Am I Going To My Hardware Store To Be Entertained By Elvis?

I’m on a rant today.  An injustice is being done by the Performance Rights Society – do they really want a world devoid of music?  They are going the right way about it.

What am I on about. 

Petty bureaucracy gone mad – that is what!

From time to time I will report back from the pressure group that I belong to who meet weekly (usually on a Friday evening) at our local pub. Formerly known as the “Putting the world to rights after a few pints of beer think tank” (PTWTRAAFPOB for short)  we are now seeking a new name with a great achronym something like “This is Totally Stupid” (TITS) – Suggestions please. 

Our aim a simpler lifestyle and just society. 

Our target the snoopers, petty bureaucratic ‘more than my jobs worth’ public servants, oh and I nearly forgot the taxman, and all injustices to us the trampled upon common working man.

OK I jest BUT – of course I am talking about meeting my mates down the pub and there is not an agenda – but the discussions do often centre on the crazy and often costly intrusions upon our lives.

One such discussion recently is worth the telling to a larger audience. 

Has our western society gone stark staring bonkers?

Let me paint the picture. 

One of our number a guy called Chris runs a small hardware store.  It is the sort of place you visit when you haven’t found that special DIY fixture you want in Homebase or B&Q. It is an old fashioned wonderous cavern of DIY odds and ends.  Before the big DIY chains this must have been a goldmine of a business – but nowadays I am quite amazed that Chris manages to eek a living out of the store.  It is the type of shop we all tend to love but don’t actually use very often.

Anyway – recently over a pint Chris pulled out of his pocket a letter which solemnly got passed round. Each reader in turn gave it the TITS ( “This is Totally Stupid”) thumbs down. 

We were all gobsmacked.

The letter was from the PRS (Performance Rights Society) telling him that he must apply for and pay for a Public Performance licence because he had a radio in his shop.  Now I am all for musicians getting their cut from the media when music is intentionally used to entertain the public BUT come on – what is this about?

Chris has a tiny radio so that he has something to listen to while he is waiting for a customer to come in his shop.  I have been in his place many times and not even realised that he had a radio on.  I am certainly not going to Chris’s shop to be entertained by what happens to be on his radio – and I strongly suspect that he has never ever attracted even a solitary customer because he is playing an Elvis track on his personal low volumed radio.

I can’t help comparing our over bureaucratic interfering society here in the UK with the lifestyle of the people in the place I have just been on holiday to.  I can’t imagine for one minute (please put me right if I am wrong) that the businesses on the lovely island of Corfu would have to put up with this nonsense.

Oh for a simpler life and more just society!






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