Well, it’s school tomorrow for me – I’ve had a couple of very soggy weeks of annual leave – so I’m sharpening up my pencils and ironing my uniform, etc. Oh and, you know, filling out that risk assessment, as you do. Or, actually, as you don’t, unless you are in one of the few industries that have a genuine need for it, or your industry is actually creating the mountains of documentation that nobody ever reads.
Being in the Health and Safety Bureaucratic Complex must be a lot like being a supporter of Richard Burgon; nobody knows what your purpose is and fewer even care. The company I work for has done what so many small-to-medium firms do, they have outsourced H&S. This means we have all signed to say that we have received and read the official company Health and Safety Policy booklet, but of course, only one part of that affirmation is actually true.
I am reminded of all this because in my email inbox sits a week-old injunction to complete my annual online Fire Marshall training. Last year I clicked on the link, found a button on the page which said ‘completed’, clicked on that and watched my status change from pending to sorted… which was nice. Naturally, I passed on this software glitch to others and now we are officially competent Fire Marshalls. I wonder how much the company pays to have this useless procedural box ticked? I’m guessing it’s not pennies.
Up and down the land, hundreds, thousands, of other companies must do the same. When you add in the pointless social engineering of HR, the Equality & Diversity practitioners, along with Human Rights Lawyers and Environmental Impact Assessors (guessers), there are possibly millions of people involved in these bogus trades, sucking the productivity out of the land. Not to mention the partisan think tanks and polling companies and the commentariat.
All of which is why I have little faith that the Green funding announcement from Boris and Yoko will amount to anything of any use to anybody, let alone assist in ‘saving the planet’. All of it will be hoovered up by the vultures in the Climate Change business, much of it by serial polluters who pretend to have environmentally friendly credentials. Meetings will be had and debates conducted and the conclusion will be that they need yet more funding for more such fruitless time-wasting. I don’t expect to see a penny spent on doing any good.
Just as the cure for the ills of the EU is always more EU, the panacea for a welfare crisis is to throw yet more taxpayers' cash at idlers and cheats, the challenge to the rise of racism is to create yet more ways in which white people are racist and the solution to the immigration invasion is to declare open borders and de-criminalise illegal immigration, the way to tackle climate change is always to spend a fortune studying climate change.
And you know how it always ends up? Ordinary working people who wish no harm to anybody and dutifully pay their taxes, budget for their needs and generally keep their heads below the parapet are berated for their ignorance and their bigotry, and are told what they must not do, or say, or even think. I expect Boris Johnson is experiencing a little of what that feels like right now.