June 2010 - Red reaction and ruddy rucksacks

01 June 2013

Usually political parties put a manifesto to the electorate and then we have a vote. This time we voted - and a week later the Conservatives and their Lib Dem mates crept into Downing Street and then started writing their manifesto! Either way it looks as if we’re stuck with a few years of government by the privileged classes, lording it over us with their insufferable arrogance and slimy superiority.


It’s all been too much for me. To take my mind off it, I’ve decided to devote this column to rucksacks.


A few years ago the only people you saw swinging a rucksack were hikers or mountaineers. Inside their bags were tents, sleeping bags, provisions and spare socks. Now every Sunday stroller has one strapped to their back.


What’s inside them? What do you need to carry apart from your wallet and a pair of glasses? I know my wife can stock a handbag regardless of its size, but she’d be hard pressed to bulge a rucksack.


I wouldn’t object if they kept their baggage to themselves. But they don’t. Half the space in an average London tube is taken up with rucksacks, all of which are swung round with less attention to public safety than a vampire at an open level crossing. These public hazards are not carried by tourists or marchers - but by Mr and Mrs Average swinging down to the shops.


We see all kinds of common complaints and government initiatives about people who are obese, but at least they don’t poke me in the face with their stomachs. I’d double the fare for anyone with a rucksack on a train and charge them with obstruction for walking down the road.


Trains drivers are exceptions, of course. We’ve got to carry lamps, fault books, tea-making equipment, food, keys, diaries, mobile phones, yellow vests and publications. We’ve got an excuse. The rest haven’t.

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