Friday, February 18, 2011

Petit bourgeois vermin of the week

You will forgive me this detour into hate-mongering, I hope. Normal service will be resumed shortly. It's just that I read this tale of a minor attempted theft, in which a worker tried to take his boss, owner of a small flooring company, to the tune of £845 by writing a company cheque out and trying to cash it at Cash Converters. For non-UK readers, Cash Converters is one of those predatory loan shark outfits that are proliferating across Britain like the plague. I feel it's important to underline that it was an attempted theft, as the press aren't making that distinction. The worker claims he was owed the sum he attempted to steal in wages, which the boss denies. And the boss, when he suspected the attempted theft, had the worker beaten up and falsely imprisoned with the assistance of three other men, then frogmarched the worker down to the police station with a sign around his neck reading "Thief". The newspapers tend to understate the physical violence that accompanied this act, but the bloke ended up with bruises, rope burns and a black eye, so at the very least you have false imprisonment and actual bodily harm. The worker was cautioned by police, as a court case in such circumstances would have been a complete waste of time. It is unlikely that even a fine would have been imposed. The people who beat up and falsely imprisoned the worker, on the other hand, were fortunate that prosecutors decided not to pursue a case of false imprisonment. Instead, the worker rightly pursued a civil case, seeking compensation for the humiliation and distress caused. He got £13,000. The boss, one Simon Cremer, still refuses to admit that he did anything wrong, and is now bleating to the press that he'll have to sell his house to pay for the compensation. And that's why Simon Cremer is the Lenin's Tomb 'petit bourgeois vermin of the week'.