If you tell enough stories, perhaps the moral will show up.


Fingered by the Make-up Girl

It appears that Italian MPs have been tricked by a TV show into submitting sweat samples. The samples were analysed to show that a large minority had been taking what local law treats as drugs of abuse. The gimmick is that the swabs were taken as the dupes were being made up to quote opinions on camera for a fake documentary about the budget.

It would have been more fun to ask them their opinions on drug abuse. It doesn't take much insight into the political mind to speculate that those opinions would be pretty uniformly negative, regardless of the blood THC level.

If you live with integrity -- some degree of consonance between words and actions -- it's easy to laugh at those poor mugs. They must be sweating more than ever now. The trouble is that the effort that goes into keeping us honest drains the fun out. We're prigs and bores. There's no help for it. Each one of those men will be better company than me, and his children will love him more. We should protect them, not laugh.

And the question has to be, whether anybody other than the police has the right to gather that sort of history, the evidence that we are all scattering more widely and more unconsciously: DNA on the laundry, web browsing at the ISP, fibres on the trousers, drug abuse at the barber's, traffic histories and mast use on the mobile, spending on the card .... What will trip you up? Is being too dull to notice the only possible defence?

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