September 04, 2007

The world of regulations

From the bizarre world of pettifogging regulations, it is apparently a 'crime' to put your feet up on a seat in a train. Did you know that? I didn't. Anyway two recent examples of 'criminals' of this sort.

1. A young female student, who works with disabled children in addition to being a cub scout leader.
2. A group of violent youths.

Which do you think gets the book thrown at them for having their feet on the furniture? Anybody cynical enough to pick number 1? Well you'd be right. What should have been dealt with by a quiet suggestion ends up with the young woman being taken to court and getting a criminal record. The youths might also have been taken to court (this is not mentioned in the story) having been arrested for attacking the guard who did try just asking them to remove their feet from the seats. However so was the guard, for defending himself from their attack, and he will now become yet another statistic in the gigantic police databases. The guard also ended up loosing his job, which I guess shows that the one think that the modern managerial geist hates more than not obeying pointless regulations is trying to defend yourself.

The train guard's union is quite rightly defending him and helping him take his case to a tribunal. Defending their members is exactly what unions are for and personally I wish they would spend more time on, rather than using threats to try and extract rents from the public purse.


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