Tomorrow, in the House of Lords, a bill introduced by the Green Party member, Lord Beaumont of Whitley is being read called the "Piped Music and Showing of Television Programmes Bill".
Its purpose is to "prohibit piped music and the showing of television programmes in the public areas of hospitals and on public transport; and to require the wearing of headphones by persons listening to music in the public areas of hospitals and on public transport."
Now, I'm only 30 but I must admit the grumpy old man in me came racing to surface when I read this. There is no doubt that incidental muzak is bloody irritating. Worse are people on buses who choose to listen to music on their mobile phones sans headphones. Those people deserve to be severely punished. Frankly, public flogging is too good for them, especially when I'm trying to read.
Having said this, the waste of public money involved in such a Bill annoys me even more. In fact it annoys me so much that I'm willing to forego public flogging in the interests of good governance in public spending. The weirdest thing is that the bill's already managed to pass it's First Reading back in May.
People who listen to their music without headphones are no doubt annoying. However, instead of introducing pointless laws that won't be enforced, perhaps people should stop being so bloody reserved and act. The next time you're on the bus and someone starts to listen to music without headphones start reading your newspaper out loud. They'll soon get the message.