Leading article: Just whistle your way to work

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The Independent Online
We are inspired by the railway company's ingenious plan to save on the wages of train guards by recruiting commuters to guard themselves: making announcements on platforms, checking that all doors are closed, telling the driver when to set off (don't get left on the platform!), that sort of thing. Not that the idea is entirely new. We know that this Government's three main ambitions for all its citizens are individual responsibility, individual responsibility and individual responsibility, and, long before Great Eastern announced its brainwave last Friday, the Inland Revenue had already seen pecuniary advantage in making us all our own tax inspectors. But there's plenty of room for improvement. A free lollipop and bright yellow coat would surely induce most primary schoolchildren to see themselves across the road, and a bit of self-help in hospitals - simple wound-stitching in easy-to-reach places, wheeling your own trolley to the theatre (we would add driving your own ambulance but that happens routinely) - could transform NHS economics. And since sheep can now be implanted with human genes it should be simple enough for them to inspect their own carcasses before volunteering for the abattoir.

The logical conclusion is best expressed in our favourite cartoon. Earnest woman on knees implores God to change the world. "Change it yourself" the heavens bark back. Meanwhile, who needs a sermon on Sunday morning, or an editorial, come to that? Finish it yourself - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -.

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