Sunday, 1 August 2010

Sunday Ramble 3 Elf and Safety and the Parasite Economy

One way and another we have been a bit tied up this weekend with family about, fourteen round the table for meals and that sort of thing and the odd few moments in front of the computer when I check my emails and add a few blog comments or a post.

Anyway I did manage to get back to the 1940s event a t Government Acre for the final half an hour before it closed and one thing that I didn’t understand was the fence all round the site with only one entrance as this was a free event.

I gather that this was put there by the health and safety firm that had to be engaged to allow the event to go ahead, the reason given being that they had to be able to limit the amount of people on Government Acre.

What with there being no fence and a lot more people there for the carnival last week, I suppose that there must now be a whole industry based around health and safety making as much as they can. Several things occurred to me here, one being that the fence would make it very difficult for people to escape in the event of whatever the risk was supposed to be, another was that the fence was making it difficult for people to get in, but most of all you have a large group of people putting on an event for free with any money made going to charity, so any money spent on health and safety would be money that charities didn’t get.

One does wonder just how large the, oh what shall I call it, the parasite economy I think is.

Lots of people in the public and private sector doing jobs often based around half baked legislation, or even people’s fears that they could be contravening some sort of daft regulation that doesn’t even exist or even makes the situation more dangerous.

During the ensuing conversation about this someone mentioned that at an event recently all the people going through one small entrance had churned up the mud and made it slippery. The organisers put down straw to stop people falling over but had to remove it when the heath and safety advisor told them to remove it because of the fire risk.

A bit like the security guards in the harbour, there to tell people not to jump in with no power to actually stop them, not really there to enhance public safety but paid for by the council on the mistaken assumption that this would make them less liable to paying out damages than a simple sigh saying, don’t jump, that suffices at every other similar location in Thanet.

Anyway here are today’s pictures

I suppose the thing that is still most irritating is that although the council have paid two people to sit in a tourist information tent at this event when what they are actually promoting on the council’s website this weekend is

St. Laurence Church Fair - 7 August 2010

Millmead Childrens Centre Surestart Summer Fete - 17 August 2010

Lions Fete at Victoria GardensNational Blood Service - Birchington Village Centre Association

Quiz Night24th Annual Model Ships Rally

Walk On The WildsideMurderers Magicians Madmen & Monarchs

Macmillan Cancer Support- 'World's Biggest Coffee Morning!'

Band Concert

Why not publicise the main events that are actually on in Thanet this weekend, compared to paying four days wages the cost must be tiny, or perhaps it really is that difficult for them to achive.


  1. The poster stated "Free admission to daytime events" so I assume that the fence was for the paid evening events and security for the vintage vehicles/equipment

  2. I share your view of the elf n safety industry. It must invent dangers rules in order to stay in business.

    I was amused by your photo of the rifle range which is reduced to firing corks. As a child I recall that Merrie England and Dreamland had several rifle ranges that fired .22 rounds. But then in those days most men had been in the war or had done National Service and therefore treated firearms with respect. They knew that they were responsible for their own health and safety and that of others. Nowadays it seems that you can do pretty much what you want just so long as you can show that it was the fault of someone else.

  3. Live fire shooting galleries still exist but the majority of travelling fairs use air rifles - cork shooters were always a 'juvenile' alternative

  4. Some folks are able to get guns in spite of elf and safe tea

    Our old mate Jimbo (exposed last year as a bogus former SAS man who founded the IBA at Deal Royal Marines Barracks between 1975 to 1982 by purporting to be merely a sports ju jitsu club)


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