What harm did the teddy bear do?

You really have to file this in the “you couldn’t make it up” category – Haringey’s binmen are being told in the name of health and safety to remove their cuddly toy mascots from their vans in case a child rushes out into the street to grab them.

I mean – really! Not only is the sight of hordes of children running into the street to grab cuddly toys from the front of vehicles one scourge we’ve not been subjected to, but this is just the sort of misplaced small-minded pettiness that gives health and safety (both of which are pretty good objectives to have!) a bad name. If binmen like to have a bit of fun and liven up their vehicles with a cuddly toy – good for them.

Even more depressing is the narrow-minded attitude of the binmen firm’s general manager, Doug Taylor, who wrote: “‘Quite why adults would wish to decorate their vehicles this way is frankly beyond me.” Well in my experience it’s far from rare to see adults in vehicles with small cuddly toys somewhere in or around the vehicle – but even if you personally don’t see the attraction of a cuddly toy to brighten up a vehicle, surely we aren’t such a narrow-minded society that we can’t appreciate that other people might?

Anyways – as I told the Daily Mail, you have got to laugh. Haringey’s streets are among the dirtiest in London. I wish the council would concentrate on improving its services rather than worrying about teddy bears.