The year of the bully is at the door – or is it already here?

A list is doing the rounds of what might make the news in the year 2030. You know the kind of thing – “Baby conceived naturally: scientists stumped”; “Average weight of a British male drops to 18 stone”.

Chaos is clearly on the way, as it has been for so long. I suspect, however, that it is nearer than we might have thought.

Already the police have more or less abandoned their traditional roles. I understand that ordinary, untrained people with plenty of axes to grind are sporting video cameras with which to trap unwary motorists and others – even cyclists and, in some cases, actual criminals. Evidence from these cameras can in some cases be accepted in court. Technologically speaking, it can only get worse.

No-one ever sees a police officer on the beat nowadays, unless there is a football match or concert in the vicinity.

Parliament is apparently about to fall apart because no-one can tell the difference between flirting and inappropriate touching. I once asked a female friend about this, and she said it depended on whether the man was attractive, which seems unfair, but I’m not sure who on.

This is not to excuse anyone who actually assaults a woman sexually, which is despicable at all levels. I know a few women who would leave such a perpetrator with serious injuries – and good luck to them. Bullies are pathetic, which is sad, as there are so many of them, and most of them are in positions of power.

Which reminds me of the old quote: “The wrong people are in power because they would not be in power if they were not the wrong people.”

Meanwhile it will not be long before the world is ruled by lobby groups. I am constantly being asked to add my name to an online petition – often one where I cannot possibly know whether or not it is justified. I am sure many people sign such petitions purely because they sound right, or because it makes them feel better.

As I write, Avaaz – perhaps the most vocal such group – is crowing that “we could be about to beat Monsanto, crumbling the cornerstone of its billion-dollar empire”! Why? Because Monsanto produces “toxic mega-killer glyphosate”.

Obviously toxic mega-killers are bad. Anyone could tell you that. And if enough people sign a petition, politicians terrified by popular pressure will ban glyphosate, which is a rather successful herbicide, improving our ability to feed people.

Why don’t Avaaz like it? Well, it’s been classified as probably carcinogenic, on the same level as – wait for it – night shifts, alcoholic beverages and solar radiation (sunlight).

I’m not a scientist; so I don’t know whether glyphosate is more or less dangerous than sunlight. But I do know that getting gullible people to sign that kind of a petition is simply attempting to bully your way to getting what you want.

And that is what chaos is all about. No rule, no law, no love. Just bullying.