I'm not a lawyer, but I play one in photo opportunities

My dad says he never uses indicators while in a car park, because legally you don’t have to. This comment was made a few weeks after he came back to his car, parked in a branch of Carrefour, to find someone had put a dent in it. He was livid, but then perhaps the driver who’d damaged his car had just swerved to avoid someone who hadn’t indicated, so it was all right after all.

As Greenpeace protestors scaled the front of the Bank of England yesterday, someone on the balcony started trying to unseat their climbing ropes. He felt he was happy to do so because it was the protestors’ fault that they were climbing up, and so there would be no repercussions if he undid them and they fell. Luckily someone saved him from his own stupidity.

These are somehow the obverse and converse of an implicit connection drawn between law and morality, a connection made by people who would protest strongly, if the explicit equivalent were made by others. Personally, I think we don’t so much need more regulation of people who would undo other people’s climbing ropes, but better regulation. Anything else is just the nanny state gone mad to hell in a handcart.

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3 Responses to I'm not a lawyer, but I play one in photo opportunities

  1. Owen says:

    I hope your father also leaves his headlights switched off when driving in towns after dark (Highway Code rule 113).

    Contending that everything not forbidden is compulsory is an interesting thought experiment. Unfortunately for the unroper, I understand that committing trespass doesn’t automatically strip you of all your rights in law; see also Tony Martin, if you must.

  2. sbalb says:

    I think he’d grudgingly accept the “should” in rule 115 as preventing him from doing that; actually, I think he wouldn’t know the difference between “should” and “MUST“. His point, not that he made it, was the sort of thing you get in the “Did yew kno-ah” columns in the Mail that haven’t quite accepted yet that Google is much better at this sort of thing. So it was only tenaciously clinging to the real.

    And I did see also Tony Martin, but it did something funny to my eyes. They now both tend towards the right. Ahaha.

  3. K says:

    I think the guy unclipping ropes saw himself as the vehicle of natural consequences. The logic goes: You climb up a building, so it’s your fault if you fall off a building, so it’s OK for me to unclip the ropes that are stopping you from falling off a building – after all, the ropes shouldn’t be there any more than you should.

    The logic is that the person who created the situation should have to deal with all the consequences of that situation even if those consequences include other people deciding to behave in a stupid and dangerous way. I hope I don’t have to point out the irony of a Bank of England worker viewing the world in this way.

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