Why health and safety will (possibly) destroy our planet

Health and safety. Two words that send shivers of dread down the spine of anyone who has ever attempted to organise any kind of event. Or any architect or interior designer. Or schoolteacher, scout master or football trainer. Or anyone with any kind of responsibility whatsoever.

And so it should.

Not just because in most cases it’s a painfully rigid and overcomplicated load of tosh and twaddle. But because it is slowly but surely dooming the whole human race.

I saw the movie Idiocracy the other day. It was hilarious, but in a rather close-to-the-bone kind of way. The premise is one that I have actually thought of myself a few times. Almost word for word.
While the “smart” people of this world are intellectualising and rationalising their reproduction, the idiots of the world are at it like bunnies, filling the world with idiot babies who will be brought up to be idiots before the intellectuals have even got their trousers off. It’s an exaggeration, and therefore funny, but it’s not that much of an exaggeration.

And health and safety is making it worse. It is doing its very best to kill natural selection.

Back in Cavemen Times, the ones who survived weren’t just the fittest, they were the smartest. The ones who worked out how to make fire survived the winter. The ones who worked out how to hunt in groups to take down a woolly mammoth got the stock of food and the warm pelts. The ones who ran straight at a mountain lion with their bare hands were not brave, they were breakfast.

I think there is a fine line between the good health and safety and the dark side. It’s one thing to add a safety catch that prevents the accidental squishing of fingers, and another to put a warning message on a bag of peanuts that says “may contain peanuts”. If we keep saving the idiots from themselves, we’ll end up needing saving from the idiots.

Of course, any accidental death is individually tragic, but in the global scale of things, wouldn’t the world be better off with just a few fewer idiots?


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