Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Fences on Cliff Tops

Fences on Cliff Tops

Often times when we make new laws or change old ones, we are not thinking of the consequences unseen up the road.  We would do well to do so; even when those decisions or laws are made with the best intentions in mind.

Early on in the UK, a law was brought in to make tenancy of rented housing more secure.  The good reason for it was that some people were being put out of their rented house for very little good reason.  However, the unforeseen consequences were that for a period it actually created homelessness. People were reluctant to give others a room in their house if they thought they would turn out to be a bad tenant.  That of course was not the intention, but that was what happened.

I wonder, as I look at recent changes in legislation in the USA and the UK, if we are heading for unforeseen circumstances that we will not like. Of course, from a legislation point of view it may have been done for good reasons like equality and freedom, but are we really sure of the outcomes?

I don’t know, but I do wonder what our new freedom so called, our new equality so called, the removal of fences if you will; I wonder what they will bring up the road.  I wonder if they will have good or bad effects on our society.

It is a bit like that fence on the cliff top, the very low one with the sign that says it is dangerous to step over the fence.  Then of course, in the name of freedom and equality someone questions why it is dangerous, and they step over the fence and walk around on the wrong side of the fence. Then they shout, "Look I am okay! Nothing has happened to me! Who said it was dangerous?"

Then there is a great furore and complaints to the local authority about taking away our freedom to walk on the cliff top, and putting up wrong signs, and questions as to who made this rule anyway.  Eventually, even though the powers that be know that the cliff in question has erosion at its edge, the fence is removed; the signs are taken down.

Of course the first fence crossers  were just dancing around very near the said fence, they were only interested in challenging the fence, they were not interested in getting a better view, their wailing, running, and dancing was close to where they crossed over.

But now we are all free to walk where we like. We can go to the cliff edge.  It may take time but it will come, when one or two stand right on the edge of the cliff to admire their view. There is nothing to stop them, no fence, no danger signs; they are just expressing their freedom to be there.

The cliff gives way and they are plunged to their death on the rocks below.

Maybe the fence had a purpose after all?

Adrian Hawkes
Edited By: Kirsty de Paor

W. 519