“England might have once expected every man to do his duty. Now it simply expects every man to do as he’s told…”
And that’s before Brussels gets into the act. Americans beware! You too can end up like this -JG.
Welcome to the UK, where paying the government extra gets you fined
Matt Gurney: September 28th, 2010
Is it any wonder that our cousins across the pond in the UK are having so much trouble balancing their books? Take the story of Martyn Evans, a British professor who bought his train ticket and was riding home when he changed his mind and chose to get off the train before his originally planned stop. In other words, he paid full price to enjoy less service.
The fearsome British nanny state would have none of that.
Evans, upon trying to exit the station, found that when he swiped his transit ticket through the exiting machine’s reader, it refused to open for him. When he spoke to staff at the station, they informed him that by getting off the train earlier than planned, he had violated his user conditions for purchasing the ticket, and would have to pay a fine of 155 pounds. He agreed to pay the fine, but then went public with the ridiculous story. The company that operated the train, East Coast, was recently nationalized by the British government after its former parent company chose to shut it down, and has already had its public re-offer delayed once, so it’s no surprise that they quickly chose to spare themselves this PR nightmare and waived Evans’ fine … while still insisting that their decision to fine him for enjoying less service than he’d paid for was entirely appropriate and standard across the industry (which is apparently true, the Daily Mail story references a couple that were fined almost 10 times the cost of their tickets, also for getting off sooner than they’d paid for).
The power of the British nanny state is renowned around the world. They rule on what size novelty shoes a clown can safely wear and flirted with the idea of sending social workers into the homes of flabby children. England might have once expected every man to do his duty. Now it simply expects every man to do as he’s told and to be quick about it. But this sets a new low.
Once upon a time, dictatorial governments contented themselves with making the trains run on time. Now it seems that they’re determined to make you ride them, too.
See original here.