The Magistrate's Blog (2005-2012)

This blog has migrated to www.magistratesblog.blogspot.co.uk This blog is anonymous, and Bystander's views are his and his alone. Where his views differ from the letter of the law, he will enforce the letter of the law because that is what he has sworn to do. If you think that you can identify a particular case from one of the posts you are wrong. Enough facts are changed to preserve the truth of the tale but to disguise its exact source.

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Location: Near London, United Kingdom

The blog is written by a retired JP, with over 30 years' experience on the Bench.

Sunday, January 03, 2010

Helpful Suggestion

I have always been a helpful sort of chap - at junior school I rose to the heights of being appointed Register Monitor by being willing to help the teachers where I could, and I am only mildly disappointed that in the ensuing fifty years I have managed to rise only a little higher in life.
But here goes, with a truly helpful suggestion for those awfully nice chaps in the Government (in particular the Home Office bit of it) who have already taken away a lot of useful money from the justice system and who are likely to take a lot more, to the extent that even biscuits (!) are under the ever-present threat of being withdrawn; real milk to go in the tea has already gone (by the way, how absurd is it to stop the court buying milk from the nearby Tesco and replace it with dinky and infuriating plastic packs of UHT stuff that have to be imported from Eire?).
Anyway, it's these adverts that are getting to me a bit. Today's Sunday Times has a half-page in full colour telling me 'useful' stuff such as the fact that shutting windows when you go out makes it harder for burglars to get in. There is a load more here and there are ads on the radio to the same effect. I came back from my daughter's house via the M4 at Christmas and the matrix signs said, in foot-high letters, "Don't Drive Tired" as if that would make the tiniest difference to a single soul. A similar effort applied to making the signs give meaningful and up to date traffic information would be a better use of resources.
My serious point is that these patronising and useless bits of 'advice' to the public cost a lot of money. Those ads were designed, commissioned, created, booked and paid for by well-remunerated people with money that is going to be desperately needed elsewhere, very very soon. It's called priorities, chaps: get yours sorted out.