Long arm of the law stretching too far?

Much as would like to ensure that young children are protected from all the abuses that the adult world can inflict upon them, I’m not convinced banning smoking in cars is the right way to go.

All parents do, after all, know that it makes good sense not to expose their offspring to the poison of smoking without having to make it a criminal offence in their own cars.

Surely we don’t need to be reminded of our social obligations to our young without fear of the long arm of the law encroaching on our lives. Or do we?

Big Brother is surely now well and truly with us, as witness the new drink-driving regulations which I argued against some weeks ago, imposing crushing social policing on each and every motorist from whatever walk of life without as much as a by-your-leave debate.

Consultation did you say? Fat chance, leaving me to wonder what kind of democracy we practice in a society which we are told was fought and died for my successive generations.

No, sadly, I have to say we are danger of living in nanny state, led by the nose by well-meaning politicians who have no intention of allowing us a say in what they believe to be the right way.

Interestingly, many of these so-called initiatives are being promoted by a Scottish Government which, in its own way, is more right wing than any Conservative administration could ever be, and yet the same government is wearing the clothes of an administration that at first glance is more left wing than I can recall in over 60 years of paying attention to national politics.

All very confusing for those 16 and 17 year olds who are going to be given the vote in Scotland in May’s election. Once again I have some reservations about the wisdom of this development, which is strange you might think from someone who has campaigned for the rights of young people since I was in my 20s.

I honestly believe that until we have a proper political education system in place this is a wasted initiative, lost on teenagers who have neither the experience of life, or understanding of political education.

But, for better or worse, they are now free to cast their votes with adults who I concede are probably just as badly equipped when it comes to placing the cross where they think it does the most good. I just have the suspicion that this is a move being promoted by unscrupulous politicians hoping to cash in on the situation.

But now the scheme is in place, I wish all our youngsters good luck in picking out truth from the fiction of national politics. I am still working on that one myself.