It’s better to give than to receive

It’s taken me a while, but finally the full impact of a proposed Westminster by-law is emerging through the haze.

Under their proposed local legislation it will be an offence to “sleep or lie down”, “deposit materials used as bedding”, and to,”…give out, or permit another to give out, food for free.”

The implications for my little venture are obvious. Take me in, it’s a fair cop, you’ve got me banged…and so on. A visit to Westminster would be interesting though.

However, join me as I imagine the political comedy that would arise if it were allowed to go through.

Although MP’s are only supposed to report gifts worth more than £660, the standards and privileges committee have noticed the poor paranoid politicians are including everything they receive on the Register of Finances for fear of accusations of secrecy.

Do you see where this is going?

“Bribery? I call it good manners…” declares Dylan Jones in the Mail on Sunday.

What is he talking about?

The Bribery Act 2010, of course. It is his fear that, should this heinous law be passed that, “…many of us will be required to inform the Serious Organised Crime Agency every time a facilitation payment is made, every time a box of chocolates arrives in the post, every time someone buys you a drink or offers you a piece of their Fruit & Nut bar.” (italics added)

When does a facilitation payment become a bribe?

So, we have a most entertaining collision of laws and guidelines. Folk in business sound a little worried at the big brotherieness of the Bribery Act. Just imagine the absolute hoot we could have if the Westminster by-law goes through.

Yes, I know the council is aiming at the poor, the underprivileged and the homeless, but let’s imagine the potential collateral damage as they accidentally shoot the MP’s, the wealthy business folk and, ultimately, themselves in the foot.

Imagine Park Attendants (who/ what? Ask your parents – they didn’t just appear in the Beano) going round their benches with electric cattle prods, waking up City Financiers who’d taken a quick power nap; Bar staff intercepting round buying; Waiters in restaurants reporting romantic punters who’d insisted on buying the birthday/ Valentine meal….insert your own ideas here.

Why is it ok to lavish the already rich with facilitation payments and seemingly abhorrent to do the same with those who have decidedly less?

Walk a Mile


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