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Jack Double, a 14-year-old pupil of Chantry High School in Ipswich, was eating chips for his lunch (how dare he, the fat antisocial slob? He deserves whatever's coming to him). Finding one chip in the bag that was hard and green, he threw it to a seagull.
 
Unfortunately two Ipswich Borough Council litter-wardens saw the incident, followed Jack back to his school and gave him a 50 on-the-spot fixed penalty for littering - despite the fact that three weeks ago their colleagues had actually presented Jack with a commendatory certificate for disposing of rubbish correctly, an award which I am sure the delighted child bore proudly home to be displayed in a place of honour on the family mantelpiece.
 
You'd think Ipswich had received enough bad publicity lately, wouldn't you?
 

A seagull.

(Please note that this is not the actual seagull that ate the chip. We are unable to bring you his photograph for fear of infringing his animal rights. This is another seagull entirely. No seagulls were harmed while making this page.)

 
The GOS would like to ask Ipswich Borough Council several questions
 
• Is it not necessary to prove that Jack threw litter before fining him? Where's the evidence? There isn't any, because the seagull ate it.
 
• In any case, since when does giving food to someone else constitute littering? Ignoring, of course, the fact that "someone else" in this case is one of the most voracious creatures known to man. When did you ever see a seagull refuse a chip?
 
• What the hell are Ipswich Borough Council doing employing litter-wardens to follow schoolchildren around the streets? Haven't they got better things to do with other people's money?
 
• Why was it necessary for the litter-wardens to be cruising in pairs? Do they need to hold each other's hands? Are they, perhaps, ever-so-slightly fey? Or are they scared? If they're scared, what are they scared of, exactly? When The GOS worked for Suffolk County Council he used to visit Chantry High School quite often. Pretty it ain't, but neither is it Moss Side or Brixton. The GOS didn't have to hold anyone's hand when he went there.
 
• What are these litter-wardens doing out in the Ipswich suburbs, anyway? Chantry High School is nowhere near the centre of town - it's on a large, fairly quiet housing estate a good 15 minutes' walk from the centre. Of course, if they'd been patrolling the town centre they might have had to apprehend some of the Ukrainians and Russians who hang about on the Town Hall steps. Schoolchildren are ... easier meat, if you'll pardon the expression ...
 
• What would Ipswich Borough Council do if the GOS followed a schoolchild through the streets and into a school? Have him arrested, I imagine.
 
Right. I'm glad we got that sorted out. To sum up, Ipswich is apparently home to bands of perverts who masquerade as litter-wardens to haunt the suburban estates in pairs, holding hands and stalking children.
 
Nice one, Ipswich. All this, and your very own serial killer, too.
 

 
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