Friday, 26 February 2010

Pro Bono Publico

Every time I pick up a newspaper, or for that matter the Daily Mail, on page fourteen there's a small column reporting the latest law being introduced by the Labour government. Usually, this legislation is to do with interference in our everyday lives, an attempt at restriction of our freedom.

A case in point. London Acres needs slight attention. At the top of my stairs is an electric light which no longer works. I've changed the bulb: no good. The socket will have to be replaced. But I'm told I'm no longer entrusted by the goverment with this simple job. Instead, a qualified (oh yeah) socket replacement engineer must come and do it for me. Then, a local authority inspector will call at an hour to suit him, and verify successful project completion. I'm forbidden to do anything, except pay. On top of this, I believe I'm no longer permitted to fiddle with three-pin plugs, mend a window, or cut the grass.

How long will it be before we're not allowed to drive a car that emits exhaust, or send Christmas cards with religeous connotations, or use a cellphone while walking? All food will carry government health warnings, alcohol will be banned in pubs. Basil Brush will appear on television only after the watershed, in case minors are distressed by his dangerous, violent world.

Of course, some of these commandments are hopelessly unenforceable. If I flout the law and take a screwdriver to the errant landing light, no-one will ever know unless I go up in a shower of sparks and London Acres burns to the ground. It's just that the passing of such demented legislation requires heaps of public money. Well spent? You decide.

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