Livewire - August 10, 2011

Have your say

By Anthony King, of Blackpool, author of Broken Britain

I APPRECIATE the need for some speed cameras in accident hot-spots, but I think it’s very clear how most cameras are more about raising money than controlling speed.

In today’s economic climate, speed cameras are a bit like a stealth tax, so the money probably comes in handy for laying more speed bumps on Central Drive.

I was recently caught on a mobile speed trap, and there’s no excuse really.

We live in a very punitive and unforgiving society where any slight misdemeanour is punished. This zero tolerance attitude just creates resentment in those who suffer for their minor indiscretions.

If you break the law and are caught, you will be fined and suffer in some way ... not necessarily because of the ‘crime’, but because the cameras raise money so we can fight wars in other countries and fund a host of other things nobody wanted or voted for.

I know we supposedly vote for politicians who make the decisions, but people usually just vote for the party they’ve always chosen, so nothing much ever changes, except price increases all round.

And judging by the expenses claims scandals, who has any faith in politicians anyway?

In a society which has broken down through illegal drug use and selfish capitalism, we now find ourselves at the butt-end of industrialisation, with places like America and England facing the fact China and India are the new superpowers, and our society little more than a service industry.

So what has this got to do with speed cameras?

Well, such instruments are indicative of the scrutiny a society has to impose on its citizens who no longer believe in society and a greater good.

Zero tolerance policing and law-making does not foster societal harmony: it creates distrust and engenders a zeitgeist of paranoia, as does the proliferation of town centre CCTV.

In this paranoia lies an alone-ness and isolationist tendency that in itself regenerates distrust and disharmony. To that degree, it is self-perpetuating.

We have a broken society and a country full of law breakers who have the nerve to exceed the 30mph speed limit, so we put cameras everywhere and send out millions of fines.

If this society was healthy, we would not need to do this, because no-one would want to harm the place in which they lived ... they would feel part of it. Instead, a feeling of alienation pervades the air, initially birthed by the greed that Thatcher promoted, and now, we truly have a broken Britain where nobody cares at all.