Comments for en-gb 30 Fri 29 May 2015 12:15:18 GMT+1 A feed of user comments from the page found at Cobalt Chicken >So we witness the death of common sense? You know, that thing we used to be >encouraged to use throughout our daily lives? And who taught us this? Parents.But check this out: have, it anything, become more attentive of their offspring in recent decades, maybe too attentive.You know, I heard that Socrates wrote a diatribe against the youth of his time which wouldn't, if translated, have looked out of place in the letters to the editor of a modern tabloid.Selective memory is a wonderful thing. Sun 02 Aug 2009 08:07:39 GMT+1 Jen So we witness the death of common sense? You know, that thing we used to be encouraged to use throughout our daily lives? And who taught us this? Parents. Not a government leaflet or sign on the wall at work.A sense of personal responsibility - awareness of the impact of our actions on others. Isn't this the basis of being a decent member of society? How often do you here people say 'sorry, it's my fault'?Hand washing and coughing/sneezing into a tissue or hand. Courtesy, politeness and good, old fashioned cleanliness. Why do we need a leaflet telling us what we should be doing anyway?I used to be a teacher and when some children starting school can't dress themselves or use a knife and fork for no other reason than never having been taught, then what good will a leaflet be telling people to do this?Social and personal responsibility is a fundamental of society. It's disappearing fast, and no amount of signs and leaflets will address this deficiency! Wed 29 Jul 2009 08:30:15 GMT+1 Northumbrian On the "may contain nuts" issue. I know that some of those with nut allergies can be made seriously ill by eating something which has been on touched by something that has previously touched nuts (like a cake slice). So "May contain nuts" is not an unreasonable label.To those who think that having that label on a packet of nuts is silly (and I confess I thought so too once) consider this. You have a cake called "Paradise Slice" - it is labelled "may contain nuts" because it has almonds in it. Fine. You have a savoury disk which is sometimes prepared with walnut oil - nut warnings needed. You have a sweet which is made in the same factory as peanut brittle - there's a danger of cross-contamination which could, really, kill the child who ate it unknowingly. You have nut warnings on all of these - BUT NOT ON PACKETS OF NUTS. Does that not look silly as well? Everything labelled with nut warnings except nuts - that would be - er- nutty? Fri 15 May 2009 20:01:25 GMT+1 Northumbrian When my kids were at school they assured me that they would get, at best, teased and possibly beaten up for being the sort of [expletive of choice] who washed their hands. My friend, whose daughter attends a good private school for girls had trouble enforcing handwashing after visitors had played with the dog and before meals. Most of these hygiene rules are now SOOO uncool that we need special leaflets telling us to do the things which the middle-aged amongst us were taught as a matter of routine.We are "babied" now, because when we were children nobody ever thought it desirable to "nag" us into good habits of care and safety. Of course we accepted that sometimes children drowned in garden ponds, fell downstairs or died of contagious diseases, whilst they learned.There's a famous quotation from a children's classic, "Swallows and Amazons", "Better drowned than duffers, if not duffers won't drown." That phrase would probably have the (loving) parent involved up in court for child neglect and pilloried for disrespect towards "Duffers". Fri 15 May 2009 19:52:39 GMT+1 Stanza7 I was reading about the spanish flu in 1918 that was estimated to have killed up to 100 million people world wide. It was reported that an usual high number of these deaths were of young healthy people thought to be the result of the flu causing cytokine storms, a result of having a strong immune system. If the new swine flu causes the same effects would it be a sensible idea to give the young and healthy people with strong immune systems, Immunosuppressive drugs so that the likely hood of them dying from a cytokine storm is reduced? Tue 12 May 2009 23:13:22 GMT+1 swearydad Transport operators' constant announcements are particularly annoying and I take no notice because I prefer to use my own common-sense. On trains: "Please remember to take your luggage with you." On London buses: "Stand clear, doors opening." The tone of voice sounds more like somebody giving an order rather than someone passing on helpful advice. Then it's followed by another warning: "Doors closing," which is no use whatsoever if an incompetent driver has failed to see if there are people still getting off of the bus and has decided to shut the doors. And when my local coucil put in more traffic lights and street fencing to make me cross the road where they want me to, I am still going to go wherever I want, and if that means hopping or climbing over some ugly railings then I will do it. Tue 12 May 2009 20:25:09 GMT+1 sals85 A friend of mine once made an observation that Heath and Safety is adding to the numbers of stupid people in society.Before the "invention" of Health and Safety, people had to think for themselves about their personal safety. Because of this, "Stupid People" died when they feel down the gap when leaving trains. They were killed when they crossed the road without waiting for the little green man, they got trapped in machinery at work, fell down manholes, poisoned themselves drinking bleach. Those that didn't die, learnt from their mistakes and built up their common sense. Now, the influx of "be Careful", "Don't...", "Never..." signs has stopped the death or learning of "Stupid People" and allowed them to bread with other "Stupid People" which has started the creation of a race of "Stupid People"...!(To all the hypersensitive people who may sue me of defamation of "Stupid People".. CAUTION - This comment may contain HUMOUR!) Mon 11 May 2009 15:50:52 GMT+1 HardWorkingHobbes People complain that as a society we're getting dumber. I think this is correlated to the number of warning signs we have.We should remove all warning signs and just let Darwinism take over.Those to stupid to realise that knives are sharp, electricity power stations are dangerouse and heavy items are heavy would soon remove themselves from the gene pool. Mon 11 May 2009 11:26:46 GMT+1 danbealec HOT WATER:Spend a few days visiting a specialist burns wards before you mock "HOT WATER" signs. You obviously expect a hot water tap to be hot, but do you expect it to be hot enough to cause full thickness burns (requiring surgery and leaving life long scaring) after 30 seconds?How hot is a hot drink? Hot enough to drink as soon as you get it? Hot enough to stay hot as you carry it from the cafe to wherever? Hot enough for it to still be hot as you work your way through the crossword? Hot enough for it to strip the skin of a child's head?You don't like warnings. That's fine. Rather than the oh-so-predictable sneering why don't you come up with some suggestions for keeping clumsy or stupid people safe from harm? Mon 11 May 2009 00:33:55 GMT+1 danbealec "may contain nuts" on packets of nuts is fine. Why ask people to think about how nutty a product is before it needs a warning? Make it easy - if it has nuts it "contains nuts".And "finger trap hazard" is also fine. A worker may not expect some piece of machinery to be able to fold and remove a finger. Loss of a finger is not a trivial injury!Finally, warnings about being careful when leaving a train isn't aimed at you, who is probably careful when you're leaving a train, but at the selfish stupid idiots who stumble their way through life. Not everyone is as robust as you, and the shambolic idiots need to be reminded that bumping into a little old lady could shorten her life. Mon 11 May 2009 00:25:24 GMT+1 RomeStu Bird flu one year, swine flu the next .... pigs will fly if this is not just a political example of "cover your a*se", just in case it turns into a pandemic. I think the leaflet could be usefully folded in half and held against the mouth to prevent spread of the disease!Instilling irrational fear into people seems to be the politics-du-jour, and presumably is also a nice diversion from whatever other chaos our troubled PM might be dreaming up. Sun 10 May 2009 23:48:13 GMT+1 RomeStu 1. GiniaHickley wrote: I like it when you get hot drinks from fast food outlets which say "Caution. Contains hot drink". Fat chance. They're always luke warm. Trouble is Gina, one stupid idiot puts coffee cup between legs and drives off .... bingo .... scalded unmentionables and a nice fat lawsuit!!!! Luke warm it is from now on! Sun 10 May 2009 23:37:17 GMT+1 Cautiouscuthbert I thought that I might be alone in venting my wrath each and every time I travel on the London Underground where a mysterious nursemaid lectures me every 30 seconds or so about the need for me to 'mind the gap', to 'carry a bottle of water in this (?) hot weather' (during a good Summer), to 'remember to take ALL of my belongings with me', and to 'remember to touch in and touch out' (if I'm to be spared the prospect of spending what remains of my long life as a guest of Her Majesty). At a loss to know just how I'll survive