MR PENDLE: Good idea to rewrite rule book so workshy whingers lose out

A COUNCIL in Norfolk has told its staff who take a cigarette break they must clock off and back on again.

Thursday, 25th November 2010, 10:34 am

At first, non-smoking Mr Pendle thought this was a good idea - but then, as he took the first sip from his first cup of morning coffee, he thought again.

For if smokers who took time off to have a cigarette, he reasoned, surely the same rule should apply to those having a coffee break?

And what about all those who go to the shop to buy a newspaper, go across the road to the bookmakers to place a bet and so on?

There are no doubt other similar situations which readers could think up.

The smokers’ campaign group Forest has asked the council to think again - and for once, Mr Pendle agrees with them.

THERE has been much whingeing and whining about the coalition government’s decision to revise the benefits system.

And while there is no doubt some claimants are genuinely unfit for work and should be paid, there is equally no doubt there are some shiftless scroungers for whom the word work is anathema, would do everything they can to avoid it and who should therefore be encouraged to change their ways by cutting the cash they receive.

Examples Mr Pendle has come across from the workshy include a dislike of using public transport - do these people never go out - or not wanting to sit near a window.

Rules such as these have seen claimants receiving up to £90 a week in benefits - most of which is then spent in the pub or at the bookies.

The coalition government has promised to rewrite the rule book so this type of skiving will no longer wash - and Mr Pendle is sure the vast majority of people will agree.

DEPUTY Prime Minister Nick Clegg has dismissed calls for a law change to ensure people turning up at the last minute to vote in future elections will not be turned away from polling stations.

And he is absolutely right to do so.

There is no reason at all why, when polling stations are open for 15 hours, people should leave it until the last minute to go to vote.

The date of an election is posted well in advance of the poll, so people have ample time to make any arrangements necessary to allow them to cast their vote long before the 10 p.m. cut-off hour.

Personally speaking, Mr Pendle usually votes first thing in the morning, passing his polling station on the way to work.

Not everyone is fortunate to be in that position - but no one he knows leads such a hectic life they need to leave it to the last minute.