This week's prestigious Prat of The Week Award goes to the good people of Camden Council, or rather their parking control department (or whatever they choose to call it).
I am sure that the hapless driver of a Meyers of Stratford lorry will agree with this award, as he encountered a jobsworth prat from the council in Belsize Park the other week.
The driver was travelling along a road, weakened by water from a burst main below. Then the front wheel of his truck had got stuck, axle deep, in a hole after the road collapsed beneath the vehicle.
Needless to say, the responsibility for maintaining the roads lies with the council...so you might suggest that it was their fault.
Anyhoo, the driver the tried to shift his trapped truck. At this point a jobsworth traffic warden turned up. The good lady from the legion of wardens did what she does best, instead of helping, she provided the hapless driver with a ticket.
Rather like an old Laurel and Hardy film, a small crowd of astonished onlookers gathered to watch the "comedy" show. The driver tried in vain to explain his predicament. However, the jobsworth warden just shrugged and told him he could appeal against the fine.
Sue Melkman, a resident, said:
There was water everywhere.
It was obvious what had happened but she still wrote the ticket.
She wouldn't engage in conversation.
All she would say was, 'You can appeal'.
It's the daftest decision.
How can you give a ticket to someone who's stuck in a hole?
The woman must live in a parallel universe.
It's so ridiculous.
Everyone was laughing at her
and a few were taking pictures on their phones.
I told her she'd be a laughing stock
and it would be in the local paper but she didn't reply.
She just wrote the ticket and off she went.
The poor driver tried to reason with her,
but what can you do?
If they're going to write a ticket they just do it.
He took it very philosophically."
The incident was sparked by decision from the ever respected and useful Thames Water (who leak a gazillion gallons of water every day). Dear old Thames Water had decided not to put cones around the bulging, cracked patch of road after inspecting it the previous day.
By the way, the German owners of Thames Water have decided to sell it; any takers?
One resident of the street said:
"It was really the water board's fault.
A water main burst outside my house at about 7.30pm on Thursday evening,
and at about 10 o'clock Thames Water came along to see what was happening.
I saw them with some cones in their hands,
but then they put them back in their van.
The road was bulging and cracks were appearing.
There's a fire station nearby
and I was worried the road might collapse if a fire engine went over it
but the engineers said it was fine
and they would be back to fix it the next day.
Then at 7.30 next morning a lorry came to collect a skip from my neighbour
and he just sank down into the road to his axle.
They came to fix the water main in the middle of it all
but couldn't because the lorry was on top of it."
Sounds like Thames Water also deserve the Prat of The Week award.
Meyers of Stratford said:
"Camden Council said we can appeal
but what a waste of everyone's time.
Now we've got to write the letters and send off the forms.
It was absolutely obvious why the truck was there
but she still fined us.
It makes you sick."
Nanny makes us all sick.
Her rules, red tape and indifference are designed to beat us into submission.
Anyhoo, congratulations to Camden Council for winning this prestigious award.
Feel free to email them via this link Camden Council, to tell them that they have won.