Some comment on a couple of recent news stories.
The discovery of the Higgs Boson, the particle responsible for all mass is a triumph of science. It is one of the clearest demonstrations of the scientific method in action one could wish to see. The existence of this tiny particle was required by a theory which fitted all the known facts, so an experiment was carried out to find out whether such a particle existed or not. The evidence is now in, and the particle is there.
The story about the fare dodger is that he was ejected from the train on which we has trying tol travel without paying by a fellow passenger who came to the assistance of the ticket inspector. On radio five live last night a retired police office and a magistrate were asked for their opinions. The magistrate took the narrow minded and literalist view that techincally the person who ejected the fare dodger was guilty of assault, while the former police office applauded the ejector (as by the way his fellow passenegers had spontaneously done). My view is clear: The fare dodger had made it clear that he was unwilling either to pay for a ticket ir to leave the train and the ticket inspector indicated in response to a question from the other passenger that he needed assistance. The would-be fare dodger deserves no synpathy whatsoever (how many of you would offer sympathy to a would-be shoplifter had a shopper come to the assistance of a security guard in an analogous situation?) and the ejector should be applauded for helping to ensure that he did not get away with it. As for the fare dodger’s attempt to say he had paid for a ticket but had lost it, which was why he was being obstreperous, it simply does not wash. I recently had an occurrence in Fakenham when I lost a return bus ticket because it blew away as I was getting out of my wallet in preparation for boarding the bus, and eluded all attempts to find it. I cursed myself for an act of clumsiness and forked out the extra money to get back home. Because a lost ticket is a such a classic fare dodgfers excuse an honest passeneger would not attempt to use it.