Monday, 12 December 2005

Long, bendy, and built to enforce the new order.

by Edwin Hesselthwite

The day of the Routemaster bus is over, and across the media words have been spilled like motorcyclist's blood over how attached those darned Londoners are to their silly red and shiny buses.

The Routemaster was a bus for a different time. It was a bus that assumed that your ankles weren’t going to snap if you tried jumping off at a traffic light. It was a bus for people who felt like screaming "Habeas Corpus" when trapped on board - next to the screaming pushchair - ½ a mile past where they'd wanted to get off, just because it wasn't a designated stop. Yes, the Routemaster was an anachronism in our modern world.

Britain is old, and old people pen letters to their councillors, and stroll down, on their permanent leave of absence from employment, to their ballot box at 10 am. So, in the name of the disabled, efforts were made at the highest of levels to appease our growing elder generation. Steam is building under the “more public toilets” debate. We can't have our seniors wetting themselves in public, can we? The engine is beginning to roar on anti-social behaviour, and gradually the legal obligation to send pictures of grandchildren every three months will become punishable with imprisonment.

I, for one, welcome our new geriatric overlords. Would you like some more tea, Marjorie?

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