Monday, 6 April 2020

Driving for the sake of driving is apparently not an "essential journey"

The lock down rules have the aim of reducing person-to-person contact as far as possible.

Misguided or not, that's a clear enough basic principle.

So no more going on holiday by 'plane or train (fair enough); work from home if possible (fair enough); try and cut down on your shopping trips (one big shop a week instead of popping out for what you need - fair enough); no driving to beauty spots for a walk or picnic (too many other people there - fair enough). They classify this as "non-essential travel".

There is no earthly logic that says simply driving round in a circle for the joy of it goes against the basic principle (especially on empty roads with petrol at 102.9/litre). You get out of the house - with significant benefits for your mental health (doesn't mental health count as 'health reasons'? The alternative is hitting the booze much earlier in the day) - and you come into contact with precisely nobody.

In terms of person-to-person contact, driving is better and safer than going cycling or walking (which people still do in groups). Driving to your holiday home does not increase the number of person-to-person contacts so does not go against the basic principle either. But if you are employed by killjoys and banstubators, you have to toe the line I suppose.

A copper at a roadblock in the middle of Epping Forest yesterday informed me in no uncertain terms that joy riding is "non-essential" and therefore basically against the law - which they just made up on the spot. The logic is arse-backwards. Even more galling was the fact that said copper was standing well within two metres of me; and the road block was near a car park full of people going for walks or cycling.

There aren't expletives enough in all the world's dictionaries to describe the mentality of whoever decided that joy riding goes against the basic principle (which it clearly doesn't). According to The Telegraph, Mr Loophole even says that you might be void your insurance by doing so.

22 comments:

Shiney said...

"A copper at a roadblock in the middle of [insert location here] yesterday informed me in no uncertain terms that [some random activity] is [verboten/banned/un-woke] and therefore basically against the law - which they just made up on the spot."

And there Mr W, in a nutshell, is the future for all of us under the Stalinist crapola that has been introduced without any scrutiny whatsoever.

Arbitrary "justice" meted out by "officialdom" is what happens in banana republics, under commie/fascist regimes or in some sort of dystopian future-world imagined by Ridley Scott. Now its real and here in Britain 2020..... welcome to the Brave New World.

Shiney said...

And the next step... those of us who pass the 'test' will get 'papers' to prove it and be able to go about our business. Those that don't will be 'branded' in some way https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Badge_of_shame

I wonder who'll get the contract to produce the little yellow stars https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellow_badge

This is a fucking disaster for our way of life.

DCBain said...

4ckwits like that are hiding behind an appalling lack of information from what's laughingly called the guvmint: they take it upon themselves to invent things to harrass us for, thereby increasing their perceived power. Cn anyone link us to a clear, printable document which details what is and what is not acceptable and what is and is not legal? Given that we can deal with prodnoses from a position of knowledge.

Lola said...

There are latent commissars and gauleiters everywhere.

Lola said...

"Non essential journey, officer? In point of fact I am on my way to work to make a profit to pay your wages. You do want to get paid, don't you?"

Try that next time....

I'll come and visit you in the Scrubs....

benj said...

Not being miserable and fearful spreads the virus. So, in this time of crisis, we must stamp down on anyone enjoying themselves, or being happy and calm.

Nessimmersion said...

Please see website below for a legal opinion.
Majority of UK police are a toxic combination of Cartmans "Respect ma Authorita" and bears of very little brain.

https://planninglawblog/blogspot.com/2020

Unknown said...

It's not just motorists: (from an email from a London friend)

"It’s tricksy, there’s a certain element of not to be seen to be enjoying it, when in fact a sunny walk is literally the best virus prevention on the planet, along with sun-bathing."

Yes, the Puritans are back for this ongoing re-enactment of the C17th.

formertory said...

@nessimmersion - bum link, I'm afraid.

re Mr Loophole: as it happens I phoned my motor insurer the other day to get a definitive answer to the scope of cover in these bansturbatory times. Answer: the scope of cover is exactly as it was when I last renewed the policy. I'm covered for all journeys, taken for whatever reason. But as the young lady said, the Police might have a different - and more miserable - view.

Nessimmersion said...

https://planninglawblog.blogspot.com/2020/03/the-rule-of-law-policing-restrictions.html?m=1

formertory said...

Excellent, Nessimmersion. Thanks.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Thanks all, it's worse than I thought.

I stumbled across the same Statutory Instrument as the blogger to whom Nessie links.

New post to follow, in particular for benefit of DCB.

ThomasBHall said...

As much as I hate this police state stuff- can't you just claim to be going shopping? I've had a few nice drives- and it has crossed my mind some busybody plod will stop and question me- I've always had a supermarket in mind I'm heading to, to "see if the queues are shorter there".

Bayard said...

"There is no earthly logic that says simply driving round in a circle for the joy of it goes against the basic principle"

That presupposes the the "basic principle" is to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, I doubt that is the case. Although it may look like it, this bit of legislation wasn't put together by morons. Whoever drafted it was obviously thinking along the same lines as John McCone. Making it a crime to leave your home apart from a few narrowly defined reasons makes it easier for the police and, probably later on, the army, to keep the inevitable civil unrest under some sort of control.

Lola said...

TBH. The real point is that bad 'law' like this turns us all into liars just so as we can go about our personal business. That's why it is so corrupting. Why should I be 'made' into a liar?

Mark Wadsworth said...

TBH "I've always had a supermarket in mind I'm heading to, to see if the queues are shorter there."

Amen. Shopping list, couple of bags for life, perfect cover.

B, I've no intention in taking part in civil unrest. Unless people are rioting against the driving ban. Which would be self referential.

L, "The real point is that bad 'law' like this turns us all into liars"

That worries me too. But we have to adjust.

Bayard said...

TBH, "to see if they have any bog paper" would probably be more convincing.

Mark Wadsworth said...

B, in Tesco today loo roll was available as normal, so that lie won't wash any more. You have to adapt and adjust very quickly in these situations. Next week we'll invent a different cover story.

Bayard said...

Hand sanitiser? Pasta? It wouldn't be difficult to start your trip with a visit to a supermarket and note what they've not got, then "go looking for it".

Good to know about the loo roll, I must stock up ;-)

Lola said...

"I'm going to stock up on shot gun ammunition" Do you think would be acceptable?

Physiocrat said...

You should disguise yourself as a 'South Asian'. You probably won't get bothered by the police then.

Mark Wadsworth said...

Phys

a. "That's racist"
b. You know me, I am the whitest most northern looking European there is. I would get nicked for doing "blackface". Which is also racist.