Consent and governance

Let’s have a look at this photo. I’m the car on the criss cross between lanes.

6th October. West Hill, Wandsworth. 20.51pm. I’m on a mission post audition to get to Brighton and see Lou. I was driving across this magic carpet heading for the space directly in front of me. The guy to my left was turning left into my lane and suddenly gunned his engine round the corner while I was on my way to the clear space in front of me. He nicked it leaving me stranded. I tried to get as much of my car out of the carpet as possible before stopping, but not enough to avoid a £130 fine being automatically issued. Who am I obstructing? Nobody. This is traffic fines as pure revenue generation. I’m willing to pay it. You pay 50% if you pay fast. And these things go hand in hand with vehicle ownership. There was nothing I could do about this – the guy completely stitched me up. He probably works for the council. Pay somebody £50 an hour to do that all day and you’d make thousands. But if you have a car in this city you have to expect to pay in skin, even if you do your utmost to be careful.

I’m sharing it because it just came in the post and it’s a good illustration of how the law frequently makes absolutely no sense. My action inconvenienced nobody, caused no trouble, but was considered bad enough by the computer to warrant me having to buy a medium wax tartan dog coat from Liberty for Wandsworth Borough Council.

I’m writing this in a pub in London, where I’m having a non-alcoholic beer because I can. It’s just been announced that we will all turn into a pumpkin on Friday at midnight. Captain incompetence and his amazing sociopathic lackeys are still just making shit up and putting it into law even though the majority of the laws make no fucking sense whatsoever – to the extent that THEY CONSIDER THEMSELVES EXEMPT. That’s the real sting. They can go to Durham or Scotland knowing full well they’re contagious.

Law – and government – is about consensus. I drive a car in London and I accept that occasionally I’ll get charged for a Liberty dog coat (halved to a Bee Inspired puffer jacket) for Wandsworth borough council as an additional tax. So do enough other drivers that the ones who don’t think it applies to them end up getting it in the neck with bailiffs. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t tip the other way if enough drivers stood up against bad fines like this. The emperor may think he is untouchable, but he only rules with the consent of the people. It is not automatically granted, it can be lost. He can force consent, but eventually the snowball gets too big.

These Westminster fuckwits should be careful with the continual shifting arbitrary laws, especially with their overt lack of care for and interest in the “little people” that they govern – especially now they’re setting fire to the north. They only govern us with our implicit consent. And everybody’s context is shifting as a result of this pandemic.

My Google speaker listens to me all the time and sells my information to advertisers. I don’t mind – I consented to it. I like it. Some of my friends are extremely suspicious of it.

I can ask it to play stuff and look stuff up for me. It even has a crystal ball game – a bit like a magic 8 ball. Yesterday I asked it “should I get some barrels of gunpowder and take them under parliament on November 5th?” “Yes,” it said, immediately. Followed by a caveat. I barked with laughter. I’ve probably been logged on some kind of database now though.

I’m not going to be stockpiling gunpowder. It’s not the solution. I’ve been considering emigrating to New Zealand just to get the fuck out of this atmosphere, but I’m not sure if avoiding it is the solution either, plus we aren’t allowed to travel. The government want us to retrain – maybe I’ll have to retrain as a politician and fight from within. I’d make barnstorming speeches. But I don’t think that’s my solution either. I’m too impulsive, disorganised and dissipated.

Revolution is always messy. The Romanians still had to execute Ceaucescu and his wife, and 650 people died. France was horrible. I’m not sure if it’s the solution either, especially thinking about how I feel regarding the possibility of active militias in America if Trump doesn’t get the votes. “Stand back and stand by”. But Christ. These people. These terrible horrible people, mostly from the same background as me. I know how to not end up like them. You have to choose to work to find empathy from privilege. I no longer consent… I never really did anyway.

Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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