L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

04 July 2009 Blog Home : July 2009 : Permalink

Budget Savings

There is much wailing and gnashing of teeth wondering what part of the UK government spending needs to be cut because "its all vital and and cutting it will result in worse service". I think I can identify a few areas where we can fire some useless jobsworths and get better service.

Here's one:

“An unsavoury character could have come in and we just can’t put the children in the event or the students at the host school at risk like that.  The ultimate fear is that a child is hurt or abuducted, and we must take all measures possible to prevent that.”

- Paul Blunt, development manager at the East Beds School Sports Partnership, explaining why parents were banned from attending their children’s school sports day to protect pupils from potential child abductors and paedophiles.

90% of the people involved in protecting children from paedophile should be fired since all they do is spread FUD and make things difficult for all concerned.

Then there are the 'elf'n'safety / legaleagle brigade that, due to liability fears, ban all sorts of common sense ideas like sunscreen:

Teachers have barred children from bringing sunscreen into school for fear that they will share it with others who are allergic.

[..]Parents have been told that in order to protect their children from the sun they will either have to apply a 12-hour sunscreen before school or come in at lunchtime and re-apply the cream.

Now you might say that getting kids to slather on sunscreen is overreaction to the skin cancer scare but so what? parents who want to protect their kiddies from cancer are entitled to teach their kids how to put on sunscreen. Other parents who kids are allergic to (some) sunscreen can teach their kids NOT to put on sunscreen from strangers. This is not difficult. Furthermore sunscreen allergies show up as rashes and other minor irritations rather than anything life threatening so if allergic kid B slathers on the sunscreen from sun paranoid kid A all that happens is he gets a rash and learns not to do so again. I would hope that any parent of kid B who attempted to sue either parents of kid A or the school/teachers would have his case dismissed with extreme prejudice - ideally involving a firing squad.

The same article then points out another set of legal idiocy

Royal Mail bosses have stopped supplying postmen with sun cream - for fear the company could be sued if staff fail to use it and develop skin cancer.

Norwich staff have been given factor-15 lotion for their rounds over the past two summers but company lawyers have called a halt.

Melly Hill, of the Communication Workers Union, said: 'The legal people looked at it and said that if Royal Mail provided sun cream and then people didn't use it and got skin cancer then they would be liable.'

Let me get this one stright. If an employer fails to provide any protection against a long term fairly low threat like skin cancer this leads them to less legal liability than if they provide some protection but it turns out not to be used? This is nucking futs. Assuming the legal people are correct the lawyers, lawmakers and bureaucrats who have caused this situation need to be told to rewrite the law and then fired. If the legal people are wrong then they need to be fired.

And they can be joined on the dole by these civil servants:

Civil servants have refused to name inmates who have fled prison even though individual police forces will often identify them if they pose a risk to the public.

They say releasing their names would breach obligations under the Data Protection Act.

I'm sure that a quick trawl through the pages of many a local (or national) newspaper will reveal plenty of other civil servants and bureaucrats of the same kind. Once identified they need to be fired for cause and banned from working for the government ever again.