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Cheers - AE

Friday, 23 January 2009

Stupid law

Elavi Dowie is a criminal. He has been caught not once but twice, and the enormity of this is so shocking it's probably worth sitting down, standing around in Manchester selling CDs. This guy actually had the temerity to stand in one place committing his crimes for hours at a time, and clearly this is too much of an affront to civilised society for the authorities to ignore.
Manchester City Council spent £3,000 on prosecuting Elavi Dowie, 31, for twice breaching a 19th century law on street trading.
The law allows traders to spend up to 20 minutes on the city's Market Street. But CCTV footage proved that on one occasion Mr Dowie was hawking CDs of his music for 35 minutes, while on another he stood at the same spot for several hours.
Seriously, what the fuck is the point of this? First there's the ridiculous arbitrary limit implying that 19 minutes and 59 seconds is fine and 20 minutes and 1 second isn't. Why? The average branch of HMV doesn't move at all and trades for a good 9 hours a day or more, yet nobody fines them for it. Is this just because Mr Dowie is getting away without paying rates because he has no premises? I wouldn't be at all surprised.

A spokesman [for Manchester City Council] said: " ... Mr Dowie's activities were illegal and we have a duty to protect consumers, particularly during the current economic climate.
"Consumers who buy products from illegal street traders are unlikely to get their money back if they make a complaint."
And what happened to caveat emptor? And how come car boot sales are allowed given that you're not going to get your money back there if you accidentally buy a shitter? I'm not denying that Mr Dowrie was breaking a law, but what a stupid fucking law.
He said after the case: "I was basically going up to people in the street and explaining to them about my music. The CD only cost £1 and people were willing to buy it."
Yeah, ok, I do get annoyed by people coming up to me when I'm out and about and start trying to sign me up for a gym or flog me an aircon unit or whatever, but if blanking them doesn't work then a polite no usually does. And if all else fails a good solid "piss off" will be effective, though personally I prefer to fake interest and waste as much of their time as possible before walking off. But here's the thing: while Mr Dowrie may have annoyed some people I think it's safe to assume he didn't force anyone to buy a CD (and being only a quid it's not a big deal if it turned out not to be that flash). And where's it written down that we're all guaranteed not to be annoyed when we go out? What Mr Dowrie was doing was little different in effect from legal street traders, charity collectors, and any number of clipboard wielding pests doing market research.

Did no-one ever think that maybe prosecuting someone for something really fucking trivial under a piece of antique legislation might not have been in the public interest, not to mention a world class waste of time and money and a potential PR embarrassment? I reckon this boils down to a bunch of twats being shitty just because they can. The fact that the cost of bringing the case was three grand and Elavi Dowrie was only fined 300 just goes to show that they're useless shitty twats as well.
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