Monday, October 6, 2008

Nice cushion

Of all political issues, “law and order” is the slipperiest
banana in the bunch. Short of a genuine terrorist
threat, it is far and away the easiest issue to whip up
fear and loathing about, and that goes both for
politicians and the media. Actually it is not even an
"issue" separable from society as a whole but seizing
on it and hyping it up is the first resort of the under-
stimulated news editor and the overblown politician.
I issue them both a challenge: try and debate these
complex matters without once using the words “law
and order” and see where it gets you. The phrase has
lost all genuine meaning, so you won’t miss it,
believe me. But not having to fall back on it, like a
soft cushion, might just make your thinking learn to
stand on its own two feet.

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