Tuesday, May 04, 2010

'Alcohol licence to stop underage drinking'

Jan Cosgrove hit Fair Play for Children's nail right on the head with: "We have put it forward for discussion... but we also know it is not perfect."

It's difficult to know where to start or end with this. It's so ridiculous it would be inspiration for Franz Kafka.

Such comprehensively silly ideas are proposed in a eureka moment in a committee meeting. Normally they would be consigned to the 'nice but impossible ideas' pile along with sky bolts, time travel and perpetual motion machines and the meeting would move on to firmer ground with the proposer apologising for their enthusiasm having momentarily disengaged the reality check button.

Occasionally though, when everyone is too polite to point out that such a proposal will never work, silly nonsense slips through and someone is tasked with following up the proposal to report back at a later date. Everyone expects that will be the last they hear of it. Instead blind enthusiasm holds the day, the proposals gain momentum, no one points out that water will not flow uphill, lots of people and even politicians are approached for support, no one thinks it through properly at any stage, it develops a life of its own, it becomes a headline. It often ends up costing a lot of money before enough people notice it was doomed from the outset to make it stop.

Remember Reagan's Strategic Defense Initiative?

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