'Fousands of voters on the hoof, 'fousands of 'em By Rcmandota - Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=62756441

Here we’ve another of those oh so lovely examples of how the world really works. Allow, give or let anyone take power over the rest of us and they will demand privilege. Dependent upon how much power we’ve allowed them to nick they’ll even be able to enforce the delivery of that very privilege. This is why Stalin’s nomenklatura lived in all the nice apartments in the centre of Moscow. They did, after all, work very hard and didn’t have time to travel to the outskirts now, did they? That they were easier to round up this way came later.

And so it is that India’s judges are to be allowed to queue jump at the road tolls. Very important people they are, of course:

Chennai: Madras high court has directed the Central Government and National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) to issue circular to form separate lane for vehicles of VIPs, including sitting judges, to pass through toll plaza on highways.

Note that interesting corollary to Kip Esquire’s Law there. Everyone, but everyone, defining who is a VIP will include themselves among that exalted class who are VIPs, so it is even with judges:

Very Important Persons (VIPs) and judges will get a separate lane at toll plazas, thanks to the Madras High Court. Why? Because waiting 10 to 15 minutes in queue appears to be an inconvenience for judges and VIPs.

Well, yes, it is an inconvenience, certainly. One that I think certain VIPs should be wilfully subjected to. For example, those who design the road systems which lead to 15 minute delays. But there is, over and above the observations higher up, one more thing to ponder:

“It is disheartening to note that the vehicles of VIPs and sitting Judges are stopped at toll plazas… It is very unfortunate that sitting judges are also compelled to wait in the toll plaza for 10 to 15 minutes,” it said.

The thing is, once this sort of privilege starts to exist we end up with an ever expanding list of those who are to be so privileged. At the moment it is judges apparently. High Court judges perhaps. How long before the equivalent of circuit court judges are to be added, chief magistrates, then magistrates?

All of which is long before we get to the nub of the matter, that rule of law. We’re all supposed to be subject to the same restrictions upon our freedoms, the same privileges before the law. It’s rather what the rule of law itself means, that there is no privilege – privilege meaning and by origin “private law.” And isn’t it edifying to see the judges themselves breaching this?

But then this is just what happens when anyone is able to exempt themselves from the tribulations the rest of us must face. They do so.

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Around here, the $100 salary for state legislator is a much smaller draw than the notorious ability to blow through toll booths. A few years ago (before transponders), legislators were cautioned to stop and present their credentials to the toll collector so as not to be confused with common scofflaws, though there is no consequence for not doing so, and their official license plates dissuade police from pursuing them. I believe our reps can also comp themselves into the ski area that the state unfortunately owns, though they cannot raid the State Liquor Stores.