Sunday, 21 February 2010

The One That Is Touching On A Couple Of Points. . .

My break continues apace. . .

Errrrm. . .


OK, a couple of little things that have grabbed my attention over the last few days, all completely unconnected.

Firstly, regarding our (hopefully) soon to be erstwhile Prime Minister.

Grumpy Old Twat has a graph which makes interesting reading. It is entitled 'worrying', and here it is in all its glory:

If that graph follows the trajectories shown thus far, then it would seem that come election o'clock that Broon and Cameroid will not have a (banned in enclosed public spaces) fag paper between them.


Whilst the instant gratification of seeing loads of Labour MPs getting the gooner would be nice, I think the longer term benefits of seeing an immasculated hung parliament will be better. What we need to do now, I believe, is just stop, let the willy waving pass and then see what is left of the detritus can actually acheive when they have no option but to actually, properly engage with other people.

Of course, things still don't go well for Brown, so I think the graph above says more about people's uncertainty surrounding the plastic man in charge of the Tories than it does about any resurgent support for Brown.

This bullying story simply won't go away. I'm not surprised that Brown appears to be a bully, Rawnsley certainly seems to think so, and Raedwald hits the nail squarely on the head when he says that if it isn't true, then Brown needs to back up his claims of lies with action in the court. I'm not convinced he can, because in my opinion, it is probably true.

Again, this is not a comment on Brown individually, but in order to get to be the leader of a large political party you have to be willing to tread on toes, willing to smear and willing to be not very nice at all. Unfortunately for Brown, he comes across as being charmless and graceless, so this makes it all the easier to believe.

On a different tack completely, one of the less reported, but most revealing stories of the last few days has been the storm about young teenagers/old children being taught to drive.

The immediate response when reading the headline is that idiot parents are taking their progeny out on public roads before their 17th birthdays. But they're not. These are kids being taught on private land and closed tracks.

So where's the problem?

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has warned the courses could make youngsters over confident and more likely to crash.

Well, that's fine. I'll quite accept the position. I don't accept the argument, but RoSPA urge caution when unwrapping a kit-kat, lest the tin foil you hold find its way into a plug socket which you have carelessly left turned on and with no safety child plug in. That's what RoSPA do, it's their job, although so scared are they about everything that I'm surprised they don't all work from bed via telepathy to remove any risk from the day at all. (Hang on, what about bed sores?)

Indeed, let's hope these kids do crash on the closed course, without injury and learn that over confidence is not an aid to driving. The reverse is also true, when learning on public roads, having never sat behind the wheel the problem of timidity and nerves also appears.

I remeber my first time and was not comfortable. You realise that as well as keeping an eye on what you are doing, you must keep an eye out on all the other drivers, cyclists, pedestrians etc. You encounter other drivers who don't care about the large red L on the rear of the car you drive. You get pressured, tailgated, flashed at, it isn't nice. You wouldn't teach a kid how to make boiled egg in one of Gordon Ramsay's restaurants during dinner service, would you?

More illustrating is the quote from the Police Federation of England and Wales.

It's a good-un.

Driving on one of these courses at 11 years old, it's another six years until you can get a driving licence. How does it replicate the real world, the spontaneous incidents?

Well, it doesn't. But then that's not the point, is it? That's like asking how a child's toy kitchen set replicates chip pan fires. It gives the child an understanding of the mechanics of the situation and I should imagine is a good way of improving physical multi-tasking, spacial awareness and hand-eye co-ordination.

But. . .

Are kids mature enough at 11, 12, 13 years old to understand what's happening on the roads, to be able to manage all the demands and pressures?

No, they're not, that's why it isn't done on public roads, but on private, closed courses. That is why a driving licence cannot be obtained until one's 17th birthday. Do you see? Your point is perfectly irrelevant.

The real issue here is that people aren't breaking the law, but are only one step removed from breaking it. Some police officers would just love to wade in and nick them anyway, others just think that as the police are now so politicised that they need to act like politicians (shouldn't) act and tell us what to do.

Uh-huh, WE tell YOU what to do. We make the laws through our elected reps. We pay you to enforce those laws. We do not pay you to enforce laws you want to and ignore those you don't. We do not pay you to make up laws on the spot. We certainly do not pay you to preach to us about what should and should not be allowed.

Wind your bloody necks in.


microdave said...

I learnt to drive on private roads, and was somewhat over confident when unleashed on the public highway. I couldn't believe how slow I was expected to negotiate roundabouts, when I had some lessons with an authorised instructor.

BUT I had the huge advantage that I was already confident in actually handling the car, so could devote much more of my concentration on other road users. I personally think that some off road training should be compulsory.

(I'll probably be shot down in flames for that....)

Anonymous said...

Great article . . . just not sure about the RoSPA position on electrical sockets. Don't they know that 13 amp British sockets are fully shuttered, and the shutters can ONLY be opened by the insertion of an earth pin. Granted an earth pin could be simulated and inserted, thus leaving an extremely well co-ordinated (but very stupid) child to simultaneously insert a second conductor in the live socket (not the neutral). This kind of determination would take some beating. In fact there are NO cases of of electrocution in this manner recorded throughout the 60 year history of this socket. The only problem is when some oaf defeats the safety system by inserting a fake plastic plug thus opening the shutters and rendering the whole thing slightly less safe than if the interfering dimwits had never turned their beady eyes on the matter. Kit Kat foil? God help us!


Weekend Yachtsman said...

George, the other oaf who wants to defeat our system is (of course!) the EU, who want us to change and standardise on a 16A non-polarised round-pin plug with unshuttered sockets - the so-called "Europlug".

Naturally, such a thing will never be allowed in Britain... well, maybe it will in the rest of Europe but we'll veto it.. Oh, erm, um, we don't have a veto any more... well, yes, Ok there is such a plan, but we won't implement it... Oh, well, actually, it's all in the treaties, don't you know? We can't do anything about it... it's the past, there's no point in re-opening ancient history, we have to move on from where we are.

What's that? Cast-iron what? Oh, it didn't mean that at all, you know.

Anyway it's EU law now, so there's no point in even discussing it.