Friday 14 December 2012

Driving Reform

A young woman has been jailed for three and a half years for causing a fatal accident by texting while driving. So wedded (or should that be 'welded'?) to her phone is she that she arrived at court clutching at it as if it were a lifeline; a shame such a thing was denied her elderly victim. After a five-year ban (Will that ban run concurrently with her incarceration?) she will be required to take an extended driving test before regaining her licence.

This isn't isolated news; accidents are caused every day by people imagining the law doesn't apply to them and general standards of driving are as diabolical as ever. Many delude themselves into believing they can multi-task, without factoring in that driving is already a multi-tasking operation. It requires physical coordination, good observation, mental acuity, judgement and a wee bit of second-sight.

I'm constantly dismayed by drivers under official driving school instruction failing to indicate, creeping over the white line at lights, speeding and more than once - yes! - using a handset while in motion. Mind you, I see lone Police drivers committing all the same offences far too frequently. And as for the general road use, I like to play guess what happens next as I watch meandering drivers finally select a lane, or watch a vehicle drift onto a slip road and then belatedly apply indicators as if to say "Look what I just did!"

You can play the same game with pedestrians too, albeit on a longer time scale: That middle-aged bloke waddling along in trackie bottoms and untied trainers is going to visit a Gregg's any time in the next half hour. The scruffy kid in the school sweatshirt will be a smoker by the time he's twelve. That wiry youth? Soon-to-be smackhead. And his mate? ASBO Ranger. The plumpish, barely teenage girl 'wiv a a'ichood'? Mother within two years.

Last night, one of my Twitter followers (Hi Jacqui!) made much the same sweeping generalisation about Tories as I do about those on the left. Fair enough, but all my examples in the last paragraph would probably swing to Labour who have successfully managed to portray themselves as the caring party despite years of their policies contributing to many of our modern-day failings. You see, lots of poorly educated people are incapable of making good long-term life choices without guidance. New Labour's persistence in trying to pretend otherwise and please everybody, has created an unprecedented reliance on state help.

Is it fair that fat people are allowed to be labelled disabled? Is it fair that naughty kids are regularly diagnosed with ADHD? Is it fair that we are expected to bow down to bizarre notions of equality, respect and diversity when some undeserving recipients of that social largesse will use it to plunder our dwindling reserves of human kindness? Misguided social policies have worsened the divides and I believe it's time to firmly redress the balance.

Jacqui said that the only thing Tories care about is money; that's what Labour have preached for years. But Conservatives actually believe in fairness and decency and above all, independence from state handouts. If they believe in money it's in allowing you to keep as much of what you earn as possible and do with it what you wish, not robbing you of it to pay for social engineering. It's people who lust for money, as cross-party expenses fiddling and fraudulent activities throughout the social spectrum shows on a daily basis. Tax avoidance, banks miss-selling insurance, counterfeiting and smuggling, benefit scams; these are not partisan, they're human.

So, here's my plan for both driving and social reform. You fuck up, you pay the penalty. Then you take a test to re-enter society as either a driver, a worker, a parent, etc...

For instance. ASBO? Work camp; cleaning up your shit, righting your wrongs and at the end of it you have to be assessed as fit by a panel of all those whose lives you made a misery. Second offence, bollocks off. Third offence, exiled to Rockall. (I want the death penalty but some of you are too weak to go with me on this.)

Pregnant at fourteen? Two-year forced internship on after-school hospital ward work at the end of which if you can pass a written and practical assessment you can have your sprog back if you still want it. At least you''ll know both how to care for it and the medical consequences of ill-considered actions. You'll also have an insight into the shit other people wade through to keep you on your feet.

Accidents cause people

Accidents are always caused by people but we should consider how many people are caused by accidents. Practice safe texts and don't use your mobile when you're mobile. Have a happy and safe weekend, people. I'll be watching you. Always watching you...

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