Keep the public safe – throw a stranger on the Bonspiel ice

I’ve been wondering how best to protect the public recently. It’s not an issue I wrestle with regularly but it is one I feel it’s my duty to consider from time to time.

My protective thoughts this time were triggered by the rather sad sight of a Central Polis spokesman explaining that the safety of the spectating public at the Lake of Menteith Bonspiel could not be guaranteed, so the event would not be allowed to take place. Good – we’re all kept safe. Pity the curlers can’t play their game but at least I am safe from harm. Risk assesment!

The Bonspiel has only taken place 3 times since 1945 so the act of cancelling it is significant. In effect we’ve cancelled (yes we) something that might only occur three times in a lifetime – and we’ve also signalled that it can never ever take place again. I can’t imagine any change in the Port of Menteith area that will allow thousands of spectators to descend upon the Lake to watch a giant curling match – so Bonspiels no more. Shame, but lets be reasonable why should anybody ever signal that it is safe to let thousands to descend on a really big ice rink along narrow roads in icy conditions – would you? 

No more Bonspiels but at least we’ll all be safe.

However, I have realised how we can correct things. Sadly it’s too late for this Bonspiel but maybe when the next chance comes along in say 2030 – when I’m well into retirement and powered by artificial legs – the Bonspiel will be able to go ahead. Wonder if they’ll have a cure for baldness in 2030….. anyway…. back to the Bonspiel.

The last Bonspiel took place in 1979 so to learn how we can have a Bonspiel in 2030 we have to travel back in time. But how are we going to do the time travel thing? Lets face it David Tennant can’t help us – he’s flogged the TARDIS to some guy who thinks long hair is only for women…. easy lets travel back on the YouTube time machine….here is how we handled Bonspiel issues 40 years ago…

These Public Information films were all the rage in the 60’s and 70’s but they seem to have all but vanished today from our screens. I can’t think why – surely it is ok to take along an elderly trilby wearing gent to the local iced pond and throw him onto it. And surely one unaccompanied male looking after 60 kids in a remote park is also perfectly acceptable. When that infomercial was first shown I doubt if anyone saw anything sinister in it or inherently dangerous – but now we can’t view it without doing our own instant risk assesment. And that’s a pity – we’ve lost a lot of common sense in just a few decades and replaced it with fear and anxiety.

To ensure we redress things a bit and to improve the chances of us having a Bonspiel in 2030 I think it’s time we started to show a few more Public Information films on t’telly. Lets bring those wonderful Public Information films up to date….. and then when a Polis risk assesment for curling in Menteith is being made they will have to consider the fact that the public have been advised of the risks every time there was a commercial break in the X-Factor (thats every 12.6 minutes on average).

Maybe we embed Public Information films into news sites to keep getting the message across (a new revenue for them) – films not just about icy ponds….. how about Rolf Harris teaching us to swim, Death reminding us to keep away from open water and the really scary one showing the dangers of using an escalator. These were all useful methods of advising us all of dangers we might not be aware of – but today they’ve been replaced by risk assesments. And as we know the problem with risk assesments is…..why take the risk of saying ok. Bring back the Public Information films and maybe we can have a Bonspiel again. 

As the ice thaws and the chance of a Bonspiel goes with it here are a few Public Information films to help keep you safe….

    Scary Death on open water risks.
    Rolf teaches you to swim.
    How to use an escalator

2 Responses to “Keep the public safe – throw a stranger on the Bonspiel ice”

  1. 1 bigrab
    January 12, 2010 at 9:34 pm

    Fantastic post!

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