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
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
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.