Reading the Herald this past week or so, I'm beginning to wonder whether we are descending into a state of lawlessness in this country which, if not arrested, might lead to outright anarchy.
I'm not talking about lawlessness as perpetrated by the gangsters, druggies, murderers, rapists, bashers, burglars, thieves and others who have chosen to live on the wrong side of the law, but of the breaches of acceptable behaviour by people from whom one would once not have expected it.
The prime example of the sort of behaviour which should be of concern to us all is that of those arrogant twits who last Sunday invaded the Auckland Harbour Bridge, disrupting the lives of tens of thousands of other people who were going about their lawful occasions.
These selfish, thoughtless louts defied transport authorities and a police cordon just so they could traverse the bridge on foot or by bicycle on its 50th anniversary.
OK Garth; we are with you so far. The arrogance of those protesters on Sunday was indeed breathtaking in our considered opinion. But what annoyed us the most was the number of children present, being encouraged by their parents to flout the law.
And whilst we're not convinced by George's suggestion that police armed with Tasers might have dispersed Sunday's gathering, we agree with his support for Tasers in general, and had a chuckle at this recollection from days gone by:
I'm all for arming frontline police with Tasers; in fact it should have been done years ago. They are a perfect compromise between unarmed police and police armed with lethal sidearms, and should have a salutary effect on those - seemingly an increasing number - who are only too quick to tangle with the men in blue.
I well remember the first time I saw an armed policemen - in St Paul, Minnesota, many years ago. Having never seen a real pistol, this boy from the boondocks politely asked the policeman if he could look at his.
To which the cop politely, if somewhat warily, replied that he was strictly bound by rules surrounding his pistol and one of those rules was that he never took it from his holster unless he was going to use it. From that day for several months every time I so much as jaywalked I felt an itch in my back.
One would hope that the carrying and use of Tasers by our police will be well and truly defined by what one might call rules of engagement, yet it is sad that things have come to such a pass that even this level of armament has become necessary.
He then moves on the the Rotorua Westpac story, noting with a degree of concern the number of people who have said that they would do precisely the same as the couple now being sought by Interpol before closing with the salutory warning to which we referred earlier:
I wonder whether those people who say they would have done the same would also have participated in the widespread rorts on the part of those finance companies which have stolen hundreds of millions from Kiwi battlers and left them next to destitute.
In this age of "me first" and "up yours, I'm all right Jack" morality, ethics and respect for the law are being inexorably further eroded.
But those who take the law lightly had better beware, for we reap what we sow.
We find it very hard to disagree with that conclusion.