Howdy Freshers and of course returning students of Southampton University!
Here’s hoping you had a half-decent summer and were able to realise all your hopes, dreams and financial targets before throwing them all away on this year’s reading list.
I’m Jonny. My job here is to get angry about stuff for your entertainment. I’m not here to be balanced, fair or to offer solutions. I will attempt to avoid areas like gender, race, religion and sexuality (unless of course it is in support of anti-discrimination) but everything else is more or less fair game.
So let’s start somewhere close to what many of you call home, and the rest of you likely will do in the coming years.
Those individuals who weren’t around Southampton this summer were lucky enough to miss the worst of a series of rolling strikes held by various branches of the City Council services.
Civil workers were upset that they had not been allowed a pay rise that was previously promised to them, owing to the recession.
You know, one can pretty much blame everything on that these days: hangover? Recession. Washing got rained on? Recession. Weekend ruined? Actually that one’s Rebecca Black’s fault but, as we all know, she only exists because of the recession.
The industrial action was carried out in an effort to fuel some public hatred towards the Council and strong-arm them into a reconsideration of their stance. This, however, turned out to be a bit of a problem when the bin-men went on strike, thoroughly ignoring the fact that no self-respecting member of the public, likely struggling to hold onto a job themselves, would be willing to pay extra council-tax to accommodate a pay-rise to the guy that takes their bins away.
Dates were, of course, chosen that would correspond exactly with the seemingly random timetable of collection times normally offered by the council and take full advantage of various bank holidays. Further measures included “working to the letter” which, naturally, meant not collecting the piles of bin-bags that had been left beside overflowing bins for lack of a better storage option.
In a few short weeks, Portswood smelt like a slum.
Following this, in a particularly amusing display of pure cheek, a letter was sent around by the Council enclosed with this year’s Tax request, encouraging residents to take time out of their busy day to drive their own rubbish to the dump.
Personally I got utterly sick and tired of the smell I was confronted with whenever I left my house, no matter where I went.
Had I owned a car, I’d have taken it upon myself to drive all my and everyone else’s rubbish to the City Council car park, where it would collect until I had a list of bin-men’s addresses where I could leave it instead.
In short, these are tough times and everyone would do well to get over themselves and be grateful to be in steady, paid employment.
WRITTEN BY JONNY VAUGHAN