Wednesday 21 May 2008

"Don't Tell 'em Your Name, Pike!"

Signs of increasing stroppyness with officialdom among the population are increasing, with 'Times' columnist Hilary Rose's account of being stopped by the police while driving in London.

Had she committed an offence? Were they checking for valid tax and registration?

Not quite:
A woman in a reflective jacket stuck her head through the window and thrust a card at me. “Thank you for taking the time to provide Transport for London with this important information,” it read. Eh? Transport for London? What information? Since when do the police pull you over so you can have a chat with TfL?
Since now, it seems. The TfL employee didn't like being challenged on this, either, as petty officialdom seldom does:
When I queried this, the surveyor got stroppy. “The police have the authority to pull you over,” she snapped. True, but that's not the point. When pushed, she admitted that I didn't have to answer their questions (so I didn't), but how many people are going to make a fuss?
Once upon a time, not many. But the comments are cheeringly obstreperous, with suggestions for the best ways of zero cooperation and data sabotage.

TfL state that they will be operating 230 of these roadside surveys across Central and North London; so if stopped, tell 'em where to go. It's the only 'transport advice' these people understand...

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