DID you read about Aimee Litton, the unfortunate Royal Wootton Bassett mum deprived of tax credits because of an official blunder?

It seems some buffoon working for a government agency wrongly believed she was living with two adults.

She is also being pursued for cash the agency says she owes, and has been obliged to visit a food bank.

People reading her story may be wondering why such things are allowed to happen.

Well, Aimee Litton and other victims are not huge, corrupt corporations, filthy oligarchs with highly sinister back stories, rich celebrity tax dodgers, even richer aiders and abettors of celebrity tax dodgers, members of the Establishment or any other similarly well-connected specimens.

The general rule is that if a wealthy and powerful person is hurt or even inconvenienced by a government agency, those responsible can expect to lose their jobs.

When an ordinary person all but has their life ruined, however, the slackwits responsible get to carry on regardless.

Or to put it another way, ordinary people like us aren’t real.

I hope that clears up any confusion.


WILTSHIRE police have sensibly reminded drivers that they should make sure their insurance passes muster.

It seems many of us don’t find out until too late that we’re not adequately covered by our policies, meaning we risk being left out of pocket or ending up in court.

I blame the telly myself.

I reckon we could dramatically reduce our risk of being caught out by banning insurance companies from making smiley, friendly adverts. They should be allowed to screen nothing more than a logo, a web address, a phone number and an invitation for potential customers to get in touch.

Oh, and a voiceover saying: “Be sure to check anything we send you for loopholes, because you can be absolutely certain we will. Our mission is to extract as much from you in premiums as we can without driving you into the arms of a competitor. Try claiming so much as a penny in your hour of need, however, and we’ll prove about as yielding as that part of a crab’s anatomy which prevents it from taking on water and sinking.” The same should apply to motor insurance, home insurance, medical insurance, holiday insurance – the lot. If companies refuse to comply, they should be forced to change the scripts of their existing adverts to make them more realistic.

Motor insurance policies, for example, are usually advertised with a scenario such as a piano falling from a great height on to a customer’s car. The customer is generally shown as needing their car for some vital, heartwarming job such as transporting orphaned baby owls to the orphaned baby owl sanctuary.

The commercial goes on to show the insurance company immediately providing a courtesy vehicle while the original one is repaired or replaced, and the happy customer heading off to the sanctuary with an incubator full of happy little owls.

A more accurate scenario would involve an official from the insurance company writing to say the policy was null and void. “Clause 739, paragraph 14, subsection 72b, bullet point 5q clearly states that you may not transport juvenile birds within five miles of a tall building without first obtaining confirmation in writing from the landlord that no keyboard instruments are stored within.”

Medical insurance ads usually feature some of that poignant-yet-hopeful music which is also found in ads run by charities who pay their bosses wheelbarrows full of cash. A person is shown looking a bit poorly – although not afflicted with anything unsightly – but bearing up nicely because they’re in a comfortable hospital room and being given the best and most expensive treatment possible. Meanwhile their mortgage is being paid, their kids’ school uniforms are being bought and their spouse is planning the family holiday they’ll take once all is well again.

A more truthful commercial would be more likely to show the spouse and kids being chucked, penniless, from their home because the policy holder forgot to mention on the application form that they were mildly allergic to prawn cocktail crisps.

The policy holder, meanwhile, would be shown coughing their last in some dank facility where the life support systems conked out and had to be kicked back into life every time the 10.32 from Gatwick to Malaga passed overhead.

A better solution to the whole issue, of course, would be to change the law and prevent the multi-billion pound insurance industry from hiding behind blatantly tricky clauses, but for some reason nobody in power ever seems to pick that idea up and run with it.

  • THE thing that murdered Becky Godden and Sian O’Callaghan is where it belongs, and will be there for as long as it lives.

    Quite rightly, its possible involvement in the deaths of other women is being investigated.

    I only hope the authorities, now and years from now, bear in mind that any hints the thing gives about such matters may be motivated by nothing more than a desire to attend a court hearing.

    It is not unknown for such creatures to say all manner of things in a bid to relieve the monotony of their lifetime in prison.

    They should be given no such relief unless absolutely necessary.

    They deserve nothing more than just enough health to keep them aware of the dreary passing decades.

    If only it were possible to brick up the windows of their cells.