Devil’s Dictionary

The Devil’s Dictionary, originally devised by Ambrose Bierce, is an on going addition to this blog.  It will be continually updated, but for starters I have taken the alphabetical listing of Torridge’s own website.  Hopefully I can make this a source of tears of laughter for you and tears of pain for Torridge as time goes by, but for now .. a bit of a wry smile here and there and a couple of personal favourites to kick off.  Enjoy …


Administrative Error … An attempt to defraud, uncovered.

Audit Commission … A layer of government designed to give otherwise unemployed
accountants a meagre standard of living.


Bailiffs … A team of legalised thugs given lawful right to enter private homes while the owner is out in pursuit of payment of the extortion racket (see council tax) and then to lie about wrong doings.

Births, Deaths and Marriages (in that order?)  A means to keep tabs on council tax “clients”.

Buildings Control … A Mafia controlled empire of corruption, designed to quash
imagination and allow only “off the peg” houses to be built, forcing people to live their monotonous lives in monotonous houses, conforming to the monotonous standards of the council.

Burials Doh! Cross them off the council tax “clients” list.

Bus Timetables … See Bus (sorry no such reference available at this time).


Car Parks … A method of increasing income to the council by spending more than the profit made, thus generally annoying and alienating the “clients”

Cemeteries … A means by which “clients” can inhabit the area without paying council tax.

Client … A euphemism adopted by such bodies as Mental Health and Job Centres, along with Local authorises, to try to convince themselves that the people paying their wages really are that stupid.

Community Development Forcing people to live by the standards the council has decided upon.

Complaints About The Council … An inefficient waste of time and resources on the part of the “client”.

Corporate and Deomcratic Core … The costs of self justification.

Council Tax … Extortion. A method of demanding money with menaces to pay for the running of the organisation demanding the money.


Deaths … See Burials.

Development Control … A means of thwarting good ideas

Drains … See Council Tax


Economic Development … Another excuse to spend public money on a strategy report.

Education Services … See Social Engineering

Electoral Registration … A system of data collection which allows credit checks to be made by business, and annoying phone calls to be made by double glazing companies.

Emergency Planning … An oxymoron.

Environmental Control … They may not be registered voters but even the trees come under the authority of local government.


Fraud Hotline … a 24 hour service which is constantly manned to encourage the betrayal of neighbours thus sanctioning the activation of the legalised team of thugs employed by the council (see Bailiffs)


Grafitti … A method of writing anti-social slogans on public walls – incorrectly spelt or not (We must presume that this listing on the Torridge Website is the appropriate listing for Graffiti – clearly English as a second language is not that high a priority).


Health and Safety … the avoidance of law suits.

Housing Benefit … Pick a number, any number, add 47, multiply by 5, take away your age …


Infectious Disease … See Torridge District Council


Job Vacancy … Another means to squander public money through lies, deception and the issuing of false hope to those in need of employment.  Jobs must be advertised, but they are generally filled from within, thus wasting the  time, energy, resources and patience of external applicants.


No listing for K.


Leisure Centres … White Elephants the council must repair and maintain, whilst paying a management company to run, also paying the management company compensation for a loss of income when the centres are being repaired.  This is an admission of sheer incompetence on the part of the council.

Libraries A service the council is forced to provide to appease public order.  One of only two services for which the “clients” get to see a return on their “investment” in the local authority.

Licenses From Boats to Zoos … you own it, they’ll tax it.

Local Land Charges … A means to make money from searching public records. The fact that they are public records does not mean the public has free access to them.  No. That would be silly.


Marriages A means by which two people stop paying 75% of 2x council taxes and pay only 100% of 1 council tax.  To be discouraged.

Meals on Wheels … For Health and Safety reasons they have now decided to buy some plates.

Museums and Galleries Ordinarily a waste of public funds, but acts as a show case to give the appearance that the local authority actually does care about something beyond their own employment.


Neighbourhood Watch … A means by which nosy neighbours can report matters for which the council can then fine offenders and thus increase income.

Noise Nuisance … A means by which offenders can contribute to public funds.


Old Peoples Homes … They pay less council tax, so what do we care?  Except that violation of health and safety results in fines and more income.


Park and Ride Schemes Why drive into town in your nice comfortable car with your family when you could sit next to sweaty, odorous strangers, perching on the edge of a seat for which there is barely enough room for two children, being jogged up and down, knowing that at any moment the colostomy bag of the person next to you is going to burst.

Pedestrian Crossings Why save public money by maintaining a perfectly good and free zebra crossing when you can pay £30,000 for the installation of a pedestrian crossing, which you then have to move because of poor planning, and which nobody uses because it’s in an inappropriate place?

Pest Control … Banning internet access to regular complainants.

Planning Applications … A means for staff to get free lunches.

Planning Policy … Another means to waste public funds on the employ management consultants to write strategy reports for overpaid and incompetent council staff.

Prompt Payment Code …Pay up or else!

Publication of Spend over £500 … Comedy of errors.


No listing for Q.


Rubbish … See Torridge District Council


Schools … A method of indoctrination and a source of Class A drugs.


The only listing under T (for Torridge) is “Teaching Jobs”.

Teaching Jobs … training people how to compose an alphabetic list.

Torridge District Council … A self perpetuating entity funded by the public for its own existence.  An organisation which puts the Torrid into Torridge.


No listing under U.


Voting … A pointless exercise.  With the same chief executive running two different councils with two different parties in control, why bother?


Waste Collection … Value for money.  Quick, efficient and friendly Service.  This is Torridge, we’re talking about????


No listing.


Youth Services … Psst!  Wanna buy some weed?


Zoo Licensing … Otherwise known as Schools Management.

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2 Responses to Devil’s Dictionary

  1. sue says:

    Very funny. I would mail that to every occupant in the Torrid..sorry I mean Torridge


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