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Nice going, socialists

That’s the front window of a little music shop in Shropshire. The manager, on his way out, paid a sign writer to decorate it thusly.

That’s a great wickedness of the local system of government — the power and incompetence of county councils. It was a Tory government, unfortunately, that decided to cut costs by combining councils into larger and fewer bodies. The upshot is, our local services are controlled by people who live far away, who are apt to see us more as cash cows than a constituency.

At one time — so I’m told — councils were run by local businessmen on a voluntary (or at least modestly remunerated) basis. Now, of course, it’s run by our global professional ruling class (read: smug, self-important lefties) on eye-watering salaries. And those lefties in turn hire scores of other lefties, in the form of Lesbian Outreach Managers and Pet Hair Recycling Wardens.

But, hey, if there’s anything socialist dimbulbs know how to do, it’s make money, right? Cut essential services and raise taxes! Pff! Easy peasy. It’s not like raising prices ever changes buying behavior.

Down here in the sunny South, most towns still have a charming high street (read: Main Street) full of interesting little shops and pubs and cafes. We do as much buying as we can in these places. You pay a bit more, but you get undeniably better goods and help keep the heart of the town beating.

We’ve watched as high streets all over our shopping territory visibly shrink, thanks to…well, read the sign.


Comment from Skandia Recluse
Time: February 21, 2013, 2:07 pm

News story, probably on Drudge, tells of White British moving out of London. It’s demographics, you see. Can’t fight the Math as Mr. Wizard might say (Obscure Serenity reference).

Comment from mojo
Time: February 21, 2013, 3:23 pm

Man, I hate parking Nazis…

Comment from Wolfus Aurelius
Time: February 21, 2013, 3:34 pm

The geniuses who pretend to run Da Swamp recently decided that parking meters in the downtown shopping and business district would henceforth be active, and hungry, on Saturdays as well as M-F. Did they really think it would *ADD* to parking revenue?

I used to traipse downtown now and then on a Saturday morning to the hat store and other places. Now I buy online or go to the suburbs. Fuggers.

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 21, 2013, 4:05 pm

Cool Hand Luke.

Comment from Old Grouch
Time: February 21, 2013, 9:17 pm

“…if there’s anything socialist dimbulbs know how to do, it’s make money rules for other people, right?”


Comment from Uncle Badger
Time: February 21, 2013, 11:36 pm

Skandia Recluse – I’m one of ’em!

Once they turned the once peaceable neighbourhood in which I lived into a ‘thriving multicultural urban experience’ my paws barely touched the ground.

To be fair, I’da gone anyway (badgers being essentially country creatures) but once armed cops had to occupy the local greengrocer to apprehend some “gangstas” that was that.

We don’t do armed cops here. Or, rather, we didn’t need to until…

Comment from dissent555
Time: February 22, 2013, 12:33 am

“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.” – C. S. Lewis

Overused? Perhaps. But the river keeps coming . . . and I don’t know when I’ll run out of sandbags.

Comment from dissent555
Time: February 22, 2013, 12:34 am

btw, can somebody advise me as to how to bold or italicize text on this board? Thx.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 22, 2013, 12:43 am

It uses straight angle bracket HTML, dissent.

So <i>I am italics!</i>

I used weasel-fu to make the angle brackets show, obviously

Comment from Stark Dickflüssig
Time: February 22, 2013, 3:19 am

Well, hrm:
Pants are awesome

Comment from Christopher Taylor
Time: February 22, 2013, 4:35 am

Meanwhile in America, Obama has lost … Laurie Anderson?


“You’d think there’d be a revolution in every single little town. You can do what? You can arrest people for no reason? And put them away with no notification, and no trial? The best would be a military trial. Why did no one say a thing? Why didn’t artists say anything?”

Of course she thinks Occupy is great beans…

Comment from Rich Rostrom
Time: February 22, 2013, 5:59 am

Idunno. Republican/Tory local governments can be as corrupt, grasping, arbitrary, and abusive as any socialist.

