Last year, some madman fretted that our children may be physically blighted or mentally scarred through the violent exchange of stringy conkers. This week a council is cordoning off a copse of malignant trees and their fruity ammunition. Last month, we had Mad Ken sound biting policy initiatives to license plate cycles and imprison non bell ringers. How much of this is feeding a slow news day and how much is rampant political posturing is hard to say. But it’s clearly silly and yet there is something a little darker emerging.
Firstly, however, anything like this should be wrapped in neon-signed handle with extreme careï¿½? warning as it’s essentially the Daily Flail gone global. We’re always looking for politically correct gibberish to first ridicule and then shape as a stick to beat the hand wringing, lentil eaters who defend such nonsense. For every ˜Pear Tree Could Be a Killer” and Conkers “ the new Weapons Of Mass Destruction” screaming taglines are mitigating scenarios where badly supervised kids die in rivers and un-maintained tracks derail trains.
A sense of perspective should act as a prism to divine the lay lines of truth buried under the headline selling static. But there is no doubt that, as a society, we’re dealing with far more restrictive regulation reinforcing a culture of personal irresponsibility. No one is to blame, so everyone is to blame. It’s hard to see how this can work both ways, either we learn to take responsibility for our actions and those in our care, or we submit meekly to a state who feels they must do it for us, however crassly.
Less than a lifespan ago, kids of 19 and 20 were battling for their lives and the freedom of all civilisation over the skies of Southern Britain. Since those times, successive governments, of all colours, have stealthily eroded our ability to take our own chances and live or die by the consequences. If those young men had the attitude of a similar sample today, I wonder would they have risked anything to save everything.
It’s probably a specious argument, but whole generations will soon be lost to the power of individual choice if we aren’t allowed to walk the line between social responsibility and freedom of the non mandated option. We’re not sheep, there is more than one path to take, many sides to an argument, infinite outlets for expression. More baring of teeth and less toothless baa-ing would be an alternate approach.
Do you know how many Health and Safely officers there are in France? None, that’s right, if you want to dice with death under a swollen pear tree, c’est la vie. We could do much worse than adopt such a carefree attitude.
God, I’m turning into my Dad.