Wednesday, December 30, 2009

True Grit

There’s a lot of finger pointing going on about the failure to have every road, pavement and cycle path gritted, salted or cleared during the last cold snap.

Like everyone else, I slipped and trod carefully for a few days. What struck me most was the reluctance of businesses to clear the paths around their own premises. Part of this is probably the fear that if you try to clear up the snow but someone else slips, you will be blamed: cue the sound of ambulance chasing lawyers and the no-win no-fee firms featured on day-time TV. However, there is also a deeper malaise. Why wait for the council at all? The council by its very nature must focus on the main roads - and if you think that the council tax we pay can provide the snow clearance service found in countries where they expect prolonged periods of the white stuff, then a more realistic view of the world is needed.

So the Labour candidate got it wrong on a number of levels when turned up at Shire Hall with a shovel. One was he should have started outside his own party’s HQ, sending us a photo of those pavements actually cleared, before he popped over to blow his raspberry at the County Council’s chief executive.

If we spend our lives waiting for the government to come to rescue us or to carry out things that we could do ourselves, then the country is doomed. When there’s another snowfall like this, we need a mindset that is less I’m All Right Jack and more True Grit.

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