Despite Greece being in such an unholy mess; due in the main to nepotism, cronyism, corruption, greed, and the short-sightedness of self-serving politicians, I still think our move here was more than worthwhile and a couple of stories out of the UK make me rather glad I don’t live there anymore.
In St. Austell, Cornwall, a lady by the name of Joy Bloor has been keeping tortoises for forty years and now her sanctuary is being threatened with closure after council officials ruled that her 400 tortoises are ‘wild animals.’ Her Tortoise Garden is a popular tourist attraction and admission was free until she was suddenly ordered to pay business rates (on no financial business?) so now has to charge £3 a head to cover costs. It gets even more ridiculous. The council is also insisting the tortoises are tagged with electronic micro-chips. Good God! Are they likely to break out and go savaging around the countryside? More than likely galloping through fields and scaring the cows to death? And just how would you go about micro-chipping them anyway? Dogs yes? Tortoises? I would say a definite no-no. Bailiffs have already visited the sanctuary and issued an enforcement order, the counsel saying they have no alternative but to comply with the Zoo Licensing Act of 1981. Miss Bloor is being threatened with prosecution and the question is why? Why should she have a lifetime’s hard work and devotion ruined by petty bureaucrats? The idea that she is running some kind of zoo is beyond ridiculous and at a time when councils are cutting back on essential public services how much time and money has been wasted while councillors discuss whether tortoises are pets or wild animals?
The man who instigated this nonsense goes by the name of Lance Kennedy who styles himself ‘Cabinet Member Of Cornwall Council’ and ‘Portfolio holder for Community Safety and Protection,’ two previously unheard of positions and to my mind indicating a jumped up nincompoop with an inferiority complex. No, more than that, he just knows he’s inferior.
Talking of safety and protection, there have been complaints that some of the prison sentences handed down after the riots have been too severe and community service would be more beneficial so some young offenders were put to work painting the outside of a community hospital and guess what happened next! You’re quite right. ‘Elf and Safety put a stop to it on the grounds that it was too dangerous to climb ladders! Can you believe it?
Final story for today – with the price of housing reaching astronomical proportions and the dearth of mortgages and people struggling to keep their heads above water. A young coupe decided they could save up for a deposit on a house of their own by living temporarily in their parents’ garden shed. And of course the local council had to step in saying the shed ‘does not provide adequate living conditions’ and creates an ‘undesirable precedent.’ For goodness sake, they were comfortable in the garden shed. They had heat and for toilet facilities and the bathroom they had the parents’ house up the garden path. They have been given nine months (oh generous sympathetic council) to comply by finding other accommodation.
Tell me, is ‘Ripley’s Believe it or not still going strong? Oh, forgot to say, I never thought I would live to see the day when a kilo of lamb chops would cost £15! No wonder sheep rustling is on the increase.