Tuesday 16 July 2019

Kevin Myers: It's ludicrous that women should have to subsidise male drivers under European ruling

Kevin Myers

So the day when the illogic of the state-run equality industry ran ashore on the rocks of its own making has finally come. Following a European Court of Justice ruling, it's now illegal to link insurance risks to a person's gender.

This means that women are going to have to pay higher car-insurance premiums. And from the Irish equality industry, for whom 'equality' has only ever meant the ideological marginalisation of middle-class heterosexual men, baffled silence.

For equality in Ireland was not intended to mean 'equality', but was a one-way empowerment of women, Travellers, immigrants, lesbians and queers (as they are called in that weird academic emporium that is the UCD School of Social Justice). Our equality industry never thought that fairness and equality would one day meet head-on, like two trains in a tunnel, and equality would come off worse.

Well, my position on these matters is pretty straightforward. I don't believe in equality and I do believe in fairness, and accordingly I think it ludicrous that women should be expected to subsidise male drivers. Indeed, the notion of 'equality' is a violation of the whole principle of insurance, in which an actuarial assessment of risk is the key ingredient. For, like life itself, insurance is all about both unfairness and inequality. If either abstract were fully in control of our lives, we should all have the same number of crashes, or none at all, and the concept of insurance would be quite meaningless, since our premiums would roughly equal our claims, plus, of course, the cost of running the insurance company. But in real life, different groups experience different risks according to age, profession, sex and physical ability. The Oxford English Dictionary thus defines 'actuary' as: "A person who compiles statistics of mortality, accidents, etc, and calculates insurance risks and premiums."

Therefore, the European Court of Justice ruling in essence means that the role and skills of an 'actuary' are now probably illegal, for inevitably, the ruling will spread to cover age also. And then where does the equality nonsense stop? Will it be mandatory for armies to employ nonagenarian great-grandmothers? Ridiculous, you say; but is it not equally ridiculous that safe sensible post-menopausal blue rinses who have never left third gear are obliged by law to pay the same car-insurance premiums as perpetually priapic young blades for whom their cars are merely metallic extensions of their penises?

Now I admit I am something of an extremist in so-called equality matters. I certainly do NOT agree with equality before the law. I would treat the white-collar crime of fraud by a well-educated member of the upper classes far more seriously than I would a working-class crime, such as dole fraud. I would levy parking and speed fines according to the purchase price of the car. I believe that all financial punishment should be assessed according to the wealth of the transgressor, rather than by any abstract and largely meaningless notions of equality, in which fines are constant regardless of income.

In that self-same spirit or realism, I find few things as heartbreaking as watching a woman trying to reverse a car into a space any smaller than Leitrim. My brain regularly turns to lard upon watching mother drivers randomly halting their cars outside the school gates, apparently to see the outcome when one freeze-frames Brownian motion. In other words, dozens of vehicles, pointing in all directions, without regard to the road or the traffic, while their drivers continue the absolutely vital phone conversations that have now been going on for three hours.

But, that said, Drivers With Ovaries just don't cause crashes compared to men: and DWO never conduct the midnight roadside slaughters that young DWT regularly do. And so, very rightly, DWOs have hitherto been charged lower insurance premiums in recognition of the actuarial truth that they're less likely to bankrupt the insurance company lucky enough to have them on their books. The absurd European ruling means that the smaller DWO premiums that recognise this reality will now be illegal.

Naturally, since this is basically an ideological ruling, the same principles are being spread to other actuarial assessments, such as pensions. So pension premiums for men will now increase, even though men -- rather thoughtfully, I always think -- die much younger, and so don't live on to claim their pensions. Whereas women, the greedy old crones, hang around for ever, with their bus passes and minor episodes of incontinence. The European judgment benefiting them should more poetically be called the Urea Paean Equality Ruling.

But even the grisly ideologues of the equality industry must surely see that the e-word no longer has a useful meaning: for the insurance industry must now assess the gentle 55-year-old nun just the same as it would a speed-addicted 18-year-old male, which means she must subsidise his lunacies. But actually it's far worse than that: the imposition of this dogma, and the reduced premiums that these young, hormonal males are allowed to pay, will surely allow yet more of them on the road, and with a greater consequent death toll. As always, the price of the imposition of an arid ideology, regardless of reality, sooner or later is paid in human life.

Irish Independent

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