As we move into the 21st century Western democracies are more and more becoming involved in the trivia of people’s lives. All governments, no matter what their political leaning seem to be under the impression that they know what is best for each and every one of us. Instead of involving themselves in the great issues of the day they are increasingly legislating on details about how we conduct our lives on a daily basis. Instructing us on what generally we cannot do. Western societies are as a result becoming more and more restrictive. Vocal and active minorities have more and more influence over the legislators.
The vast majority of the populations are apathetic and hold no strong views one way or the other therefore the governments continue to march on eroding away at our liberties. The most worrying aspect of all of this is that the excuse used each time is that it is done for the benefit of all.
Government leaders are constantly heard to say or intimate that we know what is best for you because we can see the bigger picture, we understand all the issues. So they invade Iraq, ban fox hunting, ban smoking bring down the time limit on abortions. All have different reasons. Iraq and the reasons for invasion are still unclear; banning fox hunting because it is cruel; banning smoking because it is unhealthy; changing the time limit for abortions on moralistic grounds dressed up with medical science.
I would presume that this interference in our everyday lives is because the politicians can think of no big issues any more. All the great reforms have been carried out in the past.. Now we can only tinker at the edges whilst half the world spirals into chaos. Smoking in public places is banned in many countries because its effects on public health are too costly to the health services. Will eating in a public place be outlawed? Will failure to take adequate exercise be a punishable offence? Will being over a certain weight incur a massive fine? Obesity and its effects are far more costly on health services than those of smoking and alcohol combined.
Why is it that governments think that they must spend their entire time in office creating new laws?
Much of the legislation going through the UK parliament at the moment is modifying previous Acts of Parliament in order to make them better, more effective less costly and so it goes on. Why are they so inept at getting it right the first time?
Something major happens such as an outrageous event and we immediately have to have new laws and introduce more restrictions. Soon it seems we in the UK will have to have ID cards which we will have to purchase at great expense despite the fact that we do not want them. However ID cards will solve all our problems, criminals will always be tracked down and fraud will become a thing of the past. Terrorism will still happen but at least we will catch them afterwards because they will all have ID cards.
Perhaps governments should go on an extended holiday, have a break from all that hard work of thinking up new laws and they can then sit back and watch us plunge into chaos with a knowing smile and a final ‘told you so, we know what’s best’.