HERE’s a question for you. Should aggressive and bullying behaviour be rewarded? Should bullies get their own way? Should those in authority not only turn a blind eye to those who break the law but also appear to condone it?

I’m guessing that most reasonable people would say no, bullies shouldn’t be rewarded. In a decent, reasonable society, bullies should be shown the error of their ways and if they fail to repent and moderate their behaviour, they should be subject to a suitable punishment.

That’s the way it works, isn’t it?

Apparently not in the world of Warrington Borough Council.

Of course, I’m not suggesting for one moment that the council supports an institutional pro-bullying agenda. But on one specific issue, it very much looks like it is pandering to the more brutish and aggressive among us.

I’m referring to the proposal to change the speed limit on part of Cromwell Avenue, from Winwick Road to the junction of Westbrook Crescent and Callands Road.

Anyone who uses that road – as I do on a regular basis – will know that it has a 30mph speed limit on its entire length.

But now the council has announced its intention to increase the limit on the aforementioned stretch to 40mph.

According to Warrington Guardian chief reporter Adam Everett, the change has been brought about after concerns were raised over the ‘appropriateness of the existing speed limit’.

OK. I’ll buy that. Sometimes speed limits don’t feel ‘appropriate’ and in my naivety, I assumed there would be some kind of scientific process to follow to determine what the speed limit should actually be.

But no, it appears all it takes is for some drivers to ignore the limit, speed, and act aggressively towards those drivers who follow the rules and stick to the limit.

You couldn’t make it up.

This is what a council spokesperson had to say: “With the majority of drivers travelling in excess of the speed limit, those drivers that do adhere to the limit are subject to abuse and aggressive driving is being reported.

“Increasing the speed limit to 40mph will bring it in line with the design of the carriageway and provide an expected speed to which most drivers would be comfortable travelling at, removing the hostility and aggressive driving being reported.”

So there you have it. All you need to do to get your own way is to bully others and be aggressive towards those sticking by the rules.

It’s almost a perfect metaphor for 21st century England.

Talking of metaphors for the mess the country has found itself in, I notice that the Pyramid Arts Centre is staging the exhibition You, Me and Cold War Steve, starting on October 1 and running until October 22.

For those who aren’t familiar with his work, Cold War Steve, aka Christopher Spencer, is an artist who specialises in surreal, satirical and often disturbing collages originally made on his phone and iPad.

What originally started as a coping mechanism led to a hugely prolific output on Twitter of what the artist describes as 'Hieronymus Bosch-type hellscapes'.

According to the fount of all knowledge Wikipedia, his work typically depicts a grim, dystopian location in England populated by British media figures, celebrities, and politicians, usually with EastEnders actor Steve McFadden (in character as Phil Mitchell, and representing a bemused ‘everyman’) looking on in disgust.

His work has been described as having 'captured the mood of Brexit Britain'.

The blurb for the series of new work describes it as his his most uncompromising yet and documents the Covid-19 pandemic.

The exhibition is also accompanied by a display from local artist Waspdodger.

I’m an unashamed fan of Cold War Steve and his work and I’ve already booked my tickets (which are free) and I can’t wait.

But be warned, some people may find some of the scenes depicted upsetting, especially Brexiters, Covid-deniers, anti-maskers and Boris Johnson supporters.