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Saturday, 26 February 2011

Oh no, not again

Last November Ken Frost at Nanny Knows Best blogged on Oldham council's decision to ban swimming goggles for health and safety reasons. And in Wales in June 2009, and Swiss Cottage in 2008, and Gloucester in 2005. It's been a recurring theme so he probably won't be shocked when he reads that the pool gauleiters are at it again:
Children have been banned from wearing goggles during school swimming lessons for fears they could hurt themselves.
Pen-pushers have slapped the ban on the swimming aids amid "fears" a pair could "snap" onto a child's face too hard, injuring them.
Parents branded the ruling by Oxfordshire County Council's healthy and safety brigade as "nutty" and "extreme."
I agree. I'd suggest that parents take no fucking notice whatsoever and stick to doing what they think best for their child.
However, bureaucrats defended its no-goggle policy claiming that it reflected national guidance provided by sports bodies.
Firstly, it's only fucking guidance, right? It's not an order. And secondly, 'national' is not the same thing as 'correct'. If national guidance said that it is imperative for the wellbeing of children that they swim only with heavy weights attached to their hands and feet would you do it? Would you? Of course you fucking wouldn't. Thirdly, national guidance takes no account of the individual and their requirements because, y'see, it's national - it can't possibly account for the tremendous variation inevitable in a country of more than 60 million people. And fourthly, looking at where the national guidance comes from it's bullshit to suggest that it's in anyway obligatory.
The ASA [Amateur Swimming Association] said it did not have a strict policy on goggle use, but offered guidance to pool operators and parents.
The STA [Swimming Teachers Association] said children should be encouraged to not wear goggles in swimming lessons, but recognised they may be necessary for medical or other reasons.
See? Only one of the two even feels goggles should be discouraged and neither of them have any legal authority whatsoever. And finally, just shut your fucking head holes and open your eyes long enough to take a look at people who swim a lot.
Clockwise from top left: Australia's Stephanie Rice, Grant Hackett and Leisel Jones, Britain's Darren Mews, Australia's Libby Trickett (coincidentally an appropriate reaction to banning goggles) and Ian Thorpe, and Britain's Caitlin McClatchley
Oh gosh. They all wear fucking goggles, don't they? In fact look at all the aquatic sporting events and you see that nearly all the competitors who spend a lot of time in the pool use goggles with the exception of water polo, in which their faces seem to be out of the water most of the time, and diving, which involves falling in as stylishly as possible before getting straight back out again. I think it's probably safe to say that the world's swimming stars do not all choose to wear goggles because they think having a line around your head is a good look.
Children will now need a medical reason for them to be allowed to wear the protective eye wear in the pool during school lessons.
No, you nannying twunts. You lot should need a specific reason for an individual child not to wear them, but if the parents are happy then you must pipe down and get lost. And unlike some other councils who've provided excuses for this ridiculous desire to ban anything that might be an issue Oxfordshire won't even do that.
A spokesman for Oxfordshire County Council refused to divulge the specific reason why goggles had been banned from its swimming pools.
So referring back to my earlier suggestion that parents simply ignore the pool gauleiters I'd add a second suggestion - that they refuse to divulge the specific reason why they're telling the gauleiters to fuck off. Or just wait until someone claims their eyesight has been damaged by pool chlorine caused by the lack of protective goggles. Then everybody will be told they can't swim without them.

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