another day, I might move on to a Premier Inn hotel where I'll find that the tap attached to the washbasin has a warning posted above it with the intriguing news that it constitutes a danger because it dispenses 'HOT WATER'. My subsequent attempt to breathe fresh air after being incarcerated beneath the city is frustrated by 'restrictors' fixed to the sash window: no matter that I might be at death's door because there's so little air in the room; I can't be trusted and, therefore, I must be prevented from hurling myself from the window ledge towards the ground beneath. Back at home, I must 'take good care' when I'm opening vegetables cooked in my microwave oven because the bag in which they've been sold to me warns that 'HOT (!) steam' might 'cause injury'. If I've caught swine 'flu on the Underground, I must sneeze into the crook of my arm (but not wipe my nose on my sleeve), and 'take good care' of myself once again. Washing my germ-ridden hands before I venture out again will be an eminently sensible procedure (I'm enormously grateful to the Government for advising me to do that) but I wonder why I should bother when there's so little awareness among sections of the Public that it's even more important to perform a similar task after making each and every visit to the lavatory. Not a 'nice' subject? Perhaps - and it's unlikely to be a vote winner.Thank you for some wonderful reading! Sat 09 May 2009 12:41:15 GMT+1 Peter Galbavy You can't legislate against stupidity but perhaps you can legislate for personal responsibility ?If our legal system required someone to show that they themselves had taken reasonable care or applied "common sense" before their feeling were hurt by the sound of an approaching bus (or even really injured) then the fear of litigation would fall and everyone except the lawyers would be happy. Oh, hang on. Isn't parliment full of lawyers who get themselves elected as MPs and then enact laws that enrish their own mates ? Surely not. Thu 07 May 2009 14:23:10 GMT+1 AnnoyedofHythe I remember the announcement, in 4 languages, at the Verona Opera festival some years ago telling the audience NOT to throw their cushions into the orchestra pit - the German version adding that is was not diciplined. Wed 06 May 2009 19:57:12 GMT+1 Guv-nor @ 23 "... worst of all, pointless ones "Guide dogs welcome". Dogs can't read and blind people can't see so who is the sign for?"There are many places where, as a general rule, animals are not normally welcome. However an exception is made for guide dogs, so the sign is for the benefit of people that may otherwise embarrass themselves by being a self appointed jobsworth.Perhaps there is a need for a "Be sure of your aim when jumping on bandwagon" warning or "Mind the gap" [Mind: to pay attention to (something)] sign. Wed 06 May 2009 16:54:27 GMT+1 John Dudman ..and another thing. People who don't wash their hands are not likely to do so just because the government have put a leaflet through their door advising them to do so.Interesting cross over item here. I work for a Social Services department, in an IT role not as a social worker, but recently was alogside a qualified social worker in the gent's urinals. As I went to th basin to wash my hands he zipped up, said 'see you later' and left without washing his hands. Wished they had automatic doors on the gents. Wed 06 May 2009 14:18:33 GMT+1 John Dudman I see that the leaflet refers to "pandemic flue". I don't think there is such a beast. Surely it is a flue pandemic? Wed 06 May 2009 14:08:29 GMT+1 realityleak This phenomenon is not, as has been described above, simply down to fear of litigation. Another problem is the nature of our news and 'news' papers. Because the news is so much more widespread and journalists and editors need to make the news sexy and intresting and worth listening to/reading/watching, many news stories are simply overplayed and exaggerated. The 'threat' of H1N1 for example - papers were claiming, contrary to any evidence, even from the mexican epicentre, that half the country's population could die. Is that responsible? No. Does it scare people who are unable to question what they are being told? Yes.The threat of the various crimes that are played daily on our news programs is, proportionally, no higher than 30 or even 40 years ago yet the news channels and papers sensationalise as much purchase as they can get from it before it becomes 'yesterday's news' and no one is interested any more.Health and Safety is purely there so that the company can tick a box to say that the employee was 'trained' in how to, for example, lift the box. A part of that training is to refuse to lift something if it is too heavy. I