don't pay within a certain time, then the fine will be DOUBLED. You may think that it's only a couple of minutes but in Rule and Regulation Britain, this is something serious.
Then it's out to the garden and time for a bit of recycling. Woe betide you if you get it wrong or put too much in your bin. The bin men will just dump the stuff on the ground or refuse to collect it. Never mind that we're paying a fortune in Council Tax for a reduced fortnightly service. And if your wheelie bin lid is sticking up a bit, next thing you know, the guys in stabvests will be round issuing a fine and you'll have a criminal record.
And how about your TV licence? I have received some quite threatening letters from this department, telling me I will get a £1,000 fine and possibly a prison sentence if I don't buy a licence. The tone of the letters is quite insulting. I'm a student with a cheap telly (which can't receive a signal) and a DVD player. But they won't listen when I call them to explain the situation. No, I just get more and more letters, each one upping the threats and telling me what will happen to me if I choose to ignore it. For goodness sake....
decent people - threatened and criminalised...
Is it just me or has Britain gone mad? Ordinary decent people are being threatened and criminalised for minor infractions while the real baddies escape with impunity. Carry a knife with intent to injure someone and you're given a caution. If you actually murder someone, you may get a few years in prison with early release for good behaviour. Go into politics and fudge your expenses and that's ok. Evade tax and nothing much seems to happen. Even quite serious crimes seem to warrant a mere few weeks in prison, just as a token, you understand.
But if you just live a normal life, it feels like you are always being told off.
It seems to me that if only the people in power spent their time trying to sort out REAL problems instead of upsetting decent folk who often can't keep track of all the current bureaucracy, Britain might again be a decent place to live.
By: On the naughty step