I bumped into a friend in Sainsbury’s this morning who I haven’t seen for a month or two, and he informed me he’d been banned from driving for six months on account of receiving repeated thumbs-downs from those electronic smiley faces monitoring traffic speed; as a roadie-for-hire with his own state-of-the-art wheels, this imposition on his living was something of an inconvenience, to say the least. But, hey, I replied (in an attempt to put a positive slant on the scenario), you’ll miss out on all that crap that constitutes the winter motorist’s lot – struggling to start the engine in sub-zero temperatures and having to scrape frost off your windscreen; then you can return to the road in the spring! I don’t know what prompted me to adopt a positive slant, though perhaps it was just knee-jerk instinctive optimism manifested as lame consolation for a pal confronted by the unlucky loss of his living.

As a largely conscientious driver, in terms of not drinking before sitting behind the wheel or indulging in ‘jazz cigarettes’ whilst ferrying ageing musicians from one gig to another, my friend seemed unfairly targeted by a system seemingly installed to provide local councillors with an additional income for a gravy train that already supports their lifestyle choice in spades. I don’t regard him as a danger to other motorists, let alone pedestrians, but he’s unfortunate to be driving in an era in which the traditional officiousness of the Great British Jobsworth has been given a hi-tech makeover that punishes with punitive pettiness and doesn’t distinguish between the truly terrible driver and the one who occasionally exceeds limits designed to appease the dismal motorcade of the Sunday family saloon en route to the latest horrific theme (or retail) park.

As a kind of add-on to this anecdote of the way we live now, I received an update today as to the progress of legal proceedings on the part of the State to deprive the mother of a ten-year-old child I choose to call ‘X’ of her full parental rights. Long-term readers will be familiar with a sorry saga I’ve been documenting periodically for the best part of a year, and I’ve no doubt links to previous posts on the subject will appear at the foot of this one; but X is a learning-disabled child whose mother is a close friend of mine and whose time in the care of the local authorities has been marked by a sequence of inept cock-ups that hardly support their chances of ‘sharing’ control of the child.

In order to strengthen a case they could never win on actual evidence, the local authorities have stooped so far below the belt that they’re almost at ground level. They’ve chosen to blacken the character of the mother in ways that have no bearing on the care and consideration of the child, nitpicking and clutching at irrelevant straws they imagine reflect badly on her. For example, X’s mother has been described as ‘strange’ by a nurse supposedly overseeing a recent medical examination of X that the authorities she entrusted with her day-to-day care buggered-up yet again.

Another unreliable witness to X’s mother’s exasperation with the system – an employee at the care unit where X resides – has added his untrustworthy voice to the systematic condemnation of (and contempt for) this particular parent; despite physically preventing X’s mother from kissing her daughter goodbye when dropping her off at the residential care unit – an aggressive gesture that led to police involvement – this dickhead has been roped-in to uphold the authorities’ dodgy dossier against X’s mother, thus increasing the strain the whole process is undoubtedly placing upon a woman whose sole concern is for the wellbeing of a child too difficult for one person to permanently look after.

She handed over her daughter to authorities allegedly qualified to take care of children whose mental incapacity is so incompatible with society that only the State can control them; but repeatedly highlighting the State’s uselessness where most submit without question has left the mother up against a State intent on exacting revenge for her outrageous impertinence.

The court case arising from this dispute is scheduled to take place in a couple of weeks; the State has resorted to desperate measures to discredit X’s mother as a means of robbing her of full parental rights, though we shouldn’t really be surprised by authorities without a moral leg to stand on stooping to such despicable tactics in order to save face. Their record is so appalling that the exposure of ineptitude would bring the whole facade crashing down; every injury X has received has come whenever she’s been in the care of the State – every black-eye, bruise and bite – whilst her time in the care of her mother has been injury-free. This doesn’t look good on paper, so the State has cobbled together a case that desperately seeks to justify its attempts to wrestle away the mother’s full parental rights. If the State succeeds, the mother would have to go back to court every time she disagreed with a decision by the other party. It stinks, just as every fat bossy woman whose pension scheme is in peril should the State lose stinks.

The family courts are a closed shop, by the way, so don’t expect our great democracy to highlight the outcome of this farcical trial or to give it any publicity outside of this blog. But I shall report it because I resent the State’s interference in such matters and because I am sick to death of the State passing the buck and blaming everything on good people that it hopes lack the energy or nerve to challenge it. Speeding fines or parental rights – if we let these f**kers win we may as well wrap ourselves in the white flag for life. And I know X’s mother is right. Watch this space. Or watch this instead…

© The Editor

5 thoughts on “THE STATE BENEFITS

  1. If I may, this extract from a recent Peter Hitchens column strikes me as apposite:

    ” In our marshmallow totalitarianism, the threat is usually much softer – the dissenter’s job and standing are threatened, and if he does not give in, his livelihood and his reputation are taken away. Instead of the torture machine and Room 101 in the Ministry of Love, the Twitter Mob, howling with execration, incessant and relentless, frightens most bodies into sacrificing the necessary victim. It seems to work. The chosen individual suffers, but everyone else soon gets used to it.
    Most people don’t have very strong convictions about anything, so they never get close to these threats, and just adapt. I am endlessly amused by the behaviour of politicians and mainstream media persons, presenters of TV and radio shows etc, who have seamlessly shifted their received opinions in the last 30 years, and swallow things as normal which in the 1980s they would have regarded as stark staring mad. ”

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    1. Some of the descriptions of X’s mother’s character in the statements forming part of the case against her are, to me, rooted in those signs you see on the glass windows in job centres or post offices – the whole ‘do not exhibit aggressive behaviour or raise your voice’ warning. It’s almost as though these began to appear in tandem with an increase in ineptitude on the part of all public bodies, which naturally exacerbated the public’s exasperation; today, understandable frustration can no longer be expressed without being officially interpreted as aggression, thus silencing ‘dissent’.


  2. Speed cameras are indeed indicative of the tick-box approach by authorities – you are driving faster than X, therefore it must be dangerous. This is, of course, total bollocks.
    Heading towards my second million miles of driving, I have never been caught by a speed-camera, yet still despise them for their negative effect. Just like road-humps, the driver is distracted from any real hazards by watching out for cameras and humps, thus more likely to kill a pedestrian of cause some other incident. Over 96% of accidents are caused by inadequate driving – not speeding, inadequate driving, yet speed-cameras do nothing to address that.
    In my youthful driving days, I was occasionally stopped by traffic-cops, my car given a quick once-over, documents checked and sent on my way with words of advice – that proved far more effective than any penalty, but cameras can’t apply that discretion.

    And there’s no discretion allowed to operatives in most other parts of the authorities, hence the problems with Child X – the staff are required to tick boxes and cover their corporate arses every time, with no leeway for discretion or common-sense. With a traffic offence that’s daft enough, but when they’re dealing with the lives of people like Child X and mother, it’s a desperately sad state of affairs and one which, if current trends of anal-coverage continue, will only get worse.

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    1. As a post-script – speed-cameras didn’t seem to stop a car-load of car-thieving toe-rags from killing themselves in Leeds yesterday. On the positive side, at least the gene-pool’s improved a little.


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