London

We’re visiting for a few days. It’s a cold, rainy, charming, and expensive construction site. And the Brit Nanny State is creepily in evidence.

Close to our flat there’s an ancient Brit institution, a kids playground – slides, swings, seesaws etc. When I was small, these were made of cast iron and solid wood and set in concrete. So there were serious consequences if you lost your grip or tripped, and that made us agile.

Since that time, the playgrounds have been sanitized with safety rails and cushioned surfaces.

Our local playground is being reconstructed, at a cost of about $250,000. A sign proudly announces that the “old” equipment, installed in 1992, no longer meets safety standards so had been condemned as dangerous.

Presumably the new system will be so cushioned that aggravated parents who drop their howling brats on the play surface will see the little wretches just bounce right back.

This is not a good thing.

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