22 Apr 2015

Morality, Restraint and the Law

This morning, like a light bulb flashing in my  head, I had a ‘what the!’ moment, after reading several bits and pieces of news online. Many of the articles I read were about relatively minor things – common sense things as it were – being regulated by law, when a little restraint on the part of the public could have averted the need for the long arm of the law reaching out.

Take for example:

The Parliament of Trinidad and Tobago has seen need to legislate and make it an offence for a “person to drive or operate a motor vehicle while having in the cabin area...an opened bottle, container or vessel with any alcoholic beverage”. The mischief this is meant to deal with is obvious… those macho souls who drive with a bottle in one hand and the other on the steering wheel.

After a boat carrying 700 migrants sank off the coast of Libya, (400 migrants drowned in another incident just the week before), the editor of the Sun David Dinsmore, and columnist Katie Hopkins who described the migrants as ‘cockroaches’, have been referred to the police for “incitement to racial hatred”.

Her words were: “Make no mistake, these migrants are like cockroaches. They might look a bit “Bob Geldof’s Ethiopia circa 1984”, but they are built to survive a nuclear bomb. They are survivors”.

These are just two of the many instances where common sense and a little restraint can go a long way, but because the moral compass of those involved is a bit skewed, we have the long arm of the law being wielded as a baton. In other words, if they can do it on their own, the law will force them to do it… toe the line so to speak. I say, “Good on the law.”