Sunday, March 3, 2019

An Imaginary Investigation of Pressure

An all-party committee was convened to investigate the pressure on the Justice System after it was pressured to change its decision on a criminal matter.

Chairperson: Opening remarks: We are gathered here today to decide whether there was pressure imposed on a representative of the justice system, to change a decision that was already made. Before we begin let me just say this, this committee is a committee of honourable people who will do their best to define pressure.  Each member will have five minutes to give their thoughts on pressure. It will be done by the number already allocated to you. So let us begin. First member, you are first to speak.

First Member: I believe unseemly and intense pressure was put upon the justice member by saying jobs will be lost if those charged with breaking the law don’t get a break.

Chairperson: Could you please change the words “don’t get a break” into “jobs are at stake”?  And “unseemly and intense pressure,” to “friendly pressure” You will do this; thank you, First Member.

Second Member: I believe the real problem is this: an election was due to be held; therefore, it was appropriate that nice and firm pressure was put upon the justice system so that the right and proper decision could be made.

Third Member: Objection; not everyone is happy about the words “nice and firm pressure.” I would say it was more like strong arm pressure to pervert and interfere in the justice system and let criminals off the hook.

Chairman: Objection is accepted. Could Third Member please delete “let criminals off the hook” and “pervert and interfere in the justice system” and change “strong arm pressure” to “acceptable pressure.”  You will, under protest.  Excellent, Third Member; thank you.

Fourth member: It appears to me that we live in a law-abiding country, and that a little comfortable pressure is acceptable when we must change the law to break the law. After all, jobs are important, and so what if a corporation gets off with bribery, fraud or corruption, and there is interference in the justice system?  At least the people the company employs, and those that get its donations to their parties, will still have a source of income. Does that not make sense?

Chairperson: Fourth member, I think you expressed your thoughts on this matter very well. I am not pressuring you, but do you have to be so explicit in apparently promoting pressure to break the law?  Therefore, I ask that we expunge your comments so that you can rethink your remarks. Agreed? You accept! Thank you, Fourth Member.

Fifth Member: First of all, let me say this: two wrongs do not make a right. But reputable pressure appropriately applied can be helpful, especially if it gets the law off the hook for doing the right thing and jobs are saved for the middle class. Heck, laws are made to be broken, so why not break the law and save the jobs and the lawbreakers? Surely that makes sense in this law-abiding country?

Chairperson: Thank you for your input Fifth Member.  You are right about “appropriate pressure” being “helpful.” We are a law abiding country as you say, and two wrongs don’t make a right. But the law is the law, and it must not be broken unless the circumstances are exceptional. Which raises the question: Are these circumstances exceptional? That is the question?

Sixth Member: So far I believe the remarks have been very pertinent and sensible, even though we agree to disagree. Pressure properly or improperly applied is still pressure, and pressure for a good cause is always praiseworthy. Still, pressure is rampant in everyday life. Pressure to lie, pressure to break the law, pressure to pervert justice, pressure to get elected, pressure with threats, hounding a person with pressure, pressure to get up in the morning, pressure to go to work, pressure to work overtime, pressure to pay bills, pressure to mow the lawn, pressure to shovel the snow off the sidewalk, pressure to go to the toilet, pressure to not pressure. In fact I see pressure here, there, and everywhere. Pressure can be a good thing, even if some think it is a bad thing, when there is pressure to interfere by those in positions of power.  I believe positive pressure makes pressure successful. Though if it is unsuccessful there can be consequences for those applying pressure illegally, or there should be.

Chairperson: Sorry Sixth Member, I am afraid your time is up. I hope I don’t leave you feeling pressured. Did I just make a pun? [Much laughter ensues among the committee.] Your dissertation on pressure was admirable, and has given us food for thought on the pressures of life. Now we must pressure on; oops, I mean press on to the next member.

Seventh Member: That was an eye-opening monologue on pressure by the honourable member. Too bad he ran out of time, because he seemed to have much more to say on all kinds of pressure. Still, we all must obey the rules and the time allotted even if we are pressured. My feelings on this matter are this: I believe pressure is a great help in getting to the root of the problem. We are doing this with great clarity and without pressure.  Therefore I say if the law can be bent but not broken to facilitate justice for everybody, including those charged, so be it. Then let us do that, because we must continue to protect democracy, jobs, and the middle class in this law-abiding land of pressure.  And pressure, I believe, appears to have been mandatory and pliable in this matter of the rule of law.

Chairperson: That concludes our work on pressure for today. Thank you all for your excellent input on pressure. I am sure it will go a long way in having the people hopefully understand the meaning of pressure and the work we do. Democracy is always under pressure, but at least we live in a law-abiding country that believes in the rule of law.  And what could be better than that?

Stephen J. Gray
March 3, 2019.