can see that going down well in any labour intensive manual occupation. It is a joke.Please start treating the public as if we have responsibility for our own actions (like the disclaimer in the H&S act) and please outlaw compensation solicitors. They do more harm than good. You fell off the ladder because no one was holding it? Then refuse to get up it. You have the right to in the H&S act. The accident was your fault. Now you see him, now you don't. Now you see him, now you don't. Now the motorbike is attempting to overtake on the right while you are indicating to turn right and somehow it is the car's fault... Ridiculous. Wed 06 May 2009 12:56:36 GMT+1 steveta_uk I blame Ester Rantzen.Remember all the "campaigns" about everything that could possibly cause any hard whatsoever, resulting in such complete over-use of warnings that they have become completely meaningless?For example, if you by a basketball in a toy shop, you will find in comes with a warning about use by small children, as apparently it "may be swallowed"!Blanket over-warning about everything simply turns the warnings into noise - as was noted in the airport example, the warning were not even noticed at first. Wed 06 May 2009 11:02:52 GMT+1 jon112uk I agree (strongly) about the harm being done by the great paedophile panic and I'm not convinced this piggy flu is the next great 'black death' pandemic.On the other hand, let's say we stopped an ordinary flu spreading in the ordinary way, just with a few hankies, a bit of hand washing and a few dozen people under not very strict isolation. When we have normal flu every year the cost to commerce is huge as thousands take days off sick. How much is it worth in pure money if we stopped that? Wed 06 May 2009 07:55:31 GMT+1 LippyLippo I've worked in heavy industry for years, and virtually everything that has to do with 'Health and Safety' is nothing of the sort. It is all to do with avoidance of litigation and being held accountable. Many safety courses in recent years barely mention the human effects of injury or incapacity - they talk about how this can be 'managed' instead. There is emphasis on the importance of 'record-keeping' - this is only because you may need to produce the records in court or to an insurance company. This isn't about care, it's about evidence. The spurious warnings are another example - they are there only so the company can show 'due diligence'. Real, actual care for workers as people is completely overlooked.Which brings me to my real bugbear! I wish the contributors and the media in general would stop using the term 'Nanny State'. This is the most misleading term I have ever heard. Your nanny (or granny!!) is genuinely concerned for your health and well-being. The 'fussing' is an expression of concern that you may suffer, and the rules are intended to alleviate this perceived concern. The so-called 'nannying' by companies and the Government is different. These institutions have no concern for you. Their concern is not that harm may come to you, but that you don't hold them accountable for this harm. They don't care if you drop dead, as long as nobody sues them for it. Everybody moans about the proliferation of litigation, but this cold-hearted capitalist approach is the very reason why these 'no win, no fee' lawyer firms are increasingly successful. They recognise that if employers are going to use the letter of the law, rather than the spirit of it, then their clients have to respond in kind. This soulless approach is a million miles from the warmth of nannying, so can we please all stop using the term?? How about Machiavellian State? It's a bit of a tongue-twister, but it's so much more accurate. Wed 06 May 2009 07:21:43 GMT+1 NoblesseOblige I agree wholeheartedly with the concept that if we are treated like children we will become infantile. Most parents know an almost surefire way to get a child to do something is to tell it to do the opposite!So far little has been said though about either the cost of the leaflets etc, or their effectiveness. I am old enough to remember the mass distribution of information about what to do in the event of a nuclear attack. They must have cost, even then, millions of pounds to produce and deliver, but as it turned out the advice would hardly have saved one life in the event of an attack. The government feels it needs to be seen to be doing something, but doesn't know what, so falls back on platitudes and, in effect, reminds us it's all our fault; shades of Pontius Pilate washing his hands maybe?Perhaps, so near to an election, the public will remember all this and react against being patronised? Like DeniseCullum222 (and me) we might also switch