There are times when I really despair for the future of society.
We seem to be rapidly heading for a Totalitarian Society where the state owns all and controls all.
Here in Ireland this is manifest in the State's conviction that it is entitled to take what it likes from its citizens. It feels entitled to take whatever it wants from any individual, and if that individual complains or withholds any taxes, then the State feels it is entitled to take that money from source. If I refuse to pay my Home Tax for example, the State merely informs my old employer to deduct whatever it thinks it is owed from my pension and graciously allows me to have what's left. If the State decides to double, triple or quadruple that tax, that is my hard luck as it will steal it from my pension before I get to see it. Because of this move, the State can bring in any arbitrary tax it likes and the citizen has no say in the matter. I am owned by the State.
Over in the UK, things have taken an even more surreal twist.
I am a follower of Christopher Booker who writes for The Telegraph. Over the weekend he reported on a case where a pregnant Italian visitor to the country was forcibly committed to a mental institution and had her baby removed by Caesarian operation. The baby was then put out for adoption and the mother sent back to Italy.
I am at a complete loss to understand what was going on here. The State feels it is entitled to make a snap decision on the mental health of a visitor to the country and to forcibly steal her baby on the basis of that snap decision? That is worse than inhumane; that is barbarism.
Where is this all going to end?
We now have a society where the State feels it is entitled to our possessions, be those possessions money or children. It considers that it is fully entitled to dictate what we eat or drink or what pastimes we enjoy. To ensure compliance we are increasingly being monitored by closed circuit television.
Democracy has reached the stage where if we vote the wrong answer we have to vote again. Manifestos are pledged before an election and then promptly ignored in total after the election. Public consultations are held and then completely ignored.
At times like this I am really happy that I am 63 and not 23.