Counting Cats in Zanzibar Rotating Header Image

If you go down to the park today…

…prepare for a nasty surprise.

Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre authorities obviously don’t believe they have enough authority so they are maneouvring to grab a little more power for themselves.  They are proposing to ban smoking in parks and other public open spaces and people can now be cautioned or fined for not having a plastic bag.

First off I’ll tackle Blackpool extending it’s draconian no smoking policy.

Moves are being made to ban smoking in Blackpool’s parks.

The ASBO-pilots, muggers, drunks, druggies and perverts that frequent these spaces and make life miserable for local residents are a serious social problem yet it is smokers who are being singled out.  Why is that?

Health bosses today said the move was being made to protect children from the dangers of smoking, but the policy has been branded ‘outrageous’ by those who fear it could drive visitors away.

Think of the chiiiiiildren!  The sickeningly familiar war cry of the authoritarian control freak.  Let’s set aside the fact that the local park is a favourite venue for Blackpool’s many chavlings to congregate and pour cider and Stella down their necks and have a toke on a spliff.  Let’s consider the harm that can be done to people’s health if they suddenly inhale second-hand cigarette smoke that has been instantly diluted by the great outdoors.

Errrrrr.

Well there isn’t any, is there.

Okay, we’ll let that little factoid slide for now.  Let’s compare the evils of secondhand smoke to the effects of youth crime and anti-social behaviour in Blackpool that will be taking place, mostly undisturbed, under the noses of the anti-smoking stasi.   Obviously a whiff of ciggie smoke up the hooter is far more perilous to your health than risking sexual assault, a knife in the guts or being in fear of your life as you are robbed of your mobile phone and wallet while walking in the local park. Therefore banning outdoor smoking is clearly a priority so that the kiddies can carry on sending the crime rates soaring without fear of instantaneously developing cancer and keeling over, dead as doornails.  (Oh, if only…)

Signs are to go up at the entrances to 13 parks and playing fields advising the public the areas are now smoke-free sites.

Yep, those signs are going up for sure.  Even though the ban is unenforceable because the local council hasn’t yet drafted a witch-hunting charter by-law to persecute save smokers from polluting themselves or anyone else out enjoying the open air.  Permission is being sought from Blackpool council to install up to 34 signs.  Want to bet that common sense will prevail and the permission will be refused becasue it is not illegal to smoke in parks?

Nah, me neither.

So what’s with the plastic bags?  Well, when PCSOs aren’t busy hectoring smokers who aren’t breaking the law, all the while pretending not to see the various types of violent pondlife who are breaking the law, they are going to double up as dog shit police and they are armed with special powers.

Dogs fouling pavements and dropping their loads in parks and other public spaces is a problem; of course it is.  There is no excuse for not cleaning up after your dog unless you are blind or confined to a wheelchair.  Dog shit, especially the stuff from dogs who have not been regularly wormed, is certainly a greater hazard to public health than smoking outdoors.   Most dog owners I know (I’m one of them) do pick up after their dogs which is why most of the pavements in Over Wyre villages tend to be dog turd free.  There are times when I haven’t picked it up – in fields surrounding my village where piles of dung from livestock make picking up after a dog a complete nonsense.  But then the local farmers feel that dogs harrassing, or reducing, the local rabbit population is more important.  Shit in fields is readily bio-degradable you see.  However, shit on pavements and in parks is just plain nasty.  I have no quarrel with people being fined for refusing to clean up after their dogs.  No one who has had to scrape dog dirt off shoes, pram wheels and wheelchair wheels would object to that.

So what am I ranting about?  Well I’ll tell you.

This April, we completed the training of around 150 more staff, both from the council and the police, who are now able to confront people who are caught not cleaning up after their dogs and issue the culprits with fixed penalty notices.

There you have it.  Blackpool is one of the most deprived, drunken, drug-addled, crime-ridden shit-holes outside of any British inner city you care to name yet its council has the time and the money to train an army of 150 dog shit police.  Apparently dog shit is one of the top three urgent problems plaguing Blackpool residents.   Unbelievable and ludicrous.  I’ve lived in Blackpool and the reason I got the hell out of the dump wasn’t because of the dog shit.  It was because of the shit walking around on two legs and doing what the hell it wanted with little fear of being caught and punished.

But that’s not the half of it.  This crusade against dog-owners dog fouling has a more sinister element.

Council officials and PCSOs can confront dog walkers and demand they turn out their pockets and produce a plastic bag.  Failure to comply will see them either cautioned or fined

Yes, you read that right.  You might not have committed any offence but you can still be cautioned or fined for something you might be guilty of in the future.  Blackpool officials can now pronounce someone to be guilty by presumption if that person refuses to produce a plastic bag.  This is called a thought crime and has no place in any free society.  I often return without a plastic bag secreted on my person because I have already disposed of it in a poo bin.  And nowhere is it written in law that I have to carry one bag, let alone two or even three.  Okay, so I can take more than one bag but why should I have to?  Have I not already performed my civic responsibility and disposed of the offending material?  What gives anyone the right to dictate what I carry in my pockets or handbag?

