You are quite right about our national trait of succumbing to authority but the trouble is that 'authority' has got used to it!I spent all last week, and another farmer spent a fornight trying to get some calving heifers moved from grasskeep in Monmouthshire, home to the adjacent county Herefordshire. Both counties are classified as 'High Risk' and the animals have been being moved under licence all summer as they approached calving. However, someone in DEFRA drew a nice line on a map between the counties and decreed that movements were no longer allowed - nothing to do with new disease risk. The local vets in Worcester were prepared to issue a licence but were overruled by Page Street (headquarters of Exotic Diseases Dept).
It took hours of time, letters to 2 MP's and a leaked internal letter in order to get this licence!
Trouble is, not only do we not have time to pursue these nonsenses on a regular basis but, more often than not, you get nowhere (the leaked letter was a blessing and I fear for the 'leaker') and it wears down your resolve.
Another example is that the water board have closed the road near us, supposedly for 4 weeks, in order to lay some pipe. We and everyone visiting us have to go miles to avoid this. It is not always impassable but they always leave the sign up -even over the weekend - so you don't know until you have gone several miles and often have to turn round and go back - not easy with a trailer!. I am sure no-one but the Brits would put up with this but I really don't have the time to start fighting it, so, like everyone else, I just grumble and wait!