At this time of year, when abundance rejoices, want is most keenly felt.
These words, first penned by Charles Dickens well over a century ago, are as true now as they were then.
Nowhere is want most keenly felt than in Nanny's world of rules and regulations. You see folks, all these rules have to be enforced, monitored and administered.
That costs money.
Nanny, although she happily keeps raising taxes, is still feeling a little "short".
She has been pondering how to raise more cash, then finally her special little Christmas troll Charles Fungus Clarke, the home secretary, came up with a real wizzo idea.
His idea is to lower the the cash seizure threshold under the Proceeds of Crime Act.
What's all that about then Ken?...I hear you ask.
Didn't you know?
Currently, if the police are investigating a suspect and they are carrying more than
£5K in cash, the police can seize the money.
The suspect then has 14 days to explain the source of funds to a magistrate. If the suspect chooses not to do so, then the police keep the funds.
Didn't know that, did you?
Now, dear old Fungus is considering lowering the limit from £5K to £1K. This amount, I think you will all agree, is what you could easily get through one night down the pub.
The amendment would widen the scope for donations to the police force's "tin box", as it is known; ie it would provide a very nice top up to the police force's petty cash.
The scheme is administered by Smiler Brown's Treasury, and is designed to return a percentage of the proceeds of crime back to the law enforcement agency that
seized it. This money is viewed as a short-term gain for the police force.
A member of the City of London Police is quoted as saying that they are looking for "..cash seizures for quick results..".
Indeed, in 2004 police officers in Suffolk forced a convicted drug dealer to hand over £60 in cash for which he could not account.
A pilot scheme will be run in Kirklees.
Offenders found with £1K or more face having their cash taken by the police using a court order under the new proposals.
"Reducing the threshold so officers can seize cash stashes of at least £1K will allow the police to target local drug dealers and other small-time criminals whose activities destroy lives and blight communities.
Hard cash remains the currency of choice for criminals - bundles of notes totaling around 1m are being seized each week.
Much of the money we are confiscating from the criminals is being used to fund the fight against crime and to help support victims and crime reduction projects across the country.
This forms a key part of our Respect agenda
and our sustained effort to ensure criminals can no longer ride roughshod over the law and the values of the decent law-abiding majority by openly flouting their ill-gotten gains."
I am all for wiping criminal scum from the face of the earth.
However, does it not pose rather a risk to police impartiality, intergity and independence if the police are able to profit by keeping the money that they take from people in this manner?