Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Taking the piss

The view out of my back door, 50 days after Thames Water introduced preliminary drought restrictions, including a hosepipe and sprinkler ban…

Other amusing facts relating to the current water shortage in the South East of England, aside from the fact that we've barely seen the Sun for weeks and it’s been pissing down quite a lot but that doesn’t matter because our fucking useless, but profitable, water industry only captures 5% of our copious rainfall...

  • Thames Water increased its charges by 21% this year
  • In the year to the end of March, operating profits at German-owned Thames Water were up 6% at £385.5m. Directors' bonuses rose from £228,000 to £615,000 last year, with total remuneration of the four executive directors up 62% at £1.26m

  • Thames Water is currently losing 946m litres of water a day through leaky pipes

  • Our Mayor Ken Livingstone has helpfully suggested that we don’t flush our toilets after taking a whizz

Of course, one could mull over the fact that our water, like many other key public services here in the UK and elsewhere, is under the control of an ever-smaller number of unaccountable multinational companies who seem to be able to gouge their customers at will.

You could even think to yourself that in the case of privately owned monopolies when they fuck up we pay for the fuck up and that, consequently, privatisation of monopolies is a really stupid thing for everyone except the new owners of the monopolies.

But me, all I can think about is the leakage figure - 946m litres per day. That’s something like 300 litres per household. I’d have to flush my toilet 30 times a day to waste that much water, whether I take a leak each time or not.

Apparently most of our pipes are over 100 years old and Thames Water has only just noticed.

And yet, in spite of everything, those profiteering jerk offs in the water industry have the brass balls to blame absolutely everyone else except themselves i.e. God and Us. Truly they are without sin and more than willing to cast the first stone, or impose the first water restrictions.

You’ve just got to love it when a large corporation, along with a compliant media, plays the environmental card to mask its own useless, but nevertheless highly lucrative, management of its business (see also – the British gas industry). Expect to see a lot more of that kind of bullshit from all sorts of industries in the very near future. It’s just so damned easy. Thanks Eco-Warriors, corrupt business just loves your arses.

But, sorry, I don't believe for one minute that having my bathroom reeking of stale urine is going to help save the planet in any meaningful way. How about having everyone do their bit by drinking a little less instead? Less water consumed plus less urine to flush away. Or maybe we could all do a 'Madonna'? I'm sure the whales and dolphins would love us for it.

The technical term for all of this is what is known in English vernacular as taking the piss – only don’t forget not to flush afterwards.

If only Thames Water would move into organised crime and the drugs business. We'd be able to disband our police force within a decade.

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