David Blackburn

Insane culture

Insane culture
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I’ve just flicked on the television in search of fresh disasters. The news that Raoul Moat shot himself when cornered in a kessel is still ‘breaking’. In this heat I’d be surprised if he wasn’t oozing by now, but 24 hour news doesn’t concern itself with such trivialities.

The ‘Yours Concerned’ BBC reporter intoned in horror that 2 tasers had been used in the operation.  Now, I wouldn’t arm the officious clown who asked why I was carrying a bottle of Crozes Hermitage through Waterloo station yesterday evening. I oppose the adoption of tasers in anything other than extreme circumstances. But Mr Moat was fairly extreme in my book, given, as he was during the events nearing his death, to a visceral antipathy to society in general and the police in particular. Besides, using tasers is preferable to using marksmen, as proved by the recent case of the armed lawyer in Chelsea. The BBC takes a different view, blinded by the fact that policemen carrying and using tasers is dangerous.

This morning, I argued that civil service protocol would impede the repeal of health and safety laws. Also, there is an ingrained health and safety culture, despite the antagonism it provokes. Mindsets are extremely difficult to alter. Every time in the future, say, a school trip meets with the inevitability of a chance misfortune, opposition will clamour: it wouldn’t have happened in the safety conscious past. The restoration of sanity won’t be as easy as it looks.