Who Rules ?

Lisa Jardine’s contribution to the BBC’s annual poll is pretty well my own agenda.

She says Health and Safety controls life today. Rules rule – it’s kinda obvious. Her objection was to those people entrusted with applying the rules in every walk of life. Rules like HS&E get authority from their rationlality. You’d be hard pushed to argue they weren’t good rules if preserving health and safety were your prime objective. The problem is how to apply them when your prime aim is creativity. One of my oft quoted adages is “Rules are for the guidance of wise men, not the enslavement of fools.” (Jeff Turnell, quoting Douglas Bader I believe)

The value of a human biological life is very high, but it’s not all-important.
It doesn’t automatically over-ride every other consideration.
(Couldn’t help thinking that a dozen times during the ongoing fuel depot blaze fiasco.)
What’s the management buzzword ? “paramount”.

The rules of codes and standards can only be applied in stable, pre-planned situations, where their rationale fits. Any situation more dynamic needs wisdom and judgement, not rules. The kind of knowledge that makes up that wisdom and judgement is the point of this blog.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.