It's an age old trick: if things aren't going right, blame the guy who's not English. And in London, where we're particularly bad at sorting out our transport sytsems it's always those 'foreign types' who end up the worse for wear when somethig grinds to a halt.
Do you think Ken brought in Missouri-born, Harvard-educated Bob Kiley to try and sort out the tube because of his sucess with the systems in Boston and New York? Yeah, right.
Do you really think it was coincidental that those US and German embassy staff began to kick up a fuss about the congestion charge just after Ken hiked up the price (although we think that they egged the pudding a little bit by adding the German element).
And what about tube maintenance firm Alstom being described as 'Paris-based' in every paper as soon as the Northern Line stopped working?
Now it's the French who are under the spotlight again, as "according to new research" (one of our favourite phrases here at Londonist) "The French are among London's worst drivers when it comes to parking illegally and failing to pay the resulting fines."
And why is that? Because they're French? No, "because of problems of tracing the owners of these vehicles," i.e. they go back to France before paying the fine.
Shocking isn't it? You'd never catch an Englishman in Europe partaking in such a deceitful act would you?
To try and curb this beastly behaviour the Association of London Government and Transport for London have dreampt up an 'initiative'. An initiative they're calling SPARKS.
Yes, that's right, SPARKS. As in "This town ain't big enough for the both of us".
Of course the ALG claim it stands for Shared Parking and Registered Keeper information Service, but they're not fooling us. Their message isn't, as ALG's Transport and Environment Committee Councillor Mike Cartwright would have you believe:
It is unfair on the rest of the capital's drivers if there is one group of people who are avoiding paying their penalties simply because their vehicles are registered abroad.
It's actually a coded way of saying:
Flying domestic flying
And when the stewardess is near do not show any fear
Heartbeat increasing heartbeat
You are a khaki-coloured bombadier it's Hiroshima that you're nearing
This town ain't big enough for both of us
And it ain't me who's gonna leave
And that, we think you'll agree, says it all.