Okay, so we know that our schools/hospitals/services are in an abysmal state – how shall we attempt to deal with this? The answer is obvious: league tables.
This is, of course, lunacy. We already know that it’s all rubbish – what good does it do to compare the relative failings of things? None whatsoever. Nothing has been fixed. Of course, we can now tell who’s in the top half and who’s in the bottom half, but there will always be a top half and a bottom half because that is the nature of lists. The only way to ensure that the distribution was less varied would be to educate clones and treat people with matching illnesses. League tables are just very expensive and time-consuming ways of making lists of things to do, which are what you produce when you want to look like you’re doing something without actually doing anything. Ask your boss.
“People are dying, children are dropping out of school and turning to crime, the economy is crashing and the planet is doomed – what are we going to do?”
“Well, I’ve made a list.”
This is, of course, how to solve world hunger, poverty and global warming (which is an undeniable fact even if the causes are debatable and often misrepresented): we must draw up league tables of how utterly buggered everybody is, then they’ll all be able to choose where to go to die in abject misery.
I was listening to Question Time a few weeks back (I know, I know, but I was driving and I can’t stand music stations) and they were discussing the wage gap between men and women and suggested that they place companies in league tables to highlight the worst offenders.
Here’s an idea: discrimination is already illegal so why not just enforce the law?
Recently there was a great furore about the number of underage children smoking and drinking and the proposal was to increase the taxation on cigarettes and alcohol to prevent it happening.
Here’s an idea: sales of alcohol and tobacco to minors is already illegal so why not enforce the law?
Raising taxes, like making lists, is a way of doing nothing whilst giving the impression that something is being done.
This is government abdicating itself of responsibility. Then again, perhaps they’re taking their lead from the population. Parents seem to think that schools now have total responsibility for parenting, to the extent that primary school teachers are having to be taught how to change nappies because toilet-training apparently no longer happens at home. Likewise, being overweight is apparently now a medical problem requiring a surgical solution as people are no longer responsible for their diet or taking exercise – the extent of this problem can be seen in that shops now have to have wider aisles and families need to transport themselves in mini-vans.
Quit fretting about the environment; humanity will drive itself into extinction long before that becomes a serious problem.