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Self Help in Snow Scotland

Snow brings out the inner Tory in all of us | Melanie Reid - Times Online

The wintery weather, let’s face it, is a political issue. Snow, I’m now convinced, brings out the inner Tory in all of us. In extreme situations, when forced to decide where shifting responsibilities lie, most of us revert to a doctrine that could be best be described as pragmatic, old-shires, compassionate Conservatism, as embodied in such unfashionable words as “self-help” and “resilience” and “resourcefulness”. You’ll recognise the ethos embedded in the backbone of the Armed Forces.
Scratch the surface of all but the shiniest new Labour types in weather like this, and it lurks there, that unfashionable, shameful instinct, that clarion call to civic duty. That undeniable urge — whisper it — to show initiative in the absence of a risk assessment and written permission from the State. And yes, such a response may seem desperately unsophisticated, primitive even, in these days when the State rolls like a vast juggernaut, but the thing about 18 inches of snow and a forecast of minus 20C is that (a) it’s not only pretty primitive, but (b) it also stops juggernauts dead in their tracks....
Snow reminds us is that, when necessary, we can still respond as individuals. The lesson is one of self-determination; discovering we are capable of action without having to wait for someone else to make decisions for us. In that sense, the snow brings possibilities of liberation.
So grab the shovel, get out there on the pavement and start digging. Because the freeze can do something very important for Britain. We have become a nation of two kinds of people — those that can do things, and those who can’t, but then spend their lives making rules for everyone else. There is no therapy like digging, nor the grateful smile from someone less steady on their feet than you are, to make you realise that, yes, in fact, you too are capable of doing things. You’re not a passive victim. Snow: you might say, the best political aide David Cameron ever had.

A staggering combination of arrogance, complacency and sheer indifference - Times Online
Magnus Linklater
For the last two weeks Scotland has been ravaged by the worst winter weather seen in 30 years. One might imagine, therefore, that local councils, whose role is to serve the public, would take immediate action to ensure that we are kept well-informed about the state of our roads and pavements — to say nothing of stocks of grit and the advice they offer to local residents, particularly the old and the infirm.
On the contrary, nothing, not even a climatic upset, is allowed to interfere with the inalienable right of councillors and officials to take their statutory break, which runs from Christmas Eve until January 5.
...What emerges from the performance of council bureaucrats is a staggering combination of arrogance, complacency and sheer indifference to the very people they are there to represent — the long-suffering public.
When, over the next year, they face the job cuts and the lay-offs that will be the inevitable consequence of the recession they should not be surprised if the Scottish people who, after all, pay for the councillors and their officials with inflated council taxes, respond with the same shrug of the shoulders that they themselves have demonstrated this past fortnight.

Comments

Snow brings out the inner Tory in all of us | Melanie Reid - Times Online

It does indeed and may there be much more of it.

"Snow, I’m now convinced, brings out the inner Tory in all of us. In extreme situations, when forced to decide where shifting responsibilities lie, most of us revert to a doctrine that could be best be described as pragmatic, old-shires, compassionate Conservatism, as embodied in such unfashionable words as 'self-help' and 'resilience' and 'resourcefulness'."

And so it is here in the colonies!

Living out in the glorious Ontario countryside, but within spitting distance of the busybody, self-important world of our assorted people's deputies and commissars in Ottawa, I note the contrast daily.

Gotta go! I'm off snowmobiling with a neighbour.

Along similar lines:

http://raedwald.blogspot.com/2009/03/zebras-are-tory-pelicans-are-labour.html

Thanks Mr. R.!

Andrew:

Excellent link.

And all too true anywhere you go. Traffic "experts" seem determined to defy basic human behaviour at all costs.

Our legisators could have done a great deal more to help us, had they taken the appropriate measures:

1. Repeal the legislation they just brought in on the subject of unlicensed minding of children. We have seen 10,000 schools closed, and the parents of all those children were not allowed to set up informal arrangements for co-operative childminding because it has just been made illegal. It's no good bleating about those parents not going to work. Leaving the kids home alone is illegal. Leaving them with old Auntie Bella is also illegal.

2. Indemnify householders who take the initiative to clear snow and ice from their local roads and pavements. If you clear the snow and ice from the pavement outside your house, you stand to be sued by anyone who subsequently slips and falls on it. Your liability is unlimited.

3. Repeal all that daft legislation which stops us transporting children without booster seats. It criminalises people who get the car out when they see a young Mother, with a schoolchild, and a toddler in a pushchair, trying to struggle across the ice you were not allowed to clear, because she couldn't leave the bairns with a neighbour who isn't "authorised".

But you know what they will do next? They will make it illegal for "unlicensed" people to have access to elderly and disabled people, or take them their bread, milk, tatties, tinned food, newspaper, or take them for their flu shots, or go round and make sure they have a battery torch in case of power cuts, or put new batteries in their smoke detector, or give them a lift to Mass on Sunday.

Those buggers down at Westminster, are not on our side.

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