27 July, 2009


Taking a little responsibility for your own survival

This was an unpleasant incident (via Frank Chalk). If the immediately obvious interpretation is correct, this chap went out on what turned into a serious bender and in his final inebriated condition decided it would be a jolly good idea to climb into a large wheelie bin for a nap. Not something I can readily visualize to be honest: even a commercial-sized waste bin is going to be a bit on the cramped side, difficult to climb into and uninviting, depending on the existing contents. Being crushed to death in a waste compactor is not an end I would wish on anyone; one can only hope he was still too befuddled to grasp what was happening properly before it was all over.

Still, the matter is in the hands of the police and in due course the coroner. What prompts me to post on the subject is the following bit of distasteful opportunism:
Concerns were raised by union leaders in Brighton over cuts to services, which they say led to two near misses of people being found asleep in commercial bins.

Robert Macey, organiser for the GMB union, said: “This was obviously a tragic accident and we would wish to express our condolences both to the family of the deceased and the employees who found him.

“Since the Conservative administration began cutting the budget for the refuse service and introducing communal bins, we have been warning that that this was an accident waiting to happen.

“Whether the bins are owned by the council or private contractors, measures now need to be taken to ensure that all communal bins in the city are made safe and secured in a way that prevents people entering them and putting their lives at risk.”

What exactly are the GMB proposing? The return of the old-fashioned cylindrical bins, thus creating a requirement for extra dustmen to carry each individually to the wagon? Or failing that, the appointment of watchmen (GMB-represented of course) to guard over the communal bins to ensure that passing vagrants,, children, care-in-the-community nutters and out-of-their-head drunks/druggies do not endanger themselves by climbing inside?

Ultimately, (a) shit happens and (b) we have to take a bit of responsibility for our own actions. Assuming that no foul play was involved, Mr Williams regrettably lost out on both counts. People know what happens to wheelie bins. If they choose to sleep in them then they risk the consequences.

GMB rep Mr Macey's political opportunism in the wake of this unfortunate event is disgraceful.

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