I may have broken the law, but, I am not sure which one.

Anyone who wants to can buy me the re-mastered Abbey Road album for Christmas. "I guess I'll have to buy the White Album again". We must, for if we borrow it off a friend and copy it, well, that's piracy. Never mind the fact that I have bought Abbey Road already, and the White Album, on vinyl, eight-track, cassette and CD.

I went from being a Cliff Richard fan (those who were there will remember there was not much else but Dickie Valentine and Joan Regan, and against that back-drop, Cliff was more a rebel than Johnny Rotten ever was)

The Rolling Stones passed me by. They were rude, overtly sexual and they urinated in Motorway Service Stations. They also took drugs. Well, let me clarify the last point; they were reported as taking drugs - The Fabs took drugs as well, but, as George said, the press never got around to them.

In 1967, Keith Richards and Mick Jagger were sentenced to prison for having a small quantity of cannabis resin, nine months in fact, though the sentence was overturned on appeal. It was an article by William Rees Mogg, the then Editor of The Times, who used the phrase "Who breaks a butterfly on a wheel?" that is thought to have influenced the establishment in favour of Jagger and Richards, and consequently the successful appeal.

I mention this as a preamble to the article today, by the same William Rees Mogg, that makes me wonder if we just let history repeat itself. Rees Mogg rails against the fact that we are all being turned into law-breakers:

I suspect that the last 20 years of legislation have indeed had a net negative effect on British society. They have certainly created a society in which there are literally thousands of legislative traps into which anyone may fall.

he writes.

It is bad enough that we have become a thoroughly bureaucratised society, in which the phrase “law-abiding citizen” had become self-contradictory. Yet the Prime Minister believes that we need more regulation..

Yes indeed, more regulation. Every day, people like you and me are being criminalised, often without our knowing (at least that is what Baroness Scotland believes). We can, at any moment, fall foul of a hundred petty rules and regulations, now enforcable by myriad official snoopers who have and do abuse the powers given to them to combat terrorism. In their eyes we are all potential enemies. The question is, enemies of who?


Ayrdale said...

I agree, and the most noxious aspect of the bureaucracy is its need to justify its own existence. Hence its exponential expansion...to the detriment of us all.

Here in NZ, we see the virtual slavery of the dependent underclass and watch the growth of their numbers with alarm but lack the leadership to do anything about it. Except blog...

banned said...

Well said Mr. Mogg, I remember you !
Despite parking illegally 3 or 4 times every day ( though not obstructively ) I last got a parking ticket about two years ago; if and when I get another I will reckon to have had my monies worth.

I buy far more DVDs these days than I used to in the days of VHS for the sole reason that I can ( allegedly ) download an internet version and use this to decide whether to buy the real thing. See Hollywood, filesharing is in reality Free Advertising.

We are all criminals now, as fortold by my fave punks, The Anti Nowhere League.
Let's Break The Law

Dave said...

How about a "Let's all turn ourselves in" Day?
We all turn up at the local Police Station (assuming it's open and the cops are not away on awareness courses)and hand ourselves in.
Please arrest me, I'm guilty of breaking a law.
If enough of us did it would they get the message?

The law will make criminals of us all.