I've been away most of this week at a Youth At Risk Coaching conference. Three days 9-5 with around 40 others drawn from across the campuses of UWS. It was stimulating, annoying, unsettling, fun, tiring, intense, rigid and rigorous, and was aimed at changing the way we think, see ourselves, the world and others. In some ways it was a cross between a three day lecture, a three day argument and a three day retreat. If that sounds a bit confused it's because it's quite hard to categorise into the usual training packages. There was a lot of laughter, sometimes the nervous hide from the deep stuff humour; often genuine belly laugh, ahah, loveable laughter of human beings 'getting it' and wondering why we didn't see it before. You can find out more about Youth at Risk over here I intend to follow up the training once I've had a time to process three days of inner gardening!
Now sometimes you're driving about minding your own business and then something bugs you. I was driving behind a taxi on the way to Braehead on Wednesday evening. Then I noticed the advert. Do remember this was a taxi, a road vehicle licensed to carry the public safely, driven by a responsible driver hopefully with a clean licence.
The advert was on behalf of a firm of solicitors called keepmylicence.com.
Now I have to say as a strap line that one tends to get your attention. But then it is surrounded by words and phrases that make most of us wary of other drivers "drunk driving - mobile phone use - dangerous driving - speeding - no insurance". Now I may be a wee Pharisee, and I make due allowance for what may be idiosyncratic and discriminatory prejudices about the common good, social responsibility and the rest; and I am absolutely committed to the fact that whatever the rime a person has a right to representation and defence.
So feel free to rebuke, correct or counsel me, but am I the only one who is offended by that selection of driving offences being positively linked with avoiding their consequences? Why should those convicted of these offences often enough to accumulate 12 points, or who commit an offence serious enough to be shown a straight red card and face being banned from driving, keep their licence? Losing a licence isn't only a punishment for the offender; it allows time for changes of behaviour that will make public space safer. To specialise in defending drivers is fine; and of course drivers facing prosecution for whatever offence are entitled to the best defence available to them. But I am very uncomofrtable with advertising and brand naming that inevitably suggests it's possible and acceptable to minimise the inconvenience of those guilty of license losing behaviour, by increasing the risk to the public? All of this of course is within the law and the firm is reputable, has a long experience and obviously considerable success. But then, there is the not irrelevant fact that the advert was on the back of a taxi minibus......? It's a strange and puzzling world and some of its daily observations do my head in.... so I make my own observations :)
You can Google the company and see what you think yourself.