I’d really like to see this piece of authoritarian idiocy piloted in council estates such as Grange Park and Marton where the likes of Chavvy McStabb walks his lovable pooches, Killer and Mauler.  It won’t happen of course.  Soft targets only ‘cos it’s ‘Elf an’ Safety, innit.  The criminal and anti-social elements will continue to wipe their hairy, tattooed bums with the law while ordinary folk out walking their dogs will not be given the benefit of the doubt and can be accosted like criminals even though an offence hasn’t been committed.

Most people, when asked to see their bags, have been able to produce them, and the ones who haven’t have, if necessary, been issued with fixed penalty notices. We are strongly committed to making our streets cleaner and have made it easier for people to clean up after their dogs.

No, it’s been made easier for the council to clean out council taxpayers pockets.  I haven’t noticed any increase in poo bins and the ones we do have are usually overflowing because the local council can’t be bothered to empty them more often.

Demands were today made to name and shame rogue owners after damning figures revealed the growing scourge of dog mess on the resort’s streets.

Damning figures?  Growing scourge?  Blackpool has a population of 140,000 so where do the council get off defining 557 complaints (how many were multiple complaints from one person?) as “damning” and a “scourge”?

The way the Blackpool Gazette article reads you’d think that the streets of Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre are paved with excrement.  Actually they’re not.  What some areas do have is a minority of malcontents who walk off, shiftily scanning to see if they’ve been noticed after Fido has evacuated his bowels near Mrs. Jones’ gate.  There is, of course, the hardcore chavvy element who really don’t give a crap because what is any council official fond of his or her physical wellbeing going to do when faced with a specimen of deprived childhood violent, subcultural Scammelwittery** accompanied by a bull breed that’s behaving like you’ve just shoved a red hot poker up its backside?

Dogs doings are unpleasant but it certainly isn’t anywhere near the worst of probelms facing Blackpool.  At best it’s an anti-social annoyance which rather pales into insignificance when you factor in the tons of horse droppings decorating the promenade or the sheer scale of litter and broken glass dropped by thoughless people, both residents and tourists. It certainly doesn’t warrant an army of 150 trained council officials to “tackle” a problem less than 0.5% of the population gives a stuff about.  In short, it is overkill, despotic and an obscene waste of public resources.

** Kitty Counter rhyming slang – Scammel Truck.

15 Comments

  1. microdave says:

    I thought we were supposed to be cutting down on our usage of plastic bags?

  2. nen o'yer pish noo says:

    Blackpool it was, I seem to recall, where there’s a problem with Asian men grooming young girls for sex, and in href=”http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1374443/Police-hid-abuse-60-girls-Asian-takeaway-workers-linked-Charlene-Downes-murder.html>one case at least where there are some “jokes” about a girl’s remains having gone in to the kebabs at a fast food outlet.

    Nice to know they’ve got their priorities right over there.

  3. nen o'yer pish noo says:

    Sorry, looks like I bolloxed the link.

  4. JuliaM says:

    “Council officials and PCSOs can confront dog walkers and demand they turn out their pockets and produce a plastic bag.  Failure to comply will see them either cautioned or fined…”

    W the actual F..?!?

  5. Tim Newman says:

    There are times when I haven’t picked it up – in fields surrounding my village where piles of dung from livestock make picking up after a dog a complete nonsense.

    Not exactly. There is a huge difference between cow/horse/sheep shit and dog/cat/human shit, because the former are herbivores, i.e. their shit is effectively mangled grass. You can make enormous pits of cow shit (slurry pits) and live and work beside it and not be bothered by anything other than the smell; try the same with human shit, and you’ll have a cholera outbreak. Cow shit also doesn’t contaminate streams and other water supplies (so cows can graze in and around streams); if you had humans shitting in the river, you’d have Lagos serious problems downstream. And although townies find the smell of muck-spreading or slurry pits pretty bad, they are nothing compared to the retch-inducing smell of human or dog shit in large quantities.

    But yeah, picking up dog shit in a field is pretty pointless UNLESS that field is used by hikers, walkers, cyclists, or other folk and the turd is on the pathway.

    Yes, I grew up on a farm. :)

  6. Furor Teutonicus says:

    XX try the same with human shit, and you’ll have a cholera outbreak. XX

    But housing estates all over Britain (and Germany) are FULL of human shit, and there is no cholera (outseide of the immigrants) to be seen?

    Or are we defining “human shit” differently here?

  7. NickM says:

    Excellent stuff Lynne! Blackpool is a true shite-hole. The last time I was there (I was passing through) it was like Mogadishu without the weather. It was full of pissed Scousers* – this was about 9-30am who had turned up on the same train as me with great clinking bags of lagers (Blackpool isn’t cheap). The locals were deeply unfriendly for an alleged tourist town. I had a nightmare asking a basic directional question (which way to Cleveleys?). A receptionist in quite a large hotel basically shrugged. And the pavements are un-even and dirty and, and… Of all the things.

    Truly the council is re-arranging the deck-chairs as the pier burns. Not that it makes any difference to me. There’s lots of great places in Lancashire but Blackpool isn’t one of them.

