Whom the Gods would destroy, they first make mad
If you want evidence that the Labour government is completely and utterly out of touch, you need look no further than the fact that they are trying to make councils up and down the country bring the same kind of prosecution and fine which Copeland Council sought on Gareth Corkhill.
According to today's Sunday Times, advice from government to councils is that they should prosecute anyone who leaves their bin open, puts it out a few hours early or leaves it in the wrong place, and that the scale of fines proposed is higher than the likely value of the fixed penalty notices which the police sometimes use for shoplifting or drunk & disorderly conduct.
As a Copeland councillor (who was not consulted on the prosecution and would not have agreed to it if I had been) I received angry messages both from within Copeland and the rest of the country when the council prosecuted a bus driver with four children for putting slightly too much rubbish in his bin which was four inches short of closing properly.
Now I'm not saying that nobody should ever be prosecuted for over-filling litter bins, but there should be such a thing as a sense of proportion. Imposing heavier fines for leaving a bin four inches open than for thieves or those who make other people's life hell through disorderly conduct is bound to bring authority into disrepute.
And it ought to be the most obvious common sense that you don't start making public examples of people for over-filling bins until you have first put effective measures in place to catch, punish and deter people who indulge in littering and fly-tipping.
But clearly the Labour government has no more common sense than Copeland Council's Labour administration has.