What a joyless, pitiful, over regulated and petty country we’ve become. Okay, so this isn’t the most important, Earth shattering example of it but it is a bit of an real eye roller, of the “bloody typical” kind. The “happiest lollipop man in the world”, one Mr. Mdikane, ensures the pupils of Aitkenbar Primary school in Dumbarton cross the road safely. Not only that but he puts a smile on their faces and that of their parents and passing motorists. That’s right, a singing, dancing, laughing, joking, high-fiving lollipop man! The children love him, in-fact you can well imagine they look forward to walking up to the spot where Mr. Mdikane is, so much so that they always cross safely with him rather than rushing to cross elsewhere. When they get there they are greeted with a cheerful grin and a high five, what fun! A great example of good old British eccentricity from this chippy emigrant from Vereeniging, South Africa who chooses to work as a lollipop man after retirement. Good on him.
Well, he won’t be singing, dancing or high fiving any more. The joyless busybody regulators of the council have spoken. Now the local authority has insisted that he should immediately cease all expressions of personality and repress any individuality that has seeped into his job, lollipop men should “remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards”. This is despite the fact he has been doing this for two years with absolutely no issues and has become something of a local hero. Having previously praised his “excellent service” West Dunbartonshire Council have imposed the singing, dancing, high-fiving ban due to safety reasons…. there has been no issues of safety, no accidents, no problems, but that doesn’t matter to this most dubious of authorities.
Councillors used to give up their time voluntarily out of a sense of duty and a desire to serve their community, then in the 90’s they began to draw a salary.Then my,my, didn’t they begin to think they were jolly important. Councillors with delusions of significance, their battalions of high-vis jacketed busy bodies and their jobsworth regulatory instinct. They have become ever more self-important and self-aggrandising, believing more and more in their imagined authority. They are busy bodying all over the place ready to slap on a parking ticket, tell you what you can and cannot do in a public space and demanding you hold a licence to do this and that. Would a voluntary council willingly serving their community be so joyless and pathetically uncompromising as to ban Mr. Mdikane from putting a smile on children’s faces against the wishes of the people he, and all the councillors, work for?
Okay, so you could argue that the job has a clearly defined role, and there are rules and guidelines etc. etc. But then I think, didn’t he do his job while also going above and beyond? For goodness sake, get a grip, why did they not just think, ‘well, its unconventional but what is the harm?’ instead of being so mean spirited, so pettily uncompromising. Again, it doesn’t seem that important, does it? But that’s how it happens, its incremental. Don’t do that becomes don’t do this, or this, nor that. For safety reasons, for health reasons, for security reasons, or just… well, because I they say so.