Monday, October 6, 2008


I am a great fan of laws. The Second Law of Thermodynamics is a personal favourite; it makes sense and - the best bit - it can't be broken. Laws that we have to obey to be part of our society aren't so impressive. They can be broken. And they are. Regularly.
The real bind with so many of our laws is that we don't know what they actually are. We could do with a book: "DON'T DO THIS" or a similar title, that tells us what we can and can't do.
We still have lots of obsolete laws. I recall that the requirement to walk in front of a car whilst waving a red flag was still on the books until 1968 and I have a sneaking suspicion that Hackney cabs are supposed to carry hay (for a non-existent horse). Having a book that actually spells out what you must not do would also allow us to clear out this dead wood from our 21st Century lives.
It would also remove that "bloody hell, I didn't know that" moment when the Police pull you in for drinking a Coke whilst driving or getting on to an aeroplane with a biro.
A book full of laws (with subsequent average penalties in the margin) really would be incredibly useful. We have a highway code; why not a life code?

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