Monday, 10 June 2013


We supposedly live in a Constitutional democracy here in Britain, with representative government. But who do the government represent? We are used to people accusing Cameron of only caring about the rich, or Miliband, the Unions, but that is not really true is it.

These unpleasant people, for that is a true description is it not, only represent themselves and their own narrow interests for power and personal wealth. I think that the feeling in Britain and the disdain for and contempt in which the general public is held by politicians, is very similar to the situation in America before Independence.

We may not signify disgust by tipping tea into the Thames, it may be something a little closer to 'the body politic'. If our politicians continue to regard themselves as above the law, in league with the sovereign power in Brussels, then this will come to pass.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Middle Lane Madness

The tax collectors, known as the police here in Britain have hit on a new wheeze. People who 'hog' the middle lane are to be subjected to an instant fine, when in the personal opinion of a police officer, targeted to raise a certain amount of revenue (or issue tickets as they call it), you have stayed too long in the centre lane of a motorway.

Lots of people can be found to agree with this policy, often describing themselves as people who drive regularly, long distances on motorways. But what exactly are they complaining about? Well, in my 25 years plus of using motorways, I'll tell you how often I have seen someone driving slowly for no reason, in lane 2; never.

Helpfully Sky News have shown a police patrol pulling someone over 'hogging' lane 2. He clearly was guilty as accused because there was only one other car, in lane 1, for miles. He had gone past this car and stayed in lane 2. Outrageous. He was pulled over for a chat. The police you see can only give advice because to do anything else would take too long, so an instant bit of paperwork is, as ever to a bureaucracy, a god send.

Like 'safety cameras' at 'accident blackspots' they are not intended just to raise funds. No one is supposed to ask why an accident blackspot isn't improved to alleviate the danger.

For the police and the government of course, you making a decision about how best to safely drive in any given circumstance is an abomination. You are out of control.

So back to our chap on Sky News, now having a chat in the extremely dangerous environment of the hard shoulder. The police I guess were saying there was absolutely no other traffic around so he had no reason to stay in lane 2. This is true, but begs the question, what harm was he doing? There was, after all, no other traffic around.

The other people who face a difficult question that they do not want to be asked is, these people doing 70mph in lane 2 are 'in your way' how? Presumably these righteous, much safer drivers are outraged that they should be forced to move to lane 3, a dangerous manoeuvre as any lane change is, to maintain their 95mph plus progress.

What of course the police are accidentally going to promote is a fear of being caught even momentarily in lane 2 when, perhaps it could be claimed you shouldn't be. So overtaking the speed limited, slowly accelerating traffic, lorries and such in lane 1 will require frequent lane changes, pulling in behind a vehicle doing 60mph, then trying to seek a gap in lane 2 to pull out and accelerate back up to 70.

Timid people who, given the responsibility for their driving usually do OK, will be cowed by into understanding that they are not allowed to make decisions and that any straying into lane 2 may attract a fine. Will they for instance be even more reluctant to move over to let traffic join from slip roads? And our important frequent drivers will still assume that, as they have indicated their intention to join from a slip, they will continue the manoeuvre, cause an accident and blame 'lane 1 hoggers'.

The police are cynically using the views, all be it of a large number, of bad drivers to support a ridiculous grab at power and government pleasing money. I presume they consult criminals about prison reform.