1 February 2013

The Friday Joke - The London Borough of Catch 22

Catch-22 is a satirical and somewhat historical novel by the American author Joseph Heller. He began writing it in 1953, and the novel was first published in 1961. It is set during World War II in 1943 and is frequently cited as one of the great literary works of the twentieth century.

Among other things, Catch-22 is a general critique of bureaucratic operation and reasoning.

There was only one catch and that was Catch-22, which specified that a concern for one's safety in the face of dangers that were real and immediate was the process of a rational mind. Bomber Pilot Orr was crazy and could be grounded. 

All he had to do was ask; and as soon as he did, he would no longer be crazy and would have to fly more missions. 

Orr would be crazy to fly more missions and sane if he didn't, but if he were sane he had to fly them. 

If he flew them he was crazy and didn't have to; but if he didn't want to he was sane and had to. Yossarian was moved very deeply by the absolute simplicity of this clause of Catch-22 and let out a respectful whistle.

Someone at Barnet Council or NSL is evidently a fan of this book. See what argument they presented at PATAS the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service. The adjudicator's comments follow (the parking ticket was cancelled):

On parking a vehicle a motorist is of necessity allowed a reasonable, in normal circumstances brief, time to do whatever is necessary to validate the parking; and while this is actively in progress the vehicle is not in contravention. The motorist must of course act promptly, and not spend time in any other activity whilst doing so. After a few minutes a CEO would be perfectly justified in issuing a PCN leaving the motorist to explain to the Council, or an Adjudicator, why it took so long.

In the present case the Appellant has provided a satisfactory explanation. The observation period is brief and I see not reason to doubt the Appellant's evidence that at the time of the observation he was engaged in obtaining the necessary permit from this very elderly lady. He was entitled to do so and I do not accept the Council's suggestion that he was required to park elsewhere, obtain the permit and then bring his vehicle round to park. As it transpires the vehicle was not in contravention and the PCN was incorrectly issued.

Mr Mustard isn't sure whether he should laugh or cry at the council's desperate attempt, possibly inspired or started by NSL who present the evidence to PATAS, to extract £110 from a motorist who was visiting an elderly person, the very kind of Big Society activity that the council claims it is in favour of. If we took the council's argument back in time as applying to cash meters you would be at risk of getting a parking ticket in the time from reaching a car park applying the handbrake and turning off your engine to reaching the parking meter, inserting coins and returning to the car with your ticket, you then would be told that you shouldn't have entered the car park in the first place until you had paid!

This argument is ridiculous, patently absurd. Barnet Council need to go and stand in front of a mirror and give themselves a good dressing down.

Barnet Council - a complete joke.

Yours frugally

Mr Mustard

1 comment:

  1. How much longer before someone challenges NSL for being a vexatious litigant. They appear to pursue civil action in a frivolous manner in order to harass and subdue the law abiding residents of Barnet. Councillors must address the problems with this contractor by sacking them or be seen as colluding in this vexatious behaviour.


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