THIS year drivers face a 15 per cent increase in car insurance because of the rise in personal injury claims, fuelled by no-win, no-fee lawyers, who advertise in the media.
We've all seen them: Glib actors in suits tempting us to make a quick buck for injuries which once we'd have shrugged off or put down to bad luck.
Shouldn't we go back to taking responsibility for ourselves and stop making other people pay for our misfortune? Obviously I'm not talking about claims where people have had serious injury (or worse) through someone else's actions. I mean mild whiplash caused by a shunt in a car park, which needs paracetamol, not payment.
I know from personal experience how solicitors tout for business for minor injuries, even in hospitals. The first question I was asked by a doctor when I finally got one to look at my sprained ankle in A&E was, 'Are you going to sue?' It turned out his brother was a solicitor. I told him no, as it was my fault - I simply hadn't been looking where I was going. He looked at me as though I was mad.
If I'd got my injury because a manhole cover had been left off and I'd fallen down a hole, or I'd been knocked over by a drunk driver, it would have been right to sue. But law-abiding drivers, who already pay over the odds, should not have to keep coughing up higher and higher insurance premiums so that people can sue for minor incidents at the drop of a hat.
* I am so sad about Cadbury - which has its headquarters in Uxbridge - being hawked off. My memories of school in Bournville include the delicious smell of chocolate as it wafted over the playground.
We were all brought up to know about the philanthropic Cadbury family, who created a whole village for their workers, and we took great pride in it.
Never mind Willy Wonka and his weird lottery; in Birmingham we all had golden tickets. Everyone visited the Factory in a Garden, as it was known, and we came away with chocolates, which came in tins later turned into pencil boxes.
On the minus side, there were no pubs in the area, as the Quaker Cadbury family would not allow alcohol into Bournville. I bet the workers could do with a drink at the moment.