Transport for London has announced that its buses will soon no longer accept our nation's bank notes and coins as payment. If this is legal, it shouldn't be. I was consulted and expressed strong views (be fair, I have few weak ones).
If one of my daughters is in a seedy area of town (they are young and prone to hipsterish views of what's entertaining), her Oyster Card is in the purse stolen from her in a club and her credit card is the subject of the latest bank technology failure I want her to be able to use emergency notes secreted about her person to get home safely. In this Cinderella City where the Tube bizarrely closes down at a puritanical hour, night buses matter. The only mode of transport more dangerous than a TfL night bus is a long walk home.
TfL says it has trained its drivers to adopt a consistent approach to protecting the vulnerable in such circumstances. Firstly, the word 'vulnerable' has been so corrupted by our unintelligentsia that I never want it applied to me or mine. Britain's 'vulnerable' are often the entitlement-obsessed protégés of our political gangsters. At best, they are the innocent excuses the gangsters use to extend the scope of their violent reign. That's not us, buddy.
Secondly, have they ever watched a London bus driver interact with his/her passengers? I have witnessed crudeness and obscenity on some occasions and jaded indifference on others - e.g. in response to a chavvy mother refusing to fold her stroller to make way for a disabled person in a wheelchair. The TfL policy is clear, as was no doubt the driver's training, but life is short and she couldn't be arsed.
Thirdly, this policy will ensure free travel for pushy, lying, latently-aggressive criminal sorts while honest, respectable girls - their potential victims - will not lower themselves to ask for a bus drivers' mercy. And, of course, fares will rise for the honest. Put like that, I suddenly see that it's stupid of me to be surprised. After all, thats pretty much the template for public policy in modern Britain.