We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Same thoughtful speech could and should be equally well given in the US: Samples from his speech on May 26 at University College:
It is what I call a sensible debate about risk in public policy making. In my view, we are in danger of having a wholly disproportionate attitude to the risks we should expect to run as a normal part of life. This is putting pressure on policy-making, not just in Government but in regulatory bodies, on local government, public services, in Europe and across parts of the private sector - to act to eliminate risk in a way that is out of all proportion to the potential damage. The result is a plethora of rules, guidelines, responses to 'scandals' of one nature or another that ends up having utterly perverse consequences.
So, for example, one piece of research into a supposed link between autism and the MMR single jab, starts a scare that, despite the vast weight of evidence to the contrary, makes people believe a method of vaccination used the world over, is unsafe. The result is an increase in risk to our children's health under the very guise of limiting that risk.
And before we all just complain about the regulators, the public servants or indeed the Government, let us just pause for a moment in sympathy. A civil servant or regulator who fails to regulate a risk that materialises will be castigated. How many are rewarded when they refuse to regulate and take the risk?
Bodies set up to guard the public interest have one-way pressures. It is in their interest never to be accused of having missed a problem. So, it is a one-sided bet. They will always err on the side of caution.
It seems to be part of the DNA of regulatory bodies that they acquire their own interests and begin to grow. Max Weber famously noted the tendency of bureaucracies to tidiness.