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News and Comment August 2012

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6 August (Part 1) - Notomob implodes. Not a Wise move

I was very pleased with myself when this website attracted Notomob to Bexley to assist councillor Craske and his Merry Men comply with the law. I subscribed to their forum and through it learned how their leading ‘member’, Nigel Wise had triumphed over Richmond council and to this day they have no gestapo wagons on their roads. Subsequently Notomob took on and beat Westminster and Hertfordshire councils. Nigel was their principal asset, dogged, determined, knowledgeable and quite probably bloody minded at times. The meek do not beat dishonest councils at their own game. I understand he only once lost a case at the Parking Adjudicator, undeniably a winner and a major flag waver for Notomob providing them with unprecedented publicity nationwide.

I put the word member within quote marks because Notomob doesn’t really have formal membership, you sign up on their forum and you are as close to being a fully fledged member as you will ever be. I last rode a motorbike in 1960, there is no way I am much use to Notomob but everyone is equal there and there is no formal leadership. Those who I believed to be the leaders I heard deny it on the few occasions I met them. Notomob is a mutual cooperative, a partnership of equals dedicated to fighting parking injustice; at least I thought it was. I know better now.

Nigel Wise winning at PATASA few weeks ago Nigel Wise had a bit of a set to with a Parking Adjudicator. He said his “decision is ridiculous”. He said of an Adjudicator’s inconsistent decisions that they “seem to depend on which day of the month [it is] whether he allows it”.

I assume Mr. Wise knows what he is talking about but my views would not change even if he was proven to be wrong. Compared to some of my own descriptions of officialdom Nigel’s comments were pretty mild, he was after all rebuking ‘the enemy’.

PATAS is funded by London councils, it is not on our side and Notomob has more than once demonstrated how PATAS will favour its paymasters. Rigging computers to allow Westminster an advantage was one incident I recall. But someone believed Nigel to have overstepped some unstated mark. For those few words he was banned and expelled from Notomob. By whom is unclear to ordinary members, there was an announcement by an anonymous ‘Administrator’ and Nigel was no more. No opportunity for an Appeal. The anonymous Administrator had spoken and that was that.

There were protests of course and someone set up a poll to see what the ’membership’ felt. The poll went strongly in one direction. Someone else used the forum’s messaging facility to contact all members seeking their opinion. All the critics and the poll maker were expelled and banned, by whom I cannot tell you. Notomob traditionally operates under pseudonyms and ‘Administrator’ is about as vague as you can get.

Under the deluge of criticism the Notomob site was taken down for four days, “for maintenance”. When it came back it had been largely cleansed of support for Nigel and the poll in his favour had gone as was the original banning announcement and the facility for circulating a message to all members. A worse case of mismanagement, misjudgment, dictatorship, injustice and blind panic is hard to imagine.

The revamped Notomob forum includes new Terms and Conditions with which I could not possibly agree. For this blog I am confidently expecting expulsion. I removed the Bonkers’ menu links a few days ago because I cannot support Notomob under its present anonymous dictatorship. It has handed a victory to the opposition on a plate and is not a mutual organisation after all. Madness and deceitful.

Expelling your leading ‘member’ without warning, appeal process or consultation defies every convention. It is stupid in the extreme. I predict the Notomob forum will die. Members now know that one critical word may be rewarded with expulsion. I don’t know who leads Notomob, I was always told no one did, but this ‘no one’ must be the toast of the parking gestapo in councils everywhere. That ‘no one’ has brought Notomob to its knees leaving the Tina Brooks of this world free to run amok. She can call in the police if Martin Peaple dusts off his placard again with little fear of the consequences.

One of the members expelled for supporting Nigel Wise was known as The Phoenix. Maybe it’s an omen but it will take a lot of effort to raise anything from Notomob’s ashes.

The Notomob forum has been largely censored of Nigel Wise related stories. However this one still permits discussion and understands what equality and mutual cooperation is all about.

Note: Tina Brooks is Bexley council’s Parking Manager. Notomob’s Bexley coordinator, known on their forum as Peperami, took no part in recent events.


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