‘Hello, is that the…’
‘This is the automated answering service of PC Council. Unfortunately, none of our officials are permitted to get out of bed in a morning due to health and safety concerns so please leave your message after the tone and we will possibly get back to you after sanity is restored. Thank you for your call and may I take this opportunity to remind you that your Council Tax is due shortly. You will notice that, regrettably, we have been forced to increase the amount of the Council Tax by 150% in order to fund a number of extra services which you will undoubtedly not be eligible for, will derive no benefit from or that we will not be able to fulfill due to health and safety concerns. Thank you again for your call.’
An eleven year old boy, out playing football with his mates, went to retrieve the ball from some long grass. He slipped and cut his leg on some hidden broken glass and needed seven stitches in the wound.
His mother, concerned not only about the injury of her own son but also the safety of other children who play in the area, called her local council hotline to request that the grass be cut. She was told on the phone that an official would ‘get back to her’.
A week passed and no return call, so mum called again. An official told her that her complaint had been marked ‘no further action’. And why? As if one couldn’t guess by now, Health and Safety.
The Council official informed her that the grass is no longer cut on a regular basis due to health and safety regulations. If there was glass in the grass, then the council’s workers might cut themselves and subsequently file a lawsuit.
So where is the concern for the health and safety of the public? Nowhere. it’s all about ‘cover thy posterior, and cover it well’