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Play by the Rules

Entry 1568, on 2013-09-02 at 22:34:43 (Rating 5, Politics)

Should we believe in and accept the rule of law? We are expected to, I think, but apparently the law applies to some people and not others. If laws can be disregarded on a political whim where is the confidence and respect we have in them supposed to come from? Clearly the laws are optional for state agencies like the government's spy bureau, the GCSB, and the police, so why shouldn't they be optional for me as well?

Yes, I think next time I am approached by police for breaking the law (and that will almost certainly be a speeding offence because those are the only laws I regularly break) I think I will offer the following defence...

Cop: Good morning sir, is there any reason for you to be travelling at 120 in a 100 area?

Me: (thinking "because I slowed down from 140 when I saw you") Well yes, there is, but because it is confidential for reasons of national security I can't share it with you.

Cop: National security? Do you really think I believe that? What are you, John Key's latest spy chief?

Me: No, I didn't know the prime minister at school so I couldn't get in on that particular deal. Actually it's more a matter of commercial sensitivity than national security but equally I cannot discuss it with you at this time.

Cop: Well I have clear evidence of your speed so there's no point in denying it.

Me: What would be the point? Once the police make up their mind that someone is guilty the facts make no difference. And they're not averse to making up some fake evidence and falsely accusing people of crimes they didn't commit.

Cop: Well there's no good excuse for it sir. Have you not seen the advertising on TV which points out how the faster you go the bigger the mess?

Me: No, I don't watch propaganda on TV usually, except in the news. And a speeding cop recently collided with and killed a mother of four when she was driving to church, and he was cleared of any wrongdoing, so clearly speeding and killing people is OK. But in response to your assertion I would say that there's only a mess if you crash into something and I wasn't planning on doing that.

Cop: Nobody ever is sir but I'm afraid that just because you don't intend to do something doesn't excuse you from the law and, before you try any other excuses, neither does ignorance of the law.

Me: Is that right? Well it seems that the police and the GCSB can get away with breaking the law just because they didn't intend to commit a crime. I didn't intend to exceed the speed limit, it was just a momentary lapse of judgement, and nothing serious happened as a result, so I think you should just ignore this issue.

Cop: Well your driving habits are unjustified and you owe other road users an apology.

Me: Yeah, just like the police apologise when they make a mistake? They beat up a pensioner in Christchurch and shoved him into the mud but even though the force used was excessive, unjustified and unreasonable, they didn't apologise. Also, there's no need for you to offer your opinion because I have done a self-evaluation of my driving habits and concluded everything is fine despite a few minor issues which have been fully remedied.

Cop: I'm not going to talk to you any more sir, you can expect a fine in the mail.

Me: That's quite an efficient little revenue gathering system you guys have got going there. Have a nice day.

I know that most cops are fairly decent people and that they are "just doing their job" (how many atrocities have been committed over the years using that justification) but I also know that they should be setting a good example and should be held to at least as high a standard as the rest of us, probably higher. Also, it's the police leadership who are mainly at fault. They are the ones who cover up police incompetence. They are the ones who refuse to apologise when they are clearly wrong. They are the ones who waste police resources for political purposes.

We cannot trust the police just like we cannot trust the GCSB just like we cannot trust the government. In reality, we cannot trust anyone, but people with excessive power like those I mentioned here do the most damage when they behave poorly. Why should normal people like me play by the rules when they won't?

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