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11th September 2013: The world's gone mad and I'm the only one who knows
13th August 2013: Black is white. Fact. End of.
11th August 2013: Electric cars, not as green as they're painted?
18th June 2013: Wrinklies unite, you have nothing to lose but your walking frames!
17th May 2013: Some actual FACTS about climate change (for a change) from actual scientists ...
10th May 2013: An article about that poison gas, carbon dioxide, and other scientific facts (not) ...
10th May 2013: We need to see past the sex and look at the crimes: is justice being served?
8th May 2013: So, who would you trust to treat your haemorrhoids, Theresa May?
8th May 2013: Why should citizens in the 21st Century fear the law so much?
30th April 2013: What the GOS says today, the rest of the world realises tomorrow ...
30th April 2013: You couldn't make it up, could you? Luckily you don't need to ...
29th April 2013: a vote for NONE OF THE ABOVE, because THE ABOVE are crap ...
28th April 2013: what goes around, comes around?
19th April 2013: everyone's a victim these days ...
10th April 2013: Thatcher is dead; long live Thatcher!
8th April 2013: Poor people are such a nuisance. Just give them loads of money and they'll go away ...
26th March 2013: Censorship is alive and well and coming for you ...
25th March 2013: Just do your job properly, is that too much to ask?
25th March 2013: So, what do you think caused your heterosexuality?
20th March 2013: Feminists - puritans, hypocrites or just plain stupid?
18th March 2013: How Nazi Germany paved the way for modern governance?
13th March 2013: Time we all grew up and lived in the real world ...
12th March 2013: Hindenburg crash mystery solved? - don't you believe it!
6th March 2013: Is this the real GOS?
5th March 2013: All that's wrong with taxes
25th February 2013: The self-seeking MP who is trying to bring Britain down ...
24th February 2013: Why can't newspapers just tell the truth?
22nd February 2013: Trial by jury - a radical proposal
13th February 2013: A little verse for two very old people ...
6th February 2013: It's not us after all, it's worms
6th February 2013: Now here's a powerful argument FOR gay marriage ...
4th February 2013: There's no such thing as equality because we're not all the same ...
28th January 2013: Global Warming isn't over - IT'S HIDING!
25th January 2013: Global Warmers: mad, bad and dangerous to know ...
25th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
19th January 2013: We STILL haven't got our heads straight about gays ...
16th January 2013: Bullying ego-trippers, not animal lovers ...
11th January 2013: What it's like being English ...
7th January 2013: Bleat, bleat, if it saves the life of just one child ...
7th January 2013: How best to put it? 'Up yours, Argentina'?
7th January 2013: Chucking even more of other people's money around ...
6th January 2013: Chucking other people's money around ...
30th December 2012: The BBC is just crap, basically ...
30th December 2012: We mourn the passing of a genuine Grumpy Old Sod ...
30th December 2012: How an official body sets out to ruin Christmas ...
16th December 2012: Why should we pardon Alan Turing when he did nothing wrong?
15th December 2012: When will social workers face up to their REAL responsibility?
15th December 2012: Unfair trading by a firm in Bognor Regis ...
14th December 2012: Now the company that sells your data is pretending to act as watchdog ...
7th December 2012: There's a war between cars and bikes, apparently, and  most of us never noticed!
26th November 2012: The bottom line - social workers are just plain stupid ...
20th November 2012: So, David Eyke was right all along, then?
15th November 2012: MPs don't mind dishing it out, but when it's them in the firing line ...
14th November 2012: The BBC has a policy, it seems, about which truths it wants to tell ...
12th November 2012: Big Brother, coming to a school near you ...
9th November 2012: Yet another celebrity who thinks, like Jimmy Saville, that he can behave just as he likes because he's famous ...
5th November 2012: Whose roads are they, anyway? After all, we paid for them ...
7th May 2012: How politicians could end droughts at a stroke if they chose ...
6th May 2012: The BBC, still determined to keep us in a fog of ignorance ...
2nd May 2012: A sense of proportion lacking?
24th April 2012: Told you so, told you so, told you so ...
15th April 2012: Aah, sweet ickle polar bears in danger, aah ...
15th April 2012: An open letter to Anglian Water ...
30th March 2012: Now they want to cure us if we don't believe their lies ...
28th February 2012: Just how useful is a degree? Not very.
27th February 2012: ... so many ways to die ...
15th February 2012: DO go to Jamaica because you definitely WON'T get murdered with a machete. Ms Fox says so ...
31st January 2012: We don't make anything any more
27th January 2012: There's always a word for it, they say, and if there isn't we'll invent one
26th January 2012: Literary criticism on GOS? How posh!
12th December 2011: Plain speaking by a scientist about the global warming fraud
9th December 2011: Who trusts scientists? Apart from the BBC, of course?
7th December 2011: All in all, not a good week for British justice ...
9th November 2011: Well what d'you know, the law really IS a bit of an ass ...


