Monday, 8 December 2008

Trading Standards? Not of common sense

My breath is taken away by the ludicrous nature of some over-zealous officials in Northumberland. James Cookson sells vegetables from the end of his driveway, with an honesty box next to them for purchasers to leave their money.

I'm sure that most of you are thinking that it would wonderful to live in a community where leaving food and / or money at the end of one's driveway is safe, and neighbours can be trusted.

But it would appear, the trading standards in Northumberland are much more concerned with the 'gold plating' of EU regulations.

Now, I don't normally use my blog to vent my frustration. However, in this instance - WHAT ON EARTH DID THEY THINK THEY WERE DOING?

I mean really, haven't we all just about had enough? When such lovely examples of community trust and support and relationship are penalised by our local authorities, isn't it time we all agreed things have gone too far? Legislation and regulation are the not the panacea of a perfect world.

Seriously, laws are not the answer to ensuring certain behaviours in society. They show to us all the bounds of acceptable behaviour, certainly. But they make no claims, and cannot, to conformity by the citizens of our country.

Sadly, we have moved to a state (of being, not a nation state) where laws are (a) created for the most insignificant issues, (b) implemented unquestioningly when handed down from Brussels to our sovereign nation, and (c) relied upon as the only means to regulate behaviour.

Please, please, please, can we all wake-up from this sleep-walking into a police state (nation this time), and acknowledge that unless we multilaterally encourage right relationships in all spheres of life - family, community, work, politics - we will soon be too far down the slippery slope to fight our way back.

William Wilberforce wrote eloquently and persuasively two centuries ago about the Reformation of Manners needed in our nation. The same must be said of now.

P.S. I'm sympathetic to the argument that this was simply a standard letter sent out because the stall had been seen by an officer passing. BUT, my point is why oh why did it cross their minds to send the letter at all? How have we arrived at this point when it's an important thing to do?

No comments: