PUBLISHED: 11:32 18 August 2008 | UPDATED: 21:05 05 July 2010
A HUNDRED years ago, when aircraft were made from canvas and the skies were full of angry Germans, it was a very good idea to brief the passengers on what they might do if the plane were to start crashing.
A HUNDRED years ago, when aircraft were made from canvas and the skies were full of angry Germans, it was a very good idea to brief the passengers on what they might do if the plane were to start crashing. Today, though, it's a complete waste of time.
In the whole history of civil aviation, not one single life has been saved by a lifejacket. So why bother telling us where it is and how to put it on?
And yes, we know that we are not allowed cigarettes. We also know the lavatories are fitted with sensitive smoke detectors, we know that the nearest exit might be behind us and we know that all planes are different these days.
However, if we point out any of this to the airline staff - or worse, ask why they don't supply parachutes - we risk being accused of air rage and thrown off the plane.
It's the same story everywhere. Staff can be rude, annoying and useless but if you make a fuss, they point to a sign saying “assault, verbal or otherwise, will not be tolerated”.
Certainly, you can't be a human on the road.
A dithering idiot can weave about generally crashing into street furniture and getting in everyone's way, but if you wind down your window at the lights and say something unpleasant you'll be accused of “road rage”.
We live in a country where you are not allowed to smoke indoors, where drink adverts have health warnings, and where the Government tells us how much salt to eat.
And we are not allowed to lose our temper. To take our rage out on the bureaucrats that impose all this nonsense.
Only this week, a woman in East Anglia was told by the local council to paint her house pink. Or she'd be prosecuted.
Can she shout? Can she scream? Can she pull her hair out? Nope. All she can do is get the paint brushes out.
Of course, there is one thing you can do to moan about the constant intrusion into our lives. You can resign from your post as Shadow Home Secretary.
But if you do that, of course, Government forces will say you've been driven mad by your own ego.
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