Where is the sense of individual responsibility in society these days? My parents and grand-parents all lived through at least one world war, enduring hardship and shortage. When something went wrong in their lives, their first reaction was to set about putting it right using their own endeavours. I am not saying that governments and corporations should be absolved of negligence, nor that they should not take sensible precautions to increase safety for us all, but the balance of responsibility has shifted too far. Matt Rudd writing in The Sunday Times agrees. In a simple day out with his wife and toddler he counted a whopping 289 warnings/instructions.
If parents can’t be trusted to educate their kids to the point that they understand that coffee “may be hot”, or that smooth floors “may be slippery when wet” then the world has lost something. In today’s litigious society (it starts in America, quickly migrates to Ireland, and lands in the UK shortly afterwards) the first thought when we have an accident is “who can I sue? How much money can I make?” So the inevitable result is a world full of nannying warning signs that guide us, cajole us, restrict us, instruct us but rarely inform us.
The warning on my bottle of Bacchus 2006, however, was clear and stark, “Made in England”.