In a comment on that post "James" pointed us to a link that showed that what the Mail on Sunday and the Sunday Telegraph had described as Institution of Occupational Safety and Health guidance was in fact the opinion of an individual contributor to the Institute's magazine.
James concluded: "David may have a point but he needs to back it up with some real examples", which is fair comment.
The trouble is that too many Liberal Democrats regard showing that the Daily Mail is wrong as the end of the debate.
Take a posting on the same subject by Mark Pack on Lib Dem Voice. (I am sorry to pick on Mark- there have been many similar posts over recent months.)
Mark wrote about the same story, but to him the only point of interest was that the two newspapers had misrepresented the Institute's advice. But surely there is more to it than that?
Because when you read the Institute's guidance (which Mark helpfully reproduces) it turns out to be something less than the call for neighbourliness which the Institute's website represents it as:
Deciding whether to grit beyond the boundaries of their property needs to be carefully considered by companies. If access to the premises is covered in ice, companies may choose to grit the access to help their staff and visitors arrive and leave safely, even though it’s not their property. However, in this instance, if they failed to grit the surface properly and someone had an accident as a result, then they could incur some liability.Mark has nothing to say about this. All he wants to do is complain about the Mail.
As a general rule, though, it’s sensible for firms to consider the risks and take reasonable steps to prevent accidents from happening. If this means gritting outside the boundaries of your workplace, then it’s better to do that than to have people slipping over or involved in car crashes on your doorstep.
Let us take is as read that the Daily Mail is awful. There still remains a much more important and interesting question to debate.
What is the Liberal Democrat attitude to health and safety? Do we think that the government (though it is not the only influence here) has got things about right? Or do we (like me) hold a view more like David Boyle's, which suggests that the Labour attempt to regulate everything is bound to be counterproductive?
This constant complaining about the Mail is a form of political group grooming. Look how ridiculous the people who disagree with us are! How sensible we are in comparison! Why, they even supported Oswald Mosley!
I suspect that, like the constant bien-pensant complaints about the Sun in the 1980s, the modern hatred of the Daily Mail disguised more than a drop of hidden snobbery.
So let's stop talking about the Mail all the time and start worrying about what we think. It may be harder work, but it will a lot more rewarding.