Hitting back at Bureaucrats

My parents sent me this link today about a man in Derby called Richard Butler, whose home is threatened by a proposed new Ring Road.

The proposed scheme has been under review for a long time. In 2004, Derby Council successfully prosecuted Richard Butler under the Town and Country Planning Act after he displayed a protest banner against the scheme. Because his banner contained the logo, website address and telephone number for the protest group Derby Heart, it was unauthorised advertising, claimed the Council. That’s the same council that turns a blind eye to all of the other unauthorised advertising that isn’t politically opposing it.

So Derby Council tried to squash a bug with a Bureaucratic Sledgehammer. it seems that Richard Butler hit them back in the Paperwork Nuts with a counterpunch.


Well, when a council wants to flatten your house for a road, it will usually carry out a compulsory purchase of your land. It has to serve you with paperwork and follow a bureaucatic procedure to do so. Richard Butler has sold portions of his land to several people around the world, including Spain and Shanghai, who will now have to be found by Derby Council and served with paperwork. This will take a very long time.

Now, I don’t know the ins and outs of the case. Perhaps he’s being selfish. What I love to see, though, is the fact that he’s turned the bureaucratic process on itself. He’s beating them at their own game!

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