I was thinking about the 5p charge for a plastic bag. Today, I experienced my first such charge. I bought a loaf and a bottle of red wine. The total cost was about £6. I was asked if I wanted a bag, and told that it would cost me 5p if I did. Since I had no means of carrying those purchases without a bag, because I had other packages in my hands, I said yes. The shop assistant was at pains to tell me that all the 5ps would be added up and contributed to charity. I asked which charity. He did not know.

There is no point in pushing such things with the staff. They do not know. They obey orders. I wonder what he would have done, when he asked me if I wanted a bag, if I had just said, “No” and waited. I suppose that he would have put the loaf and the bottle on the counter. I could reasonably have looked at him and said, “So?” And when he looked blank, I could have said, “Are you not going to wrap them? Do you expect me to put them in my pockets? Have you no paper bags?”

Which brings us to the main question:

“Do these staff members have no union to protect them?” Why should they be on the front line, demanding 5p per bag and taking the brickbats? That also happened with the smoking ban. Publicans were caught be surprise because of late amendments to the Bill, but they still had months to object. They did nothing. They allowed themselves to become unpaid policemen. Supermarkets have done the same thing again. They have allowed themselves to become unpaid enforcers.

Today, I ordered our groceries from ASDA. I received a communication from Asda a few days ago which said that they would be charging for plastic bags from 1st October. They said that they would charge 40p for bags used in deliveries regardless of the number of bags. They said that they would provide an option in the on-line ordering process as to whether one wanted one’s order to be bagged in plastic bags. If not, then the delivery man would help with unloading the stuff from the containers in which they are delivered. No such option appeared when I ordered today. Will the groceries be delivered loose or in plastic bags tomorrow?

The question that arises is, “What is to be done about the HOLE?” If I buy a pair of shoes on-line, should I expect the shoes to be delivered without wrapping of any kind? Should I open the door to the postman and expect him to hand me a pair of shoes? Erm… What protection has my new pair of shoes had during transit? Are they not already soiled?


Which brings me the title of this post.

It is clear from the foregoing that Parliament has not thought the idea of the 5p charge through at all. Why has it not?

It is fairly obvious that the whole idea of the charge is merely intended to be ‘a deterrent’. It is not really serious. It is a bit of a joke. The 5p charge is intended to deter shoppers from expecting plastic bags to be freely available. There is no need for extensive accounting for bags, which the law requires. That accounting is way, way over the top.

But what is most important is the intention. The deterrent. By permitting this regulation, the Government has, in effect, confiscated children’s catapults. In fact, it has done worse, since it is possible for children’s catapults to do actual harm. It has moved legislation into a state of ‘teeth brushing is mandatory’. How could that be enforced? It cannot, and so it would be assumed that anyone with bad teeth has not brushed. Such people are disgusting, filthy, stinking non-brushers with bad teeth. They do not deserve treatment from dentists. Only persons with perfect teeth deserve dentists.

Are we not coming to that? Is it not true that the only people deserving of treatment under the NHS are healthy people? If you considered to be healthy, and you break your leg, then you can be treated. But if you are considered to be unhealthy, then you will have to rot and die.

The deterrent worked perfectly well with the atom bomb. It was not the creation of the EU which kept the peace in Europe since WW2, it was the the atom bomb. That was the really, really effective ‘deterrent’.


Can we protest about the silliness? Well, yes, but it is too silly to be bothered. That was the point of my last post – accept the silliness and MAKE YOUR OWN DECISION. For example, had Asda asked me whether or not I wanted to pay 40p for the plastic bags, I would have said “Yes”, because, on an order of £100 or thereabouts, 40p is nothing. Had the order been £0.50, then 5p would be 10%. THAT IS HUGE! Isn’t it? Or is it? Even at an order level of 50p, 5p is nothing.


I am rapidly coming to the conclusion that we, in the UK, have no Government at all. We have ‘Experts’ who control ‘government departments’, but those departments are not really ‘government’ – they are conspirators with agendas. They have no interest in the well-being of Britons.

When you think about it, most of tobacco control relies upon deterrence rather than clear force. Thus, tax on cigs deters people from buying them rather than forcing them not to.  But it is the same thing in the end – Deterrence is Prohibition. Prohibition is Deterrence.


Our Elected Representatives do not give a shit about about The People. Has any MP voiced the obvious objections to the 5p contribution to charity? WHO DECIDES WHAT CHARITY MY PERSONAL CONTRIBUTION VIA MY 5p BENEFITS? Further, since I have now paid 5p for the plastic bag, what am I supposed to do with it? Can I sell it? If I accumulate 1000 such bags, what will be the sale value of them? Or would it behove me to chuck them into the sea to get rid of them?


No. It is absolutely obvious that Cameron et al are just figureheads. MPs are just figureheads. They are lost in the melting pot of ignorance. They are frightened to death of saying the wrong words, but they will bomb and kill without any qualm.

‘Deterrence’ is the wrong way round at this time. We need to have General Elections every year. That would certainly deter ‘The Elite’ from taking the proletariat for granted.

Some hope.




5 Responses to “Deterrant”

  1. lleweton Says:

    ‘Nudge’ has sinister implications

  2. Radical Rodent Says:

    Does this mean we have a government of nudgers?

  3. junican Says:

    What is sinister about ‘nudging’ is that it is inherently dishonest. The very word suggests trickery. I believe that pickpockets use a trick of ‘nudging’ their victims to distract them just as the reach into the pocket and relieve the victim of his wallet. The Zealots try to portray ‘nudging’ as ‘gentle pushes in the right direction’. That may have been true at first, but, as is always the case with tobacco control, the charlatans take over and nudging morphs into pushing, and in a direction which the person pushed does not want to go in.
    Was the car smoking ban a nudge? Of course not! It was a blatant shove in the direction of criminalising parents who smoking he presence of their children.
    We have no government.

  4. Jude Says:

    Its interesting that those that propose these “taxes”, (this is what they are after all, a tax on plastic bags), only ever come up with half a solution, the half that punishes the people, but does little else.

    A better solution to the problem of too much plastic in the world, (and this is a problem particularly in the worlds oceans), would be to charge the 5p, and then make the government dept who came up with the punishy half of the solution, to fund a means to recycle all the plastic bags bought, using the money from the sale of the bags to do so. This would need to be at no inconvenience to those who purchased the bags, they have already done their bit.

    All those 5ps could fund the employment of people to go house to house, collect all plastic bags and packaging, and return them to the government, for recycling, which in turn would fund more employment. An incentive, such as money back to the purchaser for return of such bags, (like the bottle return in some Aussie states where people are paid a few cents to return glass and plastic bottles), would certainly help, as people would be less annoyed at simply another tax.

    After all, aren’t taxes what the government uses to provide services to the people?

    These people are simply schoolyard bullies, who never learned that valuable lesson, “you catch more flies with honey, than with vinegar”. They are all wanting to push the punishment, (al la prohibition and taxes), but totally lack the intelligence to understand that incentive is far better.

    I don’t know many people who want to pollute their world with bits of plastic, but getting people’s backs up by taxing them, without any appropriate “service” to deal with the issue, does nothing but build resentment.

    • junican Says:

      As usual, the idea is ‘worthy’ – designed to stop global warming – but, as usual, it has been ill-thought through. It will result in more bags going into landfill. The total supply of plastic bags might fall, but the total supply does not go into landfill since almost all supermarkets collect used bags from their customers and recycle the materials. For years, I have been including in my efforts to recycle ALL the plastic bags which appear in my home from various sources. Those bags will now go into landfill.

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