Fair Cop

Another encounter with the [very polite] Tayside police in Perth late last night. 36 mph and the right headlight not working on dipped beam. The classic Northern Ireland response is, ‘Why don’t you boys go and catch some terrorists?’ – but it’s wiser not. I watched them check the tax and the tyres – over 25000 miles since I got a complete set in Macon last summer so it’s nearly time – and I went on my way rejoicing. Pity the church doesn’t do guilt-inducement convincingly any more – it’s heady stuff. By the way, in case you ever need to know, the French for wheel-balancing is equilibrage.

I gave a lift to a young student from the Czech Republic on the way into Perth this moming. He had enough English to tell me that he had been working very hard and that he had earned what was in his terms a lot of money. If I heard him right, he had earned £400 in 20 days working 12 hours a day. I hope that isn’t what he said. Out at Blogstead, we like our strawberries fresh, succulent … and cheap.  Churches have an increasing focus on rural issues and the needs of the rural community – I wonder if this is in there?


  1. Yes. It’s seems to be that when you reach the most vulnerable that the legal protections seem most ineffective. I think there are similar issues for seamen from the third world. I too thought of the cockle pickers. Giving lifts – I suppose I find this place so much more innocent than Norn Irn that I relax a bit. And I like to meet people

  2. For as long as eastern european students continue to work for such a pitiful sum of money, nothing is going to change. There are still cockle pickers risking their lives on unsafe beaches for a wage that is ridiculously low. Foreign workers are dying needlessly either by electrocution or drowning and nobody bats an eye. If it was British students being treated like that in other countries there would be an outcry for sure. What happened to equality and the European Community???

    Oh and I woulnd stop to pick anybody up while driving my car, but then again I am a female and probably not so trusting of strangers whether they are foreign or not.

  3. Dear + David,
    With all due respect to your other reply on this subject the hourly rate is £ 1.66.
    It is not outwith the bounds of possibillity that this indeed is the rate paid by some of the greedier Farmers in this land.
    I hasten to add that not all are painted with the same brush, but by coincidence, I have met Polish and Spanish workers in Dunning and Auchterarder whose hourly rate is not very different.
    I thought we had laws about these conditions, but as always the enforcers seem more concerned with light bulbs and tyre treads.

    Best wishes,

  4. It’d be £0.6/hour. I too hope he said something else. Maybe it is what he managed to save after living expenses and taxes.

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