The Blog

The Pack Animal You Can't Ride

Some people look as though they were separated at birth, even though they are not related at all. Keira Knightley and Natalie Portman are almost exactly the same when viewed from the neck up. Elijah Wood and Daniel Radcliffe are also hard to tell apart. Snoopy Snoopy Dogg Dogg looks like an actual dog, Clark Kent looks suspiciously like Superman, Salman Rushdie bears an uncanny resemblance to Garfield the Cat and the law increasingly looks like an ass.

There is a video on the internet, taken by one of those CCTV cameras that are nailed to practically every vertical surface in the land. In typically un-Hi-Def blurry images it shows two soldiers laying out one unfortunate victim in the road before chasing after another. They rain blows onto him, like they are trained to, and as he is fleeing for his life, he trips and the two attackers start to bravely punch and stamp on his head while he is lying defenceless at their feet.

I recommend you don't watch it. Violence is OK if Arnold Schwarzenegger is meting it out to some crim standing in his way on the silver screen, but in real life it is a much less enjoyable sight, unless you are a psychopath.

To the untrained eye, it looks like these two drunken squaddies are trying their best to kill both men, and they leave them lying out cold in the middle of the road while making their escape to congratulate themselves on a great night out.

The judge saw the video too and in his legally recognised wisdom set them free and wished them a good afternoon. The judge actually said that he hoped that the incident would not affect their careers. That'll teach 'em!

Now, compare and contrast their treatment at the hands of the law and the chap who tried to change his exam grade at university. The man was expecting to get a 2.2 degree in bio-science. Not so bad you might think, especially as it is one of those subjects that has the same somnambulistic effect as a Xanax.

On staff computers, he installed a device that tracks keyboard strokes. This allowed him to steal passwords and he then hacked into the university's mainframe computer and switched his grade from 57% to a much more impressive 73%, went from a lower second to a first and from there, straight to jail.

He should have gone straight to Microsoft, or MI5. It sounds like he has just the sort of skills they are looking for. He was convicted of being in breach of the Computer Misuse Act and is now looking at the wrong side of a cell door for four months.

Then there was the story of the woman who pruned her neighbour's overhanging tree too inelegantly. Responding to a claim of criminal damage against a shrub, the police arrested her and kept her locked up for six hours, as the law allows.

Do you notice any slight differences in the way these three cases were treated? The full majesty of the law was brought to bear on what seem like pretty small beer offences.

By contrast, the law appeared to look the other way, and indeed pat the perpetrators on the back, in the case of the unhinged attackers and their apparent attempted murder of two completely innocent men who had been unfortunate enough to come across two of the Queen's armed servicemen with a belly full of booze in them.

People are constantly fretting that the young of today have no respect for the law but it is quite hard to respect something when it is so often shown to resemble a total jackass.

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