Tag Archives: snow

Lib Dem campaigners in the snow #2

Following on from our post on Thursday night, here are some more pictures of Liberal Democrats campaigning in the snow. Keep sending them in.

Danny Alexander went for a walk (remember #dannyswalks) in the streets of Aviemore:

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Liberal Democrats campaign all year round – even in the snow

When I woke up to an icy white blanket in my garden this morning, my first thought was for all those Liberal Democrat campaigners who are out and about in the freezing cold risking life and limb to talk to voters and get our message across.

I will never be one of them. I am a total wuss where snow and ice are concerned.  Or, to be more accurate, a chionophobic. Ever since a fall on ice meant that I wasn’t able to walk for five months, I don’t do snow or ice if I can possibly avoid it.

My admiration for those who do go out in the horrible white stuff knows no bounds. I had presumed if we had snow in the central belt, that the North East would be under feet of the stuff, but both West Aberdeenshire and Gordon reported bak that they were enjoying beautiful weather. However, Christine had posted a photograph of some lethal looking local pavements last Saturday:

Dyce death trap pavements

South of the border, we find our own Joe Otten  out with a team in Sheffield. They looked very happy in their work:

Joe in Hallam Snow

 

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Wigan Council falls for the snow myth

Ooops, not quite all good new on the snow myth-busting front. Despite good news from many parts of the country about councils laying to rest the myths around people being sued if they clear snow from outside their own homes, Wigan Council has gone for reinforcing rather than rejecting the legal myths:

HOMEOWNERS and businesses could risk being sued for clearing snow from the front of their premises if someone slips or falls, legal experts at Wigan Council have warned…

With more snow forecast for this weekend, Wigan Council’s borough solicitor Kevin Lawson said: “It is the council’s responsibility, so far as

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Is there no end to this outbreak of health and safety sanity?

The stories about legal accuracy and common sense when it comes to snow clearing just keep on breaking out this year:

CLAIMS that ‘elf and safety’ rules mean you could be sued if someone slips on the pavement after you have cleared it of snow have been dismissed by Taunton-based lawyers. (Somerset County Gazette)

and

Alex Salmond urged people to clear snow and ice outside their homes. He said: “There is no truth whatsoever that there is any risk of being sued if you clear the pavement outside your premises or house. (Daily Record)

Both of which follow the outbreak a few days ago …

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OMG! It’s health and safety gone, er…, sensible

During last winter’s snow I blogged a few times about the legal scare stories about how people shouldn’t sweep away snow from outside their home (you can be sued! the world will end!), how clearing snow is traditional in Britain (sort of) and how some companies that tell us at great length about how much they care about local communities miss taking the obvious steps to show such care during a snow fall – clearing the snow from outside their premises.

Not to mention the way some journalists who spend their time loving to mock real or imagined nanny state actions suddenly think the state should do everything when it comes to snow clearing.

But this year? Well, it’s all looking rather different.

First up for credit is the government with its wise advice:

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This is why the Editors’ Code of Practice needs reforming

It’s a small, but telling example.

The Evening Standard ran a piece from Simon Jenkins, which included a bit of myth-recycling about what the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health had said about people clearing snow from outside their property.

There were two problems.

First, either Simon Jenkins or a sub-ed dropped the word “probably” making the quote sound far more definitive that in the original version reported in other newspapers. (I suspect it was no innocent error because there was also a similar distortion of what Lord Davies said in Parliament.)

Second, the quote was – even in the full version – wrong. …

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Daily View 2×2: 21 January 2010

1920s woman in silk kimono smoking using a cigarette holderGood morning and welcome to Daily View. If you submit a tax return, there are hardly any days left to get on with it.

On this day in 1908, New York City voted to ban women from smoking in public. Two years ago, Black Monday did a number on the world’s stock markets.

In birthdays, we sing a song to Commander in Chief star Geena Davis and Christian Dior, who were born today.

And in deaths, we remember George Orwell – and use him as an excuse to pimp this link – a cartoon that fears that when it comes to dystopias, it was Aldous Huxley who nailed it, rather than George Orwell.

2 Big Stories

Stop the presses!

Men are wearing shorts in the snow in New York.

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What do we want? Section 63 of the Metropolitan Paving Act 1817 of course

What do we want? Section 63 of the Metropolitan Paving Act 1817 to be restored.

When do we want it? Before the next snow fall of course.

Posted in Op-eds | 22 Comments

Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday accused of printing false comments from health and safety experts

The Sunday Telegraph and Mail on Sunday both ran very similar stories at the weekend:

The professional body that represents health-and-safety experts has warned businesses not to grit public paths. (Mail)

The professional body that represents health and safety experts has issued a warning to businesses not to grit public paths. (Telegraph)

Both then went on about health and safety gone mad etc.

Only one problem.

The experts had said nothing of the sort.

The Sunday Telegraph had approached the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health who in fact gave a comment which said the opposite of what the newspaper subsequently reported. Far …

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Businesses get off lightly in the snow

There’s now a consistent murmur in the media’s coverage of the snow spell about how people clear snow from outside their homes in other countries, how it might be a good thing for people to do the same here (example) and how it might not quite bring down The End Of The World (Legal Department) on your head if you clear snow from outside your own home and someone falls over.

Two things have been notably missing from the coverage though. First, any example of a successful legal action in such a case. There is plenty of “Oooh, well perhaps …

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Campaigning in the snow

It’s snowing. It’s cold. Much of Britain is housebound.

Here are some top tips to keep your constituency campaigning in the snow.

  1. Telephone canvass!
  2. Get your photos for next year’s Christmas card now!
  3. Use time trapped indoors to review your plans.  Have you ordered your ink, sourced your suppliers and got a name next to every action point?
  4. How’s that to-do list looking?
  5. Are you practicing Inbox Zero?  What better time to start!
  6. How snowy are your neighbours’ roofs?  If some houses in your street / ward / constituency have the snow and ice melting faster than others, then it’s a clear indication they don’t

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Where are the “it’s health and safety gone mad”/”we’re living in a nanny state” brigade when you need them?

In their absence, I will step up to the mark and do my best to fill the gap in our media commentary:

<start rant>

What is our country coming to when just about everyone expects the state to sort out everything for them and is happy to use the flimsiest of health and safety excuses to stop behaving sensibly? It’s the nanny state gone mad, that’s what it is.

Millions of people in other countries quite happily clear the snow from outside their own homes and shops at winter time. But in Britain, supposedly the liberal home of the free? Nope, pretty much …

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

Council admits ‘mistake’ over gritting deputy leader’s private road

Whilst many of us have been cursing the failure of council gritters across the country, Cheshire West and Chester council appeared to have plenty of spare capacity. As several inches of snow fell, causing chaos on the county’s roads, the council’s Deputy Leader, Conservative Councillor Les Ford had the private road to his home heavily salted by a gritter lorry.

According to the Chester Chronicle, concerned resident Tom Farrall, 78, confronted the driver after seeing the gritting lorry ignoring local through roads for the second time. He said: “The council gritted his road but they didn’t grit any of the other roads. …

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