Thursday, February 4, 2010

Theodore Dalrymple receives a parking fine:
[T]here was something almost indecent in the haste with which I received the ticket, by comparison with what would have happened, say, if my car had been broken into and I had reported it to the police. . . .

One would have no cause for complaint or grounds for suspicion if other and more important aspects of the rules were applied with similar rigour and efficiency, but of course this is not so. . . . My working-class patients used to tell me regularly that the police refused to entertain their complaints that their houses had been burgled. This, of course, was only natural: the police have the task not of reducing crime, but of reducing the crime figures, and by far the easiest and most efficient way of doing that is to manipulate them.