off TV when we are being spoon-fed (as even the Beeb tends to do nowadays) or served up meaningless drivel to fuel envy and acquisitivness in the name of commercialism. Let's learn to behave like responsible, courageous adults again and less like the equivalent of "cannon fodder" for the state to play with or, in this case, blind to the real issues by issuing smokescreen notices and warnings!Perhaps I'm old enough to get away with being cynical but I for one suspect that the government may be thinking:- "Let's scare them about the flu; remind them that Death stalks the land and they'll forget the mismanagement and greed that have done so much harm to the economy and society in the past few years". It certainly feels like that! Wed 06 May 2009 05:27:56 GMT+1 tarquin 31Health advice is potentially useful, however what the nanny state does is take responsibility away from peopleWe shouldn't need to be told to cover our mouths when we sneeze, the same way we don't need to be told not to put faeces in our mouth - it's a given, health and safety is just a disclaimer to protect organisations being sued by peopleAnd what does it result in? a society where the government 'nannies' you, and that's not healthy - humans have been getting on fine for millenia without these warnings Wed 06 May 2009 01:02:21 GMT+1 DeepFryThis I really despair at some people - who think everyhing's just a big laugh and that the Government is playing a 'nanny state' game - who freely snipe at what little health and safety systems so many have fought so hard for in our country. Health and safety signs are an important thing, not a trivial thing. A basic health advice leaflet on something potentially dangerous to all people in the coming months is a calm and very reasonable thing. Wed 06 May 2009 00:42:37 GMT+1 raygu3 Was it only last year that we were all going to die from bird flu? These threats seem to arrive with remarkable regularity, it might have something to do with too many news channels chasing not enough news. One fact is certain, many more people will die in this country this year as a result of stepping off a pavement than from swine flu.Crazy safety notices and barmy health warnings are a slightly different issue, the swine flu leaflet is a an example. Those that are responsible for issue of such notices and warnings are driven solely by the thought that they may be on the wrong end of a compensation claim rather than a concern for the welfare of others. Tue 05 May 2009 23:10:36 GMT+1 AHerrero I do agree with your thoughts. I think we are constantly been treated as children and as irresponsible or wicked when most of majority isn´t. In the street I just see more a more police signs telling people to watch out what they say, what they do, to be scared of what´s going to happen next. To make us feel guilty when we are innocent, irresponsible when decent, scared instead of free. Where is the trust on people? why we are treated constantly as people that you cannot rely on? and is just for others (the ones who control the power and the money) to have the voice and the thoughs. With this way of doing institutions are removing slowly from people the possibility to think and act for themselves we are getting further from democracy and building the way to totalitarism and blind obedience. Tue 05 May 2009 22:12:52 GMT+1 threnodio #25 - kenromfordDoreen from Human Resources, please! Don't forget your political correctness old chap - I mean person of indeterminate age. This is the BBC after all. Tue 05 May 2009 21:55:22 GMT+1 L A Odicean The information about sneezing and coughing is very useful. I,for one, will make sure that I sneeze only into a hanky. But as I have already stocked up with beans and rice (just in case), sneezing is not my only problem. Are there other ways of expressing the virus and if so what preventative measures should one take, apart from changing one's diet? Tue 05 May 2009 21:45:45 GMT+1 threnodio Out of interest, it is barely 24 hours since BBC World carried Ban Ki Moon telling the world not to call H1N1 'Swine Flu' because it misleads people into falsely associating it with pork. And what do I read on BBC News website today? "US resident dies from swine flu", "EU warns against swine flu panic ", "How to make a swine flu vaccine ". How to report the news while not taking the slightest notice of it! Tue 05 May 2009 21:02:12 GMT+1 kenromford "Please take all your personal belongings with you when you leave the train". I can't. 99% of them are indoors."Unattended luggage may be removed or destroyed by the security services".The security services? Who, the Stasi? Mossad? If you mean the Old Bill, say "the police".Bus doors that bleep (or worse, go "Warning! Doors Closing!") when they shut. I've never seen anyone, blind, Mr Magoo or with 20/20 vision being trapped in bus doors."Ingredients: no nutsMade on a line that does not handle nutsFactory: cannot guarantee nut-free." What, did Doreen from Personnel sit next to a man on the bus eating cashews a week last Tuesday?We seem to expend a great deal of effort protecting people from their own stupidity or lack of responsiblity. Tue 05 May 2009 20:46:50 GMT+1 ellietrx I remember as a child being told off more for "think what you are doing" than the actual mis-demeanor. If people were taught more to think about things, and to do thier own risk assesment (appart from fewer pwople doing the lottery) there would be a more considered response to the dangers of swine flu. Tue 05 May 2009 20:42:04 GMT+1 threnodio What I really object to are statements of the obvious such as the health warnings on cigarette packets, badly phrased statements with rather obvious retorts ("Mind the gap" - "No, not in the least, do you?") and, worst of all, pointless ones "Guide dogs welcome". Dogs can't read and blind people can't see so who is the sign for? Tue 05 May 2009 20:32:09 GMT+1 jamesscotland An interesting piece, but the swine flu advice isn't really relevant to the point you're trying to make. Advising people to deal with an unfamiliar problem by doing something familiar is helpful; advising people to deal with a familiar problem by doing something familiar self-evidently isn't. Tue 05 May 2009 20:24:27 GMT+1 dotconnect This is something that's bugged me for a while, from the infantile tone adopted by various marketing teams (I think Innocent Drinks started it) to the patronising woman my broadband provider thinks I need to hear, delivering the 'dial 1 for...' options in some chirpy-ironic recorded voice ("Before I can pass you to one of our team, I just need you to answer a few questions - don't worry... this won't take long...") NYARRR!!!!(And don't get me started on the utterly infantile presentation of news these days... ) Tue 05 May 2009 20:18:34 GMT+1 demand_equality the worst one, has to be those asda people who walk around with a stick, with a big hand attached which says "checkout free here"i always ask them, if they did all their exams at school especially to be qualified to hold up a stick!in britain today i am made to feel that every where i go outside my house, there is a pocket sized narrator on my shoulder, telling the bleedin obvious! Tue 05 May 2009 19:54:47 GMT+1 DeniseCullum222 It is called brain washing when I went to the USA in 1989 or so I found that when ever the television was on which my children loved as there was that many programmes to watch 4/7/11 what I noticed was the covert brain washing every programme informed you , you were in America as if you did not know were you were the flag was every were and there was this Stepford wife have a Nice day were ever you went which was not nice after a few times there was navity about their country like how other people from other countries envied them their freedom and wanted to be like them we never saw anyone on the television who was not living the American Dream and only when we made wrong turnings did we see the other America but if you did not go of the tourist route you would not see thisjust as they have ideas about us I am none white but English and I was asked how I learnt to speak like that English , so I told them I was born in England and so was my family and I had always spoken this way as many time I could not understand what they said. One woman looked at me as if I was pulling her leg and said they have no black people in England what can you say, but I did not and ask why she said this because she had been to England and never seen people like me on the television which was true then as it is today. If it is not on the telly then its not there we are becoming very American with many of our programmes Jewish American many people in this country do not know this like Friends 99% Jewish American Dream and so was the more truthful Roseanne who is also Jewish but not the right image if more truthful. Well we have that if its British its 60s or so but mostly its reruns of American cream pie and its sick making. It is also brain washing like news that tells you nothing in-depth and has celeb new reads who flirty with each other and the men still read the important bits and the female is there as something to look at many off them are blonde and blue eyes why? we are not an Aryan race.Every so often we get a good program so we will keep paying for this cup of water but usually I turn the thing off and refuse to buy a better television with more