King Ken Con

150 150 Rob McGibbon

Now, don’t get me started….

I am typing with trembling hands and gritted teeth as I try to calm an all-consuming impotent rage.

This is the final week of life as I and countless thousands of others know it in West London. The countdown is ticking before the man whose name I can only snarl – lying, sneering Ken Livingston – lets loose his latest con to cause mass-scale disruption and frustration to everyday folk doing their best to get on in this unforgiving city. I am referring, of course, to the Western CON-gestion Charge Extension Zone.

I don’t know what to do with my anger, so all I am left with is to spit a few pitiful pars into the ether. Quietly, in my head, I want to start a revolution, inspire the mob to destroy the cameras and bring this imminent fiasco to an abrupt end, but how can you do that? I have been on the marches, written the letters, filled out the questionnaires. Nada. No-one, least of all, King Ken Con, could give a flying toss. It is all about to happen, despite the opposition and agreed wisdom that it is pure folly.

The thing is, I am actually on the upside of this mess. I live inside the zone – you know, in “rich” Chelsea – so I will get the 90% residents discount. I am lucky. So, what are you complaining about, I hear you ask? Ugh! Just everything about this scheme’s appalling undemocratic implementation. Then there is the physical and psychological stuff – those ugly, sinister cameras that have gone up all over the borough, about to watch you, take your picture, monitor your life; those big fat ugly red “C’s” burnt into the roads; the big ugly red warning signs drilled into the pavements; the big fat ugly queues of cars that will squeeze into the few side streets available to escape the charge; then the big fat ugly car park that will soon be on the few roads looping the zone. All because Ken Con said it should be so. How I loathe his power.

I feel exasperated that yet more expensive bureaucracy is about to blight my life. The days when I could pop up in the car to my bank on the Kings Road, the shoe shop, or the library with only the traffic and the lottery of finding a parking space to worry about are gone. Now I will have to be organised and pay the charge in advance, or remember to pay it later. How many times will I forget and cop a hefty fine? And because I live right by the no-charge loop, it will take me forever to get past the seething, desperate souls trying to avoid the eight quid charge. Arghh. As if life isn’t irritating enough.

Hell, it pisses me off. Oh, and one more thing. You know the 90% discount us residents get? Well, that’s a lie, too. They won’t let you pay 80p to go into the zone once. Oh, no, they say it’s not possible to account for such a small sum. It’s not viable. Huh, and this from a company that can photograph and bill thousands upon thousands of cars in the blink of an eye. No, us residents, have to buy five day’s worth at £4 quid.

Well, I don’t want drive into the zone every day, so my quick trip up the road will now cost four quid and some planning and care just so I don’t screw up. Handy, all that. ******* *****.

To be bloody continued…