One of the key points of the petitioners is that the law is quaint and smacks of "Victorian morality"
But what exactly is Victorian morality?
Today anyone who is prudish, conservative or "old fashioned" so to speak is labeled "Victorian"
It was also the period when the Industrial Revolution picked steam (though it had begun a few decades prior to the Victorian era)
The escape from this trap occurred for the first time during this era
Between 1851 and 1901 the population of England and Wales doubled from 16.8MM to 30.5MM
This is despite the massive massive emigration of 15MM from Great Britain between 1837 and 1901 mostly to America, Aus and Southern Africa
So this was a momentous escape from the trap that had been impossible to escape from for all of human history
It was very much real. There was a very distinctive change in the moral climate in UK during this period - a change that abetted the rise of Britain as an economic and geopolitical power
"Between 1780 and 1850 the English ceased to be one of the most aggressive, brutal, rowdy, outspoken, riotous, cruel and bloodthirsty nations in the world" (Contd..)
As the century progressed, under the instigation of Britain, Slavery was banned in most parts of the world including US
1832 - there was a Reform act that introduced electoral reform, enabling close to 1 in 5 men to vote
1867 - another reform act that doubled that proportion
By 1913 - all men could vote
1928 - we had universal franchise
The Corn laws were abolished in the 1840s and tariffs were low throughout the period.
So it was an era that you should like if you are a "libertarian" sort
The introduction of macadam road construction and later tarred roads
The introduction of railways - prior to Victorian era the fastest mode of transport on land was the horse carriage
The great games of Football and Cricket for instance were codified and became commercial enterprises during this era
These were consequences of the change in moral climate - a climate that emphasized hard work, and austerity and looked askance at sensuality and license
It was an era of much hypocrisy, and ofcourse a tainted Empire that hurt several traditional indigenous institutions very badly.
It was anything but that.
It was a force for "Change" - for better or worse
It was precisely Victorian morality that prepared a slothful world culturally ready for a Post-IR (Industrial revolution) existence
But they don't want the cultural values of the era - the restraints, the work ethic, the puritanism - that made these "fruits" possible
A mentality that seeks to have the cake and eat it too