sda2.jpg

March 5, 2008

Tony Blair's Britain

Where the foxes caper unmolested, the government packs your school lunch and oh, my aching head....

Britain's first 'Safe Text' street has been created complete with padded lampposts to protect millions of mobile phone users from getting hurt in street accidents while walking and texting.

Around one in ten careless Brits has suffered a "walk 'n text" street injury in the past year through collisions with lampposts, bins and other pedestrians.

[...]

Given the apparent dangers of "unprotected text", over a quarter of Brits - 27 per cent - are in favour of creating a 'mobile motorway' on Britain's pavements.

Texters could follow a brightly coloured line, which which would act like a cycle lane, steering them away from obstacles.


I checked the date of the article twice. It appears to be the real deal.

Posted by Kate at March 5, 2008 8:56 AM
Comments

If ever there was a case for "natural selection"...

RG

Posted by: RightGirl at March 5, 2008 9:27 AM

UG2BK!

Posted by: Richard Ball at March 5, 2008 9:31 AM

Well, I'm a fairly tall guy, so the idea of padded lamposts is actually quite appealing. But this is a little...er...well, no. This isn't right.

Posted by: JohnnyRingo at March 5, 2008 9:33 AM

Are you sure this is real? I was up pretty early today, and things were a little fuzzy when I read this, but come on. Oh, it's in Britain. Never mind.

Posted by: gobi desert at March 5, 2008 9:36 AM

"The blame was placed on the large amount of street furniture such as lamp posts and bins and a growing number of pedestrians attracted by the area's curry houses and bars."

Blaming the object in the best British traditions.
And only second place is given to the day dreaming dorks who isolate themselves from reality.
Somebody else has to pick up the tab for their addiction. The more I live, the less faith I have in humanity. Oh, weird times...

Posted by: Aaron at March 5, 2008 9:42 AM

What real boils my blood here is that these same idiotic bureaucrats who come up with this stuff:
a) cry and complain that they don't have enough money to solve other real problems.
b) have protection from any real recourse by the taxpayer, this stupidity is almost never punished.

Maybe we should duct tape bureaucrats to lamp posts, that way at least they could shout verbal warnings to text-monkeys who are about to run into them. If they fail at this simple job, then at least they too will suffer from the impact.

Posted by: Frenchie77 at March 5, 2008 9:54 AM

duh

Posted by: old white guy at March 5, 2008 10:08 AM

For any sane Britons ... these must be days of pure hellish embarrassment in the devolution of their once Great society!

It is a good object lesson to those of us who like NOT to go down that path.

Posted by: OMMAG at March 5, 2008 10:10 AM

What's wrong with that place?

What happened to mad dogs and englishmen? It seems that only the mad dogs are left.

Posted by: Warwick at March 5, 2008 10:14 AM

Britain has gone off the deep end.
Listen up you silly kippers. You can not protect people from being stupid or doing stupid things. If you walk with your head down and don't watch where you are going you will no doubt walk into something.
Next they will be padding cars and the road so that when you walk into the street without looking you won't get hurt when you get struck by a car.

Posted by: Largs at March 5, 2008 10:14 AM

Gives one a sense of how intractable their real problems must be.

Posted by: shaken at March 5, 2008 10:19 AM

Maybe they should ban lamp posts. After all it works for guns right?

Posted by: langmann@alumni.sfu.ca at March 5, 2008 10:20 AM

OMG, a socialist government policy that even JohnnyRingo can't get behind?

Dang!

Posted by: The Phantom at March 5, 2008 10:20 AM

What's wrong with that place?

What happened to mad dogs and englishmen? It seems that only the mad dogs are left.

Posted by: Warwick at March 5, 2008 10:20 AM

This from the country that sent sailors off into the great unknown in little wooden boats.

Posted by: chip at March 5, 2008 10:22 AM

This is really gonna mess with the quality of the British gene pool. It used to be that if you weren't watching where you were walking, you'd end up at the bottom of the Thames and your stupidity gene was removed from the species.

