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.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?’…
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.
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.Hang on, you say! Who allows a house to be built so close to a squash court?
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.
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.I’d have a little bit of sympathy for the houseowners if they had the grace to blame the council for this.
'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.'
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….