Today’s missive from the Daily Mail’s tedious and unfunny churnalist Richard Littlejohn contains many of the usual tried and tested elements: gay bashing (“not my idea of a night out”), New Labour bashing, BBC bashing, victimhood deployment, and implying that “Auguste” Balls is somehow to blame for some or all of these. But one Dicky Windbag favourite is missing. And that’s risk assessments.
Risk assessment, Guv? It's all elf'n'safety and com-pen-say-shun, innit?!?
Does Littlejohn actually go on about risk assessments much? You jest. Consider his rant from last June about Bacton Cricket Club: “Howzat! This daft ban simply isn’t cricket”. Dick knew who the villains were: “Although this is superficially an elf’n’safety scandal, scratch the surface and there is usually an intransigent insurance company armed with a gruesome ‘risk assessment’”.
July brought an incident at Ipswich station resulting in dozens of cancelled trains. Dicky boy was on the case: “No doubt there was a safety officer on the scene doing a ‘risk assessment’”. Then an off-duty cop saved a drowning woman in Croatia: “If he’d done the same while on duty in Croydon, he’d have been disciplined for failing to carry out a proper risk assessment and not waiting for a team with water training”.
Last month, Littlejohn was on the case of a parent who had sued West Sussex Council after her son was injured in a playground incident: “Her lawyers alleged that the school had not carried out a proper risk assessment”, he observed, before adding “This column has made a good living monstering the elf’n’safety and com-pen-say-shun culture”. No shit, Sherlock.
Dicky Windbag just loves his risk assessment meme. Less than a fortnight ago, in another of those not-at-all-side-splittingly-funny “spoofs” he indulges in to supposedly lighten the mood, his 007 told that “Q has been told by the risk assessment boys that it’s now illegal to supply guns disguised as pens and amphibious cars which fire rockets”. Not so fast Meester Bond, there’s a risk assessment to do. Heh, heh, heh.
So why no mention of this trusty stand-by today? Perhaps this is not unconnected with the news that “‘Impenetrable’ M5 smog caused by fireworks display led to huge crash which killed seven people after organisers did not carry out proper risk assessments, court is told”. Yes, the prime suspect for the pile-up near Taunton following a nearby firework display in November 2011 is risk assessment.
The organiser of that display stands accused of botching his risk assessment. As a result of the smog drifting on to the M5, 51 people were injured and seven died: there can have been fewer worse crashes on the UK’s motorway network. And I know about the court case because I read it in the Daily Mail. That’s the same paper that carries Littlejohn’s rants. The ones that ridicule risk assessments.
Right now, I’d assess the risk of Dick looking like a Dick to be in the “high” category.