People looking for loopholes so that they can get out of paying for something, but who at the same time strenuously pitch themselves as crusading fighters for liberty, freedom and justice. Case in point: Neil Herron, from Sunderland. Neil is the public face of whinging campaign group Parking Appeals and has been courting the media this last week due to his attempts to have parking law scrutinized and tickets rescinded at the High Court in London. Neils had the rule book out. Hes going to Australia and hes going to bowl fucking Bodyline.
If you’re a minute late back from a meeting you get a £120 fine. If you’re an inch over a white bay, you get a £120 fine, Neil whines.
Now Neil, like Richard the Lionheart before the gates of Jerusalem, is absolutely convinced that he is right. You can see it in his complacent, gloating fat face. You can hear it in the strident tones of his voice. Essentially, Neils unhappy that councils dont back up the thick, luminescent bright, high-visibility lines on roads indicating parking restrictions with street signs pointing down to the tarmac saying PARK HERE AND THALL GET FINED, YOU DAFT BASTARD!!!, and that like oil and water; cross-ply and radial; grape and grain red lines (zones) and yellow lines (restrictions) shouldnt be mixed. OK. But reading between the lines (boom boom) this seems like a campaign group on behalf of egocentric twats who think theyve got a right to stick their cars wherever they want. Right on, man. They used the wrong shade of yellow, Tony from Doncaster complains, getting behind the campaign. It should have been Naples Yellow and they slapped down Winsor Lemon. School Boy error. He remembers to add, raising an obese fist into the air: Were just doing this for the people! Can I have my money back?
Don Bradman retires from the field with his top teeth in his pocket.
I picture Neil driving a Lexus. Metallic gold. Leather pack. Pork pie in one hand, mobile phone in the other, nudging pedestrians aside to curb his IS500. Another skin touching session with Dave from the Corby branch. An ego to match his bonus target. Hes five minutes late after stopping off for a cappuccino fix in the Little Chef at Newport Pagnell. Sod it, herell do, he thinks. Stuff everyone else. This could clinch that vital maxi-pack order. Neil chubs off to get eye balls on with Dave over a powerpoint presentation, a few obligatory youtube.com clips thrown in, some Costa Rican gold and a squint at the secretarys arse as she sways through the open plan office.
Five minutes later, the parking enforcement officer Colleen, 47, thick ankles and a huge loan with Bright House to pay for totters up. Eagle-eyed she spots the Lexus straddling the double-yellows. Colleen, another tick towards satisfying her daily target, slaps a ticket on the Lexus. Job done, away she goes.
Neil comes out. Blood pressure through the fucking roof. A ticket! A fucking bastard ticket! I cannae fookin believe it! Here he is, keeping the countrys economy going, backbone of Britain and he gets a fucking ticket. Thin end of the wedge. Tip of the bloody iceberg. Why does he fucking bother? He is incensed on behalf of every right-thinking motorist in the land. Bring me my bow of burning gold, bring me my arrows of desire… Bring me my spear! Oh, clouds unfold! Bring me my hundred and twenty quid!
If barrel-chested, broad-shouldered Neil wins his court case the judgement will see councils having to refund wads of money to motorists, leaving a massive hole in the council finances. Now, Im not a whole-hearted lover of councils. However, this seems to me nothing more than peevish individuals wanting to get their own way for the sake of it. And the upshot? The resulting council deficit will mean that my bins will be even more maggoty than they are now and therell be even more chance of getting mugged as the council switches off the street lamps.
Theres a similar story from Sheffield, from back in the summer, where Alan Bangert complained about Sheffield City Councils lack of marking on a particular junction (signs but no lines the reverse of Neils concerns). Alan was caught out not once, not twice, but three times by the same junction controlling movement over tram lanes. So apparently this wasnt a mistake by Alan, unless hes totally fucking stupid. No, it seems he was making a conscious decision to disobey the traffic directions. Because he wanted to. The rebel. He says: Its a traffic management system that was operating illegally. It needed addressing.
Another martyr to his own wallet.
Most motorists dont like Traffic Cops. Understandably on occasion. Stereotyped not necessarily unfairly as Nazis with sweet tooths, lingering around the donut shops, who spend all day on their knees checking tyre pressures while tutting self-righteously, and then sensuously indulging themselves with Swiss Rolls in concealed lay-byes as they hypocritically pick off speeders and nudge their waistlines closer to the steering wheel. Neither do they like parking enforcement. But both are a necessary curb. Motoring is indicative of the state of society. Anti-social, impatient, egocentric, selfish, careless. And whining fuckers like Neil and Alan typify a way of thinking and acting.
Well bowled, Harold.