Or, for the more British in the audience, perhaps rubbish rant would retain both the theme and alliteration – though it does lack the advantages conferred by use of a pre-existing phrase.
News today suggests that the recession is over. It would seem that the NHS, schools and the military are now fully funded. The days of library closures and arts cuts are behind us. Surely, only a country in a state of such near-utopia would prioritise £250 million to collect rubbish more frequently.
I accept that I live on the outskirts of almost any Normal distribution you would care to name, but would note that my black bin (the one for waste that can be neither recycled nor composted) has not been collected for 12 months. I should stress that this is not due to any failure on the part of South Cambs District Council and their excellent (if rather loud and early arriving) bin men – but because, even now, it is only 25% full and it hasn’t seemed worth putting it out for collection. Given the rate of accumulation of rubbish, I am thinking of only putting out on 29 February (a leap bin)- though that only works if it’s a Monday and I think even I might have filled it before 28 years have elapsed.
Or is this an attempt to jump-start the economy by encouraging us all to up the amount we waste from its current high level to something truly gargantuan?
Today’s other big policy initiative seems to be to increase the speed limit to 80 mph – again, a clear priority in these difficult times. Going faster on our crowded, dis-integrating roads is clearly the right way to go. I am unsure if the plan is (a) to boost tax revenue from petrol, diesel and brake pad sales (Do cars still have brake pads? Or is that just my bike?) as a result of the higher fuel consumption and more extreme braking that will be facilitated or (b) to reduce the size of the soi-disant pensions time-bomb by ensuring that more people are killed on our roads before they are in a position to claim. In the case of (b) I fear their hopes may be somewhat misplaced as I suspect the new deaths will be disproportionately from the already earlier-dying male population – they really need a policy that will take out those of a distaff persuasion while still in their prime. Then again, recent reports on the lack of midwives and maternity beds may suggest that the Coalition are already working on this.
If I were to be cynical (Heaven forfend), I might think this was a crude attempt to distract the electorate from the terrible state we are in: can we really have the worst quality of life in Europe? Are the electorate really that stupid? You may not have a job, any hope of treatment or even a library to shelter in out of the rain, but at least your bins will be empty and you can race at high speed along our hole-ridden trunk roads in the wee small hours of the morning (at other times, I fear the volume of traffic would thwart any attempt to use the new, higher speed limit). Are empty bins and high speeds the modern version of Marx’ opium of the people or Marie Antoinette’s brioche? As regular readers will have guessed, I would take the cake every time!