Tory red herring

The proposal by David Cameron to scrap health and safety laws under the guise of "abolishing the nanny state" (your report, 14 June) is nothing more than another Tory red herring.

Mr Cameron is embarking upon a propaganda campaign to pretend that these laws are silly and only ever used by town hall bureaucrats to stop children playing conkers in the playground. While I don't deny such things do occur, they are more an aberration than the norm.

Health and safety laws are designed to stop people being killed or seriously injured in the workplace. Bosses view them as an impediment to profit. Health and safety laws are designed to make sure that companies are held accountable for their negligence.

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Corporations want to return to Dickensian 19th-century, third-world conditions where their only responsibility was to shareholders. Nobody would support a move to stop employers being held to account, so Mr Cameron and his advisers have to dress it up as a campaign against "political correctness", the stock phrase of hard-right ideologues. No-one knows what it means, but everybody agrees they are against it.


Noran Avenue