Thursday, 10 September 2009

“Love means never having to say you’re sorry…”

…as, it would seem, does being in authority, central or local.

And, even more than that, never having to say you got it hopelessly wrong, and now you’ll put things right.

From NickM at ‘Counting Cats In Zanzibar’, comes the story of the appalling treatment of a young Canadian who has fallen foul of one of NuLab’s ‘quick fix’ legislation cockups designed to prevent forcible arranged marriages in the Asian community.

A mistake you think would bring a quick ‘Ooops!’ and an immediate exemption, plus hopefully, a few heads rolling. Sadly, no. They are sticking to their guns and their ‘rules is rules’ attitude.

Well, I suppose they are already a laughing stock anyway, so why bother to try to turn this around?

As Nick says:
“And why enforce it when it is absolutely crystal clear that no coercion is involved? Apart from out of sheer indescribable bastardishness and some strange idea that unless it’s one rule (or ring - possibly Mandelson’s) to rule them all it’s discrimination.”
And this is a cabinet made up of lawyers, is it?

Could they do any worse if they gave this over to the cleaners instead?
But Alan Johnson has now personally written to the couple to order her to leave Britain or be forcibly deported.

He had the discretion to let Mrs Wallis remain with her husband at their home near Aberystwyth but refused to do so because many other innocent victims may also be caught out by the same rule.
Well, that’s nice – ‘Yes, we screwed up, but hey, we’re going to screw up a lot more before this is all over, so…umm, what was the question again?’…

Meanwhile, at the smaller end of the ‘Ooops!’ scale:
A squash club which has been on the same site for 85 years has been shut down - because its new neighbours complained the balls were too loud.

It was forced to close because a family who moved into a newly converted barn next door said their life was being ruined by the sound of balls slamming into the walls adjoining their bedrooms.
Hang on, you say! Who allows a house to be built so close to a squash court?

The council, that’s who:
And Cornhill Squash Club, near Towcester, Northamptonshire, faces a £20,000 fine if it breaks the ban - despite bungling council bosses admitting that the problem should never have arisen in the first place.
They’ve admitted fault – they could hardly do anything else – but, amazingly, that doesn’t invalidate the householder’s claim:
Northamptonshire Council said there had been 'failings in our planning and building control processes' when the new home was built.
Ya think!?!

The club, amazingly, has no option but to close:
'We have had to stop playing squash and close the club down despite the council admitting maladministration in its planning process,' said 49-year-old Martin Lamb, who has played squash at the club since he was ten.

'While I have sympathy with the people next door they have moved in and essentially closed down the club which has been there for decades.'
I’d have a little bit of sympathy for the houseowners if they had the grace to blame the council for this.

After all, you’d expect that the house wouldn’t get planning permission unless it passed stringent noise level checks, wouldn’t you?
Club committee member Simon Langley, 59, said 'nobody in their right mind' would give permission for a home next to a squash wall.
There seems to be nobody in their right mind working for your council’s planning department, though…

The couple who bought the house don’t seem to be targeting their ire at the council though:
But teacher Toby Till, who moved into the conversion 16 months ago with his wife and two young children, said: 'Our suffering has been extreme. I have had to put my children to bed while the squash ball slams against the bedroom walls.'
Didn’t it occur to you to visit the house while the squash was in play? Don’t you bear some responsibility for this?

Certainly, the council is in full ‘Nothing to do with us!’ mode:
Council chief executive Jean Morgan said the authority was legally obliged to issue a noise abatement notice. The club is appealing against the move.
I’d like to say they will win.

But then, I remember what sort of a world I’m living in….


Pavlov's Cat said...

Sadly this abouse of power, particularly by local councils is becoming increasing common and includes

Making up evidence to bring a legal action

Trespass and criminal damge

Illegal destruction of private property

Closure of an A&E department by stealth and lies

Their comtempt for us is total, with regard to the last story
Councillor Pat Cammish said the closure was a fait accompli which people would “just have to get on with it”.
She added: “I am quite comfortable with it. I am not concerned by it."

JuliaM said...

Yes, I'm just reading that first story in the 'Mail'.

Incredible! Did they forget that cars have number plates...?

blueknight said...

In these enlightened times it might be 'racist' to treat this couple differently just because they were not involved in an asian arranged marriage.
Most of the police blogs tell you how the 'system' is completely mad, but no one who operates it seems to have any power to change it.
From Insp Gadgets blog - these individuals must know that they have lost touch with reality. They must know that their moral and professional compass has gone badly wrong. This kind of worry and fear of the performance culture has only one, final and in some cases terminal ending in sight. God help us all.
The totalitarian Govt has erased individuality and now we have Police, Customs, Immigration staff and Council Officials acting like robots
What happened to commonsense?

Pavlov's Cat said...

They must know that their moral and professional compass has gone badly wrong.

The problem is Blueknight, they don't. They believe with every fibre of their beings that what they are doing is 'right' and it is the rest of us who are wrong and must fall into line with them. The only way to reason with these people is an MP5 or at least a P45

Henry North London 2.0 said...

Or a Kalashnikov rifle....

They might listen to reason when presented with a gun

JuliaM said...

"The totalitarian Govt has erased individuality and now we have Police, Customs, Immigration staff and Council Officials acting like robots

What happened to commonsense?"

I think we've lost our moral compass somewhere.

And I think the rot started a few years before this current government, though there's no doubt they've accelerated the pace spectacularly..