Is there such a thing as an opposite to the Darwin Awards?

Posted by: Doogie at March 5, 2008 10:23 AM

Like wheels on suitcases, I can't believe its taken this long to come up with this. I guess it took texting to bring it to the fore, but I've been walking in to crap for years.

I'm reminded of the arguement against the constitutionality of mandatary seatbelt laws in Alberta way back when. Perhaps the public portion of health care costs of these injuries would be offset by padding on street lamps.....

Posted by: Daryl at March 5, 2008 10:27 AM

Well, here's a better and cheaper idea. Walking around helmets. Make it the law.

Posted by: irwin daisy at March 5, 2008 10:28 AM

It's BS, nobody's that stupid.

Posted by: Western Canadian at March 5, 2008 10:32 AM

I'm pretty sure Mercer did a skit on walking around helmets not too long ago... The truth is stranger than fiction.

Posted by: John at March 5, 2008 10:37 AM

Actually they should have a helmet law for those text messagers types. It is unsafe to text and walk without helmet. Something must be done.

Posted by: Jeff Cosford at March 5, 2008 10:38 AM

Perhaps they should reopen armour making shops.
Have everyone walk around in a full suit of armour.

Oh wait some idiot would probably try to go swimming in one. OK let's go with irwin daisy's idea.

Posted by: Largs at March 5, 2008 10:40 AM

you're a tall guy Ringo?

how about you run straddling a picket fence ?

Posted by: cal2 at March 5, 2008 10:43 AM

What real boils my blood here is that these same idiotic bureaucrats who come up with this stuff:
a) cry and complain that they don't have enough money to solve other real problems.

Amen to that. As my history here would predict, I'm now going to give an example from sixty kilometers or so up the road from here - San Francisco. San Francisco has non-standard fire hydrants. My guess is that this is because SF's fire hydrants were installed before there were standards; in any event, I'm not going to blame the current SF government for that. What this means is that, if there's a fire in SF that's so big that it would be in order for, say, the Brisbane or Daly City fire department to help, somebody has to bring adapters. The cost to install an adapter on every fire hydrant in SF is approximately $100,000 (US). SF doesn't have the money for that. It does, however, have money to pay for sex change operations for employees of its city and county (SF is its own county, for which many of us are grateful) governments.

Posted by: Silicon Valley Jim at March 5, 2008 10:45 AM

Western Canadian with all due respect your forgetting the basic premise when it comes to governments of the left and human beings - you must view every individual with a cardboard sign hung around their neck saying "I'm Retarded".

It's the new way of being nice seeing people without any means of building an understanding on anything, even their own welfare, even when its not true. We have been doing it with our kids for years

I'm with you nobody is really stupid, but sadly society at large doesn't seem to think so, in Britain or here we just lag behind them a little.

Posted by: Mugs at March 5, 2008 10:49 AM

I think I understand it now. Brick Lane was the site of a Muslim riot not too long ago here is a picture of the street.
http://www.postimage.org/image.php?v=aV1rXEk9

Posted by: Largs at March 5, 2008 10:49 AM

This is just insane. Land of my forefathers, we never knew ye.

Posted by: mark peters at March 5, 2008 10:51 AM

Nelson and Wellington must turn over in their crypts at St. Paul's when stories like this come out.

Posted by: Free Thinker at March 5, 2008 11:01 AM

It has to be true. You just can't make material like this up out of thin air. Either that or Candid Camera is alive and well in Britian.

Oh, rue Britannia...

Posted by: Texas Canuck at March 5, 2008 11:01 AM

Daryl, if this were like seatbelt laws they'd be making people pad the lamp posts themselves.

In principle though, its all on the same continuum. Seatbelt laws to bike helmet laws to padded lamp posts is a straight line.

Its like Mugs said, one of the founding principles of the Left is that people are stupid and have to be controlled.

One of the founding principles of the right is that there are a few stupid people who have to be controlled.

Lefties please take note, these two statements are not the same and lead to different conclusions.

