Monday, 26 January 2009

Post Code Lottery? Let your leaders lead.

The new president, Barack Obama looks set to allow California to forge on with tougher emissions standards, paving the way for individual states to set their own targets. The car makers wont be too happy, says the Guardian, at the thought of different rules in different states. Here's why California wasn't allowed by the EPA to have its own standards until now - sweet unadulterated corruption  - as this letter explains.

A classic lobby line 'Maverick alert' - a bit like killing a good initiative by pushing the 'postcode lottery' line - you know the score: Local authority or NHS trust does something good, like introducing a new drug or care service, then the reactionary press kill the joy of thos receiving the service by labelling the lack of blanket service coverage as a 'postcode lottery'.

The postcode lottery response spells death for innovation, creativity, localism, diversity and quirkiness. The psychology triggered by the postcode lottery lobby is no different to the feeling a bratty five year old gets when they see a friend's parent has arrived at the school gate with a chocolate bar or new toy in hand...'I want one too'.

The parent of the angry child is then faced with the same dilemma central govt faces everytime somebody in the shires has a better idea than they've had - roll it out everywhere (the justice-sharing approach) or kill the progress where it started (the injustice-sharing approach). In the UK we seem to favour the latter.

Anyway, just as trialling new services or piloting new collections of waste is the only way we'll ever improve the way we do things, I commend Obama for realising that the easiest way to reduce emissions across the States, is to allow a few mavericks to lead the way...to create a Zipcode-lottery then share the justice!

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