Thornton On Thursday: Cashpoint morals

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So there you are stood at the cashpoint and all of sudden it starts raining money. And it’s not your money – you’re not sure whose money it is, but you know it’s not yours because you pressed the ‘‘£100’’ key and you got £200.

That’s exactly what happened to several Peterborough people using the cashpoint at Morrisons in Cardea when the machine went haywire.

It certainly gave new meaning to the common boast: “Free cash withdrawls.’’

But, what would you do? Pocket the extra cash and say nothing? Alert the authorities and return the money? Get on your mobile and tell all your mates to get down there and fill their boots/wallets?

I don’t want to sound like a goody-two-shoes but it’s clear to me what to do.

Anyone who doubled their money should return it and in the case of those who went to the machine after hearing it was spewing out extra cash they are nothing but thieves.

I have heard the argument that why should ordinary Joes like me and thee be honest in our dealings with banks, the very institutions that in recent years have displayed morals that would make an alley cat blush.

As my nana Madge used to tell me “two wrongs don’t make a right’’. It really is that simple.

The banking industry in this country is a disgrace – fuelled by greed and tacitly supported by politicians of all colours afraid to risk offending them in case there’s an economic price to pay.

The latest scandal involving HSBC and claims that it helped wealthy clients avoid tax is truly shocking, but hardly surprising.

I doubt that those people who are so ready to cheat the exchequer (ie: the rest of us) would blink an eyelid if they got a cashpoint bonus.

But it wouldn’t make them richer, it would make them poorer.

l It’s impossible to see the picture of little Lucas Durber with his parents who were tragically killed in an horrific crash and not get a lump in the throat. The crash was caused by Debra Weston, a mother herself, who, Peterborough court heard had “momentary inattention while driving”.

The court also heard that “Speed, drink, fatigue and avoidable distractions such as eating or using a mobile phone have all been eliminated as causes.”

Weston was jailed for a year.

Part of me thinks it’s not long enough, part of me thinks it’s too long.

l London Fire Brigade launched a campaign to warn people of the perils of putting their private parts in places they were never intended to go. It was sparked by fear the new movie Fifty Shades Of Grey would lead to a glut of call-outs to saddoes trapped in handcuffs and worse.

They called the campaign Fifty Shades Of Red. Fifty Shades Of Stupid would have been better.

l The extraordinary tale of Peppa the pig, also known as the Eye Green One, caused quite a kerfuffle. Passions were inflamed and there seemed much confusion among the parties involved. But surely one of the morals of the stories is if you’re going to collect a pig and you rock up in a van with the words “hog roast’’ on don’t be surprised if people jump to certain conclusions.

l I’ve banged on about the city council’s budget almost as much as council leader Marco Cereste, albeit coming at it from a very different angle, so I’m going to give it a rest for a bit. But on one last note I have to congratulate the city council for its plans for our libraries. Compared to the disgraceful “slash and burn’’ policy adopted by their counterparts over the border in Lincolnshire, our councillors look positively enlightened.

Peterborough’s plans to move towards a self-service system isn’t perfect – jobs will go and there remains concerns over activities such as rhyme-times – but compared to the book-burning yellowbellies who are axing libraries left, right and centre it looks a far, far better option.

Diary Of A Bad Dad

It’s the same every year when we get to deepest, darkest February. I turn to Mrs T and say: “I think we need two weeks’ holiday relaxing in the sun.’’

“Fine,’’ she said, “just get it out of your head that it’s a) going to be relaxing or b)that’s it’s going to be a holiday.’’

The reason of course is our too little darlings Toddler T and Baby T2. Even when they are on the best behaviour a trip to the supermarket can feel like Mission Impossible.

Just at the moment we are finally ready to go, we discover Toddler T has put her shoes on the wrong feet. “Silly me,’’ she trills, taking it in good spirit but refusing any help even though it would save us five minutes. “I can do it myself,’’ she says firmly with the merest hint of a full-scale tantrum if she is denied. Shoes finally on the right rosies (her strange nickname for her feet) I have the key in the door when there is the sound of a small elephant.

“Was that you?’’ I accuse Mrs T. “Afraid not,’’ she replied glancing at Baby T2 who had a rather smug look on his face. So we had another delay for a pitstop and nappy change.’’ And so the circle of delay goes on...

So if you see me and mine at an airport this summer don’t sigh just give us a round of applause.