Monday, January 11, 2010

David Boyle on health and safety

When faced with a story about some inanity attributed to health and safety, the reaction of many Liberal Democrats is to argue that the whole thing has been made up by the Daily Mail and conclude that we live in the best of all possible worlds.

Characteristically, David Boyle looks into things more deeply:
The ruling about not clearing ice is a good example, set out by the professional body of health and safety officials. The actual effect of this kind of regulation is to make us less safe. The actual effect of much of the safe-guarding regime is to corrode the informal ways that neighbourhoods actually watch over children.
And he concludes:
So this isn’t just a story of how successive governments corrode social capital. It is the core story of why Blair and Brown invested such huge sums in public services, and yet rendered them so intractable, so elephantine, so narrowly focussed on symptoms rather than causes, and – over the long-term, therefore – so hugely ineffective and wasteful.

1 comment:

James said...

Except it turns out that the Mail on Sunday and the Telegraph did make it up.

David may have a point but he needs to back it up with some real examples.