Safety checks run down and boom time for criminals: this is why the UK is becoming the ‘dustbin of Europe’

The officials who ensure our consumer goods are safe are being lost to Tory neglect. They work without fanfare but they are vital

On one side, the Conservatives diminish and damage the public realm, the lives and livelihoods of those with least and the quality of civic values. On the other side, Labour strives to improve public services, the public sphere and enhance the life chances and living standards of those people that the Tories do down.

I’m not sure why I am still so easily shocked by the Tories’ vandalism. But time and again I come across some new act of sabotage that takes my breath away. This time it’s their stripping out of an already thin veneer of civilisation by laying waste to trading standards. Now this is a dull and invisible service, you might think, the sort of thing anyone from a first-world country could take for granted. No longer, just as you no longer assume the rivers are safe from sewage.

What do trading standards officers (TSOs) do? They have more than 290 pieces of legislation to enforce. Weights and measures officials, existing since time immemorial, still need to check scales in shops, baby scales in clinics or airport scales that airlines use to claim your bag is overweight: scales are often wildly wrong. A supermarket packet claiming to contain 500g often doesn’t. You assume a litre of petrol goes into your tank because you imagine someone checks. But that happens less and less – and traders know it.

I am so glad that I am retired and do not need to go to UK on business any longer.


Joke I saw somewhere recently:

Ayn Rand, Rand Paul, and Paul Ryan walk into a bar.

The bartender serves them tainted alcohol, because there are no regulations.

They all die.

The end.



or…they all end up on disability.