Monday, 21 June 2010

Sometimes A 'Daily Fail' Headline Makes You...

...breathe a sigh of relief:


Sorry, my misanthropy got the better of me for a moment.

I blame the fact that it appeared almost next to this story:
A green-fingered businessman was stunned when he was hit with a £100 fine for fly-tipping - when he left flowers in parking space for a work colleague.

Financial adviser Stephen Mayes, 56, brought two plants from his garden and left them in a colleague's parking space so she could load them into the boot of her car when she arrived at work a few minutes after him.

But within moments of unloading the plants a council warden pounced on Mr Mayes, cautioned him 'like a policeman' and slapped a £100 fine on him for fly-tipping.
Well, you'll say, this is just a case of an over-zealous local government official, and I'm sure it was all sorted out amicably in the end, and everyone had a good laugh about it?

No:
'I explained they were plants for a lady in the office he said it was fly-tipping. He started cautioning me, like a police officer would do, I honestly couldn't believe it I thought it was a wind up.'
Sadly for Mr Mayes, Jeremy Beadle wasn't lurking in the shrubbery. This was a deadly serious affair, as demanding money with menaces and blackmail always is...
Mr Mayes, who lives with his wife Suzanne, 55, who is a priest, wrote to Havering Council to explain what had happened but his pleas fell on deaf ears.

A hand delivered letter from the council said they had sufficient evidence to prosecute him and he could be fined £2,000 and ordered to pay magistrates court costs.

He added: 'I spoke to my wife about it and decided I didn't want it hanging over me so I paid up. That is not an admission of guilt, I didn't do anything wrong but I didn't want it hanging over me any more.

'I think the council are just picking on easy targets.'
Read the letter in the 'Mail' article.

It isn't composed of snipped-out individual letters glued to a sheet of writing paper and wrapped round a brick thrown through his window, but that's the ONLY way in which it differs from your standard TV-drama blackmail note.

The blackmailers, though, when caught, do at least usually have the nous to sound contrite, in hopes of a lighter sentence.

Not this mob:
Councillor Barry Tebbut, cabinet member for the environment on Havering Borough Council, said: 'Mr Mayes admitted to littering when he paid the fine.

'If he did not think he committed an offence, then he could have appealed to magistrates.

'This was explained when the notice was issued and in later correspondence.'
The comments under the item make a point of noting that iDave got their votes because this was the sort of thing they expected him to stamp out.

Well, that should be easy; Tebbutt is one of his, after all.

I wonder if he's feeling a bit sheepish at the antics of one of his own?

Update: Witterings from Witney notes that:
"... it is interesting that, reading between the lines, the litter warden got his 'wrists slapped' for not issuing a ticket for fly-tipping, but instead one for the lesser offence of 'littering' - a factor which once again speaks volumes about local authority mentality!"

13 comments:

Oldrightie said...

Most council officials are Labour placements. They run the show, not those elected for a brief term. The pervasive influence of labours' 13 years may never be altered.

subrosa said...

Moral of the story - don't pay the fine. Take them all the way through the legal process and make a case about the waste of public money.

Take photos,as many photos as you can. They're the best evidence.

As OR says Julia, this type of nonsense may never be wiped out.

Dick Puddlecote said...

The sinister aspect is the increasing lack of contrition or remorse from these councils. Not even an admittance that they may have been misguided or over-the-top.

wv. wings ... that councils require clipping.

NickM said...

Despite his rep as a "bad boy" Johnnie Cash only ever got jailed once. He was walking to the motel from a gig and espied some nice flowers and thought his wife would like them.

Yup, Johnnie Cash was tanked for picking flowers.

And what subrosa said. The really disturbing thing is the number of people who think they are the police.

Umbongo said...

Further to subrosa's points - always, always complain officially about the jobsworth's conduct: is s/he racist, homophobic, disableist? Remember - certainly as far as racism is concerned - if you (the victim) think their conduct is motivated by racism - it is! Always make it official and personal! Threaten personal legal action against the official (and his boss!)

Furor Teutonicus said...

He added: 'I spoke to my wife about it and decided I didn't want it hanging over me so I paid up.

AAARRRGGGHGHHHH!!! Fekin DIPSHIT!!!

THIS is exactly the reason why they get away with it! Bloody wankers who "don't want it hanging over them", or, "Don't want to rock the boat", etc.

Deserves EVERYTHING he got. TOSSPOT!

Furor Teutonicus said...

And so do Google mother fekers!

Angry Exile said...

Re the human race extinction we're all going to die maybe tomorrow afternoon if only Diana was still here isn't Cheryl Cole lovely Mainly Fail article.... oh, for fuck's sake.

"He was also heavily involved in helping to control Australia's myxomatosis problem in rabbits."

Wrong way round. It was a rabbit problem which Australia attempted to control with myxomatosis. The only extent to which Australia ever had a myxomatosis problem in rabbits is that not all of them died from it, and the descendants of the survivors now have immunity. Trust the Fail to get that just about 180˚ wrong.

Chalcedon said...

It does make you wonder about the mentality of the jobsworth and his bosses all the way up the chain if they cam equate a couple of pot plants with litter or the action of carefully placing them on the ground as fly tipping. Especially since he wasn't being furtive. I presume it was a public car par. The guy should have fought it.

RantinRab said...

In my opinion, he deserved all he got for playing the authoritarians game.

Council knob head asking me for my 'details' would be told to fuck off.

They have no power, only the illusion of power which requires the sheeples co-operation.

RAB said...

My namesake has it in one...

How many more times do I have to say,

Never ever plead guilty!

They want to fuck you around? make them go all the way to a trial and press exposure.
Yes it's a waste of public money, but hey! that's what you paid in for, right? Never give the bastards an easy ride.

JuliaM said...

"Most council officials are Labour placements. They run the show, not those elected for a brief term."

Indeed. It's why all those people who sit expectantly, having turfed out a sitting Lab MP, are waiting in vain for 'change'...

"The sinister aspect is the increasing lack of contrition or remorse from these councils. Not even an admittance that they may have been misguided or over-the-top. "

I suspect that is only going to increase too. Inaction and lack of consequnces bolsters all bullies.

"The really disturbing thing is the number of people who think they are the police."

And the number who WANT to be the 'police'. Particularly the anyi-smoking/anti-drinking/anti-fun 'police'...

"Wrong way round. It was a rabbit problem which Australia attempted to control with myxomatosis. "

Heh! I didn't read that far. Well spotted.

JuliaM said...

I take everyone's point that he should have fought it. I'd have fought it, but then I'm bloody minded and never, ever back down if I think I'm in the right.

But I can see why many people don't. Many people just don't have the stamina to go several rounds with a council's wearying bureacracy or the justice system's impenetrable jargon and processes.