Sunday, September 16, 2007

Blue Greenery

Yes, I have now finally read every word of the 549 pages of the Conservatives' Blueprint for a Green Economy. Even the "Executive Summary" is 22 pages long.

Why ? Because I'm a bit of a geek and I wanted to see whether they were really proposing that we remove the white lines from roads in the hope that when this causes us to drive more carefully, it will save fuel. I think the following suggests they do :-

The overzealous interpretation of road signs regulation has led to a proliferation of signs that are aesthetically unappealing and can actually reduce road safety through distracting visual clutter. The Streetscape and Highways Design Bill, tabled by Shadow Trade and Industry Secretary Alan Duncan MP, would require highways authorities to ensure signs do not cause unnecessary visual intrusion, while still providing appropriate information. We believe that this should form the basis of amending legislation. We also propose pilot schemes to see how far rural road safety is improved by the increasing use of road marking and additional signs. Experiments elsewhere have suggested that motorists drive more carefully where there is no white lining and only exiguous signing. Proper science would enable more effective decision making.

The authors obviously have never driven down a road after it is resurfaced and before it is re-lined. People drive like morons and car-crashes are not environmentally-friendly.

The whole of the document is written in the style of the above excerpt - big monolithic paragraphs with gratuitously flowery vocabulary (I had to look up "exiguous", for example).

It also drifts off the point that the world is going to hell in a handbasket and we need to act fast to save it. Instead the authors pontificate on every aspect of policy, even the stuff that should be part of their day job e.g "Making Britain’s food and farming the best in the world"

I recognise the two-step approach noted by Scott Adams in relation to Quality Management :-

(1) Make a Honking Big Binder.
(2) Then treat it like a dead raccoon.

The Tories can point to the HBB (Honking Big Binder) and say that they have a "green" policy. They can then safely avoid doing anything that it says.

Incidentally, another gaffe in my opinion is the idea that VAT should be levied on flights. This is wrong, as companies can reclaim VAT and so no extra revenue will achieved and it won't be much of a disincentive. They should either make it a separate tax, or at least make sure this VAT is never recoverable.

1 comment:

ArcticFox said...

Just get rid of VAT altogether and go for local purchase taxation.... VAT is a bloody joke.

Come to think of it let's just scrap tax.

While we're on the subject, a greener option would be to ban bloody streetlighting!! Bane of my bloody life.... filthy, horrible, polluting, orange, nasty things!!