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Law-abiding citizens can be arseholes too

Protesters on the roof of parliamentWhy is it that the appelation ‘law-abiding citizen’ is used so widely today as a self-description, as if by doing so it should yield an aura of protection or respect?

Any legal framework is only ever as good as the system it serves. To describe oneself as ‘law-abiding’ as a means of proclaiming one’s high moral standing, therefore, is both short-sighted and dubious. Who are the real criminals anyway?

The boy from a broken home who gets into a few scrapes, or the public schoolboy flying to France every weekend?

The underage drinker who wants to fit in with his mates, or the man buying shares in an oil company?

The ‘yob’ who vandalises a bus shelter because his community has rejected an entire generation, or the exec of a multinational company who lobbies the government to build more coal-fired power stations?

The drug addict who has made a few wrong choices, or the profiteer who chooses personal wealth over environmental sustainability?

The political activist who scales the Houses of Parliament in protest of the government’s continued hypocrisy over climate change, or the prime minister who describes it as “the greatest challenge we face” while continuing to sanction aviation growth?

Clearly, to be moral today takes a lot more than to merely be law-abiding. When the stakes are now so high, even, when time is running out so fast, surely, the most moral thing of all is to stand up, fight, and do whatever is necessary for justice, peace and the safeguarding of this planet?

Dare I even suggest breaking the law? You didn’t read it here, sir.



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