It Didn’t Just Happen

Riding along what I call Harpsden Bottom today, in fact on the lower stretch of road between Perseverance Hill and Chalk Hill, three horses looked for all the world like three wise judges passing verdict on me as I rode by. They were perfectly lined-up in near identical poses; it has to have been by chance but – stupidly – it’s somehow more pleasing to imagine it was deliberate. Why such an unlikely incident of chance shouldn’t be as pleasing is a failing.

Something ‘just happening’ is how South Oxfordshire District Council (SODC) would like us to believe the roads come to be in the state they’re in. I saw a road sign today that I’d never seen before: ”Failed Road”. It isn’t, therefore, closed. It’s not restricted. It’s just “Failed”.

Firstly, there are plenty of worse roads than that one (Blackmore Lane, Sonning Common) within their jurisdiction; I presume they feel they can get away with labelling this one as such because it’s so minor.

Secondly, it did not just fail. Roads need to be maintained. Roads fail when they are not maintained. It is that simple. The sign should read: “Road Users Failed By The Council”, or “The Council Has Failed To Maintain This Road”, or similar.

Would that there could be such honesty.

Instead, we get this passive “Failed Road” sign, as if it somehow just happened, with no human being responsible. SODC aren’t alone among councils in this sort of approach. Councils aren’t alone in society in this sort of approach. It’s like a pox that’s spread far and wide, first among the leaders then amongst the led. The people we have allowed to assume any kind of authority welcome every opportunity to take the rewards without any responsibility. The people who are victims of this callow, venal class have fallen for the lie and are all too happy to apply it to their own existences.