From this week anyone found listening to Chris de Burgh or settling down to watch an episode of Midsomer Murders will face a £100 on-the-spot fine. The new penalties are intended to tackle the growing menace of people who choose the middle-of-the-road, often at the expense of others.
‘For too long these dullards have been allowed to cruise along with their bland and unoriginal attitudes,’ said Tastes and Values Tsar Laurence Llewellyn-Bowen. ‘They probably don’t realise it, but by adopting their middle-of-the-road position these people are blocking the way for others to enjoy something a bit more cutting edge.’
According to recent figures, up to 70% of the public enjoys middle-of-the-road books, films and music, often crowding out more innovative and experimental works. ‘There is widespread ignorance of the Cultural Highway Code,’ said Llewellyn-Bowen. ‘Too many are lazily reading Dan Brown when they could be hyper-modernistically struggling to make some sense of the latest Will Self. Anyone dawdling in the middle of the road should move aside and let the avant-garde overtake.’
The new penalties follow a recent multiple pile-up when one member of the public selfishly slowed right down to watch an old repeat of Lewis on ITV3, causing a collision with others who really wanted to watch the BBC4 documentary on Bolivian street dance.
The new rules will be heavily enforced at dinner parties where undercover police will be on the look-out for dangerously anodyne behaviours. These include tailgating the opinions of the person in front, hogging the conversation by only talking about the best traffic routes to Barnstaple, and flagrantly failing to give way to a genuinely interesting point.
The fines will also apply to middle of the road political opinions, with heavy penalties being imposed on anyone who consistently sits on the fence, dithers or equivocates. In a statement Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg said, ‘This is a controversial policy and I can see both sides of the argument,’ before being immediately Tasered and taken away in handcuffs.