It is well documented; that in Western Europe – and the UK in particular – we are now operating at unprecedented levels of stress; we have no time for anything, let alone the pleasantries or the manners that used to lubricate our society. So, it would not unreasonable to ask what happened to the anticipated leisure boom; the ‘free time’ phenomenon that so worried governments in the 50’s and 60’s… We were supposed to have so much free time as a consequence of technology, they thought that we would get bored, or riot, or do whatever people do with too much time on their hands…
One of the preferred outcomes was that that we would all be super fit and well educated – from all the golf, walking, swimming, evening classes etc that would fill this leisure time.
Instead, we have the longest working hours in Europe, a mountain of debt, are one fifth illiterate at school leaving age and, by way of entertainment, are obsessed with the day to day minutiae of utter non entities.
Any free time we do have has been spent on making pollution. Technology has given us some improvements, for example the mobile phone – on which most sub 20 year olds now communicate exclusively – but the promise of the extra leisure time seems to have disappeared.
To ease the stress of all this, we eat to much of the wrong things and as a consequence are are all too fat, drink too much, smoke to much and don’t do enough exercise…
Something must be done; and here are few of the plans:
- Smoking permits, you will need to buy one if you want a fag, your doctor may have to authorise it, which will be a good use of their time
- Exercise hour at work
- Zero tolerance on salt (will this be policed?)
- Restricted alcohol sales, different queues if you want some booze, till staff with AA t-shirts – probably
- Free fruit in the office
- Deposits or charges on supermarket carrier bags
- Excess packaging fees on your groceries (you could possibly avoid this by having everything liquidised before you leave the shop – saves cooking too, which will have died out by 2015 due to lack of interest, lack of knowledge and the price of fuel)
- More tax on flights – because they are evil
- Weird airport security checks – just to piss you off and make you realise how evil flying is
- Fees to check in at airports (the ticket price is just the start of the financial experience)
- Fees to take bags on holiday – how dare you use more fuel – evil person
- Congestion charges; because without them you will all drive in to cities every day, just to piss the government off
- Increased parking fees
What most of these have in common is that they will make your life more difficult not less and most of them will cost you more money.
As usual; you will have to pay and pay and pay… but there never seems to be a corresponding improvement in service.
A £12.50 congestion fee is not compensated for by a free banana at the office – although it’s value probably equates to what’s left of your £12.50 after the ‘management’ fee has been deducted.
Add to all this nonsense:
- Lack of investment in public transport
- Pension grabs
- Carbon footprints, how many planets do you need? You need to be scared, very scared, about this (well, this week anyway, or until we can think of something else to terrify you)
- The astronomical price if train travel – lower carbon footprint though…
- Obesity – you are all going to die; if you are not fat yourself, you will be crushed by passers by
- Bloody silly coffee bars with their own stupid languages; tall skinny crapuchino anyone?
- Wars of doubtful legality and considerable expense
- Brain cancer from mobile phones
- Terrorist attacks and the completely over the top response that is making life difficult for us all, instead targeting ‘likely suspects’
Is it any wonder we are all stressed? I don’t think that any of the proposals will help much, but at least the government will get some more tax, which will obviously be useful – if only to pay for the next pointless war…
The other winners are the management companies who run all this crap; why just add a bit more tax to petrol when you can spend trillions on satellite tracking everyone and their cat…
Why offer ordinary bin collections when we can spend another trillion on computer chipped bins and send everyone invoices for their rubbish; half of which won’t be paid; thereby requiring another trillion to manage it?
All this stuff does is raise a bit more tax – about which you are supposed to feel good, because it’s a tax on you profligate evilness. However; for every £10 raised, you will have to pay at least £20 to cover the fees of collection.
The only way out of this is to retire to a Scottish island and live in a hole, forwarding any money you find, or otherwise come by, to her maj’s government.
And another thing…