Conrad Black visits Australia

The following short story was written after I read an article in the National Review that suggested that politicians were responsible for making public servants leak sensitive information. A pitiful attempt at a smear, for some reason I immediately picture the author whinging to a traffic cop after being pulled over… “It’s not my fault officer, he made me do it!”.

The rental car was fairly new. The novelty of right-hand-drive hadn’t worn off. As he headed to the conference centre, Conrad was paying more attention to the road than normal – keeping to the left hand lane was weird! Approaching an intersection, two cars occupy each lane. The road is clearly marked as a 60kph zone, but one of the cars takes off slowly and doesn’t seem like it will move much faster. Conrad rolls his eyes. So it not just America that has drivers like this! Being careful, and using his indicator lights, he steps on the accelerator and speeds up to overtake the slowpoke who is getting in his way. 

The red and blue lights flash almost immediately. He may be halfway across the globe but these strobing colours mean the same thing no matter which county you’re visiting. He pulls over.

“Going a bit fast ther, mate?”, the police officer asks as Conrad winds down his window.

“Well, maybe a little – I don’t really remember.”, he says in his defence.

“Do you remember what the speed signs said when you passed them?”, asks the officer, looking dubiously at the American license.

“It said 60.”,Conrad acknowledges. “But the car in front of me was going so slow!”

“What’s that got to do with anything?” The cop asks, sounding slightly annoyed.

“Well, he wasn’t doing the limit, that’s dangerous in itself!”, Conrad whines. “I needed to get around him, so I had to speed up!”

“So you’re saying that driver made you break the speed limit?”

“Well, yes! If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t have done it.”

“Well mate, here in Australia individuals are responsible for their own actions. If you’re the one who broke the law, blaming someone else just makes you look weak. I’m issuing you with a speeding fine and a warning. Don’t let me catch you doing it again.”