Friday Thought: A youth wasted on the young

 

Of the many humiliations, degradations and unbuttonings the human animal goes through, one of the strangest is the ageing process.

The layers of self that deepen over time 'like a coastal shelf' often make us look back on our younger selves and see a stranger. The past is a foreign country and so those who hang on to their youth are often seen as strangers in a strange land.

This week saw another such example, when a council banned ‘Scotland’s happiest lollipop man’ from dishing out high-fives to passing schoolchildren.

Nkosana Mdikane achieved notoriety in West Dunbartonshire for dancing and enthusiastically greeting local parents and children on the school run.

A petition calling for West Dunbartonshire to reverse its decision, and show some support for a man who would seek to make that painful school run a little brighter, has attracted more than seven thousand signatures.

The Change.org petition blasted the council’s actions as ‘stupid’, adding that ‘the kids are so disappointed with this decision’.

However the council has taken the very adult approach and said its decision is based on safety concerns.

A council spokesperson said: ‘All our patrollers are trained to comply with the School Crossing Guidelines produced by Road Safety GB and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents. This requires that when crossing children over a road they need to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards. This ensures that they can be seen and effectively provide a visible barrier between school pupils and the traffic.

‘Their main role is one of road safety. This national guidance has been effective since 2012.’

International audiences are now voicing their support for Mr Mdikane through #savethehighfives on Twitter and a Facebook group with almost 12,000 likes.

Mr Mdikane told the BBC: ‘When I ask them what is the wrong that I did, they say “you are not concentrating on the traffic".'

He added that he was now ‘playing the game according to the rules’.

We must admit Transport Network is a stickler for road safety. However this is a sector where New Zealand-based Martin Aircraft Company is actually taking orders for the ‘world’s first practical jetpack able to be flown by a pilot or via remote control’, even though it could mean strapping a large combustion engine to your back.

Apparently there are some parts of the transport sector that never grow up. People will always want flying cars (despite the fact even the name sounds oxymoronic, emphasis on the moronic), hoverboards, jet packs and the humble lollipop man. And if he can't spread a little sunshine as he works, well, perhaps we should all just stay at home. Of course, ironically, that would make the kids happiest of all. 

 

Also see

 
comments powered by Disqus
 
 
highways jobs

Highways Estimator

Ringway
Competitive Salary
As the Highways Estimator you will join a busy environment and become an integral part of the team. Hounslow (London Borough), London (Greater)
Recuriter: Ringway

County Highways Manager

Lincolnshire County Council
£55,503 - £60,578
Seeking a highly motivated leader and an excellent communicator, who has a proven ability to build relationships and trust, leading by example. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Local Highways Manager (East) - Lincolnshire County Council

Lincolnshire County Council
G12 £43,662 - £50,430
Seeking someone who combines excellent technical knowledge with a dedication to the customer. Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Assistant Director (Planning, Regeneration & Transport)

Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
£87,791 per annum  
This is an exciting time to join Rotherham and make a real difference. We are looking for an outstanding Assistant Director who will bring... Rotherham, South Yorkshire
Recuriter: Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council

Corporate Director

Islington London Borough Council
Up to £135k
You will share our values and be passionate about helping us shape the Islington of the future. Islington, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Islington London Borough Council

Assistant Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£21,074 - £30,756
Looking for strong team players interested in working with a variety of professional and community partners across Cambridgeshire. Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Junior Energy Manager Apprentice

Brent Council
£15,000 p.a. inc.
The right person for this job will be pro-active and innovative in finding a way forward. Wembley, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Career Grade Drainage Engineer

Swindon Borough Council
£19,092 to £40,680 p.a
Working in the asset management team, you’ll support the work of the Lead Local Flood Authority (LLFA) and Highways Authority. Swindon, Wiltshire
Recuriter: Swindon Borough Council

Highway Construction Project Manager

Brent Council
£50,442 - £53,526 p.a. inc.
We are looking for an accomplished highway construction project manager to support the delivery of two high priority highway schemes. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Traffic Signals & UTMC Manager

Bristol City Council
£42,683 - £45,591
Looking for someone with proven management experience, enthusiasm, creativity, vision and good communication skills. City of Bristol
Recuriter: Bristol City Council

Principal Highways Project Engineer

Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council
£34,106 - £35,229 per annum
The post holder will be responsible for project managing the delivery of two highway projects on the Key Route Network. Knowsley (Metropolitan borough), Merseyside
Recuriter: Knowsley Metropolitan Borough Council

Traffic Schemes Officer

Oxfordshire County Council
£22,021 - £29,636 per annum
An exciting opportunity has arisen to play a central role with the Traffic Team in the maintenance of the highway network... Kidlington, Oxfordshire
Recuriter: Oxfordshire County Council

Traffic Engineer

Telford & Wrekin Council
£29,055 to £30,756
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team! Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Assistant Engineer – Traffic Regulation

Telford & Wrekin Council
£23,866 to £25,463
This is an exciting opportunity to join Telford & Wrekin Council’s Traffic Management Team. Telford, Shropshire
Recuriter: Telford & Wrekin Council

Environment Officer

Kirklees Metropolitan Council
£29,909 – £32,233 Grade 11 - £33,136 - £35,229
All Environment Officers lead, project manage and/or co-ordinate large environmental projects... Huddersfield, West Yorkshire
Recuriter: Kirklees Metropolitan Council

Highways Quantity Surveyor

Leicester City Council
£30,756 - £33,136 pro-rata per annum
Working in the Highways Maintenance Group, you will be responsible for the operational highway maintenance activities Leicester, Leicestershire
Recuriter: Leicester City Council

Highways Engineer/Inspector

Royal Borough of Greenwich
£22956 - £32637 per annum
Highways Engineer/Inspector - PermanentThere are plenty of reasons to take a closer look at Royal Greenwich.Royal Greenwich is undergoing a huge trans England, London, Woolwich
Recuriter: Royal Borough of Greenwich

Senior Project Engineer

Derbyshire County Council
Grade 13 £39,867 - £43,282 per annum
Derbyshire County Council is looking for an enthusiastic, enterprising and experienced laboratory manager Derbyshire
Recuriter: Derbyshire County Council

Engineer - Bridges

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
We have a vacancy for a Structures Engineer working within the Bridge’s team! Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council

Engineer

Cambridgeshire County Council
£32,825 - £35,401
You will be required to lead the delivery of a wide range of highway improvements and maintenance projects... Cambridgeshire
Recuriter: Cambridgeshire County Council