Blogroll Me! How This Old Brit Sees It ...: Oh, shit! ...

07 May 2005

Oh, shit! ...

Posted by Hello

On the day Tony Blair won a third term, as if that wasn't in itself crappy enough news, I read what follows below. Although the relevant couple of column inches were in the print version of today's Daily Mirror [6th May] this story can't be found in the online edition; you'll need to take my word it's true. When you read it I'm sure you'll agree it just HAS to be true; neither myself nor anyone else could have dreamed-up such stupid, shit.

* "New taxes on horse dung sparked fury among farmers yesterday," the piece begins. "Some stables and livery yards will have to pay nearly £500 to store droppings for use as manure - as it will be deemed industrial waste. They will be charged £252 for loads up to 50 tons and £482 for anything bigger."

The Mirror explains it's all down to the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs -- aka 'Defra'. They've brought out these cazy new tax rules, due to come into force on 1st July.

"You wonder what the problem is," said Duncan Brown of the Association of British Riding School's in Penzance, Cornwall. "Manure's been spread for as long as land's been farmed."

A National Farmers Union member, was far more forthcoming. "It's another example of Defra bullshit, " he said. " How will they enforce it? Send in Manure inspectors? Send in shit-sniffer dogs?"

When asked to comment, Defra pooh-poohed any public concern. Seemingly, they refused to reconsider or to look further into the matter, and kept a poe-face when insisting: "It's important manure is dealt with appropriately and safely."

Says this reporter: "Oh, really? No shit?

I ask you, is it any wonder so many country folk are accusing Blair's tax-men of 'doing the dirty' on them? In my opinion, the whole sorry mess simply stinks!

6 Comments:

Anonymous RossinCA said...

Richard: We watched the BBC election night coverage live on our C-Span, here in California. It was so good to see an election tallied in an open, above board way. BBC cameras and reporters seemed to be allowed to watch all the vote counting, and the election officials were happy to boast a little about what a good job their workers were doing. So few ballots were spoiled among the many thousand votes cast in each riding, that's a sign the ballots were not tampered with.

All in all, your vote counting process looks so honest, so trustworthy, that I got a lump in my throat. Here in our Pacific coast states the election process is dependabley honest. Can't say the same for our eastern and southern states.

It was really a pleasure to see how you Brits conduct your elections.

3:30 am  
Anonymous RossinCA said...

This post abt a tax on manure wasn't up when I sent you the above comment. This is incomprehensible. Are British farmers forced to age their manure away from the farm? Why pay to haul it off, when a farmer would normally spread aged manure on his own fields? Is there a British Farmers' Union to raise a stink with their MPs about this? (Pun intended.)

Oh, and I meant to say congratulations on your Liberal Democrats gaining so many seats. It must be nice to have a political party willing to take a moral stand against an unjust war.

3:58 am  
Blogger Richard said...

rossinca, thanks for your interest. The old tried & tested, simplest & most transparent way of vote counting is [in my view] the best. Worryingly, the 'virtues' of ppostal voting are now being touted. From the relatively few places where this is catching on - there are already claims of all manner of 'jiggery-pokery' going on.

As for the manure piece, it's crazy isn't it? It's brand new rule - in the past they've always spread their own. Farmers do have a national union, and they're about to kick up that stink. Under the guise of health & safety concerns - it's just one more 'stealth tax'.

10:36 am  
Blogger Elaine Supkis said...

As a horse owner who speads manure....this stinks.

In America we do have laws concerning storage of manure before using it..this is to protect the water ways and lakes which become polluted with excess organic matter causing algae blooms, for example, but each farm stows it away using tires as a berm and plastic over the top. My piles are too small and far from any rivers so I don't have to do this, I store it in a hollow.

Glad to see you are picking up readers, Richard! I blogwhore you all the time.

11:50 am  
Blogger Richard said...

Glad to see you are picking up readers, Richard! I blogwhore you all the time.

Thanks Elaine, it's appreciated - heh - "blogwhore" - heh, I love it. :^)

As for readers, I'm amazed since I added a counter and stat site. I still can't get the counter date to stop changing daily but the number of hits is correct - I'm flabergasted. When I check into the stats further, I find I'm being visited from different time zones right across the US - as well as the UK, and places including France, Japan, Singapore, Australia, Croatia, Turkey, and so on.

It's great to see you being mentioned on so many other big-name blogs, too. Fitting reward for all your hard work. I wish I could turn out as much stuff as fast as you can - phew.

It's also very interesting [and surprising] to see the 'organisations' the visits come from too. Quite a few 'edu' ones, some government ones too.

12:06 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

water ways and lakes which become polluted with excess organic matter causing algae blooms, for example, but each farm stows it away using tires as a berm and plastic over the top. My piles are too small and far from any rivers so I don't have to do this, I store it in a hollow.
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7:08 am  

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