Monday, April 30, 2007

Council elections: some choice!

Various commentators continue to wring their hands about the state of local government, and how most local councils seem to have acquired Taliban-like enclaves of politically correct officials who conveniently hide behind the incessant stream absurd diktats from the EU. Did you really consciously vote for this state of affairs?

Once again the answer is simple: instead of the voting system from the dark ages, why not insist on a scheme that allows you to make simple but obvious choices on the ballot paper itself?

Multiple choice may be the answer to try and curtail the endless opportunities to dissipate your wealth on those for whom the notion of wealth creation is a distant memory. Here are some suggestions, and although TMP does not claim to have done the sums in any detail, you will get the gist..?

10 diversity officers, or 5 miles of road resurfacing
15 health and safety officers, or respite care for the elderly
A cultural exchange with Jamaica, or two park keepers
100 CCTV cameras or 20 police officers on the beat
20 parking wardens or weekly bin collections

Please don't believe the incumbent politicians when they say it cannot be done - we live in the 21st century, not the middle ages, of course this can be done...

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Phoney phone-ins

Having at last been tagged for fraudulent abuse of premium rate phone services for their tacky viewer phone-in quizes, the TV companies' response was typically weak.

Such are the details of phone bill accounting these days that TMP has a sneaking suspicion that it is possible to trace and refund each of the victims, but the costs of so doing would be vast. Maybe the best way to deal with this is for all the companies in question to pay the estimated over payments to charity and claim gift aid tax relief..?

The BBC's Panorama exposed this with its usual piety, failing to answer a question that TMP has pondered for ages: when we are told that some 20p of a 25p call to a BBC show goes to charity - where does the other 5p go? TMP can call the USA for 5 minutes for 5p.

The whole tawdry premium rate phone business grew from roots in decidedly salacious services involving adult content and chat rooms, and now it's not really clear that it serves any sort of useful purpose. So TMP ponders the idea that one of the growing alternative forms of e-payment that are the responsibility of the caller, not just the poor sap that pays the bill, should be used instead.