Parking in the Name

parking ticketIf ever there was a yardstick to show just how badly we’re in need of job creation schemes, it’s that traffic wardens still exist.

In an ideal world councils wouldn’t be able to fill their vacant traffic warden posts because people would all have better things to do. Personally, I think I’d rather be a bin man. At least people would appreciate my work that way.

If you hadn’t already guessed, I just got a parking ticket. In a fit of midweek confusion I forgot that I’d left the same bay only an hour before, and there’s a ‘no return within two hours’ policy.

I could wax lyrical about how the street was relatively empty and how I wasn’t stopping anyone else parking there but it’s all been heard before. What’s really astonishing is that it still goes on.

Why do we put up with this tripe? Such a complete and wilful lack of common sense could only be the work of a local council, but as the taxpayers we should have some sort of say in how these things are run. I think a few thousand angry letters dumped on the lap of the local council leader would be a start.

The recent revelation in court that a parking enforcement firm in London forced daily quotas on its staff was something of a non-shock. It’s been an open secret for years that at least some wardens have to ticket a minimum number of people every day.

What I want to know is why this company hasn’t been crushed by the biggest pieces of demolition equipment David Cameron can get his hands on. Quite frankly, it deserves to be forcibly liquidated in the public interest.

I could say the same thing about the common-or-garden traffic warden on the street, but I understand that sort of thing might cross a few legal boundaries.

It really bothers me that these people can intentionally ignore reason and put their blinkers on to the extent that all they see is The Rules. If to complete your job you have to stop being a human being, you’ve sacrificed everything important for things that just shouldn’t matter at all.

People who can do that and sleep at night are not nice people. I suspect they’re people who revel in the sense of power and self-importance that they derive from their jobs. Ultimately they’ve made it their business to make life worse for people, whether they actually deserve it or not.

So if I could ask one favour of the Prime Minister, it’d be to create compulsory job reallocation schemes to shift traffic wardens into jobs that allow or even teach some self-respect, for their own sakes.

Heck, send them to rehab. I’d rather pay a tiny percentage more tax to get wardens off the streets and into the Betty Ford than to put up with one more parking ticket that’s clearly, even to the simplest of human beings, totally unjustifiable.

Matt Kimberley

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