Friday, July 22, 2005

Health & Efficiency

Health & Safety is second only to Politial Correctness in stifling common sense.

My own case in point is my run in with the premises department of the Leeds City council regarding access to Morley Town Hall Clock Chamber and Belfry in order to record the bells for Morley FM. Having carefully considered and demolished every possible counter-argument about whether is is actually unhealthy or unsafe, how does the system handle such a challenge to its authority? By banning their own staff from going up there too! Now that I know a lot more about Turret Clocks and have a forthcoming visit to see Big Ben at westminster, I feel a future horology radio programme coming on and will renew my efforts to gain access. replies have been somewhat evasive, maybe a freedom of information request might be enlightening...

Regarding the title of the blogpiece, I have mockingly referred to Health & Safety Executive (H&SE) as Health & Efficiency (H&E) for quite some time now, precipited mainly by a rather sassy lass who moved into such a role at work. H&E was what I perceived as a rather seedy naturist magazine from my formative years that was found on the top shelves of newsagents (& often in litter bins in parks as well). I don't actually recall ever buying one, although they certainly went the rounds of the 70s horny Geordie youth, mainly shoplifted by the paper boys. Surprisingly, a quick look on 'tinternet reveals that it is still going, as H&E Naturist.

The bizarre thing about H&E was that it wasn't actually erotic at all, it was full of naked people sunbathing, playing tennis and generally enjoying themselves in a non-sexual way sans garb, but it was heavily airbrushed to remove anything at all hairy, crinkly, dangly, wrinkly or flappy. The arrival of Whitehouse & similar magazines when I was 18 (when the Hall of Residence used to purchase them on our behalf) ushered away that era of top shelf innocence with content that Billy Connolly once described all too graphically as "looking in a Turkish Butcher's shop window.".

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