There has been some recent news in the fight against Nanny that is, for once, reasonably encouraging.
I have long suspected that the "enthusiasm" with which some parking wardens affix parking tickets is not driven by a sense of duty, but more the sense of greed of the local councils who insentivise the warden to milk the cash cow of the car owners dry.
I also suspect that I am not alone in thinking this, after all the Nanny state is an expensive beast to maintain; Nanny has to find ever more dubious methods to raise revenue, as her personal expenses rise ever skywards.
Anyhoo, High Court judges recently ruled that businessman Simeon Ademolake does not have to pay a £50 fine, because the warden had not placed the ticket on his car before he drove off.
Mr Ademolake has spent two years fighting this case. The ruling means that many others may now be entitled to claim back their parking fines.
Mr Ademolake said:
"This was an important point of principle.
Parking wardens cannot break the law.
They'll now think twice about illegally putting tickets on cars.
The system has been driven by raising cash,
not keeping roads clear. And that's wrong.
They act as if motorists are breaking the law.
But it is they who are in the wrong."
Motoring groups have stated that many tickets are issued as drivers return to their cars to find a warden writing out the ticket, yet they still issue the ticket even though the motorist drives off before it is fully written out and placed on the vehicle.
Mr Ademolake received the £50 fine through the post, after he stopped his car briefly on a red route on Commercial Road in London's Whitechapel in June 2005.
He disputed the charge and took it to the independent adjudicator, the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service.
It ruled in his favour, after he explained that the warden had not issued a ticket by placing it on the car or handing it to him.
However, Transport for London chose to ignore this and refused to abide by the adjudication. They chose to contest it in the High Court, which rejected its case.
Mr Ademolake said:
"I was actually parked in a loading bay,
but one of my rear wheels was on a red line.
I had only popped into a shop for five minutes
and when I came out I apologised to the warden.
I could see he hadn't started writing the ticket
so I said I would move the car and got in.
He said he had to give me a ticket,
but I knew I was within my rights and drove off.
The adjudicators said I was in the right
because I hadn't tried to obstruct the warden
or prevent him from doing his job.
Transport for London have wasted a lot of time
and money appealing this when they knew they were wrong."
Transport for London said:
"We issued this penalty notice in good faith
following a contravention on a red route
and will be closely reviewing the details of the judgment."
The case means that wardens will now have to put the ticket on the car, or hand it to the driver, for it to be valid.
The number of parking tickets issued rose by nearly 20% last year, to a record high of more than 3.4 million.
The rise is driven by Nanny's councils milking the motorist, after taking over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police.
As I have often asked before; what precisely do local councils add to their communities other than red tape, mind numbing obstinacy and increased taxes?