Have you noticed the way people have to explain themselves before expressing an opinion these days?
If they condemn the Turkish invasion of Syria they stress that they aren’t against the Turkish people per se, it’s just the actions of their current president.
And if they condemn the intransigence of the DUP they emphasise that they believe in an inclusive Ireland which welcomes unionists and loyalists just as much as it does republicans and anarchists. Ok, maybe not anarchists (and let me stress here that some of my best friends are anarchists.)
And if they have a pop at Donald Trump they have to let us know that they don’t actually despise all fat middle aged numbskulls with fake blond hair, just Trump.
I heard a discussion about electric scooters on the radio the other day. (I am a pedant. The electric scooters weren’t actually on the radio. So what I should have said there was that I heard a discussion on the radio the other day, about electric scooters. But that’s another day’s annoying people altogether.)
There is a proposal to fine scooter riders substantial amounts for exceeding a speed limit of, I think they said, 25kph.
And so it should be.
I was passed the other day by a chap riding an electric skateboard. I was travelling at 35kph and watching the road. He was going a little faster and he was watching his mobile ‘phone.
But the discussion ended with a TD saying that, essentially, electric scooters were a good thing because they didn’t give off emissions and were good for the planet.
(Here’s the big where I explain myself before expressing an opinion.)
I’m all in favour of saving the planet. And, in my own little way, I’m changing the way I do things to climate friendly ways.
But trotting out “good for the planet” as a reason for doing anything and everything really is going a bit far.
There are many cyclists out there who regularly break red lights, cycle on footpaths, ride through pedestrian areas and, generally, ignore the rules of the road.
But if you dare say such a thing you are immediately accused of being anti cyclist, anti climate action and no friend of the earth.
Cycling is always good, you are told, because cyclists are helping to save the planet.
So you splutter something about being wholly in favour of cycling etc.
Eventually “saving the planet” will become an excuse for everything. People who do all sorts of things will stand in a courtroom, look the judge in the eye and say: “I was saving the planet m’lud.”
A murder trial will see Senior Counsel for the Defence stand and say: “By eliminating the deceased, m’lud, my client prevented him from using his car, heating his home, consuming palm oil and, indeed, breathing in and out thereby helping to save the planet.”
Gardai will arrest some eejit for running down O’Connell Street in his (or her, I have to be careful here) naked.
Jeremy Double-Barrelled SC will tell the court that his client was protesting against the preponderance (barristers love that word) of clothing in the world and how going naked could – you know the next bit – save the planet.
“The grow house was entirely powered by renewable energy m’lud and was making a significant contribution to saving the planet.”
“My client admits being intoxicated m’lud. But, aware that vines are good for the planet, he drank two bottles of Fleurie in an effort to encourage vineyard owners in their trade.”
“My client is very conscious of climate change which is why he put the bottle of whiskey down the back of his trousers. He was anxious, m’lud, that the shop wouldn’t have to supply a plastic bag.”
I’m finishing here and turning off my computer.
Saving the plan….