Friday, February 26, 2010

Obsessed with details and all things shiny

Like most people, I was horrified by the tragic accident that saw a one year old child killed by a falling lamp post. It's not just the sheer freakery of the accident itself that horrified me, but the fact that it could happen in a country obsessed with health and safety.

I mean, how can a country where hanging baskets are routinely banned from lamp posts and ancient trees are felled just on the off chance that one or other may fall and hurt someone find itself in a situation where a lamp post itself just topples over and kills a child?

When I thought about it, though, it occurred to me that this was the inevitable result of our barmy health and safety culture - a culture so wrapped up in detail it is incapable of getting the basics right. This obsession with details is not just symptomatic of health and safety, though - it runs right through every level of authority up to central government itself (and beyond into the EU and UN).

I've mentioned before that our political parties are almost identical in their political philosophies and that the only real differences that exist between them are in how those philosophies are implemented. It is because of this that authority in this country has become so focused on detail to such an extent that the basic requirements of government and authority have been forgotten.

At the same time this week we have been hearing the details of how a seven year old child was starved to death by her mother and her mother's "partner"- a fate narrowly escaped by her brothers and sisters - in a Victorian Birmingham terraced house. "How can this happen" asked someone on the news last night "in a modern cosmopolitan city like Birmingham?".

Well, there's your answer. It happens because we are so superficial these days. We look at our cities full of bright shiny new concrete and glass buildings, glittering lights and expensive new cars and allow ourselves to think that this must mean everything is good - while underneath this shiny facade British society is slowly rotting away - culturally and morally bankrupt after decades of social liberalism, political correctness and non-judgementalism.

What these two incidents tell us about our society is actually quite revealing. A nation where authority is so obsessed with detail that it not only doesn't get the bare basics right, it doesn't even think about them and a belief that how things look on the surface is all that matters.

1 comment:

Mark Brentano said...

Not making this up, Ranting Stan, but that accident happened 100 yards from where I work. There was an eerie silence that whole afternoon, like the whole park knew death had come.
Everyone I talked to immediately echoed your question; how can this happen in a Health and Safety-obsessed society? I think the answer is that these people have no interest in actual health and safety, but a combined desire to take your money to employ H&S non-jobs, and to make people jump through hoops for the sake of it. Socialism is deeply totalitarian beneath its caring, sharing exterior.