Monday, March 13, 2006

The Dumbing Down of Britain part n+1

I think I'm turning into Peter Hitchens. For one thing, my eyebrows join up in the middle and that can only get worse as I become older and therefore hairier. For another, I also share a vogueish belief that Britain is dumbing down. However, unlike Hitchens, I don't blame the metric system.

No, I can tell you what the problem is: Widespread car use.

That's right. It seems clear to me that there's a certain type of person who, having earned their Passport to Eternal Prosperity, Health, Happiness and Individual Freedom (or driving license as it used to be called) just calls the whole 'learning', 'thinking about things' and 'working out solutions to problems' part of their life a done job and lets their brain go into retirement.

Now, before I go and do a Dr Fox I want to point to some compelling evidence. A primary school near here has noticed they have a bit of a traffic problem each morning as the kiddie winkies are dropped off by their doting parents. It has also been noted that said school is about a hundred yards from a big DIY superstore. So, putting two and two together, some bright spark has suggested that it might be a good idea to park in the big empty DIY superstore car park and walk the rest of the way. So far, so sensible. Just the sort of thing you'd think anyone with a two brain cells might do automatically. Very few people actually attempt to park their car next to the deli counter when they go shopping, after all (no matter how much they'd actually like to).

But no. It was the school's staff who thought of this. They even came up with a pun - "Park and Stride" - in order to make it appeal to their infantile, spoon-fed target age group (i.e. the parents).

Yep, that's right - even a simple statement of the absolutely bleeding obvious needs a clever name these days.

Sadly, I can confidently predict this scheme won't catch on, for a number of reasons. First - being dreamed up by school staff, it is obviously just a bunch of Ivory Tower Nanny State Do-Gooders attempting to dictate where everyday folk put their cars.

Second - obviously - is the nonces and traffic. If you don't drop the kids off at the school gate, something bad will happen. What do you mean, walk with them? For god's sake! It's a hundred yards! That'll take at least two minutes each way! No, no, no!

Third (and more importantly), you earn no bragging rights from saying something like "Oh, yeah, it's really easy getting the kids to school. We just drop them off, it only takes a couple of minutes. It's totally not a nightmare or anything, really!"

Fourth, it doesn't cost anything extra, which will never do as it in no way justifies spending another couple of hours each day slaving at work like the good martyr you are, all the while (and it's convenient how this works out) avoiding your vile offspring.

Finally, fifth, it's just too clever for the under-worked brains of these poor hard-working professional folk to comprehend.

No wonder the economy is stuffed and we're going to hell in a handcart.

Note to Peter Hitchens: Sorry about the eyebrow joke. Seriously. If you want to use this, please leave a comment and I'll get in touch.


At 11:23 am, Blogger littlemissprincess_86 said...

Also, bragging rights are reduced because what's the point in driving Oscar and Freya to school in the gleaming new VW Touareg if you have to park it out of sight in some pikey car park?

At 2:24 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good point.

But why not make a bit of a 'do' of it? Set up a barbecue, put out some 'drinkies' and it would be just like that *wonderful* time we had in the west car park at Twickers last year, dahling.

At 5:44 pm, Blogger Fur Q said...

The princess has a very good point. Maybe they could corden off the carpark to have some sort of vehicular apparthied, so big flash motors (Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover, BMW X5 etc) are right near the school, medium ranking cars (Mondeo, Peugeot's, Megane) occupy an area somewhere in the middle, and then the pikey motors (rancid old Novas, Metros etc) can be parked up somewhere near Mangotsfield and all the occupants gassed.

At 8:34 pm, Blogger littlemissprincess_86 said...

That's the sort of choice agenda™ that will appeal to Tony no end.


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