No picture because… well, just because. But Channel 4‘s Confessions of a Traffic Warden made by independent production company Betty made me a bit sad.
Don’t get me wrong. It was a good programme. Too good, really. Following a rookie traffic warden in the London borough of Westminster and concentraing mainly on Durga who had recently arrived from Nepal, the film was as much about immigration as parking enforcement.
Poor old Durga arrived with his MA in something or other, speaking four languages (although the producers saw fit to subtitle him sometimes and not at other times – a touch patronising I thought). He’d left his wife and daughter in Nepal. And he thought – get this – there was no violence, only politeness and Shakespeare and wisdom to be found in England.
How wrong he was, once he had the traffic warden’s uniform on.
I am not averse to verbalising my various frustrations with life from time to time but I confess I balked at the name-calling, the string of “shut the fuck ups” that came the way of the average traffic warden in this film.
Yes, traffic wardens are the spawn of a bastard regime that seeks to make money out of other people’s general despair and disorganisation. But it was a bit sad to see just how angry and abusive people can be to those who are, after all, doing a shitty job that noone else wants to do. It didn’t help that the abusers were white British and the abused were part of one of the most multicultural workforces in Britain. I haven’t even mentioned the wardens’ boss, a largish, white chap with lots of rings on his fingers one of which said “Dad” in gold letters.