Monday, December 06, 2004

Lambeth Traffic Wardens - worthy quarry indeed

Tough on Parking. Tough on the Causes of Parking. The desperately undermanned Lambeth Parking Team brings the fight for justice to my street
Was that six traffic wardens I saw working my street this morning?
If traffic wardens made the World a better place I'd being living in f*cking Shangri-La. I forgot the last time I saw any police, as opposed to wardens, on patrol along my street. I do see police, sure enough, but they're usually looking for witnesses, trying to locate discarded knives that have been used in assaults or handing out leaflets advising me not to possess anything worth stealing.
It's all a matter of perspective. I look at my street and I see a relatively quiet by-way with not much in the way of economic potential. My local council looks at the street and sees a lush, fertile eco-system capable of supporting a substantial team of additional employees.

And why are so many of the wardens African? Every race, colour and creed under the Sun is represented in Lambeth, yet almost every traffic warden I see is from Nigeria or somewhere nearby. Given that traffic wardens have grown to become bitterly despised, hated even, over the last couple of years, as a result of the ruthless drive to squeeze money out of law abiding citizens, is it really a good idea to employ recent immigrants in the role? When my family came over 50+ years ago they concentrated mostly on serving fried breakfasts, selling ice cream and undertaking the occasional haircut. I doubt very much if they would have integrated so easily if they spent their time slapping parking tickets on cars and vans in flagrant disregard of whether they have a valid parking permit or not.
Just a thought.
Unusually, they let me photograph them for a change; though they were not happy about the prospect and careful not to let me capture all six in a single frame. They are worth quarry indeed.


David said...

My first reaction to the Nigerian wardens question, along with every other dubious occurence by employees of London councils/authorities would be some form of corruption. On the Edgware Road in West Hendon I have never seen a warden in 10 years while everyone parks on the double yellow lines 24/7. I presume Barnet doesn't have a similar arrangement to Lambeth's as they are too busy in other areas like Finchley and the locals here know it well. There must be a reason and it may even be the price the shopkeepers may be prepared to pay to keep them away. Just an idea...

Stef said...

Corruption in local government?


I toyed with a theory that Lambeth employs African traffic wardens so that people feel inhibited from insulting them on the streets

'You B.... Oh forget it'

As a very general generalisation there is a pattern to employment demographics for unskilled jobs in the UK. African traffic wardens fit in with that pattern

Afro-Caribbeans = Large Organisations - e.g. Councils / Supermarkets / Civil Service

Indians/ Chinese = Shopkeepers

East Europeans = Casual Labour / Self-employed contractors / Organised Crime

Central Americans = Cleaners

with each group informally maintaining its own particular monopolies.

I'm probably being racist by making such observations even though they're true