Monday, August 04, 2003


The third story in my triology about the civilized approach to government in the Anglo-Saxon world of the past is about England just after World War II. A Central European refugee had been given asylum in Britain but was in a category where he had to have some sort of residence permit which needed renewing from time to time. There came a time, however, when he inadvertently let his permit run out. So he got a visit from the local Bobby (policeman) early one morning. This of course struck terror into him. Under both the Nazi and Communist regimes he had known, having your papers out of order led to immediate jailing at the least. So a policeman was terminally dangerous. The conversation went something like:

BOBBY: "Mr X, I have come around because your permit to stay in Britain has expired."

MR X: "I beg of you to forgive me. It must have slipped my mind."

BOBBY: "That's all right. I have to come by here on my way home tonight so give me your old permit and I will drop you in a new one on my way past tonight".

As the Bobby rode off on his bicycle, funny helmet and all, Mr X still could not believe his senses.

That story brings tears to my eyes too. How much we have lost! I doubt that such a thing would happen in modern-day Britain. In modern-day Britain (and Australia) we have "welfare" workers raiding homes to seize children from their parents on the basis of mere speculation. Truly abusive parents, however, are routinely allowed to keep control of their children. "Social Worker" and "Gestapo" seem to mean much the same thing nowadays.


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