Today's real problem? The sandal

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host -
A far better writer than I (Charles Dickens) once claimed, through a certain Mr Bumble, that the law was an ass and recently I am inclined to agree.

I am not sure when the public’s respect for law and order started to wane but I am tempted to blame the demise on the humble sandal.

Growing up, I didn’t dare mess with my father, the local bobby or my headmaster, but a male teacher wearing a sandal, that was a very different kettle of fish with lentils.

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My first experience of this strappy footed phenomenon occurred when I was about eight or nine and from that moment on, my temple of respect/fear, that had been painstakingly built up over the years, began to crumble.

His dress and his “right on” attitude towards “the kids,” gave us the green light to abuse his good nature and exploit his worthy intentions; amidst the torrent of flying missiles and projectiles that awaited him every lesson, we knew that he cared more about our right to express ourselves, than he did about his own safety.

The same is true in today’s society, the sandal is the calling card of the do-gooder, people who mean well, but ultimately ruin everything with their good intentions.

Before the “happy clappy” brigade came along, freed our minds and reminded us about our various human rights and what benefits we were entitled to, respect for the law of the land was almost absolute.

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The odd “bad un” would rob a train or steal a painting or two, but the majority stayed on the straight and narrow and if you didn’t, you knew the consequences.

Fast forward thirty years and many of the men in sandals are now politicians, with wide smiles and fake promises. Others have started organisations with strange acronyms, and regularly appear on our TV screens, to preach their message of tolerance and equality for all.

Which is a fine mantra to promote unless of course you are a criminal.

You can call me old fashioned if you like, but in my mind, as soon as you step over the line you have chosen to give up your rights and there should be no tolerance.

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Unfortunately, the “sandalistas” have infiltrated society to such an extent that you would have to steal every car in your street, rob the whole of Queensgate and repeatedly beat the top “rozzer” in Cambridgeshire, with Timmy Mallet’s hammer, just to get a bit of “bird.”

Even then you would be out in six months and free to start the cycle all over again.

People are not worried about the consequences of their actions because in their mind they are not worth worrying about.

Why else does half of Cambridgeshire think it’s acceptable to drive about on the county’s roads, whilst chatting on their mobile phones?

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With police cutbacks you have more chance of seeing Lord Lucan riding Shergar, than you have of seeing a police car on the A14.

We have people attacking traffic wardens and breaking their legs, all because of a parking ticket; that warden will have to live with that for the rest of his life, his attacker will be free to attack somebody else in just nine months.

The lorry driver, who killed police officer, Sharon Garrett, whilst he was checking his phone, will be out in three years; her family have been handed a life sentence.

Danny Warby from King’s Lynn, had a list of driving convictions as long as your arm and if the law had been stronger, he would have been taken off the road and two children might still have a mummy.

It seems to me that we need far fewer rights and a lot more consequences, the pendulum has swung way too far. The sandal has a lot to answer for.