Skip to main content

We're asking the passengers to fly the plane

Would you trust patients to run a hospital or children to run a school? You might ask their opinion, but no sensible person would expect them to know what they were doing to improve health outcomes or education results. Those who bothered to get involved might have the best intentions for a while but would soon realise there's a huge amount they don't know about the consequences of their naive actions (or inaction).

What we do in hospitals and schools is employ experts to safeguard and prioritise the interests of patients and students. Those experts (unelected because patients and students don't all have the skills to judge who would be good at it) ultimately report to people who are elected to be accountable for all patients and all students. If they do their jobs badly, they are replaced.

So what would happen if you did ask the patients to run the hospital or students to run the school? What priorities would they have and what would be the consequences? Firstly I suspect that there would be a significant proportion who would understand the objectives of each institution and would immediately realise they needed help to make decision before they changed anything. But there would also be plenty of patients and students who wouldn't understand about the consequences of their decisions and would only learn those lessons the hard way. Their objectives would be short-term and probably naive. Self-interest would probably prevail. But the rules say the majority get their way. In hospitals and schools there might be fatalities and exam failures, but ultimately one might hope the patients and students would realise they need those experts.

But with Brexit, there's no second chance. No oops moment.

Tragically we have asked the British people to fly the plane and next Thursday they have to land it. If it crashes, all we can do is blame the idiots who asked them to fly it, and the passengers who ignored the pilot's advice and thought they knew better.

And if you need more advice, you must listen to this expert: Prof Michael Dougan an EU Law at Liverpool University


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Phillips screws - yes I'm angry about them too

Don't get me wrong. They're a brilliant invention to assist automation and prevent screwdrivers from slipping off screw heads - damaging furniture, paintwork and fingers in the process. Interestingly they weren't invented by Mr Phillips at all, but by a John P Thompson who sold Mr P the idea after failing to commercialise it. Mr P, on the otherhand, quickly succeeded where Mr T had failed. Incredible isn't it. You don't just need a good idea, you need a great salesman and, more importantly, perfect timing to make a success out of something new. Actually, it would seem, he did two clever things (apart from buying the rights). He gave the invention to GM to trial. No-brainer #1. After it was adopted by the great GM, instead of trying to become their sole supplier of Phillips screws, he sold licenses to every other screw manufacturer in the world. A little of a lot is worth a great deal more than a lot of a little + vulnerability (watch out Apple!). My gromble is abo

Norman's Autobiography

The following is an unfinished autobiography written by my father who passed away earlier this week at the age of 93. Cheerbye Dad (you were the only person I knew to use this expression). You were a huge influence on my life. Thanks for taking the time to record so much that I never knew about your own life and those of our immigrant ancestors. Dad's the one in the middle ;-) The HorBraJacSac Saga by Norman Horwood  9th June 1926 (or possibly earlier!) - 27th June 2019 The Families' Backgrounds. We have four families; Abrahams/Horowitz/Horwood; Bralofsky/Braley; Jacobs and Tchaikofsky/Sacof. Taking my pair, the (Abrahams) Horowitzs/Horwood and the (Bralofskys) Braleys. They escaped from different parts of "Mittel Europe" at different times. Abraham and Rachel Abrahams, nee Gess, (Horowitz), had been in England longer than the Bralofskys, having come here from Lithuania in about 1897 as a married couple without children. It is certain that Abraham

Prepare for Alien Contact

I've not gone barking mad or joined some weird religious cult (aren't they all?). But I do predict that we will make contact with intelligences from other planets soon. Here's my reasoning: There are approximately 100,000,000,000 stars in our galaxy (easy way to remember this order of magnitude is it's one hundred, thousand, million). Usefully there are also approximately the same number of galaxies in the universe. And assuming every star has about the same number of planets orbiting it as our Sun, and that the Milky Way is an average size of galaxy, that means there are around 100,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 planets in the universe. A lot. Scientists have long debated the probability of life, as we would recognise it - reproducing, eating, etc - existing outside Earth. Most agree mathematically that it's a certainty. What they did was take all the components they believed were required for life to have evolved on Earth and then extrapolate what they know about