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Bonkers Blog November 2018

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14 November - Under false pretences

CraskeWe have come a long way since I would hate going to the cinema because the screen was dulled by stinking cigarette smoke or travelling by train because, quite literally on occasions, the far end of the carriage had disappeared into the haze.

In my view smoking is one of the silliest things anyone can do. Spending a fortune on risking premature death and advertising one’s stupidity with the stench that follows smokers around.

I still feel that the Labour Government got things wrong when they banned smoking inside buildings and not in public places for it is in the street that you cannot get away from the smell.

In Bexley, and in many other places too, smokers fall victim to the litter vultures who hang around busy bus stops ready to pounce on any who drop their fag end as they get on to their bus. Most people will have little sympathy although it might be more helpful if Councils provided somewhere close to the busiest bus stops to put smoking detritus.

A lady of my acquaintance recently did exactly that in Bexleyheath. She shouldn’t have done it and knows she shouldn’t have done it. She showed me the ticket she received except that she didn’t, when she fished around in the bottom of her bag the ticket and its reference number wasn’t there.

Never mind I said, you can’t be the first person to have lost the ticket, let’s phone them up.

I looked up the number on Bexley's website (0333 313 4304) and we phoned it last Friday afternoon. It rang and rang and rang and no one answered.

We did the same on Monday with the same result, no one answered the phone. Tuesday morning we met with success, after waiting for ages there was an answer but bad luck, Monday was the last day for the discounted penalty. The contractor insisted on the full £150 despite the delayed payment being largely their fault.

We know from the BBC Panorama documentary that Bexley’s contractors Kingdom are a bunch of cheats and charlatans but not answering the phone looks to me like yet another of their dirty tricks. Should one expect anything else of a Council that is itself an expert in deception and dirty tricks?


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