Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Another rant against everything

Is it something to do with the election? Is the government trying to prove that it knows better than we do, that the rule book grows longer and longer as if it's some hidebound boarding school? Dads must not carry children on their shoulders. OK - in some circumstances that is dangerous, but surely only the thickest (and no, I'm not going to apologise) dads will do that in, say, supermarkets or railway stations.

Over the last weeks there have been more nonsensical "laws" being postulated than in almost any other time in the last ten years. For goodness' sake, why don't they just shut everything down and ask the people? We live in a democracy which is fast becoming an autocracy, in which Big Brother (the original, Wayne) is a mere baby step away.

This blog is supposed to be about me and writing. As an author/writer/novelist (there has been some discussion on the title amongst fellow authors/writers/novelists) I take a mild, if irritated, interest in the doings of the supposedly great and good. But it is becoming increasingly angry, see both of the last two posts. Spleen is being vented and I want someone to take notice. Someone who is in some position to Do Something About It.
All comments addressed to Gordon Brown, please.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010


This morning I received an email forwarded to me by a friend, who, on having read my little rant of last week, thought it might strike a chord. It did of course. Here it is:


Don't you wish that you had written this?

This was actually taken from a passport application and a member of staff copied it, as it made her laugh all day.

Dear Minister,
I'm in the process of renewing my passport but I am a total loss to understand or believe the hoops I am being asked to jump through.

How is it that Bert Smith of T.V. Rentals Basingstoke has my address and telephone number and knows that I bought a satellite dish from them back in 1994, and yet, the Government is still asking me where I was born and on what date?

How come that nice West African immigrant chappy who comes round every Thursday night with his DVD rentals van can tell me every film or video I have had out since he started his business up eleven years ago, yet you still want me to remind you of my last three jobs, two of which were with contractors working for the government?

How come the T.V. detector van can tell if my T.V. is on, what channel I am watching and whether I have paid my licence or not, and yet if I win the government run lottery they have no idea I have won or where I am and will keep the bloody money to themselves if I fail to claim in good time.
Do you people do this by hand?

You have my birth date on numerous files you hold on me, including the one with all the income tax forms I've filed for the past 30-odd years. It's on my health insurance card, my driver's licence, on the last four passports I've had, on all those stupid customs declaration forms I've had to fill out before being allowed off the planes and boats over the last 30 years, and all those insufferable census forms that are done every ten years and the electoral registration forms I have to complete, by law, every time our lords and masters are up for re-election.

Would somebody please take note, once and for all, I was born in Margate on the 4th of March 1957, my mother's name is Mary, her maiden name was Bloggs, my father's name is Robert, and I'd be absolutely astounded if that ever changed between now and the day I die!

I apologise Minister. I'm obviously not myself this morning. But between you and me, I have simply had enough! You mail the application to my house, then you ask me for my address. What is going on? Do you have a gang of Neanderthals working there? Look at my damn picture. Do I look like Bin Laden? I don't want to activate the Fifth Reich for God's sake! I just want to go and park my weary backside on a sunny, sandy beach for a couple of week's well-earned rest away from all this crap.

Well, I have to go now, because I have to go to back to Salisbury and get another copy of my birth certificate because you lost the last one. AND to the tune of 60 quid! What a racket THAT is!! Would it be so complicated to have all the services in the same spot to assist in the issuance of a new passport the same day? But nooooo, that'd be too damn easy and maybe make sense. You'd rather have us running all over the place like chickens with our heads cut off, then find some tosser to confirm that it's really me on the goddamn picture - you know... the one where we're not allowed to smile in in case we look as if we are enjoying the process!
Hey, you know why we can't smile? 'Cause we're totally jacked off!

I served in the armed forces for more than 25 years including over ten years at the Ministry of Defence in London. I have had security clearances which allowed me to sit in the Cabinet Office, five seats away from the Prime Minister while he was being briefed on the first Gulf War and I have been doing volunteer work for the British Red Cross ever since I left the Services. However, I have to get someone 'important' to verify who I am -- you know, someone like my doctor...
who, before he got his medical degree 6 months ago WAS LIVING IN PAKISTAN.....

Yours sincerely,
An Irate British Citizen