IT seems to me the case that the real criminals in our society get away with it – while the rest of us pay the price. I suppose that’s always been true.
Take the case of Southern Water. This magnificently awful company provides water and sewage treatment for a vast area of South East England. It is singularly useless in this task.
The company has just been fined a whopping £126million by the regulator Ofwat. Its crimes are many and various. But two things stand out. First, the company allowed loads of wastewater spills from its treatment works, almost certainly into our rivers.
Ofwat won’t tell us where the spills occurred — it should do. It is highly likely, if not certain, that many of these spills caused untold damage to the ecosystem.
But second, Southern Water lied about what it was up to. It “misreported”, as Ofwat gently put it, a whole bunch of stuff and in doing so avoided getting fined before. It lied, deliberately, knowing it was lying. OK, so the company will have to pay the fine and some of that money will make its way into the pockets of Southern Water’s benighted customers.
There is also talk of a criminal prosecution by the Environment Agency.But do you think anyone will be held to account? Here’s what I reckon.
The boss of Southern Water, Ian McAulay, will continue to draw his salary, bonuses and perks. So how much was that package worth in 2017-18? Oh, just a meagre £1million. And yet the company for which he has responsibility cooked the books to stop Ofwat finding out what was going on. And made a monumental, criminal hash of treating the country’s sewage.
If you committed a crime you’d be in court, pronto. If you lied to cover up that crime, your sentence would be a hell of a lot stiffer. You wouldn’t be bunged £1million. It’s no wonder people want our utilities nationalised. They rightly smell a rat.
Whether it’s the foreign-owned energy companies overcharging or the water companies failing in their basic tasks, the fat cats at the top of the companies continue to draw down vast salaries and ordinary people get well and truly stuffed. And this all plays directly into the hands of a certain Jeremy Corbyn.
Rightly — I think — Labour wants the nationalisation of these companies. It is time the Government got a grip of errant big businesses despoiling the environment and letting customers down. The banks which treat loyal customers with contempt, cheating them out of favourable rates of interest.
Hammering people with charges when they can’t pay by direct debit. The rip-off fees for unscheduled overdrafts. The private train companies who deliberately conceal the cheapest ticket prices so that you end up paying through the nose.
The energy companies who never pass on a fall in the price of oil to their customers, but who act like lightning to raise charges when the price of oil goes up. These are the things that matter to a huge proportion of voters. The basic feeling that the little man is always on the bad end of the deal.
If a Conservative government can’t do anything about it, we’ll be left with a government headed by Magic Grandpa and his retinue of adolescent Marxists.
THE latest opinion poll suggests a huge majority of Brits think we must LEAVE the EU.
Those in favour of leaving are at 57 per cent – compared to only 52 per cent at the referendum.
I don’t think it’s a case of Remainers changing their mind about whether or not it was the right decision.
It’s their sense of decency in standing by a democratic vote, even though they disagree with it.
Daisy a bit dozy
WANT to know why Leave won the referendum three years ago? It’s because the BBC kept showing repeats of Dad’s Army, apparently.
That’s according to the screenwriter Daisy Goodwin. The fatuous woman said: “If you really want to nail the BBC for influencing the nation’s state of mind about Brexit, you might look at how often Dad’s Army has been shown on BBC2.”
And Goodwin has called for the show to be BANNED. Because it’s all about Britain resisting a hostile invasion from Europe.
Goodwin wrote the historically inaccurate soap and mush-fest Victoria. It was awful. However, the good news is she’s now in the running for a top gong. The Most Arrogant And Stupid Comment from a Remoaner 2019 Award.
NEED a new kitchen? Or a loft conversion? Think your house needs a bit of doing up but you haven’t got the cash for it? Simple answer – join the Royal Family.
Because then, despite having more money than you know what to do with, you can still get the taxpayer to pick up the bill for your home improvements.
Even if it means painting the nursery in a consensual gender- neutral shade with organic paint made from crushed kale and goji berries at £400 per tin, or something.
We all wish Harry and Meghan a happy life in Frogmoreandmore Cottage. But how about you dip into your own wallets a bit, huh?
KIM KARDASHIAN is in big trouble with the Cultural Appropriation police. She’s called her new range of awful clothes for women with abnormally large ar*es “Kimono”.
Cue immediate outrage from people who love to be offended. One Japanese woman tweeted: “Thanks for BUTCHERING Japanese culture!!! My culture is not your plaything.”
Oh yes it is. That’s the point of culture, poppet-san. And it’s how the world develops and improves. Kim would be in more trouble if she called her line Kim Kardashian’s Kimono, and just used the initials.
Spell at the till
A WITCH has just got a job in a clothes shop. Louise Herron, 24, from Newcastle, says she used magic to get the work.
“I was looking for work recently and struggling to find a job, so I cast a spell by burning a green candle, symbolic of prosperity, doused in frankincense, signifying wealth,” Louise said.
“The very next day, I got a message on the jobseekers’ site LinkedIn from someone offering me the job I have now working in a clothing shop.”
There you are, you see. Boil up a few newts and cats in a cauldron and you could be working at Primark by the end of the week.
THERE’S been a yellowhammer singing outside my office window, all day, every day, for the last six weeks. And it’s a sad story. Because he wouldn’t be singing like that if he’d found a mate.
All the other yellow-hammers shut up ages ago. Just this one left, desperately calling out to any available yellowhammer babes. But all the local babes have been taken.
I might go and have a word. Get yourself smartened up, mate. Put on some aftershave, leave that hedge and seek out the right lady. Because she’s not coming to you, is she?
The song, by itself, is not enough. And it’s driving me up the wall.
SEEMS there’s some seriously scorching weather on the way. The Sahara Bubble! Yikes.
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Pensioners will roast to death and dogs will explode in cars. The weathermen will be telling you not to go outside and BBC News will say it’s all a consequence of global warming – rather than that old-fashioned thing, summer.
For me, then, it’s a time of panic-buying lager. Clearing the shelves of Morrisons. But then most weather conditions have a similar effect, to be honest.
Anyway, my tip is stay away from the London Underground – it’ll smell like a wrestler’s jockstrap. Here’s hoping you get through it.
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