RICHARD ORD: Dog dirt delivers another fine mess

Anyone who tells you throwing money at a problem is not the answer to a problem, obviously hasn't had kids.

Right on? Civil partnership campaigners have their day in court.
Right on? Civil partnership campaigners have their day in court.

I find chucking cash in the direction of my two boys is a surefire way of getting them to quit their yapping. It sometimes works with the wife too.

So how come so many people are having a pop at Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson who has offered a cash windfall to anyone who provides photographic evidence of dog owners failing to clean up their animal’s mess?

The enterprising politician has been criticised for offering a year’s free council tax for info leading to the successful conviction of offending dog owners in his city.

Critics say it will turn citizens into unpaid park wardens and point out that the fines for dog fouling are considerably less than a year’s council tax. It’s that sort of long-term thinking that stifles progress.

I get the same criticism over my cash-reliant child rearing policy.

“What happens when the money runs out?” they say.

You’ve got to live in the moment, I tell them. But when it does run out, I suggest you start throwing other things to keep the kids quiet. Pillows to begin with, but if they persist in their moaning, try something heavier, like a slipper or a mallet.

There are those who claim the Liverpool dog dirt plan will encourage the infringement of people’s civil liberties. Every movement of dog owners in Liverpool will be fair game to be recorded by so called ‘pooper snoopers’ hoping to catch them out and earn a year’s free council tax.

Mr Anderson says those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear.

Too right. Which is why I, and I’m sure the rest of our community, would happily agree to random frisking and full body cavity searches by the authorities and well meaning members of the public, if it meant a crime and dog dirt-free city.

But, I hear the cry, what about our rights?

Everybody’s jumping on this rights bandwagon. Only this week, a heterosexual couple went to the Court of Appeal fighting for the right to enter into a civil partnership.

Even though the civil partnership was brought in exclusively for same sex couples, Rebecca Steinfeld and Charles Keidan, from London, naturally, argued that they were being discriminated against.

They weren’t. As the Court of Appeal pointed out, they did not meet the legal requirement of being the same sex. It’s a bit like me demanding the right to be able to defecate in the street without punishment as long as I pick up my mess and put it in a plastic bag. If it’s okay for dogs surely it’s okay for me. Or are you telling me I don’t deserve the same rights as a dog?

If I didn’t clean up after myself, the people of Liverpool could catch me on camera and get their council tax for free. And if they filmed me doing my business in the street, they’d have earned it.