DVLA Are Thieving Bastards

Yes, it's an angry headline. But that's OK, because I'm angry. You may not have heard - I hadn't until very recently - but DVLA are changing the way in which car tax is administered.

tax disc


To be fair to the thieving bastards I don't think that this is something they have thought up themselves. They are only an agency of the UK government so this is probably driven by some other money-grabbing department, probably HMRC.  

The paper tax disc (as shown above) is being abolished in October, to be replaced by a spy network of surveillance cameras both in fixed locations and mobile ones, especially in police cars.  

Today, when you buy a used car you drive it away and some time later, when the tax disc expires, you apply for a new one. Annoying, but simple. From 1st October this will no longer be the case. Whenever the original owner sells the car, the tax expires immediately. Any remaining tax can be refunded, but not for the period of the current month, which is lost. The new owner must tax the car before it can be driven again on public roads, but the tax must commence from the beginning of the month in which the car is next used. Therefore, DVLA get an extra month's tax that they wouldn't otherwise have had every time a car changes hands.

But that's OK because apparently this change "should 'save taxpayers £10 million' in the hunt for tax dodgers" . Really?


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In The Meantime...

I'm hoping that proper blogging will restart quite soon, but in the meantime here are a few photos that I hope may make you smile. Click on any photo to embiggerate.



 What colour is Invisible?



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I Will Vote Yes To Independence Because I Love Britain

Well, yet another hiatus that lasted a little bit longer than expected. This one has included a change of client and job, a change of country (we're coming from the south of England again) a temporary change of home and a whole lot of collateral hassle.

However, things have now settled down again so I hope to become a bit more regular again, and pick up a couple of previous threads again, particularly our effort to have the Climate Secretary jailed for murder.

I've been spurred back into action by an article in the Guardian by The Right Honourable Sir Menzies Campbell CH CBE QC MP. It's a plea from whatever politicians have instead of a heart, hoping to persuade the Scottish electorate not to have the courage to take control of their own destiny again. Of course, being the Grauniad they call him simply Menzies Campbell, but we know who they mean.


Sir Ming Campbell MP 2008

He's wrong. Click through to see why...



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A Brief Hiatus

The last post but one turned out to be a little unkind. It transpired that Mr Davey had asked that nice Mr Holiland to reply to me again and the letter was waiting for me on my return. See it after the break.

 As well as that, Mr Salmond has sent me the full copy of "Scotland's Future" I asked him for, so I hope to restart my critique of that soon.


book and light


It'll something to do in the hotel in the evenings when I get back from advising on a project vital to Scotland's future government (yes, really).


Anyway, back to DECC...


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Francs For The Memory, Sir Walter

As someone who can't quite remember the 1950's, I grew up in a society which had fairly set views on the world. You played outdoors for hours every day, you did as you were told when you were told, you hoped to grow up to have a good job, and the world only really existed between about  Moffat and Perth. And the concept of independence for Scotland was not a topic for polite conversation, never mentioned in civilised company.  


Then I stopped playing outdoors every day, I did grow up a bit, I became self-employed, I stopped doing what I was told and for a while moved to a country even smaller than the space between Moffat and Perth, but much richer than the whole of Scotland. And while I lived in that small country I learned lots of things that just can't be learned on an island and the experience hugely changed my outlook on the world.

luxembourg franc



Another huge change is that the topic of Scottish independence is now regularly a lead topic on UK news outlets, although not always treated with the respect it deserves. Today's independence furore concerns the opinion of the Governonr of the Bank of England that an independent Scotland may have to cede some sovereignty if she wished to retain Sterling as her currency. Or maybe he didn't quite say that, this speech seems to be more than usually prone to interpretation by news sources. But let's assume he did. Is he right? Maybe not. Remember that Mr Carney is from Canada, a very large country, and that he may not have the range of imagination and adaptability that belongs to people from small countries.


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