That’s what the battle over eminent domain is about. The city hall insiders really like being able to screw over small property owners for the benefit of connected developers or big business.

As to the decline of High Street/Main Street… A lot of it has to do with the shift to driving. Even with the ridiculous price of gas in Britain, and lower incomes, people still find it more convenient to shop at a new mall in the outskirts (where there is room for parking lots) than to squeeze into the old town center.

The complaint about parking policies and wardens may be somewhat misdirected. When the available parking is limited, it has to be turned over frequently. This annoys early arrivers who want to take the most convenient spaces and hold them all day; but if they’re allowed to, then new arrivers can’t park.

It’s a problem of trying to adapt old infrastructure to new conditions. Compounded, of course, by clever-dick busybodies intent on imposing fashionable theories. I remember the enthusiasm in the 70s and 80s for pedestrian malls in downtown areas. Nearly all of them have since been ripped out.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 22, 2013, 11:29 am

I can assure you, the complaint about parking and parking wardens is not misdirected. In a nearby village where we like to lunch, the council was recently determined to lower the allowed parking time to half an hour. You tell me — what can you do in half an hour? Not eat a leisurely meal, for sure. There (would have) gone all the cafes on the street, if the general outcry hadn’t put them off.

In a different nearby town, very popular shopping destination, there are several pay-and-display parking lots. Local residents can buy a pass to park there overnight — which is perfect. Tourists don’t need parking at night, locals don’t during the day, the council makes a bit of extra money, and the cars aren’t in the street overnight. Only, the council got greedy. Year by year, they put the rates up forty, fifty percent until none of the locals would pay it. So the lots sit empty at night, and the side streets are crammed with cars.

Lost revenue by raising taxes. Imagine that!

As for the parking wardens, they are notorious. Particularly in London, where they have hired (I’m not sure why, I guess no-one else would take it) African immigrants for the job. Also, for monitoring CCTV traffic cameras. The slightest misstep, and you get a ticket in the mail six weeks later. If you drive into London, your chances of coming away with a ticket are very high and you probably won’t even know what you did.

They are famous enough to be immortalized in comedy.

Comment from dissent555
Time: February 22, 2013, 5:54 pm

oh, those brackets! Thx, oh weasel-fu meister!!!

Comment from Gibby Haynes
Time: February 22, 2013, 9:50 pm

You know it’s serious when someone decides to not only withdraw their business from the high street, but also their apostrophes from their sentence.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 22, 2013, 9:59 pm

They cost extra to paint.

Comment from Carl
Time: February 22, 2013, 11:41 pm

Socialist? Shropshire Council, which controls the parking in Shrewsbury, is solidly Conservative, as are almost all of the councils in your part of the country. On the other hand a significant proportion of local government officers are undoubtedly left leaning.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 22, 2013, 11:51 pm

I’m coming to the conclusion that all government (and charitable foundations) trend left over time. It’s the kind of work that deeply appeals to lefties. Not so much to righties.

As for our local lot, the Blair Babes have morphed seamlessly into the Cameron Cuties. Feh.

Comment from Carl
Time: February 22, 2013, 11:57 pm

There was traffic chaos in 2011 in the Welsh town of Aberystwyth when the police withdrew their parking wardens. The local shopkeepers pleaded with the council to appoint new wardens. It took the council about a year to do so.

Comment from S. Weasel
Time: February 23, 2013, 12:07 am

Then there was the town that got rid of ALL road signage and the accident rate went way, way down. Because people weren’t distracted by signs, but had to think hard what they were doing instead.

Comment from Doubting Rich
Time: February 23, 2013, 6:11 pm

I know that shop! I learnt to fly helicopters in nearby RAF Shawbury, and had a musical girlfriend at the time (no, not a pop-up mechanical girl in a music box; a girlfriend who, unlike me, knew what a key is and how to play in one). Sad to see its demise.

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