We know what is best for you


It’s a funny thing, the other half of the world. Take this mob, at the IEMA, for instance. The stated objective of the group of like-minded chaps and chapesses is to transform the world to sustainability. (I take it from that objective they assume the world is currently not sustainable? Despite all it has been through in the last 4.5b years? – editor’s note)

Of the people I know, I understand that many, on getting out of bed in the morning, limit their immediate concerns to a tasty breakfast with the newspaper. Two eggs, freshly laid by contented hens, boiled perfectly and perhaps toast with marmalade accompanied by a pot of tea. They then want to enjoy the day through the course of their business, hopefully enjoy a spot of sunshine under a blue sky and pick up the delicate fragrance of a passing rose on the way home before relaxing in the evening with family and friends.

Meanwhile, it seems clear that others possibly leap out of bed to don black shirts and heavy boots, with an eye fixed on the street below as they do so. That is when they start planning who they will transform today.

There are cultural differences between different groups of people that have worked their way into the legal structures of each society. I heard one description like this:

In England, everything is permitted unless it is expressly prohibited. In Germany, everything is prohibited unless it is expressly permitted. In France, everything is permitted, including those things that are prohibited. In Russia, everything is prohibited, even if it is permitted.

English common law was, thankfully, exported to Australia, New Zealand, US and Canada and we in these countries enjoy greater freedoms as a result. This stated objective of using the law to transform the world seems rather oppressive to me.

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