    And as to PCSOs stopping and searching for poly-bags… Jesus knelt down by Morecombe Bay and wept.

    *Why does anyone from Liverpool who wants to go to the sea-side not go to Southport?

  8. JuliaM says:

    “…if you had humans shitting in the river, you’d have Lagos serious problems downstream. “

    I regularly take my mother to boot sales, as she can’t drive, and despite the fact that each has at least a row of portaloos kept as clean as they can be (and one has built a brand new, spanking clean toilet block) you inevitably see people disappearing behind a bush in the neighbouring field.

    I’m very glad its a field only used for livestock feed.. :/

  9. Write here says:

    Here be a problem. I go out with my pooch armed with two plastic bags (Tesco, thy name is used to clean up doggie turds) My dog, being a pup, divides his poo events into two, using up both bags.

    I walk on and am now bag less (having deposited the laden bags in the dog crap receptacle provided) and am stopped by eager dog shit inspector. Ho, my fine fellow, he says, have you got a bag? No, I confess, they are in the bin and I am now on my way home as El Poocho will not drop any more until tomorrow.

    Am I then fined for not having a bag on me?

    If so perhaps I need to take three or four or five, just in case…

  10. RAB says:

    Smoking Officer?

    No not me, it’s my dog. See the bitch over there, the Spaniel with the Stogie. Experiment? good god no, she loves them, they’re an expectorant you know? Ah here we go!…

    Plastic bag?

    Good god no! they’re illegal arn’t they?

    Just cup your hands round the back end there. Thank you officer, there’s a bin over by that tree and don’t forget to wash your hands.

    [Actuallly I carry loads of plastic bags when out with the bonkers dog (some perfumed even! Fuck knows where the wife got them from, or why) I even hand them out to other dog owners who seem to have gone blind when their dear little darlings are attending to their business. Name and shame person to person, that's me. No fines or officiousness needed when I'm around] ;-)

  11. Lynne says:

    RAB your scented bags sound like nappy bags, an ideal size for our purpose. When I get back from a walk I tie one to Holly’s lead handle ready for the next outing. I find one bag is sufficient to do the job and it isn’t my job to police other dog walkers especially if I’m on the beach (which remains empty ALL year because my part of the world isn’t any kind of resort and is mostly sandbanks, salt marsh and quicksand anyway) or strolling across the fields. :0)

    To be honest it’s not the carrying of plastic bags I object to, it’s being considered guilty before the fact if I don’t have one if one of these officious pricks decides to stop and interrogate me. That’s just plain wrong. Perhaps I can find a solution to the problem. Take a spare bag with me that has scribbled across it UP YOURS! or the more apt SHITBAG! in nice big letters.

    Passive resistance. Yeah, I like that.

  12. John Galt says:

    I’ve found the easiest way of getting rid of council busybodies and chuggers is to speak French at them and look confused.

    Only once, in Oxford Street, London did they actually respond in French, which was amusing.

  13. RAB says:

    Lynne, your dog is called Holly? Well dang me, our old dog was called Holly too. She was a Harrier and a complete lady. She was radio controlled, you just gave her a command and she did it instantly, didn’t need a lead to walk her either. She made it to 17 (we take very good care of our dogs).

    The bonkers dog, Saffie, on the other hand, is a complete madam! She is a Springer/Cocker/Setter/Collie cross best we can make out. She has absolutely no road sense and pulls on the lead like a team of Huskies, a completely unguided missile. She is also very intelligent and loving and we adore her. They were/are both ace Frisbee players too. Saffie is an absolute star with the little kids in our local park.

  14. Lynne says:

    RAB. my Holly is a Springer (all gun breeds are smart) and usually doesn’t need to walk on a lead much. She’s an old lady now and very arthritic these days – a legacy from her former owners who used her as a football and damaged nearly all of her joints (just five minutes in a room with the bastards is all I ask!) so these days I tend to drive where I’m going to walk so that she gets the full benefit of enjoyment rather than being knackered before she gets there.

    Her two predecessors, Brett and Dolly, were also Springers and they were both total headbangers. I loved them both to bits and miss them even more.

    As for Frisbees Holls has never had much interest. Brett playing with anything that could be thrown and Dolly loved nabbing them first and running off, making Brett chase after her which he always did. It destroyed him when Dolly died. She was only seven. It tore into me for a long time as well because she needn’t have died. Fucking vet cocked up.

  15. bloke in spain says:

    Odd the effects a burst of the Frog can have. We’re fairly light on incontinent canines down here but the beach area’s infested with “lookiemen”. These guys, usually African, try & interest you in a pair of shades, real gold Rolex watch – 10€, carved wooden giraffe. (Who the F has an intense need for a carved wooden giraffe, midday on a Spanish beach?). And f**k me, are these guys persistent. And prevalent. You get one every 5 minutes. Or did. Until I found the beauties of the French language. All it took was a polite refusal & they beat it. For good. You can actually see them making a detour around you. The word spreads & even their mates leave you alone.
    I’m presuming no Frenchman has ever been known to buy anything. Or acute francophobia. Whatever, it’s a blessing.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: