I’m glad I looked

We just got our new car (I’m still trying to find out how to use the key – I’ll post about that later) and part of the process required me to produce my driving licence.

Now, I’ve long known that your driving licence ‘expires’ on your 70th birthday – unless you renew it.  My partners licence will expire in a year or so, and that is neither a surprise nor a problem: my partner has driven a total of three times in the almost 3 decades we have been together.  The last time was at least fifteen years ago.  So losing that licence will make very little difference to us.

The surprise is when I looked at the expiry date on my licence.  I’ve got just two and a half years left on it!

No, I’m not that old!

I must confess, when I saw the expiry date, I got just a tad concerned.  We’ve got the new car for longer than I’ll have a licence!  The last six months we have it, it will be illegal for me to drive it!

So I telephoned the DVLA.  I explained the problem.  And the nice young thing on the other end explained how licences were now only valid for ten years.  Then you have to pay £20 to get a new one.

Had we not moved seven or eight years ago – if we still lived at the old address – I would not have needed to get my licence changed.  And so I would still have a licence that was valid until somewhere around 2030.
It had an expiry date on it that was a good decade and a half longer than my current licence!

So because I got a new licence, I have to keep getting a new licence.  If I kept my old one, I could keep my old one.  Eh?
Before my 70th birthday, I will have to renew my licence twice.  And then again when I hit 70.  That’s an extra £40 I’m being ripped off for.

And what if I hadn’t noticed the expiry date?  What if I blithely continued to believe that I had a licence?  Would the police believe me?  Or would I end up in court?

This is the sort of interfering change that government departments excel at.  We drivers have to pay £20 every ten years to renew our licences.  But the £20 will not cover the costs – so the DVLA will need more money from the government.  Which means more money from our taxes.  Which means higher taxes.

At the end of the day, it’s a policy which costs us money.  So we are paying them to annoy us!

We are told, constantly, that money is tight.  That various benefits are being either scrapped or changed.  That we will have to pay more and get less.

Then they announce how bank bosses are to be ‘limited’ to one years salary as a bonus!

Why are they incapable of seeing that 99.99999% of the population would be over the moon to get one weeks salary as a bonus?  For that matter, what could the bosses ever do that was worth a years salary as a bonus?

Think about it.  If you go to a restaurant, and the waiter does his job extremely well – you may leave a tip of 15%.  When I drove a taxi, I could expect to get an extra 10% a week in tips – and only from those customers who were happy with my service.

Have any of you, ever, given a tip that was as much as what you were charged?  Would you even consider it for a second if the driver took you to the wrong house?  Or if he overcharged you?  Or was rude, inconsiderate, smelly, late, or anything but damned good?

No, of course not.

But bankers – you remember them, they’re the ones responsible for this mess – are now being told that they should limit their bonuses to one years salary.
In taxi driving terms, they turned up a week late, ran over your dog, made you sit in somebody elses vomit, had multiple crashes during the journey, dropped you off at the wrong address, charged you ten times the going rate – and then expected a years wage as a tip!

Just so they could ask me to renew my licence every ten years…

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