I Think You Can’t…I Think You Can’t…

Or, The Little Engine That Worked For The Local Council.

I have a confession to make – I have stopped asking the local council for permission to do anything. I’ve stopped asking  the state government the same question. In fact, I’m even considering cutting the federal government out of the equation when it comes to deciding how to order my life.

I’m not going to go so far when it comes to the wife. That’d just be crazy talk.

But flouting the local authorities would seem to be a good idea these days. I am no longer in receipt of a big income, nor of a pension, so throwing money around for permits and licenses seems like a waste of resource. I am fortunate in that the things I fancy are lawful and reasonably healthy and can be made to attract little attention. I am not fool enough to activate the sumptuary laws buried in council regulations nor the jealousies buried in the hearts of my neighbours.

Case in point: The state government would like to have anywhere from $75 to $100 to register a business name for me. I would like the same amount for hard liquor and model airplanes. Therefore I have named my business to my own satisfaction, to the satisfaction of my clients, and to that of the Australian Taxation Office…without reference to the local Jobsworths. I figure the financial feds trump them anyway.

I also operate a model airplane workshop in my back yard shed. I’d be willing to bet there are a dozen council regulations that might be applied to it, but after getting the first piece of paper allowing erection of the structure 35 years ago I don’t see that it is any of their business what I build in it. If I start to assemble floating mines I will reconsider…

And so on. Our family parks our cars on the front lawn as there is insufficient space for them in the carport. Betcha that’d get a fistful of paper if I were an enemy of the council…but I’m not. They see the rates paid and the bins sorted and the anonymity this gives me is just what I want.


Getting Permission To Have Fun

dsc_6829I have long nursed a dislike of government. Note that I am not being specific about which government or where…I am prepared to be suspicious of ’em all. Not because of any conspiracies or bad management …but because the basic premise of them all seems to be ” No “. To that single word you can append any number of others; ” money “, ” permission “, ” interest “, or ” fun “. It might be different in Antarctica or on the moon, but around here it is pretty much all the same.

You can’t sail toy boats in the parks, fly toy airplanes on the school oval, fly drones above the tourist attractions, etc. You can’t build big sheds in some shires, you can’t build big houses in others. You can’t go to some bush areas and you certainly can’t shoot an old muzzle-loading flintlock rifle out in the bare desert. After all, this is only a very tiny little bare restricted state the size of Europe…

You are sometimes allowed to apply for permission to speak to officials…and then you can ask for permission to have fun. They encourage this as it gives them an opportunity to charge a fee for dispensing permission – or refusing it if they feel like it. It can be a matter of some anxiety on their part whether to go for the fee first or wait for a fine.

The surprising thing about this all is that it is generally accompanied by broad and bland advertisement about how our state is the greatest playground in the world and how the government is promoting our best interests. But don’t ask to have fun.

Tiny Hint: Choose an activity that they cannot regulate. Then flaunt it. You’re reading one of them now…