Aviation & Brexit 92

The clock is ticking.

Having studied fatal accidents in aviation, and other industries there’s often several factors that come together to create a catastrophic event.  One of them played a part in the loss of two of NASA’s Space Shuttles.

Everyday complex activities are part of the way we live and work.  Operating aircraft or running a Government requires people to work together in dependable ways often following tried and tested processes and procedures.  Nothing new in that, you might say.  However, it’s an arguable point to say that the level of complexity we face is constantly increasing.

I make no argument for always sticking to the same ways of doing business but only that before changes are introduced it’s wise to do some analysis of the risks involved.  Brexit is no exception.  Some of the risk assessments associated with Brexit don’t make happy reading.  A Whitehall paper outlining the reality of a No Deal Brexit was recently in the news.

One of the most astonishing aspects, at least to me, of the approach of the Johnson Government is the normalisation of the risks associated with a No Deal Brexit.  Risks that in earlier times would have been avoided at all costs are now welcomed.

I believe that this has crept up upon us because it became politically expedient for Conservatives to deviate from what’s normal.  And I mean deviate a long way from what’s normal.  This is incredibly dangerous.  It’s dangerous because initially nothing untoward happens.  Afterall we are talking about a future event, namely 31 October.

This “normalisation of deviance” is what NASA suffered[1].  One day it became expedient to deviate from certain processes and then this became normal.  People became accustomed to the deviation, so they don’t consider it to be deviant anymore.  Then disaster struck.  After the disaster it was difficult to understand why action was not taken to stop and think again.

Our British political or social normalisation of deviance is a pathway to self-harm.  It’s proving hard to get people to stop and think again.  But we must continue to try.

[1] https://sma.nasa.gov/docs/default-source/safety-messages/safetymessage-normalizationofdeviance-2014-11-03b.pdf?sfvrsn=c5421ef8_4

 

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