20 February, 2014

The Campaign for Fair fines

'Abbey Clancy slapped with a parking ticket after blocking off pavement while running errands.'

What knowledge of gossip I have comes from the Daily Mail, which I find a mystical journey through the lives of people I have never heard of but whom the Mail seems to find important. It is a judgmental newspaper but getting a parking ticket is not nearly as bad in its eyes as wearing unsuitable lipstick (someone called Jessie J) or having cellulite (almost everyone from Kate Moss...er...down).

I can enlighten you here a little. Ms Clancy has recently won a reality TV show, which must be important, and she is married to a Premier League footballer, which is very important. And when it says she was 'slapped' with a parking ticket it does not mean that some concerned citizen, appalled by the triviality of her lifestyle, struck her in the mazzard with an Administrative Penalty Notice. It means she received such a ticket, probably in the usual way.

Phew! I bet you're breathless. But there's a point here.

As a TV star, married to a sportsman who is on tens of thousands of pounds a week, she can easily afford the fine. In fact she'll probably spend more on getting her staff to handle it and perhaps run it past a lawyer (a defence under the Persecution of Celebrities Act?).

So this young woman will effectively have broken the law for free, blocking a pavement, perhaps making disabled people step into the road, while she ran 'errands' (does she moonlight as a message boy?). A person on the average wage, by contrast, would have found the fine a huge encumbrance, possibly needing time to pay.

We desperately need a fairer system. If the fine is £150, that would represent perhaps half the weekly disposable income of a poor person after property costs, food etc.

Ms Clancy's husband makes £40,000 a week and if we add in her earnings and subtract tax and costs (she doesn't look as if she eats much) they must have at least £40,000 a week to spend.

So the fine should be £20,000.

That would be fair.

1 comment:

awkwardgadgee said...

Amen to that Tim.

Happily, I believe the good people of Denmark already have a system which includes just such a principle. This being highlighted when another, English based Premier League footballer was thumped with an almighty fine for something similar whilst in his homeland.

May this idea spread.