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A Man of Few Words - by Swan Morrison


Recent research by the University of Wimbledon has revealed an alarming rise in the practice of ‘Bogussing’. The report estimates that one in three people are not who they claim to be or are providing seriously misleading information about themselves.

We are, of course, familiar with bogus doctors, but the report reveals that as many as one in four consultants have no formal qualifications. The view of the British Medical Council that it is ‘excessively demeaning’ to ask a consultant for copies of qualifications has, until now, led to uncertainty about the scale of the problem.

Bogus asylum seekers continue to cause concern, as in the case of an alleged Kurdish asylum seeker with no knowledge of English who was subsequently revealed to be a bank clerk from Surbiton who had been born in England, had never left England and had English as his first and sole language.

In Scotland, bogus passengers have caused major problems for bus companies. Working in gangs, these people form queues at bus stops only to point at the driver, laugh, and disperse when a bus stops. Several bus drivers in Glasgow remain on long term sick leave following such a trauma. The extent of the problem has led the Scottish Parliament to pass legislation that compels any person standing at or near a bus stop to board the first bus that arrives. The transport companies have apologised to legitimate passengers and pedestrians who sometimes find themselves many miles further away from their desired destination.

A rising concern in the retail industry is bogus shop assistants. In part this relates to the huge special offer discounts they negotiate. An emerging issue, however, is their provision of irresponsible information to purchasers. An electrical retailer in Wigan received many complaints after a bogus assistant explained to customers the use of the ‘pet drying’ setting on their new microwave ovens.

The Archbishop of Canterbury has recently gone to great lengths to explain that the ‘communal marriage’ of five male homosexuals two lesbians and an orang-utan was totally opposed to Anglican beliefs and would not have been undertaken by a properly ordained minister.

The disruption to traffic caused by bogus crossing patrol wardens is, of course, becoming an all too familiar experience for motorists. An eighty-seven mile tailback was recently caused by such action. The driver at the front of the queue later told police that he had thought it unusual to encounter a lollipop lady on the M6, and, after an hour and no sign of any children crossing, he and many other drivers had become very suspicious.

Action to deter bogussing has, sadly, often been thwarted by police who appear unclear about how to make arrests and, once taken to court, cases are frequently thrown out by judges who appear to have no knowledge of legal process.

As we say to our fellow members of the Royal Family here at the Palace, all we can do is be vigilant.