An Outbreak of Common Sense


Abdulahi Mohammed applied for a council house in Birmingham. His application was successful, and the council wrote to him offering accommodation.

Mr Mohammed was not pleased, however. The letter was - gosh - in English, and he doesn't speak English. Oh no.

So, having been received a letter from an English person working for an English City council to a person living in England about council accommodation in England, Mr Mohammed claimed he "could not understand" it.

So what did he do? Well, of course he fucking did: he took the council to court. For sending him a letter in English. For fuck's sake.

He argued that officials acted "in breach of the Housing Act" by not informing him that he would be removed from the waiting list if he rejected the offer. Dear God.

Well, presumably he didn't argue that at all, not speaking any English. His argument was probably some sort of foreign-talk nonsense, in whatever overseas jibber-jab he wanted all his future correspondence to be. But we digress.

To Mr M's dismay Birmingham County Court found in favour of the Council.

So what did he do then? Of course he fucking did: he took the case to the Court of Appeal. The highest Court in the Land.

We all know how this story ends, don't we?

Well, no, for once we don't. This one ends differently.

Lord Justice May, in an unexpected burst of common sense, decided that Mr Mohammed had been “properly informed” by the council as set out in the 1996 Housing Act. He ruled that, while a local authority was required to make sure letters it sent were understandable, it did not have a duty to make sure recipients could speak English.

The Court of Appeal ruled that the council was not required to make sure that its communications could actually be understood by recipients. Well, hoo-fucking-ray. At last. Some sense.

A council spokeswoman said:

“We are pleased with the Court of Appeal’s ruling, which acknowledged that Birmingham City Council made available adequate translating services for Mr Mohammed. This is an important point of law for all local authorities in England.”

Whereas what she said when the microphones were switched off was

"Yeeeeesssssss!!!!!!  Ahahahahahahahah!!!!!"


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14 comments:

captainff said...

About fucking time too!


As anyone who tried to buy property in France will tell you there is no quarter given. Learn the language and the laws or employ a translator who understands it.

Anonymous said...

But I wonder who paid the ****ker's legal bills?

Could it be the taxpayer?

killemallletgodsortemout said...

Is the fucker homeless?

If not, why not?

Better still, deport the twat!

Yay!

JuliaM said...

"But I wonder who paid the ****ker's legal bills?"

Bound to be the taxpayer, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

The BNP will never gain power but a significant number of votes for them does begin to exert some influence.

Anonymous said...

So how did he apply for housing without speaking the lingo?

He'll be another one of those immigrants that's making us all richer. Can't speak English so won't have a high paying job (if any) and needs housing at our expense.

R Nosgrove said...

Having dealt with such people for many years, my experience is that their command of English is not fixed but varies in direct proportion to the benefit they hope to achieve from any particular situation.

Captain Haddock said...

Absolutely brilliant .. I couldn't have done better myself ..

If you don't like it Mr Mohammed .. fuck off and live somewhere else at someone else's expense ..

(Bet the bugger will be able to read that though) .. PMSL

Anonymous said...

Theres always the European court of 'uman rights !

Anonymous said...

Sad part about this is that I can well believe that even after the Council won the court case for fear of inflaming community unrest they will now offer this chap a house and most probably will address all his correspondence in whatever language he wishes.

And as noted above this little exercise will have cost the taxpayer (of which this guy may or may not be one) thousands of pounds.

Any other outcome than the one I hypothesised above would shock me. If, for example, he was now barred for applying for a council house for 5 years and had to pay all court case costs I'd choke to death on the cup of Mellow Birds I'm currently enjoying.

Uncle Bob said...

Council..ccourts...common sense? *Does Not Compute!*

Nice to see for once though.

Pavlov's Cat said...

I think this is a one off and unlikely to happen again, once in court they had to defend themselves.

However given the Righteous composition of our Councils I would imagine there is now a diversity working group been set up to ensure that this does not happen again and all papaers are indeed translated.

Anonymous said...

"Governance" by solicitors and accountants - this is the kind of moral and ethical cowardice that results.

Anonymous said...

What's the betting that the law is changed to ensure the council is legally obliged to ensure letters are understood..... more cost.....more bollocks....

Andy.