As we all know, Nanny has a particular antipathy (there's a big word for a Monday morning) towards smokers.
In fact so incensed is she about the evil habit of smoking that whenever she sees the word, or a derivation of it, she falls into a bulging eyed rage.
That at least is what happened to one hapless resident of my own fair borough of Croydon, who is called Stan Smoker.
Mr Smoker, a 77 year old widower, had the misfortune to underpay his council tax bill. He was then sent 3 letters from our "beloved" and "competent" council, between December and last week, demanding that he pay the shortfall.
How much was this shortfall?
I know that it is a Monday morning, but the astute amongst you will have noticed that the postage on these three letters cost more that the sum demanded.
Stan is quoted as saying:
"I was very surprised. I thought I'd finished paying my council tax bill in full in December but then I got a letter saying I owed eight pence.
I thought it was a joke at first but then I got two more letters.
I have paid it now but I thought it was a little bit petty to say the least.
Why they couldn't just tack it on the next bill I don't know.
They sent me three letters, all by second-class post.
It doesn't make sense but I doubt I'm the only person this has happened to."
Croydon Council noted that:
"Mr Smoker's council tax benefit was reduced by the sum of eight pence per week from December 5."
Mr Smoker is wrong in one respect, when he says that it doesn't make any sense. It makes perfect sense if you remember three things:
1 This is Croydon council
2 Councils tend to be run by jobsworth's lackeys of Nanny
3 The council tax comes under this man's ultimate control....