28.05.2009

This country annoys the hell out of me.

This evening, I nipped out for a quick explore at a track a couple of miles from home. It’s a public byway, so I have every right to travel down it. Unfortunately though, it’s massively overgrown, so I got my arms ripped to pieces by wild roses and brambles, and the odd nettle sting just to add to the misery. In the end, I had to turn back as the path became completely impassable.

So, I come home thinking that the way to tackle things is to go back with a machete to beat back the nettles and other rough stuff, allowing me to get to where I’m trying to reach. Only thing is, we now live in the Orwellian nightmare that is Brown’s Britain. So I end up spending 5 minutes finding out how much a decent machete would cost (only about a tenner), but over an hour working out whether I’m allowed to use one for a perfectly legitimate reason on a public byway.

In the end, it turns out that yes, you can carry one – but that you run the significant risk of being arrested and charged with possession of an offensive weapon if the Police decide that your reason for carrying it isn’t entirely worthy.

Where the hell did this country go wrong? I look back at life in the 70s, compare it to now and can’t for the life of me see how one turns into the other. There’s simply no common sense left any more – and every way you turn, there’s some draconian nanny state law or measure to block virtually anything remotely interesting or adventurous.

For all our modern creature comforts, the more time passes, the more I think I’d rather live in the early 20th century than right now. Coming Up For Air sure beats having to suffer the indignity of living in 1984.

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