The story is 'Toddler fined £89 for dropping two crisps'. "What's that?" you say, "Somebody actually fined a toddler? It's Political Correctness Gone Mad!" Except a toddler wasn't fined. Her grandmother was, sort of. And when I say 'sort of', I mean 'wasn't'. Here's the withdrawal of the headline, in the story's opening sentence:
A woman was handed an £80 litter fine after her toddler grandchild dropped some crisps on the pavement.Right. A woman was fined. Not a toddler. Or not, in fact. Note the shift in language from 'fined' to 'was handed an £80 litter fine'. See, the shift in language is there because the woman was never actually fined in the end. It was waived. As usual, we find this out in the very last sentence:
The council did however allow Mrs Jubb's appeal against the fine, saying the penalty would be waived because of the 'exceptional circumstances'.Nobody was fined after all, let alone a toddler.
There's another bizarre shift in language in the article from a claim of an 89 quid fine in the headline to an 80 quid fine in the article. Don't ask me which one's real. Doesn't really matter, since nobody had to pay a single penny. *UPDATE* Picked up a copy of yesterday's Metro off my bus seat this morning, and it has a picture of the actual fine notice where you can just about make out that it was for £80. So who know's where the £89 came from? Me. I know! The journalist's arse!
A classic example of how some dodgy Council official getting overzealous and ending up overruled can be used as an example of how we're being oppressed by our vicious lefty PC Overlords.
The annoying thing about this is that it will enter the 'It's Politically Correct loony left Councils Gone Mad' mythology even though Crawley Council is Tory. Bah.
*UPDATE* The Sun's version. Includes more from the Council, including an admission of being over zealous and being happy to cancel it. I think this means there wasn't an official appeal, which is what the Mail implies, but a snotty letter that was answered with the fine being cancelled. You might think I'm being pedantic for pointing out the difference. I'm not. I'm being pernickity.