Things I hate #2

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Appeals and has been courting the media this last week due to his attempts to have parking law scrutinized and tickets rescinded at the High Court in London. Neil’s had the rule book out. He’s going to Australia and he’s 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, Neil’s unhappy that councils don’t 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 THA’LL 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) shouldn’t be mixed. OK. But reading between the lines (boom boom) this seems like a campaign group on behalf of egocentric twats who think they’ve 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: ‘We’re 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. He’s five minutes late after stopping off for a cappuccino fix in the Little Chef at Newport Pagnell. Sod it, here’ll 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 clips thrown in, some Costa Rican gold and a squint at the secretary’s 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 country’s 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, I’m 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 there’ll be even more chance of getting mugged as the council switches off the street lamps.

There’s a similar story from Sheffield, from back in the summer, where Alan Bangert complained about Sheffield City Council’s lack of marking on a particular junction (signs but no lines – the reverse of Neil’s concerns). Alan was caught out not once, not twice, but three times by the same junction controlling movement over tram lanes. So apparently this wasn’t a mistake by Alan, unless he’s 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: ‘It’s a traffic management system that was operating illegally. It needed addressing.’

Another martyr to his own wallet.

Most motorists don’t 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.



  1. GSmudger · October 1, 2008

    It reminds me of a heated debate in which I became embroiled in a Greek restaurant. It became so loud and destructive that the plate-smashing was cancelled. We almost had a Mediterannean-flavoured Bugsy Malone sequence, with savoury dips, salty endives and skewered meat whistling through the air.
    In the police corner, yours truly. In the libertarian corner, my feisty adversary. The issue of universal DNA-profiling was mooted and my adversary felt very passionately that having the sacred complexity of his genotype held on a database was the biggest affront to his civil liberties since Hitler started perusing Luftwaffe reconnaisance photos for possible holiday homes in the Wolds. How very dare the crypto-fascists at Police HQ catalogue him just because he had chromosomes! What if they found his DNA in a car he’d once driven? Why, they’d hang him for rape, murder and bestiality, and he’d be a martyr, and that would teach them! Daily Mail FM exists.
    I did point out that the DNA database, contrary to the impression given by Spooks and 24, doesn’t allow fat coppers to telepathically detect thought crime or watch random strangers in the shower, at least not without a RIPA authority which is so difficult to fill in that not many fat coppers bother. I also pointed out that having DNA and, for example, innocently leaving it in a car you sold five years ago, are not in fact crimes. DNA is just another kind of fingerprint, just one of many forms of proof that the Filth need to present to the CPS to enable them to decline to prosecute with authority.
    It’s fair to say we reached no middle ground; had I been debating contraception with the Pope over a cheeky litre of retsina, the experience might have been similar.
    I was enlightened by this contre-temps. I wish we’d had the tapes running because I actually got him to say he considered his own abstract right not to have his DNA taken to be of greater importance than the Filth’s ability to bring serious offenders to book. ‘Surrender a little of one’s liberty for the greater good?’, he would say in my ROTI. ‘What kind of chump do you think I am? Spock at the end of Wrath of Khan?’
    The middle-classes are very quick to condemn the Kyle demographic for their thoughtless, self-centred approach to life. They should, after all, aspire to a thoughtful, self-centred approach, agonised over with a nice glass of bourdeaux. Suddenly, I feel the need to be a traffic cop. Beyond the law today, are we sir? Know the Chief, do we? Breathe into this.


  2. Kurakis · February 7, 2014

    Thanks for Things I hate #2 – Guinnessorig online casinos


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