Thursday, 5 August 2010
I caught this morning Metropolitan’s minion
sad, twisted little turd of a non-official
jumped-up social inadequate with a cheap uniform
and an even cheaper mobile phone in his pocket
which he checked in order to record the time
of his pettifogging admonishment of my transgression.
PCSO Little was his name, and little indeed was his mentality as his barely literate scrawling carbon copied the shocking and heinous details of my crime.
‘CYCLING ON A WALKWAY’
I’m not – don’t get me wrong – one of these people who believe that speed cameras are the devil’s work, and neither do I condone the crazy behaviour of some of my fellow two wheelers who jump red lights with abandon. In 20 years of cycling in London, this is the first time that I have ever been sanctioned (and [touching wood] for the record, I have never had an accident in that time either. Surely that counts for something?) and I do feel that some context is necessary.
My bike, as is the case every day I ride, was locked to a cycle stand in Wilcox Place whilst I had my regular Caffe Nero fix before heading into the office. Wilcox Place is a pedestrianised strip of road opposite Westminster City Hall on Victoria Street, and there are a number of cycle racks ranged along it, which are all normally full by 9am. It is my habit to unlock the bike and slowly cycle the ten or so yards to the dropped kerb before launching into the traffic and heading to St. James’s Park station and the underground car park where I leave the bike for the day.
PCSO Little interpreted this action as breaking the law (somewhat amusingly pointing out to me that TfL have recently been ‘coming down hard’ on this type of thing) and was keen to point out the proximity to the council offices, as this somehow made the crime more serious. I protested that I had just unlocked the bike (indeed I can have travelled no more than 5 yards when he stopped me. I in fact thought at first that he was going to ask me a question, before the realisation dawned that I was being booked) and was taking it towards the road. Furthermore, I said that everyone did what I had done – pointing out another cyclist who wheeled past as we went through the ludicrous pantomime of noting down my details. I thought it unwise to present my TfL security pass as proof of identity, fished out my bank card, and toyed with giving him spurious address details, substituting a 4 for a 7 in my postcode for example. Something prevented me from doing so (knowing as I do that this kind of thing can spiral out of control with a quick call on the radio and an address check) and I watched him rip off he sheet and hand it to me before pedalling on. By the time I reached the office, the shower was already occupied.
I will appeal, I think, pointless as this will be, out of a sense of outrage at this pathetic man and his ludicrous jobsworth attitude. Especially in light of the recent furore around Jon Snow, and the less recent exposes of Messrs Johnson and Cameron.
But. Almost as promised, there will follow the answers to the capital cities question in my next post. I promise.