Posted by: The Phantom at March 5, 2008 11:06 AM

Mugs Sorry, you're right. Unbelievable isn't it.

Posted by: Western Canadian at March 5, 2008 11:09 AM

The constant stream of mind boggling spinelessness and political correctness that continues to spill out of Britain should not be an occasion of humor or derision for Canadians.

It should be a sober reminder of what Canada could quickly become should "Canada's Natural Governing Party(c)", likely propped up by Taliban Jack, ever occupy the PMO again.

Posted by: Bart F. at March 5, 2008 11:18 AM

i can't believe this is... ouch! darn blackberry darn wall

Posted by: andycanuck at March 5, 2008 11:21 AM

Next up, mandatory Nerf suits.

Posted by: SDC at March 5, 2008 11:30 AM

Just for fun, image turning these lamp posts into taser-loaded touch sensitive 'hot' poles.

(hee hee)

Text away mates!

;P

Posted by: ldd at March 5, 2008 11:38 AM

I swear that most the ambitious and smart Anglo-Celts have emigrated to the lands of opportunity overseas during the last few hundred years. Those still residing on the Sceptred Isle are the decedents of the inbred landed gentry and those from the lower strata that were content with their crust of bread.
One of the main characteristics of Anglo-Saxon culture is seeking out better opportunities and reveling in the conquest of the “bumps” along the way.

Posted by: Cal at March 5, 2008 12:17 PM
how about you run straddling a picket fence ?

He did that already. How do you think he started believing leftist propaganda? Lose your balls and that's what happens.

Posted by: Doug at March 5, 2008 12:23 PM

The British government could have simply issued a single press release saying "Watch where yer bleedin' goin"

Of course, this would mean giving people responsibility for their own actions. And that, of course, would not be cricket.

Posted by: INP at March 5, 2008 12:28 PM

Years ago, Edmonton added beepers at certain pedestrian crosswalks, to assist the vision impaired who couldn't see the crossing control lights. However, there was a button to push to activate the beepers, so that constant beeping wouldn't drive the locals insane.

A friend was at the meeting touting the wonderous new (and expensive) installations , and asked how the total blind would be able to find the button.

"Next question please."

Posted by: foobius at March 5, 2008 12:39 PM

The safety of text massagers is the pitch – the sale is for the millions of burka clad women with limited visibility and their husband’s who’s eye’s remain glaringly fixed on the remaining brits.
A crystal ball of things to come.

Posted by: Knight 99 at March 5, 2008 1:13 PM

Is there a tradition of in-breeding in Britain that I am not aware of?

Seriously though, is there?

Posted by: Eric-Vancouver at March 5, 2008 1:14 PM

When I think of padding, I think of a padded cell.
Yeah, seems about right.

Posted by: Brent Weston at March 5, 2008 1:32 PM

Eric-Vancouver:

I was commenting to one of my colleagues last year while we were in Europe about how I noticed that English women on the average were rather large-breasted.

His comment was that it was genetic and due to inbreeding. I laughed, and he said he was serious and spouted off something to the effect that "it is an island you know and historically it was more difficult for new genetic material to get there".

Posted by: John at March 5, 2008 1:36 PM

It'll be interesting to hear what the solution will be in Dover!

Posted by: DrD at March 5, 2008 1:47 PM

I cannot tell the difference between satire and reality anymore...

Posted by: Eugene at March 5, 2008 2:11 PM

Alleged photo of padded lightpost here. FWIW

I still have the feeling my leg's being pulled.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id=525785&in_page_id=1770

Posted by: Rich at March 5, 2008 2:38 PM

“Is there a tradition of in-breeding in Britain that I am not aware of?

I was trying to get you an answer and googled across this:

“…...69 per cent of the acreage of Britain is owned by 0.6 per cent of the population.
….158,000 families own 41 million acres of land while 24 million families live on four million acres.”

It’s from a Lefty magazine but if these facts are correct it helps explain why ambitious Britons have skedaddled to greener pastures over the years.

http://www.newstatesman.com/200409200005

Posted by: Cal at March 5, 2008 2:39 PM

Apologies for not checking the main link. Duh on my part.
I guess I need padding.

