Friday, 11 January 2013


I attended a health & safety briefing which was all about Fees For Intervention (FFI). This is a measure put in place by the Health & Safety Executive to charge companies for their inspectors' time (and other things, such as any expert reports, etc.) which are required after discovery of a material breach of health & safety legislation. As with many of the areas of modern life, this is part of the current agenda of everything having a price, while nothing has any value. Of course, there's the usual ill-thought out justification for gradually stripping away those areas of the state which are actually of any use, but precious little thought of how this might affect those who a) work at the HSE and will undoubtedly lose their jobs and b) ordinary workers in other businesses who are sure to see a decline in safety standards as a result of this privatisation.

We must all remember the bleating about red tape Britain, supposedly strangling those brave entrepreneurs who are pushing back the frontiers of trading and so on and so forth. My fear is that stealthily cutting away at the hugely important - and extremely hard-won - legislation erodes protection for the individual worker. We may hear about the probation service being contracted out; we are all too painfully aware of the commoditisation of the health service, but there are so many other things going on beneath the news radar which are steadily hacking at this country while it is already on its knees pleading for mercy.

However, lest anyone think: 'Hey, this is not a football blog!' I will update on the City situation. Bad news that Kun's injury comes at a time when Yaya is in Africa, and that it is more serious than first thought, as well as (I suppose) Nasri not being available. Bad news that these events coincide with a visit to the Library, but we must keep positive. I think the word is #believe, but I do struggle with some of that stuff. I fear at best a draw against the Gooners, and we could well end up losing it. Still, there's the FA Cup to look forward to, and if Palace can see off those pesky Potters, there might be a chance to go and see City again towards the end of the month. Only time will tell.

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