One politician has just turned into a human being. Norman Baker has shown that he is normal.
Everyone knows that whenever a politician spouts some diktat it is always on the basis of “do as I say not as I do”. That’s why politicians always make up laws and rules which the ordinary person has to follow, but they themselves will ignore. Witness Harriet Harman ignoring the law with impunity after leaving the scene of an accident.
So it’s surprising when a politician says that people should do as they wish and not as the authorities and those with vested interests say so. Norman Baker has said that even the rules are that you should wear a helmet when cycling it’s your own choice as to whether not or actually do so. He’s not telling us what to do, he’s telling us what we ought to do but it’s up to us to make that decision.
For instance when cycling on the road a helmet probably makes very little difference when you’ve been squashed by an HGV. But a helmet makes a huge a difference if you are downhill mountain biking. In the later everyone will wear a helmet, but in the former many will not.
I’m reminded of a scene I saw on a Discovery channel documentary when someone was asked why they weren’t wearing a hard hat within a factory where big heavy machinery was in use. The guy just pointed up at the 50 tonne block of steel above his head and said “It wouldn’t make much difference under that”.
Now every parent knows the maxim too. Usually parents use it when they are caught out by their child and can’t come up with a reasonable explanation quickly enough about why they are breaking their own rules.
The maxim does have its uses. Many a time children don’t fully understand something and until they do they are better of following their parent’s rules even though their parent might not follow it. For instance children should be told to only cross the road at crossing whilst adults will cross the road at any point – though some adults are probably better off acting like children but that’s their problem not mine.
But all politicians act like the whole population is made up of children. They tell us all to do as we are told even though we are all adults and have brains and can think for ourselves. It doesn’t matter if they are Labour or Conservative, they are still authoritarian. It’s part of the psyche of a politician to think they know best.