New Times,
New Thinking.

  1. Politics
16 March 2007

Incest, bins and asylum

Marina receives an anxious call for help from Germany

By Marina Pepper

Dear Marina

I’m married to my sister and we have five lovely but slightly odd looking children. Should we pursue our right to love in the courts or simply move to the Appalachians?

Herr X

Move to England. Our prisons are far too overcrowded so there’s no risk of jail here. You would also be a welcome distraction for Daily Mail hacks who are driving everyone nuts with their climate change denialist agenda.

But best of all, with the days getting longer and warmer, the Morris dancing season is upon us. Try it. What have you got to lose?

Dear Marina

Plans to meddle with our weekly bin collections. Is nothing sacred?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

All this trendy nonsense about reducing waste to save the planet. I saw that Channel 4 documentary. I know what’s true. These swindling Whitehall wonks are eco trash! And Dave panders to them (once we’re in power he will have to go). What’s the council tax for if it’s not for emptying our bins? It’ll play havoc, of course with the incineration contracts. Am I right?

EP Ongar

The local government association which speaks for elected councillors rather than individual political parties describes the move to fortnightly bin collections as “no bad thing.” Subtle, but on balance, on the side of right. As in right minded, right thinking, but not, of course right wing.

As I’m sure a man with your local government connections is aware a total of 3.3m tonnes of food a year ends up in landfill. Yes you might well argue domestic waste is only 12 % of all waste sent into huge methane producing pits in the ground. So how about the further 17 million tonnes of food waste dumped into landfill by the supermarkets.

But hey, we sit on the frayed edge of an election period where common sense should never be allowed to get in the way of an excellent electioneering tool.

The threat of fortnightly bin collections holds great promise if you’re stuck for a blunt objection to bash the bleeding heart tree hugging liberals over the head with in your target letters delivered the night before the postal vote goes out.

And so long as business recycling and waste collections are considered one small choice cog in the free market economy, as opposed to being a huge part of the problem, your precious incinerators will just keep on being built. Apart from the bloody huge one planned for Newhaven, or course. As the mayor of that Sussex coastal town is often heard to cry: “Never give up, NO SURRENDER!”

Dear Marina,

I am a political asylum seeker from war torn country, Eritrea, with postgraduate qualification in Social Research and Evaluation (M.A.).

It has been more than four years since I came to the UK. I have volunteered in many charities as Social Researcher, Admin Assistant, support worker, Advocator for people with sever disability, interpreter and coordinator believing that through my contribution, the society will appreciate my presence.

Poignantly though, what I hear on daily basis both from politicians and media is complete nonsense rhetoric speech against asylum seekers and refugees. None of them appreciate the contribution made by asylum seekers and refugees rather we are being used as cover-up for any political-ills. Quite few people really are ware on how bureaucratic and rigid the Home Office is. It has been more than a year since I haven’t heard from the Home office though constantly we are bombarded with media outlets that the Home Office has increased its efficiency.

On the same magnitude recently, I have disclosed my identity to my British colleagues in one of the charities where I work as volunteer, in which I have stated the tagged identity given to me by the home office-Asylum seeker. By the time I told them, they get shocked and start to approach me in a very obnoxious way afterwards. I felt totally helpless given the fact that I have contributed my skills, time and energy to this organisation, yet I am mistreated simply because I fall to the ‘wrong category’-Asylum Seeker.

Therefore, this is to request you graciously your advice whether I should disguise my tagged identity-as asylum seeker- from now on?

Thank You

People are so ungrateful, aren’t they? Like the voluntary sector – or the third unpaid thank god otherwise social services would collapse and the council tax would have to go up sector – as we prefer to call it – can be choosy about its volunteers.

Come and work for me dear. The revolution is a bit short staffed right now and you sound like you have plenty to offer. (Can you deliver Focus leaflets?)

If you prefer stay in your area, contact your local council for voluntary services (CVS) They should be only too happy to find you some nice friendly people to work with who will judge you for who you are, rather than for the legal description bestowed upon you by the Home Office which has come to mean so many other things within the confines of mean, narrow and ignorant minds. Thank you for writing. And many of us do appreciate the important contribution made to both the economy and the wellbeing of this country through the voluntary work of everyone involved, both indigenous and from abroad. Let me know how you get on. M xxx

Content from our partners
An innovative approach to regional equity
ADHD in the criminal justice system: a case for change – with Takeda
The power of place in tackling climate change