Monday, September 10, 2007

today's phrase : 'It should be BANNED!'

The idea of banning stuff has become more prevalent in recent years. The Labour government have retained their 70s and 80s Trotskyite predilection for proscribing things that John O Farrell describes so well in the early chapters of Things Can Only Get Better. Fox Hunting and Smoking are the headline bans, whilst, oddly, Alcopops and Cannabis have managed to escape. I do think alcohol will be the next thing under attack, and predict that it will gradually become taboo over the next decade or so.

But the press and the general public are calling for bans all the time. Whenever a problem arises, much of the 'national debate' is about whether four by fours or knives or cheap flights or swearing or pretty much anything should be banned. Partly, I think, this is a response to the perceived over-liberal mores of modern society. If anything is different these days, it's that change occurs quicker and that people find out about change quicker. It makes them uncomfortable.

When the call for a ban comes from those in power, it is another way for people to try and address complex issues with simple answers that might well play well in the press but become sticky when enacted. When I hear someone wants to ban something I am instantly suspicious. The irony of it all being that the left wing in Britain is not half as liberal as it may seem.

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