Posted by: Rich at March 5, 2008 2:40 PM

Is Brick Lane in an upper class neighbourhood? There's a Monty Python skit lurking in here.

Posted by: Randy at March 5, 2008 2:44 PM

Is walking into a lamp post how one acquires a stiff upper lip?

Posted by: Ed Minchau at March 5, 2008 3:12 PM

Just as long as they don't put barricades around open manholes personholes.


Man I hate socialism. Waht about old people on walkers will they have to be padded too so the text messages will not kill them when they walk into them?


aaahhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!

Posted by: dinosaur at March 5, 2008 3:31 PM

And we know their infrastructure wasn't built yesterday.

Posted by: iowavette at March 5, 2008 3:36 PM

Well, there is hope:

http://www.canada.com/saskatoonstarphoenix/news/story.html?id=69cfd8b1-56f5-4cea-ad04-961b3094387f

Posted by: James Goneaux at March 5, 2008 3:39 PM

Instead of padding all the lamp posts, they should sell padded streetware for texters. They would look like Fat-PC-Guy in the Mac-PC ads.

Posted by: Richard Ball at March 5, 2008 3:55 PM

England they even allow crinimals to break into a home and steal everything not nailed down and a person cant stop the crooks i mean this would never have happened under WINSTON CHURCHILL or MARGRET THATCHER i mean TONY BLAIR and the PARLAMENT OF WUSSIES is making a mess of GREAT BRITIAN

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at March 5, 2008 4:09 PM

I no longer wonder why my grandparents (dad's side) left Britain to head for Canada.

Posted by: Texas Canuck at March 5, 2008 4:12 PM

*
Mrs. Neo, as usual... gets to the crux of the matter...

"Does this mean that people who have unpadded
streets get to sue the government for failing 'to
take care' of them?"

*

Posted by: neo at March 5, 2008 4:18 PM

Good to see you back Spurwing.

neo,

Yes, and I imagine extra taxes to cover it.

Posted by: irwin daisy at March 5, 2008 4:25 PM

Ed Minchau, hahahahahahahahaha. lol ain't good enough.

Posted by: iowavette at March 5, 2008 4:59 PM

I second that. Welcome back my Avian friend.
Your pithy comments are an asset to this site.

Posted by: Hector Mauvaise at March 5, 2008 5:24 PM

Modern liberalism is the victory of symbolism over substance. Lorne Gunter, National Post Mar 03/08.

One of the best articles I have read in a long time, thank you Lorne.

Posted by: Western Canadian at March 5, 2008 7:49 PM

I'm just loving how you partisan zombies are going straight to wagging your fingers at the "idiotic bureaucrats" who came up with this "socialist government policy," when a moment's deeper research would reveal this to be the (ill-conceived) brainchild of a private media company and a charity organization (the giant "118" splashed on the lamp post pad would be the first clue).

Aren't you folks all about private enterprise and entrepreneurial creativity? Because alas, that's what this moronic padding thing is all about -- high-profile corporate marketing, not socialist nanny-ism.

Posted by: I Sanderson at March 5, 2008 8:15 PM

These people really need to understand that Monty Python was a satirical comedy .... not a social engineering concept.

Posted by: OMMAG at March 5, 2008 8:17 PM

The UTOTY Olympiad....
Like This !

Posted by: OMMAG at March 5, 2008 8:34 PM

I. Sanderson has a point there. 118.com is apparently a directory-enquiries website, and their logo is on the pad pictured. So this little exercise might not be at public expense, after all.

But I note that the padding does constitute visual pollution and unwarranted intrusion of advertising into a public space. It sure does ugly up a nice ornamental iron lamp standard.

So I'd award the town council "moron points" for even permitting this.

