02 March 2008

banana splits

Here's my favourite Tory, curmudgeon, in fact Jeremy is edging closer to demi-god status, waxing about the stupidity of the highly-regulated nanny state. This is one of his best rants for a long time (although note that a commenter reckons he really needs to follow through).

Despite my self-professed wishy-washy left appellation, I'm with Jeremy on this. When the first priority for a service worker (like the road workers he discusses) is their own safety, not the job at hand, the whole point of the job is lost. And I reckon there's plenty of similar examples around.
So while I'm a world away from the reflexive anti-statists at Catallaxy for example, the lure of more 'common sense' in how our lives are regulated is very persuasive. What makes perfect sense as a principle - eg securing safe use of roads after an accident - quickly turns into something else again by the time the concept is translated into written regulation, interpreted by the relevant agency and then serially misinterpreted several times by the time it gets to the worker in the field. But that's not an excuse to reduce all human interaction to contract and tort.

In other news that has annoyed me, a few days ago on TV they were interviewing some smallish kids about something and one boy, in the midst of an otherwise unremarkable series of words delivered in an Australian accent, clearly pronounced 'banana' the American way.

So I had an immediate burst of reflexive anti-Americanism but, I ask you , why the f**k should our kids adopt American accents? The same as with "from the get-go". Now, every time I heard someone on radio or TV say "from the word go" - the phrase my old man used to say - I cheer. I have no idea what a "get-go" is and I wouldn't mind betting that 90% of those who've picked it up from wherever they picked it up don't know either. But it sounds new and exotic to their ears, no doubt.

I call bullshit. Enough.

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