AH, the power of the press – it’s so gratifying when random musings get taken up by the wider world, isn’t it?
Admittedly the likes of Jeremy Clarkson get much more exposure when they rashly recommend that public sector strikers should be shot or that people who park in disabled bays should have their legs broken, but plain Fred Goodwin, among others, has reason to rue the ripples that spread out from this humble column.
It only took two weeks of nagging away at the knotty problem of Fred’s tarnished knighthood and lo, it is gone.
But more interesting is that my proposal that there should be an alternative honours list giving public recognition to rascals, idiots and passengers who sit in the back of the rickety rowing boat that is our society, loudly complaining as they scoff all the food and expect the rest of us to handle the rowing, has been taken up by other pundits in the national prints.
My idea that anyone with a knighthood who comes a cropper shouldn’t necessarily lose that title but be forced to use a modified one which brought to the world’s attention the scale of their shame, if only for a specified period of public purgatory, is gathering favour, too.
If at any time in the future the chap ahead of you in the queue for something official mumbles that his name is Slur Fred Nobleedingoodwin just remember where you read it first.
But I’m not one to rest on my laurels, so let’s move on to this week’s big idea, which I hope will sort out that knotty problem of individual human rights weighed against wider society’s needs. See, it’s not just ranting on about things that get on my wick.
So let’s get straight to it – everyone starts off with the same human rights, but you can bump up the level of consideration you deserve by putting yourself out a bit and slip down the ladder if you’re a bit of a scrote.
Suppose we all start off at level three, which is about where we are at the moment.
But if you’re convicted of a crime that’s serious enough for you to be banged up, that would knock you straight down the level two, at which time your pleas to be addressed with respect and have free wi-fi would get short shrift.
And if you erred off the straight and narrow again, you’d be busted down to level one, which would basically mean there would be a guarantee that you wouldn’t be banged up in solitary without a fair trial, but as far as manicures and access to culturally-significant foodstuffs was concerned you’d be on your own.
At the other end of the ladder, if there was a knotty planning application that was dividing a community, the consultation would take into account the calibre of the complaints.
That would mean 10 of those moaning munchers I talked about earlier would find their views easily outweighed by a couple who gave blood, had a standing order to a non-animal charity, looked out for the old dear next door and always cleared the pavement outside their house after a snowfall. Good people. People like you and me.
It’s got a smack of the McDonald’s star system about it at the moment, and a taste of Scientology if I’m honest. But it’s early days, I’m just putting it out there to see if anyone picks it up.