bits that I can not work and listen to the radio and read which is why I can read and write joined up writing and speak English and not slave. Tue 05 May 2009 19:41:16 GMT+1 ifYouLikeItSo I disagree, whilst you may have a general point, I think that the problem caused by people not covering their mouths when they cough and sneeze is far greater than the issue of over nagging people. I see lots of people on the tube and buses not covering their mouths. The requests are made for a specific and current danger and as such are harder to ignore so I doubt that they will make people less careful. Tue 05 May 2009 18:35:32 GMT+1 kaybraes The state knows best, you have no right to critisise. The state controls your destiny from the cradle to the grave. ( Assuming there's a midwife willing to work and the gravediggers aren't on strike ). The attitude of this government is to regulate everything , no matter how trivial, and every triviality can mean employment for several more state employees with grandiose titles. What we see now is the state trying to exert total control over every facet of our lives so that eventually we will all become dependent on the state , thus fullfilling the great socialist dream of ant hill society applied to humanity. Tue 05 May 2009 18:17:23 GMT+1 Ranbir You'll be surprised how many people DO NOT wash their hands or do any of the obvious.They have to be told. If you are one of those that do those things, suck it up and get on with it. Tue 05 May 2009 18:07:44 GMT+1 rosenlaui In the middle of a leafy glade in North Yorkshire there is a metal sign which reads "Please do not throw stones at this sign". The surface is pitted with dents from dozens of stones - substantiating Michael Byewater's assertion that these signs fill us with the urge to do things that would otherwise never have crossed our minds. Tue 05 May 2009 17:58:55 GMT+1 JohnColby Warnings are sometimes OK, but it's the tone. In Tesco 'Please prepare to push your trolley of then end of the conveyor' could be replaced, and not talk down to you with 'End of conveyor'. A danger of too many warnings is that we just get overloaded - they have the same effect of 'Have a nice day'. Even the email I got from logging onto this site says, about my login, 'It is very important you remember it.' Does it really, really matter?And in the same email, is this really necessary. 'We can't guarantee the content of links to non-BBC websites, so take care when clicking on them' since you tell us on every webpage with 'The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites'.So can we please start at home. Soon? Tue 05 May 2009 17:58:41 GMT+1 LittleLadyBob Every Sunday night I make a long train/tube journey from my boyfriends to home. Every Sunday afternoon my Mother texts me, telling me to 'be careful'. After 3 years of this routine I am still unsure a) what I am being careful of, and b) exactly how careless she expects me to be if I don't receive her text. Tue 05 May 2009 17:50:49 GMT+1 goodhappyharrison I really do agree with Mark. Nanny State, they are worse than my Nan ever was. What about this flu scare. 20 people out of 60 million, wow that's scary. It must be. Have you noticed that at least two members of the Police force have had to stand, on guard, outside closed schools. Do the authorities really think the kids are going to fight their way in. Tue 05 May 2009 17:33:45 GMT+1 JemimaLRF I totally agree with stanilic and RiotInAGraveyard in that all this stems from the terrible compensation culture which has exploded in the last decade. I've been living in Venezuela for three years and don't see these warnings anywhere! And the result? People have to just look out for themselves which they seem to do just fine! Great big hole in the pavement due to roadworks? Well you have to walk around it! This babying culture just takes the responsibility to think for yourself away from people which means people lose the ability to make decisions and be responsible for themselves. Tue 05 May 2009 17:31:41 GMT+1 virtualsilverlady Learning from experiemce has always been part of life. Nanny state says you mustn't do this or that and signs are up all over the place which tell you the blooming obvious.What we have is an increasing anxiety epidemic. Massive numbers of people will end up popping pills so they don't worry about what they should or should not do.It's a crazy world we live in. Whatever happened to good old commonsense? Tue 05 May 2009 17:31:20 GMT+1 Reikon It's just there as a reminder to people who are used to it. Did you stop and think about the people that have never used a train before or have not been to the place where it says mind your step. What if they