In which our intrepid hero wonders who owns trees.

There’s an old story that when George Washington was a kid, he tested the sharpness of a new axe on his father’s favourite cherry sapling. Dad was, understandably, not happy. When confronted (probably with the handle of that very same axe), young George stated: "I cannot tell a lie. It was I who chopped down the cherry tree."

A couple of days ago, I had to drop down to my local Council on behalf of a client. Said client wanted to remove a tree on his property; like everything in this great, overlegislated land of ours, such an act requires Council approval. The institutionalised bribe statutory fee for submitting a request for approval for tree removal is $40.

Forty bucks, just to ask permission to lop down your own damn tree.

Now, George was an honest guy, but would he have saved up his pocket money, just so he could test the sharpness of a new axe without fear of Council reprisal? I think not.

Later in life, he led a revolution against stupid and unfair taxation. He pioneered a political system based on justice and liberty, and founded a nation of citizens implicitly protected against the excesses of government.

If one irate pothead in America can do this, how long will it take before someone over here gets the same idea?