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Monday, January 23, 2006

 

A small treatise on being ‘English’ and similar insanities.

Been wandering aimlessly around the web and dipping into sites of all political colours and depths, there are some really weird people out there (Literate Traffic Wardens for one. Oy veh!). Notwithstanding, something has been really rubbing around in my subconscious about what I think is wrong with my country.

I was brought up to love England, even though some of my forbears were not ‘English’. Let me explain; by ‘Love’ I mean that I have a feeling for the land of my birth that always raises a lump in my throat. Can’t help it, the feeling has been programmed into me at a subconscious level. I am moved nearly to tears of pride by certain songs, sights and sensations which plug right into the heart of my being.

Ordinarily I would never air this view as then those who wish to assassinate your world view tend to pounce on it and insult your love of country as ‘old fashioned’, ‘anachronistic’ and ‘out of date’. At this point I generally have to close my ears and walk away or become uncharacteristically violent because to resort to violence is to let them win the argument. Such people want you to punch their lights out because then they can say “Look at what this bad person has done to me!” Then explain that you are ‘bad’ because you believe what you do, so undermining your beliefs and discrediting them as well as you. In this way a minority may undermine an established belief system, prior to replacing it with another of their choosing.

As ‘Bill Sticker’ however, I can write about what really scrolls my knurd and put it out in the public domain without being shouted down by the assassins of England. They can leave their snail trails in the comments, but they cannot take down the words I have written, especially since the servers hosting my words are not based in England or Europe.

What prompts this arcane rambling discourse was hearing the Hymn ‘Jerusalem’ on the radio performed by an opera singer and (Of all people) the England Cricket first XI team. Although I do not claim Christianity as my faith, that song is so much part of my upbringing that it contains a raft of positive associations that seem to have disappeared over the past twenty years or so.

I am not a member of any political party; I disdain to read the tabloid press. I vote with the hope that those I vote for will represent me in the elected body. I believe in being a good neighbour without being ‘intrusive’. I believe that laws should only be passed on the principle ‘To do the least harm’. All else, in the words of Robert Heinlein (Glory Road) is peccadillo.

Now I believe that my country has become dissolute and all the values I once believed it encouraged (Freedom under the law, personal responsibility, moral strength etc.) seem to be openly discouraged by the ‘Box ticking’ PC brigade who appear to encourage the poisonous Socialist view that ‘The Government’ can do everything.

Governments cannot run people’s lives for them, even if the lazy and inept think that this is so. Governments, like the rest of the nation, are made up of a mix of the well intentioned, selfish and incompetent. In short, human. Humans make mistakes, but Governments, being made up of humans, can drop clangers so big they reverberate around the world. So why should we allow them such control over our lives? I’m a fan of minimal Government; big Government just wastes a lot of our hard earned tax cash and still doesn’t provide the services it promises.

The lawyers view is that passing ‘new improved’ laws will wipe out injustice and tyranny, but my experience of the world tells me this is not so. My view is that too many laws lead us to the current situation where there are so many meaningful enforcement becomes impossible. The laws conflict and become ‘Make-work’ for the legal profession, leaving the rest of us confused and directionless, unsure of what we are and are not allowed to do. Parking regulations can be seen as the microcosm of this malaise. The Lawyers were supposed to have transferred the parking regulations from Criminal to Civil law. If you read through my various rants you will pick up the areas of major cock up by the politicians and lawyers. The 1991 Road Traffic act under whose provisions my job exists is significantly flawed.

We need laws, as not everyone is peace loving and responsible. The law is supposed to be the protector of the majority. Instead it appears to be rapidly becoming the oppressor. I cite the European Union as one of the generators of new legislation. To be short, the well intentioned directives that pour from it sometimes seem like continuous projectile vomiting of legal insanity; poorly thought through, with no real consciousness of the potential consequences. In the commercial world, such ‘over management’ is harmful to the viability of companies. Employees become unhappy under such regimes and as anyone can tell you, an unhappy workforce is detrimental to a companies productivity.

One of our chief gripes as Parking Enforcement Officers is that there is no trust by Management. We feel belittled because the misbehaviour of one or two impacts on the rest of us. Management will not address the behaviour of the minority and instead crack down on everybody; so the same seems to be happening with England. Vocal minorities cause major upsets because the framework to deal with the poor behaviour of a minority has been undermined.
Lets take as our example the Animal Rights movement; it contains a highly vocal minority which routinely uses violence and intimidation against others engaged in lawful enterprise (Bombing, attempted murder, assault, criminal damage, intimidation etc). Yet numerous ‘animal rights’ organisations still operate legally despite this. They have even been instrumental in criminalizing activities which heretofore have not been unlawful. I view the animal rights terrorists as completely and utterly insane. They see no other view but their own, will not even consider evidence that their actions might do more harm than good; and that is close enough to clinically barking as you can get without the medication.

Now we are in the situation where the Police, with ever fewer resources, have yet more legislation to enforce. Not that the politicians and lawyers care much beyond their take home pay and pension. In fact this is the malaise that seems to permeate everything.

Despite all this I am hopeful. I see glimmers of enlightenment as the house of paper built by the politicians begins to be questioned.

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Exasperated expatriate expostulations all the way from British Columbia, Canada. As if anyone really cared. Oh, I also watch Icelandic Volcanoes and seismic activity. Don't ask me why.

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