[Part 1 was published on Easter Saturday – you can read it here.]
Not that a reduction in road traffic would always be a bad thing, people in rural areas will be quite open and tell you that during the last year, when the exodus to and from the cities has been mostly cut to minimum, they have been able to drive around without meeting some maniac driving at excessive speed down narrow country lanes, or not meeting some articulated juggernaut from some European country that most would be hard pressed to place on a map, blocking the entrance to a housing estate or stuck under or over a bridge as the driver follows his ‘ sat nav’ as he tries without success to find one of the local ‘business parks’ which seem to be everywhere in what was once our green and pleasant land.
Judging by the amount of building going on in green field areas it’s not going to be either green or pleasant for much longer. It is odd how most of these new homes seem to be in the upper reaches of the ‘market’ and how many of them are purchased by people apparently desperate to leave urban areas, I can’t think why, and most are coy on first acquaintance to tell you, but it’s apparently quite well known, just not discussed, like many other things these days. Still mustn’t grumble, can’t stand in the way of progress.
Talking of progress, Boris seems to have had another ‘moment of clarity’ – or was that the woman that was once in Downing Street? I forget. Though this time, in his quest to build back better and get the country back on its economic feet, he has U-turned on Covid Passports and although at the beginning of last week was reported to be against the idea at least for domestic purposes, he now apparently thinks that in the form of a smartphone app, they may be a good idea, as it could open up areas of public life such as sport and visiting theatres or cafes and restaurants which folks would be ‘allowed’ to visit if they could prove, via their phone app, that they were vaccinated and presumably, as the latest story goes, immune from either getting the virus or passing it on.
According to the mainstream media, this has caused a ‘political storm’ and Boris faces another rebellion if he tries to get legislation through parliament. Well, that’s a done deal then, get ready to show your app to all and sundry before being allowed to do whatever you want in future. The only thing that this current crop of MPs is good for, when push comes to shove, is doing nothing, which, as we all know, is what they have done for the last year or so.
It seems to have bypassed the thought processes of most of our governing classes that the ‘Track and Trace’ regime didn’t work when it was introduced and it certainly won’t again, or maybe Dishi Richi is going to provide a smartphone to everyone who doesn’t have one or doesn’t want one, because not everyone wants to be tracked and traced by the state 24/7 in a country which is the most surveilled state in the Western Free world. This when we told that we have a supposedly liberal minded Prime Minister, and he’s actually proposing this, you could not make it up.
Talking of bypassing any form of thinking process by the political elite, the latest barmy idea is to put track and trace and monitoring devices in the cars owned and/or driven by elderly people. Just when old age begins is anybody’s guess, but in France it’s apparently 68. In future if the ‘ elite road safety experts’ at ‘mobility’ or some other organisation get their way, graduated driving licenses will be introduced, which will ‘allow’ people in bad health or incapacitated in some way, to drive ‘locally’ or not at night’ or some other half-baked restriction yet to be decided.
Will it happen? Yes, in some form of course, the DVLA apparently has no plans to introduce such licenses or in-car monitoring software, so you can bet your last breakdown subscription that it’s on the way, with the best possible motives of course.
The end result will be less older drivers on the roads, which apparently will be a good thing, until of course you point out that legislation already exists to keep unsafe drivers off the road and the accident statistics show and have shown for decades that young drivers cause most of the problems, especially serious incidents, and that older drivers actually behave for the most part quite sensibly and accidents or incidents or collisions that they are involved in are mainly low speed impact or so called parking knocks.
Still not to worry unduly, don’t have nightmares, just mind how you go.
Photo by John D Fielding