The simple truths about bureaucracy

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From: RC Curry, Adel Grange Close, Leeds.

The revelation that probation officers are more likely to be spending time on paperwork and administration than seeing and taking care of their clients comes as no surprise (Bill Carmichael, Yorkshire Post, July 29).

The same complaint hampers the police, the courts service and other aspects of the criminal justice process.

Other departments of state, typically the MoD and the NHS, are similarly hung with all this baggage. In fact, the whole area of public service from Whitehall to town hall is beset with complicated procedures and red tape.

It seems to be impossible for a simplification process to be just that. To stand over a rubbish bin and tear up the paperwork does not seem to occur to those within the system.

Simplification can involve a more obscure or longer document than the one it supercedes.

A typical example is the process which is to encourage local communities to take over from expensive and overbearing bureaucracy; it transpires that the new arrangements could be more complex than before.

Would it be cynical to suggest that the excess of civil servants, national or local, are not going to make it easy to dispense with their services as they produce these administrative diatribes? It is time they were told, sort it or “the axeman cometh”.

In praise of pop music

From: Brian Sheridan, Redmires Road, Sheffield.

AS a music lover, I would describe myself thus: I am an avid Radio 3 listener though I am out of my depth when real musicologists come on programmes such as Building a library and I hate myself for sneering at Classic FM listeners.

I also love live music in pubs, which brings me to Jayne Dowle’s excellent tribute to the late singer-songwriter Amy Winehouse (Yorkshire Post, July 25).

Jayne champions “pop” music as “it contributes billions to the British economy every year, brings in tourists and sells our GB brand around the world.”

Some people who should know better still look down their noses at the genre. When Jeremy Paxman haughtily puts down University Challenge contestants for knowing the Arctic Monkeys from the Kaiser Chiefs, he is only showing how much out of touch he is. Pop music became respectable long, long ago.

Legislation to curb lawyers

From: Richard Ainley, Ridge Hill, Rastrick.

IN his letter (Yorkshire Post, July 26), Richard Meggitt complains that proposed legislation will restrict the ability of lawyers to fund complex cases on a no-win no-fee basis.

He proclaims his membership of the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (perhaps Ambulance-Chasers-R-Us would be a snappier and more descriptive title for this outfit?), which explains the distinctive sound of an axe being ground.

Those of us who have noted the dramatic increase in our car insurance premiums (“whiplash injury” claims etc.) and the amount of our money paid out by local authorities to lawyers employed by the “I tripped over an uneven pavement” brigade take precisely the opposite view to Mr Meggitt and his ilk.

Roll on the day when no-win no-fee lawyers are legislated out of existence completely.

Massacre of badgers

From: G Morgan, Bishopthorpe Road, York.

CHRIS Bond’s report on the proposed badger cull (Yorkshire Post, July 21) was misleading in its assertion that this will be “science-led”, since the former government adviser, Lord Krebs, who conducted the original culling trials, concluded that culling was an ineffective means of control.

However, David Cameron’s Government has little interest in science, and even less in animal welfare. Cameron is a keen blood sports enthusiast. So, too, are other Ministers.

These people represent the interests of the Countryside Alliance, not the opinions of ordinary people, so the only recourse for the 63 per cent of the electorate who are opposed to this massacre is to boycott dairy products, or at least to cut back on their consumption.

The immune systems of dairy cows have been grossly impaired by the constant use of drugs and hormones, as well as all the other abominations perpetrated by this amoral industry, thereby making them highly susceptible to all sorts of diseases.

When the farmers have wiped out our badgers, TB will persist unabated, so they will start demonising another species of our wildlife such as the deer that also carries TB.