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.
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?