Besides, there's a better way to handle this problem. Simply equip each sidewalk obstacle with radar unit, and a cellular connection. A central computer could track all cellphone users. When a perambulating texter gets too close to an obstacle, he/she would trigger the radar, and the central computer would be able to identify the texter, and send him/her a text message: "Heads-up, stupid, you are about to walk into a lamp post!" After all, if the U.K. is a surveillance society, may as well get some practical use from the system.

Kindly send me 50 cents for each lamp post so equipped.

Posted by: gordinkneehill at March 5, 2008 8:38 PM

"I'm just loving how you partisan zombies..."

And there he goes, another Lefty defaulting to invective. Its like gravity, really. Three posts and the poo flinging starts.

You couldn't have said "Hey its a private company!" right? Nooo.

Posted by: The Phantom at March 5, 2008 9:19 PM

The Phantom: And there he goes, another Lefty defaulting to invective. Its like gravity, really. Three posts and the poo flinging starts.

Meanwhile, on other recent threads, you've:
- referred to Robert McClelland (?) as "Rubert McDickslap"
- referred to Hugo Chavez as a "goblin"
- referred to the Liberal Party as "gutter dwelling Liberal slime molds"
- referred to Palestinians as "sons of beeatches"
- referred to Barack Obama as a "DemocRat"
- referred to "Lefties" as "dorks" and "Leftards"
- referred to animal rights activists as "morons"

But no doubt these don't qualify as poo-flinging, right?

Also, I object to the characterization that I "defaulted" to invective. In actuality, I defaulted to facts (118.com, etc. etc.), and tossed in a bit of invective for my own amusement (and also to elicit a response; thanks for obliging =).

By comparison, those here who took Kate's cue and immediately began slagging off the government were the ones who truly defaulted to invective, without any basis in fact. Have you no similar words of disapproval for those who referred to the "idiotic bureaucrats" in the UK?

Posted by: I. Sanderson at March 5, 2008 9:50 PM

If it were not for our founding fathers and the american revolution we would be floowing england into the same wussietard wacko place

Posted by: Spurwing Plover at March 5, 2008 10:46 PM

I. Sanderson,

You can't blame people for assuming it was a gov't program. And you gotta admit, some of the comments here were pretty funny. Lighten up.

Posted by: Lydia at March 5, 2008 10:53 PM

"But no doubt these don't qualify as poo-flinging, right?"

They only qualify if there NOT true?

BTW, does the I. stand for idiot?

Just wondering.

Posted by: Horny Toad at March 5, 2008 11:39 PM

Hey I.Sanderson - do you know how local councils work in Britain?

No-one can put up ANYTHING on lightposts (or other streetside objects) without council permission. This was still a council decision to APPROVE this nonsense.

Garbage cans are almost a thing of the past on most British streets because of recycling promotion or Bombs can be hidden in them (lots of garbage around now). But the same 'type of' bureaucrat who made that decision then approves large pads on lightposts.

So, yes - guilty, I over-reacted to who paid for the pads but council still wasted time approving it (and their time isn't cheap). Also, the anger directed towards the stupidity part of it is still bang on.

So my overall point is still valid - councils have other real problems to solve but instead waste their time on nonsense and in doing so create a further impression of how off this planet they are.

Please explain to me how I am wrong here?


Posted by: Frenchie77 at March 6, 2008 5:36 AM

Frenchie77: So, yes - guilty, I over-reacted to who paid for the pads but council still wasted time approving it (and their time isn't cheap).

You're right that council had to approve the proposal. But council has no control over the proposals that cross their desk for approval. They'd have to spend just as much time rejecting it as approving it.

But this is a minor point.

So my overall point is still valid...

Way to shift the goalposts (lampposts?), Frenchie. Personally, I would have thought that your overall point was about bureaucrats wasting taxpayer money in an unaccountable fashion, based on your use of the phrases
- "idiotic bureaucrats"
- "who come up with this stuff"
- "cry and complain that they don't have enough money"
- "this stupidity is almost never punished [by taxpayers]"

But, hey, what do I know? If you're now saying that your outrage was in fact targeted at bureaucrats who waste their "time" on stupidity like this (and I agree it's a silly stunt), then I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

Please explain to me how I am wrong here?

