An interesting story was relayed to me this week which I think sadly is a further example of the erosion of civil liberties and the ever growing spying by the state.
A husband and wife who between them run two small businesses, one a nursery and the other a village newsagents. Last week, the council turned up at their private home, and demanded to search through the contents of their bins to make sure that they were not disposing of commercial waste in their domestic wheelie bin.
The officials then decanted the wheelie bin on the driveway and sifted through the contents to their satisfaction. I understand they did clean-up afterwards - after finding nothing.
What exactly were the council expecting to find? Toxic waste? Weapons of mass destruction? It's a nursery and a newsagents they run, not a chemical plant.
And if there were a few newspapers or nappies in their bin does anyone really care? No - I doubt it. Provided that they weren't throwing out more than their allotted amount.
Aside from this being a shocking waste of taxpayers' money, it is an unnecessary intrusion into the private lives of citizens. And checking on your rubbish is not the only way of the council can spy on you. If you are claiming a single occupancy discount on your council tax, the council have the right to come and search your bathroom to check you only have one toothpaste and bedrooms to confirm you don't have clothes for more than one person.
Far far too many local government and government agencies have the right to access your home without permission. And I always believed that old line from The Bill, "You ain't seeing anything without a warrant". I presume that line has now been dropped from the stock phrases...
The walk away option is real - The EU has constantly underestimated UK unhappiness with the EU and our resolve to leave as a result. They are in danger of doing so again. They are determ...
21 hours ago