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Here's Melanie Phillips writing in that rag we try not to mention ...
Health ’n’ safety? It’ll kill you. Or so runs the long-standing joke. What was once thought of as black humour, however, now turns out to be all too horribly true.
A document that surfaced yesterday illustrated the almost unbelievable extent to which health and safety regulations are preventing our emergency services from saving lives. This was a three-page risk assessment questionnaire, which Metropolitan Police officers have to fill in before they can intervene in an emergency.
One might think that what matters in such cases is the risk to the public. But no — what is to be assessed is the risk to the police. The form lists no fewer than 238 possible hazards to officers planning any kind of operational activity, such as security at a football match, or mounting an operation to deal with an emergency, such as a bombing or a riot. The senior officer involved must tick the relevant boxes, fill in an inventory of ‘risk activities’, calculate levels of risk and submit their recommendation for the assessment to be confirmed and signed.
Such a form — which has its equivalent in other emergency services — is more than just a bureaucratic pain in the neck. It comes close to redefining the word ‘risk’ to encompass the whole of human life. For it is hard to think of any situation which it does not consider to pose a threat to an officer’s health or safety.
Its exhaustive list of dangers range from ‘gravity’, ‘friction’, ‘ejection’ or ‘slippery surfaces’ to the laugh-out-loud ‘uncomfortable seating’, ‘passive smoking’ and ‘sunburn’. You really do have to wonder about the faceless bureaucrats who dream up this kind of nonsense. Can they really do so with a straight face? Is there perhaps a fifth column of anarchists in Whitehall seeking revenge upon society by passing such ludicrous, lethal and self-defeating laws?
Can one imagine anything more ridiculous than having to fill in this form just after a terrorist bomb has gone off? The very fact that such ‘risks’ have to be weighed up threatens to paralyse the emergency services and lead to the deaths of victims if officers don’t have a comfy chair to sit on, for example, or if the sun is shining.
Yet, appallingly, such paralysis is precisely what did happen. At the inquest into the 7/7 London Tube and bus bombings, in which 52 people died, distressing evidence has surfaced that station staff and fire officers refused to enter the Tube tunnels to help the wounded and dying because of health and safety regulations.
At Liverpool Street station, none of the staff was sent down to the track for 25 minutes after the explosion, as a British Transport Police officer forbade them from going to investigate.
At Aldgate station, lion-hearted Tube employees ignored such safety concerns voiced by their superiors and rushed to help the bomb victims.
Yet one of the survivors, Michael Henning, told the inquest how, after he had stumbled to safety from the wreckage of the train, he pleaded in vain with a group of emergency workers to go underground and help the injured and dying passengers.
Shockingly, the firefighters on the station platform explained in embarrassment that they had been ordered to stay out of the tunnel because of safety protocols and fears of a second explosion.
During the 40 minutes it took for the rescue services to go in, victims died of their injuries with no one coming even to ease their pain. Had help come sooner, some lives might even have been saved.
This shameful revelation prompted former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner David Gilbertson to write an impassioned cri de coeur about the way health and safety laws force the emergency services to do nothing while people die. Last June, he recalled, an ambulance crew in Cumbria was widely criticised for standing by for vital hours while the gunshot victims of taxi driver Derrick Bird bled to death.
The explanation given later was that the crew had been refused permission to advance by the police because of fears that Bird might open fire on them. He was already dead.
A generation of senior police, fire and ambulance officers, wrote Mr Gilbertson despairingly, has grown up in an environment where avoidance of risk and the fear of being sued are more important than public duty.
Recently, the former Conservative minister Lord Young produced a report aimed at addressing the ‘compensation culture’ by reforming health and safety laws. But this was mainly concerned with lessening these laws’ stifling effects upon businesses and curbing the excesses of lawyers and insurance companies. It referred only briefly to the emergency services, merely recommending that police and firefighters should not face prosecution if they put themselves at risk when committing a heroic act.
But what about acts that are not necessarily heroic but merely part of their normal duty as police officers or firefighters? And what about ambulance crews? Moreover, Lord Young blunted his own message by suggesting that public concern over health and safety measures had been largely whipped up by a sensational media.
Well, some individual stories may have been incorrect. But as the evidence at the 7/7 inquest or from Mr Gilbertson all too graphically demonstrates, the pernicious effects of health and safety protocols are emphatically not the product of fevered media imaginations.
Indeed, at another inquest in Kettering, Northamptonshire, only last Thursday, it was revealed that a passer-by who had jumped into an icy lake to help a drowning man had asked the fire crew on the scene to help tie a rope around him. They refused because their manager decided they only had ‘basic water awareness training’. As a result, the man drowned.
A more invidious and inappropriate application of health and safety rules than thwarting the life-saving work of the emergency services can hardly be imagined. Public protection necessarily entails risk and risk demands courage. And there is no shortage of selfless courage among police officers and firefighters. The terrible thing is the way health and safety laws are sapping the courage of officers whose natural instinct to put the lives of others first is being suppressed by orders from above. As Mr Gilbertson observed, the virtues of leadership, initiative, judgment and duty are thus being steadily destroyed.
Perhaps his most devastating observation of all was that when police bravery awards are annually announced, superior officers ‘visibly blanch’. Where others see heroes being decorated for acting without regard to their own safety, he wrote, these paper-shufflers see only potential lawsuits, insurance claims and breaches of force discipline.
How on earth has this nation of heroes and stoics arrived at such a point?
Part of the reason is the culture of entitlement, which makes people put themselves first and provides such rich pickings for lawyers and insurance companies which feed from this honeypot. Because people demand their entitlement from the state, this in turn gives the state power to meddle in their lives — which it uses to tell us how we should behave.
Accordingly, such rules are codified into laws to protect us — from ourselves. Such interference has dealt a lethal blow to professionalism, the very basis of which lies in unwritten codes based on duty and responsibility to the public. Health ’n’ safety is not a joke. It has become, in effect, a killer. It will take more than one rather bland and incoherent report to restore this enfeebled nation to real safety and health.

The GOS says: This morning Mrs.GOS gave me a large cardboard box to put in the recycling bin. I took it into the garden and stamped on it to fold it up. Unfortunately it was made of rather stern stuff, this cardboard box, so to crush it I had to actually stand on top of it and jump up and down.
You get the picture? 68-year-old man bouncing on large cardboard box on concrete patio, next to garden pond, wearing no safety helmet and having completed no risk assessment? The inevitable happened: I fell flat on my back. Well, my front, to be strictly accurate.
And do you know the most uncanny thing?
I wasn't hurt, not even a tiny bit. That'll teach me.


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