‘DEMOCRACY’. The word has become synonymous with the satirical tone of the inverted comma.
India boasts one of the purest forms of democracy in the world. Everyman-for-himself corruption gets frustrating. You wouldn’t go to the police if you got your bag stolen, but they’d always be polite and invite you in for a cup of tea while you waited the whole day for pointless yet essential papers.
As for the country that founded this bureaucracy, Britain seems to have gone to the other end of the spectrum entirely.
I recently met a girl who told me she is contesting a fine for wearing her seatbelt under – as opposed to above – her arm. The irony does not appear to be lost on her that she was pulled over on what she says is ‘quite possibly the only motorway trip I’ve ever done entirely at the speed limit’.
This is because she had a raging hangover and if the two calm yet blunt coppers had breathalysed her, she’d probably have lost more than thirty quid.
So, failing to notice the tired, slightly under the weather blonde girl, and recognising that her driving was in actual fact, perfectly safe and legal, did they really have nothing better to do than fine a short student for where she chooses to wear her seatbelt?
I can perfectly understand their interrupting her homeward journey to express their concerns on a choice that could cause her internal bleeding as opposed to asphyxiation should they meet this young lady further down the road in a crash. Equally, I can almost understand that if you or I had not been wearing a seatbelt, a fine may have been in order for the attempted manslaughter of yours truly hurtling into the windscreen.
However, do the police really have the right to fine us for how we choose to interpret the manufacturer’s design of the interior frosting of our possessions?
Surely there is a thief, paedophile, drug dealer, murderer, man running down a tube platform, or suicidal doctor in an airport car park somewhere? Perhaps a sleepy Sunday drive down the M1 and some meaningless paperwork is more in order for those who maintain our human rights in a country so liberal asylum seekers risk their lives to get to.
Blue lights in the rear view mirror send an involuntary signal to my left foot. Stop. Have we gone too far?