Where is the fun in that?

Growing up was an adventure. Scraped knees were the price that was paid for climing and occasionally, falling out of trees. Bicycles were a winged transport invented by the gods. Other neighborhoods were places to be explored, not feared.

From the age of 5 onwards, you were allowed to go to school on your own, even of you were shadowed for the first while to ensure that you didn’t get lost. The highway code was drilled into you so that you crossed streets safely, but you still crossed those streets.

Talking about schools, we had examinations, with the more academically minded going to Grammar School and the less so going to Seconday Schools or getting apprenticeships in the trades.

Playing Cowboys and Indians was not politically incorrect, and guns were toys that operated using rolls of percussion caps.

Whenever you got into a scrape, whether it be at school or elsewhere, you had to be pretty quick with your alibi, otherwise punishment would ensue swiftly and surely.

Finally, Britain was proud to be British. The war had ended a while ago, rationing had finished and we were pretty proud of who we were. Twiggy was the centre of the modelling universe, The Beatles were the centre of the music universe and Carnaby Street was the actual centre of the universe.

Oh how things have changed.

Climbing trees?  no thank you – I wouldn’t want to get my new sneakers dirty.

Have an adventure?  let me power up my Xbox with the latest game.

Play a game of football?  hold on a second – my WII is around here somewhere.

Personal responsibility?  fine for some, but don’t apply it to me.

Play outside?  can’t do that, the sun is dangerous and besides that  there are sexual predators lurking behind every hedge.

Policing? bad guys, there are no such people, they are all products of a disadvantaged upbringing.

Educational excellence? No one is allowed to fail, so how can anyone excel.

One final thought. Prime Ministers being a reflection of the nation. During the war we had Churchill, now we have Gordon Brown. Nuff said.

Smelly – and not just the garbage

Toronto garbage collectors have just finished a 6 week strike, with the city negotiators finally putting their tales between their legs and giving in to most of the union demands. The big issue on the table was the banking of sickdays, where any sickdays not used could be accumulated and paid out at retirement. The city folded almost completely on this issue, so no wins for the taxpayers there.
During the strike it was strange, the city seemed to be supporting the union.

  • Picketers were being protected by the police, and yet the rights of the citizens of the city were being trodden on. There were a number of arrests where citizens got upset with picketers but none the other way around.
  • Citizens were made to line up and only allowing one bag of garbage to be dropped off at transfer stations every 15 minutes, doesn’t seem to me to be even handed. The law says “While union members have the right to engage in informational picketing, they have no right to obstruct access to a third party’s premises or otherwise unduly interfere with that third party’s business,” – gee that happened – not!
  • The city seemed to pick the most objectionable places for garbage drop off such as parks.
  • Rather than emptying the garbage drop offs every night, the city let them fester for the duration of the strike citing security as the reason.

Finally, on settlement of the strike, the union members are getting paid overtime to clean up the mess. Some estimates are that they have already made up 20% of their lost wages during the strike through overtime.

I don’t know about you but something smells here and it isn’t just the garbage.