Saturday, July 19, 2008

Not So Great Britain: Mastering the Broom and Binge Drinkers

The Weekly United Kingdom Insanity Report
The Nanny State: Off The Tracks

Time again for DBKP's weekly review of the Not So Great Britain, the poster child for the endgame of Political Correctness. The United Kingdom demonstrates with clarity what happens when wishful thinking becomes a cornerstone of government.

Tens of thousands of years of common sense--mixed in with 300 years of civil authority and enlightened humanitarian philosophy--disappear without a trace when the left pushes forward a political agenda concocted in the minds of silly, delusional academics and politicians who view society as the enemy.

First, the whimsical safety concerns of the Nanny State.

Ridiculous' health and safety rules tell carpenters to ban the broom

Yep. The broom is a bit too dangerous for the workplace. The proper use of the broom seems to be something the modern construction worker may not be able to master, at least in Britain.

According to The Telegraph:
Carpenters and woodworkers have been told not to use brooms to sweep up sawdust because they are considered dangerous under "ridiculous" new health and safety guidelines.

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) claims that sweeping up wood chippings in dusty workplaces can provoke asthma attacks and long term exposure lead to nose cancer.

Instead they are advising carpentry firms to buy state-of-the-art vacuum cleaners and air purification systems which can cost thousands of pounds.

So, not even the ShopVac will do.

No sir. The government needs the workplace to have a vacuum cleaner with an air purification system. Of course, it is not the government's money, so who cares?

The carpenters, it seems.

The boss of a joinery firm in Tayside, Scotland - who wishes to remain anonymous for fear of more health and safety checks - said: "I've been using a broom since Jesus's old man was a carpenter.

"This advice it totally off the wall. Industrial vacuum cleaners are expensive and they aren't nearly as good as an apprentice armed with a stiff-bristled brush."

Anonymous is a famous commentator in Britain

Unlike here in the American press, Mr and Mrs Anonymous actually exist in Britain. They are a terrified couple, scared of many things, but foremost of all, their own government.

Taking up his side of things, we reviewed Mr Anonymous' argument. Let us start with the nose cancer scare. Fortunately, nose cancer is extraordinarily rare. And fortunately--and overwhelmingly--nose cancer is associated with smoking.

So, unless one needs to smoke while sweeping, the chance that sweeping will cause nose cancer is remote. Note to regulators: need workplace sign.

No Smoking While Sweeping Wood Shavings

There are rare and unspecified associations with some metals and chemicals--none of which are common--in wood, even treated wood. As for asthma, that is more problematic. Each individual has a unique asthmatic allergenic trigger. If wood dust, even if that of a particular species of tree, sets off the same, then carpentry is the wrong trade.


Get out now. Because the fancy vacuum cleaner ain't going to make a whit of difference.

It may kill you.

The latter because these vacuum cleaners require emptying and cleaning. And the HEPA [high-efficiency particulate air] filters, the secondary filters and the tank expose the operator to incredible amounts of allergens--far more than the wood shavings that so scare the British authorities.

Which is why many households with asthmatics leave the vacuuming to more allergen-tolerant household members.

It is a shame that this attention to safety and health was not in play in 2005. That is when the boneheads that run Britain basically deregulated drinking. This again is one of those academic exercises that has crashed into the wall of reality.

We here at DBKP are a libertarian crew, but commonsense has a place in life.

But not in the United Kingdom.

Dead at 24: The tragic story of how a young girl's life was wrecked by cheap alcohol

Lying in a hospital bed, 24-year-old Stacey Rhymes cuddles a childhood toy before putting out an arm to her mother.

'Hold my hand, Mum,' she whispers, then slips into a coma. A few hours later, on a spring afternoon earlier this year, the girl with a whole life ahead of her was dead.

The once radiantly pretty Stacey had drunk herself to death on cut-price bottles of wine bought from corner shops, supermarkets and local pubs. She had started drinking at 17 and seven years later her body simply gave up under the constant assault from alcohol.

Losing control: Stacey's alcohol-related illness takes its hold

Her mother, Louise, says: 'I now want the world to know exactly what happened to Stacey and why. It was a terrible way to go.

'Her stomach was like a balloon, as if she was nine months pregnant. Her long hair was falling out, her urine was coloured black and she could not eat. She was scared to look in the mirror because her eyes were canary yellow. The only way to stop the pain at the end was morphine.'

The story of Stacey Rhymes is a salutary one: she is one of the youngest people in modern Britain to die of alcohol abuse. And her mother, speaking for the first time, is determined that the loss of her daughter will not be in vain.

This is insanity.

Drinking is now allowed 24 hours-a-day throughout the country. The streets are crawling with drunks. The social stigma of being publicly drunk has been replaced with a alcoholic bravado. And the Brits are killing the youth of the nation--not to mention productivity and civility

Since the relaxation of licensing laws in November 2005 - which allowed round-the-clock sales of drink in pubs, clubs, shops and supermarkets - the cost to the nation both socially and financially has been huge. Coupled with low prices for alcohol, there is now an orgy of drunkenness that rivals the gin epidemic of early Victorian times..The facts are stark. The numbers dying from alcohol-related health problems is rising. In 1999, there were 4,000 deaths. Today, the figure has doubled, with the age of the victims going down, too. Hospitals admit for emergency treatment more than 9,000 drunken teenagers every year.....Cases of liver cirrhosis in 20 to 30-year-olds - who often started drinking as children - have doubled in less than a decade.

Many Europeans and Asians consider America's take on alcohol quaint. In most cities in the USA, bottle liquor sales must stop between 10:00PM and midnight. Bars must close by 2:00 AM. Dance clubs and private clubs by 4:00 AM.

Many states only allow the sale of alcohol through state-controlled stores. Some prohibit open bars and the sale of alcohol on certain days. Some towns are dry, requiring a drive to get booze. The drinking age is a uniform 21 and underage drinking is severely punished, usually with the inability of the malefactor to get a driver's license. Most States consider the provision of alcohol to one's own child a serious offense.

These quaint laws serve a purpose: they emphasize that drinking is a State concern, as is public drunkenness. They also provide a cooling-off period. Someone on a binge, will most certainly lose the ability to get more booze. These regulated hours provide a sleep period--a time out, if you will--both for the tippler and society: a time when many will sober up, when many will lose the gang mentality of drinking as they go to different addresses to sleep the booze off.

We remember when the pubs of Scotland closed at 10:00PM and those of England at 11:00PM. Something poor Stacey needed badly.

Yet this is not the only catastrophic side-effect [of open drinking hours]. The Cabinet Office admits the real cost of drinking is £20billion a year if you include suicides, alcohol-fuelled crime, anti-social behaviour, depressive illness, family breakdown and domestic violence. Only this month, the Local Government Association - representing councils - warned the 24-hour drinking plan to emulate a European style cafe-culture in Britain had failed miserably.

Stacey's mother is devastated. She has established an Internet site at Facebook as a warning to young drinkers. But it is Britain that needs the lesson: a lesson in what is important and what is just plain stupid.

by pat
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