Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Scotland: Shovel Ready And Royal Loyal

Jubilee schmubilee. What the heck is it with this sudden outbreak of fawning over the monarch. Even this loaf of bread I bought is prostrating itself!

In the 21st century it's such a bizarre notion. It's even more bizarre Scotland is beginning a debate on independence without proper discussion of what kind of head of state we want.

Toddler quite likes stories involving princesses. But thankfully she also loves sharks, dragons and narrow-gauge steam engines.

It's difficult to avoid a completely fluffy, pink, fairy tale world when you're bringing up a girl. But we try our best.

Toddler has a doctor kit, a toy kitchen and a selection of bikes. With a bit of luck she'll aspire to be a medic, a chef or a Victoria Pendleton. And not dream of being royalty.

Diamond Liz isn't the only fad that's getting my goat...

Take 'shovel-ready'. Please take it.

It seems hardly a day goes by without a Nationalist crowbarring this stupid phrase into a statement about anything. Crisis in the Eurozone? Westminster can fend off disaster in Scotland by funding a list of 'shovel-ready' projects ranging from piers to road upgrades. Crisis in youth unemployment? Shovel-ready projects. Want the heatwave to return? Shovel-ready projects.

Trust me. Listen out for it and suddenly you'll realise it's everywhere.

It's a completely inept phrase. Anyone with any knowledge of capital infrastructure project management will tell you sticking a shovel in the ground isn't the first thing you do even if your project has planning permission and landowner wayleaves. The first thing you do before a spade breaks soil is set up a site compound with welfare facilities for the workers and a room for health and safety briefings, usually in the form of temporary cabins.

So, if they must persist with this they should at least describe it accurately. They're not Shovel Ready Projects; they're Portakabin Erection Projects. That's how I'll refer to them and I intend to keep it up.

No comments:

Post a Comment