Today, I rode to church on my KTM 950 Supermoto, which revealed a couple of top tips I would like to share. On the ride home, I assembled these into an illustration of the clear choice in British politics.
Here we go.
Top tips for motorists and motorcyclists
When in the rightmost of three lanes at a roundabout, indicating right, you should turn right. If, at the last moment, you decide to turn left into the services, go around the roundabout: do not cut across the two lanes on your left.
I am not sure whether the driver realised they had cut across me in the middle lane, but I was glad I had spotted their hesitation and was travelling with due caution. Motorcyclists: you are responsible for detecting imminent inattentive, irresponsible or unthinking behaviour in other motorists.
A top tip for government
Over-regulating causes resentment. During coffee at church, I spotted a flyer for our “new style lunch”, prompting one of the gentlest and most charming ladies I have ever known to mutter darkly about the need to abolish the Health and Safety Executive, the Food Standards Agency and, indeed, the Government.
The clear choice in British politics
There is nothing sensible the Government could have done to prevent that driver turning left across me today. Banning bikes, banning cars or physically enforcing lane disciple are all either absurd, impractical or tyrannical. It was up to the driver to drive thoughtfully and responsibly and up to me to account for that person’s failure to do so.
As for the lunch, I don’t know what the details of the new food rules are, but I know they spoiled our back-to-school barbecue and that it has taken three months or so to reach the position that we can now hold a lunch, a lunch that is “new style” and which has driven gentle people to serious irritation. The details do not really matter: what is important is that government has made life a little worse, a little more difficult and a little more expensive for people who simply want to build up society, to help people have more to do with one another in genuine — that is, freely-chosen — community.
What a triumph!
So, now we find a Queen’s Speech which suffers the vapid futility of putting targets into law, a frankly Trotskyite attempt to declare the world a new place without any practical means to make it so. And while the LibDems pour scorn on writing targets into law, they remain committed to top-down managerial government funded by an outpouring from a supposedly inexhaustible horn of plenty.
But from David Cameron’s recent conference speech:
And here is the big argument in British politics today, put plainly and simply. Labour say that to solve the country’s problems, we need more government.
Don’t they see? It is more government that got us into this mess.
Why is our economy broken? Not just because Labour wrongly thought they’d abolished boom and bust. But because government got too big, spent too much and doubled the national debt.
Why is our society broken? Because government got too big, did too much and undermined responsibility.
Why are our politics broken? Because government got too big, promised too much and pretended it had all the answers.
Very often, people tell me they want nothing to do with politics, as if politics were simply a pointless argument about who gets to sit uselessly on the green benches of the House of Commons; it is not. It is, or should be, a serious conversation about how society should operate, about whether mums and dads and grandmothers and grandfathers should be able to cook a meal for other people to their own standards. It’s about whether ceaseless regulation can protect us from every harm, or whether we have to take responsibility for ourselves and one another, getting on with our lives in the knowledge that, sometimes, stuff happens.
Top-down government has reached the end of the road. We can’t afford it and it does not work. Moreover:
Do you know the worst thing about their big government? It’s not the cost, though that’s bad enough. It is the steady erosion of responsibility. Our task is to lead Britain in a completely different direction.
Quite right: it is time for change.