Kate dangles her usual bait -- "more government nannyism in the UK" -- and everyone here takes it and gobbles it up without thought. Notice how the "UK is stoopid! Yeah! Yeah!" comments dried up shortly after it was pointed out that the padding project came from private sectors.

It's a point of pride among SDA'ers that they don't take biased news reports in the MSM at face value. So why do they do so when the presenter is Kate rather than a CBC anchor?

Posted by: I. Sanderson at March 6, 2008 8:15 AM

I. Sanderson said: "Meanwhile, on other recent threads, you've:
- referred to Robert McClelland (?) as "Rubert McDickslap"
- referred to Hugo Chavez as a "goblin"
- referred to the Liberal Party as "gutter dwelling Liberal slime molds"
- referred to Palestinians as "sons of beeatches"
- referred to Barack Obama as a "DemocRat"
- referred to "Lefties" as "dorks" and "Leftards"
- referred to animal rights activists as "morons""

That's not invective dude, those are observable facts.

What's your point?

Posted by: The Phantom at March 6, 2008 10:48 AM

Gee they didn't print my comments that the UK is becoming a loony bin and people should flee befor the "PC police" send them for "re-education"

Guess I must have hit a nerve

Posted by: Colin at March 6, 2008 11:16 AM

I guess to protect them from falling over dustbins and hurting themselvers; helmets,knee, elbow,shin pads must be installed on ones body. But they should pay a licence fee of course to wear this saftey equipment that will be manditory

Posted by: Ken E. at March 6, 2008 7:10 PM

The Phantom: That's not invective dude, those are observable facts.

And so we come to this, with The Phantom retreating to the intellectually vacuous position of "I'm right because I say so!"

I really should thank you. Your line does more to demonstrate to your SDA peers just how trite and irrelevant you are far better than I ever could.

Posted by: I. Sanderson at March 6, 2008 7:34 PM

I. Sanderson - Just what are you really on about here!

People think that this was a stupid idea, whether paid for by the state or not.

What is your point exactly, other than bashing SDAers. As I said, we jumped the gun and thought that the state paid for it. How exactly does that make my original comment 'wrong'

I said ...idiotic bureaucrats...:
a) cry and complain that they don't have enough money to solve other real problems.
b) have protection from any real recourse by the taxpayer, this stupidity is almost never punished.

Some bureaucrat had to aprove this nonsense, either on their own or through a process. Knowing bureaucracy, there is a long, time-consuming process to get something approved. Whereas, rejection can occur immediately.

So, these same idiotic bureacrats thought it was worth their time (and hence money) to approve this when they have better things they could be doing - like planning how to save money, or planning real environmental measures, etc, etc...

They are fully within their right to reject stupid ideas at the initial stage. Don't believe me: write up a motion to place large beer coolers with pink-bunnies on top of lamp-posts, just in case someone nearby runs dry and see how quickly that is rejected!


So, these idiotic bureaucrats that make these stupid decisions and approve this nonsense. These are also the same bureaucrats that cry and complain that they don't have enough money to solve other real problems. Geez, I wonder why they don't have enough money! Could it be because they are incompetent - after all approving an idea to place padding on lampposts isn't exactly a mark of genius! No, I don't expect them to be right all the time, but at least I expect common sense!!

So whether they waste money directly, or approve nonsense, these bureaucrats are almost never called to account for their stupidity. Probably the only time that happens is when a higher level bureaucrat or politician is caught being just as stupid and need a scapegoat.

Perhaps I am a little blinkered when it comes to how gov't officials behave, but it's not eaxctly like we've been getting good service lately is it??? Perhaps you haven't been paying much attention to decisions coming from officials in the UK lately, I give you the benefit of the doubt. But before anyone rushes to defend them, you really should check out their track record 1st.

Posted by: Frenchie77 at March 7, 2008 5:02 AM

eh! ? ........

Posted by: brian at March 8, 2008 1:20 AM
Site
Meter