Saturday, 18 September 2010

Replace the state?

I've been musing as I do, why can't you just replace the state institutions that leech money from you with menaces?

For instance, I pay over a thousand pounds a year in council tax just to have my bins emptied. Thats the only service I've used. I've tried to access other parts of local government at times like social services or housing benefit, but have firmly been denied provision of service.

So why can't I just go to a private contractor who will supply me with a bin emptying service, probably a private security firm to cover the police and something to replace the fire service. Maybe pay a small contribution to street cleaning.

Thats all I need from my council. I don't need anything else. So why should I pay for more? Why can't I opt out of all the stupid council schemes? Why can't I end the senseless waste of council tax money I see on a day to day basis?

Why is there a monopoly on local service provision? Why don't I have a choice to go somewhere else?

The same goes for the TV licence. Why do people have to pay for a TV licence when they get all of their programmes from Sky? Why do they have to pay twice?

Why do I have to pay for some of the stupid central government initiatives that are in place?

Why do I have to pay for the Olympics when I didn't want it to come to this country?

Why do I have to pay income tax so the DfID can go and piss billions away on foreign soil?

Why is my money going to the EU? Why would I want to pay for an unelected body to issue me with new laws I have to abide by? Where is the sense in that?

In fact, why am I paying twice, thrice or even more for the same thing?* I pay to local government for services that are duplicated by central government, and to central government for services that are duplicated by the EU. Why can't I just pay once, why the duplication and waste?

Why can't I just pay once to a private contractor to replace the whole lot? Why isn't there any competition?

* I say even more because at local government level there can be three different organisations providing the same service to the same area at the same time. Take where I live, the Portsmouth area: its in Hampshire, which has its own county council, which has refuse, housing, social services departments, etc. Portsmouth the city is a unitary authority, so although its in Hampshire, it too has refuse, housing and social services departments, duplicating the Hampshire departments . It gets worse, because in Hampshire there are several town councils and... you guessed it, they all have refuse, housing and social services departments. Its a vast swathe of duplication and job-creation. Anyone that has dealt with local government will recognise the difficulty in pinning down which of these dopplegangers is actually responsible for providing a service to you. A favourite local government tactic is to pass you round each of these services so they don't get landed with actually having to spend money providing you with service and interrupting their tea breaks or endless meetings.

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