Nanny Knows Best

Nanny Knows Best
Dedicated to exposing, and resisting, the all pervasive nanny state that is corroding the way of life and the freedom of the people of Britain.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Nanny Bans Rudeness

Nanny Bans RudenessFollowing on from yesterday's article about Nanny's Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) setting up a Diversity Awareness Unit, it seems that our good friends in the DVLA have also been worrying about our moral well being as well as our diversity.

Nanny's trolls in the DVLA have banned thousands of number plates, because they're too rude.

The DVLA has drawn up a blacklist (hasn't Nanny banned that word?) which includes registration numbers such as AA55HOL (asshole) and D055ERR (dosser).

Small point here, personalised plates are part of the "free market" whereby we as consumers can buy and sell what we want.

Quite Why Nanny chooses to interfere in the workings of the free market I have no idea.

Anyhoo, plates such as M1 BUM (my bum) and HO03 KER are also banned.

In addition to "rude" words, the ban covers plates with religious connotations such as JE55USS or references to terrorism such as HA06MAS (Palestinian group Hamas) and registrations which could be traded by far right groups like AU55WTZ (Auschwitz) and GO05TEP (goosestep).

H8 GAY was withdrawn last month, because it can be read as "hate gay". Even number plates from the 1930's such as AR53 are being withdrawn.

The DVLA said:

"We'll withhold any plate that causes offence or embarrassment."


Who decides what is offensive then Nanny?

Small point, why is it I can go out and have a T shirt printed with any of the above and walk around the street wearing it (maybe I get a sound kicking, but that is my choice); yet I am not allowed to put it on my car?

Nanny doesn't get this freedom of speech thing does she?


  1. Anonymous12:07 PM


    DVLA can do this simplty because it is not a free market - it is a government scam.

    You don't really 'own' the plate at all. You get the right to use it, which may be withdrawn at any time for any reason (and then re-sold to someone else ...)

    At best you have some control over who gets the number next. Not unlike giving Nanny some dosh and gaining a seat in the House of Lords for example.

    In the meantime they deliberately publicise the Sale of Marks by promoting character combinations that can be made into 'words' of some sort but banning the spacing of the characters that would allow the word to be clearly presented. This is fraud.

    If you ignore the ban (assuming you can find a recently heavily reguklated number plate supplier willing to do so) you run the risk of endless 30 quid fixed penalty notices from plod, who clearly have nothing better to do.

    Well, actually not 'endless' since they have reserved the right to withdraw the 'right to use' the number if someone is a persistent 'offender'.

    Whether they would is another matter. Letting it run would create a nice little earner at 30 quid a pop for minimal paperwork.

    Meanwhile the PR spin encourages people to contemplate breaking the law - though as a law it is probably one of the most illogical there is. It mainly exists to make the working of Automated Number Plate Recognition systems (ANPR) a little less error prone.

    The non-allocation of 'rude' or dubious words has been around for some time - though PEN 15 and PEN 1S are about and I used to see them regularly in my travels around South West London 30 odd year ago. So we shoudl assume that this latest PR release is no more than a headline grabbing exercise to promote the general fraud ever further. My guess is that they also failed to recognise all the potential combinations when they came up with the new number configuration a few years ago.

    In many places in the States you can, within reason or constraints, have any plate you want, which seems like a much more honest system.

    Whether they will ever keep up with people's ability to interpret character strings that could be used in text messages is another matter. My personal favourite recently was B8 LXX which, with a luckily placed mounting screw cover, sent a very understandable message.

    Very SMS, very 21st century don't you think?

    Maybe we should just consider going the other way - turn all number plates into 'words' with vulgar connotations - and see what they do about that.

  2. Anonymous2:22 PM

    It means that Bagpuss can't use TWA T5 on his car (it's probably one of the 'prohibited' combinations anyway)... and what about number plates that spell rude words in other languages? For example, FA 3N or T1 5PE would be shocking if viewed by Norwegians.

  3. I remember a Pontiac parked on the pavement outside the Chelsea Drugstore which simply had a small, metal plaque in place of the front numberplate, and no rear plate at all. The plaque just read, cryptically, in small red letters:


    A man after my own heart.

    As for personalized numberplates issued by DVLA, you might as well have a big sign on the back of your car reading:


  4. Anonymous5:34 PM


    TO55 ERS


    WA55 OCK

    I wonder ...

    Personally I find the the blue section with the circle of stars, found on the left end of so many plates, incredibly insulting and vulgar and may start a campaign for that sort of decoration to be banned.

  5. Anonymous7:11 PM

    I remember seeing a rather vulgar gold-coloured Rolls Royce in SW London a long time ago with the plate FAL 1C.

    As the purpose of a number plate is to make a vehicle immediately identifiable, any normal person would assume that spacing the letters and figures in a more memorable way would actually increase the functionality of the plate. But of course that is being logical, sorry.