America has OSHA, Britain has the Health and Safety Executive. Different countries, same idiotic ideology. Except sometimes I wonder. For all its faults, America falls a long way short of Britain when it comes to the Nanny State.
Richard Littlejohn reported in Britain’s Daily Mail (Oct. 3) that Watford council in London has concentrated its efforts on having a smoke-free town. Sounds like a reasonable goal, right? But Watford council has gone so far as to announce that it is banning the town’s traditional bonfire on Guy Fawkes’ Night, November 5. Dave Cobb, Watford council’s “service manager,” explains why: “It takes significant staff resources to build and steward the fire and reinstate the area afterwards. It is extremely difficult to put out, in the case of overcrowding or crowd surges.”
Of course, the social climate in Britain makes Cobb’s logic quite reasonable. It only makes sense – in a society that has accepted the premise that the state must govern, approve, and regulate all such behavior. Furthermore, with a state-run National Health Service, and the state authorizing the legal system by which lucrative compensation is paid for even the most idiotically self-induced injury, who could blame Cobb, or his superiors in Westminister? The people asked the state for a free ride from responsibility, and, boy they’re getting it!