Taken to a new level

A meeting of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council, yesterdayRather less inspirational and oracular is the website of the Risk and Regulation Advisory Council. This self-satirising body has been established in response to concerns about over-regulation, especially as regards health and safety (packets of nuts with labels reading “May contain nuts”, that sort of thing). Thus the RRAC is a supervisory body that will supervise other supervisory bodies to ensure they supervise the rest of us in an appropriate manner. You follow?

The RRAC’s website starts with the following stirring call to arms (under the heading, “The Ambition”). If you want to know why Gordon Brown is currently tanking as prime minister, you could do a lot worse than consider this expression of his “vision for Britain”:

On taking office as Prime Minister, Gordon Brown committed to taking the Better Regulation agenda to a new level by focusing upstream at where policy-making engages with risk.

It’s worth taking the time to sit back and ponder this one fact: someone wrote that. There are people who think in those terms, for whom that sentence is a model of clear and elegant prose. And they’re running the country.

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10 Responses to Taken to a new level

  1. When did the British import West Virginians? 🙂

  2. Phil Walker says:

    And you call yourself a lawyer. 😉 Compared with some legal documents I’ve seen, that is a model of clear and elegant prose.

  3. John H says:

    Phil: Yes, but at least legal documents generally mean something and are intended to accomplish something.

    And one thing I have learnt through being a lawyer is this: when you come across some legal drafting that appears to consist entirely of pre-prepared jargon phrases bolted together like a prefab garage, that normally means the person who’s written it doesn’t have a clue what they are trying to say, and probably don’t have anything meaningful to say anyway. The application of this to the RRAC website is left as, you guessed it, an exercise. 😉

  4. D.S.Ketelby says:

    What the RRAC needs is a regulatory body to ensure that it carries out its duties effectively.

  5. D.S.Ketelby says:

    I like to read story books to my small daughter, but these don’t always seem to develop their themes in sufficient depth.

    I’m thinking that we should strike out:

    “Off goes Farmer Footle –
    You see, it’s market day.
    Whatever will all the animals do
    While he is away?”

    and replace with numbered paragraphs about Farmer Footle’s quest to proactively engage with local socioeconomic realities within a limited timeframe while risk-managing his own existential anxieties in seeking to devolve responsibility and initiative to a diverse multi-disciplinary workforce.

    It’s getting the damn thing to rhyme, though.

  6. John H says:

    Well, so long as it’s all embedded within a Best Value framework of accountability to the key stakeholders, there shouldn’t be any problem.

  7. Phil Walker says:

    The selection of pictorial representation made by the principal preparer has successfully matched content to delivery, positively impacting users’ ability to engage with both in a manner suitable to the respective environments.

    Labour really is turning into all the episodes of Yes, (Prime) Minister at once, isn’t it?

  8. Jim says:

    Funny you used “Yes, Prime Minister” for the pic. Since my time working in England ca. 2002-2005 I would say I ascribe the motives of Labour’s PMs more to Francis Urquhart. 🙂

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  10. Phil Walker says:

    Oh blow, yeah, I was just reminded on the News: Gordo’s wanting to get us a “statement of British values.” I can just see it now, the British “We, the People”:

    The United Kingdom (ISO 9001:2000)As citizens of the United Kingdom, we envision a country which is focused on bottom-up, client-centric solutions pertaining to the management of the entire national community. We will seek positive outcomes on the diversity issue, empowering every individual to work towards good inter-communal relations within a framework of mutually-affirming equality. We believe every voter is entitled to an equal say in the discharge of government.

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