I really had to chuckle to myself when I read about the irony of Lord Young being specially invited to a Health and Safety exhibition by IOSH and then launching an attack at his hosts. Sure, he was ill-informed, blinkered and plain wrong with some of his facts but that made it all the more amusing. The point is, rightly or wrongly, that’s what some people think about the safety profession. This is despite years of chipping away at it by IOSH. And, that on its own was worth it as a reminder.
To a certain extent the safety profession deserve it. Everyone knows a weirdo and people love conspiracy theories – so much more interesting than the truth. It was rather telling that despite IOSH’s attempts to tell Lord Young what the real situation was, he stuck with his view. I think this means that people still think what they want to think and force of argument just doesn’t swing it. People just don’t think as much as we give them credit for (some don’t think at all). There simply isn’t the time. In any case, why should safety be any different.
Bankers, lawyers, tax collectors, MPs and even judges have striven for respectability over the years (I hear you laughing already). But what comes to mind when you think of them? – disrespect, ridicule, hate or suspicion? It doesn’t help being told that most bankers, lawyers, tax collectors and so on are terribly nice and charitable and wouldn’t dream of grabbing your cash and running into the sunset. It’s become etched into our culture and consciousness. It’s become a running joke. The British love to moan. They’re famous for it. They’ve taken it to a new art form – we positively enjoy beng miserable. And, once it becomes that much fun, it takes on a momentum of its own. The more you try to stifle it, the more you fuel it. You get “Outraged of Tooting” emailing the Times about the injustice of it all. Well, let me tell you – life’s not fair so don’t waste time getting offended; start poking fun at lawyers and bankers instead, they’re used to it…….