never saw it, they have never been there before how would they know it was there. If they were distracted or somthing they could have falen and hurt themselves.I also heard a story that somebody bought a hot cup of tea from a store and spilt it and scalded themselves. They then sued the store for not warning them it was hot and got away with it. So maybe they are putting the signs up to protect themselves. Tue 05 May 2009 17:31:01 GMT+1 nolemonade Your mention of the train announcer reminded me of arriving at Plymouth station to the announcement:"Please make sure you take all of your personal problems with you when leaving the train".Does the "personal problems" bit include fallout from the blocked toilets in the carriages?Good job I travelled by train, though, as washing hands with soap and hot water would be a novelty in Plymouth's Bretonside Bus Station. No soap has graced the place for years and cold water is sometimes available. About the same availability as downtown Basra, that is.Never mind, the lock the toilets up nice and secure at 6 p.m. sharp, so that's all right then...One sneezy handshake or two, vicar? Tue 05 May 2009 17:26:06 GMT+1 Brian_NE37 Whilst these things are, of course, mainly driven by fear of (often specious) litigation, there are people who, because they are sick/drunk/half-asleep/preoccupied/just-thick, do need prompting like this. Not many but enough to count. Tue 05 May 2009 17:22:34 GMT+1 Ikarus It's a depressing thing, really. Working in a communication role within a large organisation, I have found myself having to alert people to please not leave their laptops unattended, as they might get nicked. I have been told to warn people of the dangers of tobogganing in the snow. And I have received numerous requests to put out notices that people should please drive carefully / cross the roads only at designated crossings etc.I tried to say no to all of them. I was overruled in each instance. Why? Because there is no visible cost to being too patronising. But there is a small risk of a large cost if the organisation does not show evidence of being proactively caring. Small risk times large cost equals small cost. No cost vs small cost... the battle is lost before I open my mouth to object.(I try and tell people that being patronising disengages the audience, and that audience disengagement is a significant cost, but, alas, the spinelessness of modern management in large organisations would rather incur a large unseen / unmeasured cost, than a small known cost.) Tue 05 May 2009 17:20:36 GMT+1 John Ellis Strikes me as a small flash in a very large pan, why must a virus always become deadly wishfull thinking maybe. We all know they evolve and in doing so some become nothing more than a sniffle after starting out deadly. Still I suppose the world needs somthing to to many different virus will tamiflu kill? Tue 05 May 2009 17:20:14 GMT+1 balhamomnibus Spot on Mark. Those gving the directions seem to have no sense of irony. I too saw the 'finger trapping hazard' sign - placed next to the door on a very high tech ambulance. And while boarding an aircraft on a recent skiing holiday I was told that I couldn't take my luke-warm coffee onto the plane for fear I might spill it on another passeger - 90% of whom were also off to participate in the wreckless sport of skiing. Tue 05 May 2009 17:14:51 GMT+1 RiotInAGraveyard There are a ridiculous number of notices and warnings. At work, I find myself bombarded with numerous patronising health and safety warnings. The worry is that we surely risk stifling the very creativity and innovation that drives society forward if we try and control every little thing.By micro-managing such everyday, banal, risks, do we not also create a climate of compensation? Many people now expect there to be some sort of governmental safety net for every risk to which they are exposed (or, in many cases, every risk for which they choose to expose themselves). What happened to learning from your mistakes? Tue 05 May 2009 17:00:52 GMT+1 stanilic It all stems from a fear of litigation and the litigious.It also is the fault of the bureaucrats who need to keep looking for something to do even if it is just putting up a sign.However the biggest danger in just about everything is to assume it is safe. Things always go wrong when you are not paying attention to what you are doing. Tue 05 May 2009 16:56:11 GMT+1 GiniaHickley I like it when you get hot drinks from fast food outlets which say "Caution. Contains hot drink". Fat chance. They're always luke warm. But my favourite sign is on the tube escalators: "Dogs must be carried". I don't have a dog. Will my handbag do? Tue 05 May 2009 16:49:27 GMT+1