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Cool Britannia - Mrs Turnbull banned by health & safety nazi's.

Now George Orwell was onto something when he came up with 1984, an uber-state watching its citizens every move, crushing all forms of protest, smothering all signs of the individual. Okay he was twenty odd years off, but some of the ideas that our Big Brother state has would give even the late George Orwell a run for his money.

The latest bit of Big Brother uberstate-ism comes from the small town of Urchfont in Wiltshire:
(story & pics from Daily Mail)
She has needed little more than a trowel and a dedicated green thumb to turn this village flowerbed into a work of art.

Unfortunately for June Turnbull, council officials say she also needs a few other accessories - namely, three warning signs, a "lookout" and a fluorescent safety jacket - before she so much as pulls another weed.

The 79-year-old, whose voluntary work on the public flowerbed has produced a much-admired blaze of colour, has been told she poses a health and safety risk.

**Yes that's right, apparently the council has nothing better to do than waste the council tax payers money making sure that old ladies obey the rules. After all rules are rules don't ya know. Besides she is doing this for free something that confuses local authority, after all she is not part of the Arbeitnehmerschaft(workforce), employed by the council.

Council officials have ordered her to stay away from the flowers until she complies with their safety regulations.

Neighbours in Urchfont, near Devizes, Wiltshire, are amazed that Mrs Turnbull's green fingers are being bound by red tape.

The gardener, who has been working on the flowerbed for eight years, said she would ignore the council's demands.

"I couldn't believe what they were saying I had to do," she added.

"I come and work on the flowerbed at the drop of a hat, when the weather is fine and I have some time to spare.

"I can't drag around three great metal signs and have someone standing by in case I might want to do a bit of work on it.

"I have paid hundreds of pounds to plant the flowers myself and the compost every spring and autumn has been paid out of my pension.

"I work there until the gardening is done. I love doing it. It is my bit to keep the village tidy. It is a lovely little village.

"I don't care what they do to me. I will continue working on the flowerbed."

Wiltshire county council stepped in when a highways inspector spotted her at work.

He asked the parish council chairman Peter Newell, who was with him, if the council had the necessary "Section 96" safety licence.
Mr Newell said he had no idea any sort of licence was needed. But he was told the work must stop immediately unless the regulations were met.

According to the inspector, the parish has health and safety responsibilities for volunteers on county-owned land.

Mr Newell remains bemused at the county council's demands over Mrs Turnbull's horticultural hobby.

"She has done a wonderful job for the last eight years - she is marvellous," he said.

"It has been a labour of love for her. We all think the council is going a bit over the top."

The fluorescent jacket is apparently required to ensure Mrs Turnbull is visible, while three signs would warn traffic in all directions that she was at work. A lookout would provide further checks.

**Its like some bizarre skit from Monty Python, but alas the council nazi's are serious in this. Maybe the local nazi's in the council need to understand the concept of Blut und Boden(Blood and Soil) as she is working the land is so a good citizen.

For Mrs Turnbull, the order to comply has simply planted the seeds of rebellion.

"They can send me to jail if they like," she declared. I just want to be left alone to do it.

"It is a very pretty flowerbed. I have tried to make it look very natural."

Mrs Turnbull, who is registered disabled since contracting polio in her youth, considers the flowerbed her patch.

She pays for the plants from her weekly pension and cycles the halfmile from her house to tend them whenever she can.

Residents credit her with transforming the flowerbed into a gorgeous focal point, which helped Urchfont win the title of Best Kept Village in Wiltshire two years ago.

The parish council will meet next month to decide whether to defy the Wiltshire authority's demands.

But Peter Hanson, divisional highways manager for the county council, said: "We require that people undertaking this type of work follow the same safety procedures as our own staff to ensure they are not put at risk.

**Typical Blockleiter attitude, you often find that the lowest level officials of the NSDAP have the loudest voices.

"This will include wearing fluorescent jackets, placing warning signs and, in some cases, such as this location in Urchfont because it is on a bend, working in pairs."

He added: "We provide both signs and jackets free of charge to any volunteers."

**Big Brother has been rather crap when it comes to stamping out Foot & Mouth, tracking down illegal migrants, enforcing the law, giving value for money, educating our children, running the NHS, supplying our troops with equipment they need, but when it comes to enforcing petty regulations on old ladies then by god we have the best uberstate in the world.

So hurrah, for all the tens of thousands of small cocked wankers who have nothing better to do than enforce thousands of pointless rules, hurrah for the endless sheets of paper that need to be filled in before anyone can to do anything in this nation, hurrah for the many countless and pointless bans, rules, red tape and assorted bull shit that now make up this merry isle.

It does make one wonder why this nation took up arms to remain free, when we have our own mini Nationalsozialistche Deutsche Arbeiterpartei(Nazi party) in the good folks employed by Wiltshire county council. Like all good Nationalsozialisiten(national socialists) they believe that their rules are for ze greater good. And to be obeyed at all times.

I have done a Google search on Wiltshire county council but could not on any of the pictures I saw of county hall, see an Alder(emblematic German eagle) flying above the hall.

Welcome to Blair & Brown's New Cool Britannia.

Drop Wiltshire County Council a note here customercare@wiltshire.gov.uk


4 people have spoken:

BobG said...

Bureaucrats are amazing aren't they? I always felt that most of them should be tarred and feathered, and shot if they don't get the message.

Graf von Straf Hindenburg said...

This is a perfect example of the Soviet Union values which we over here are still trying to exorcise and Britain is hell bent on assuming. I'm going to do a post on this.

Squirrel said...

I have written a full response at http://athinkingman.wordpress.com/

Everybody seems to be missing the point. She doesn't have the right to pursue a path of action if it potentially jeopardizes others. If she were killed, her community (via the Parish Council) would face thousands of pounds in fines and legal costs because of their culpable and reckless behaviour of allowing her to be reckless with her own life and potentially that of others too.

I have an office near a factory where there are forklift trucks and dangerous machines. It is a potentially dangerous environment where people wear safety equipment, where safe procedures are followed, and where only trained personnel are allowed to operate the machines. Image the response I would get if I approached the owner and said: "I want to keep fit, and I want to help you. So I have decided that I will do the following - I will bike round the factory floor each day with a broom sweeping up. I will do it as a volunteer. That will benefit both of us."

Even if I were prepared to wear safety equipment, and even if I were prepared to accept responsibility for my risking life and limbs, no employer in their right mind would contemplate accepting my generous offer. Some people need protecting, not only from themselves, but also from the potential damage they could do to others.

Fidothedog said...

OK, quite simply she had been doing this for years. What right has the state to get in the way of that?

Petty minded pen pushers with nothing better to do with their days, and the tax payers money than to enforce petty regulations.