Monday, March 12, 2007

Sloppy Slippers Shocker

Non-sloppy velcro boottee

Readers of the Taxpayers' Alliance's Bumper Book of Government Waste (available now at the BOM bookshop- a bargain at only £6.49 less a first time Politicos online discount of £3, can't say fairer than that) will recall the £250,000 programme to teach grandmothers how to wear slippers. That of course was only instituted after the Great Salmonella Debacle forced the abandonment of Individual Egg Sucking Accounts.

Now an anonymous insider has decided to blow the gaff on more shocking details:

"The sloppy slipper campaign" or "slipper exchange" comprises free slippers provided by local authorities.

Pick yourself up off the floor, this is part of the (preventing) 'falls strategy'. A number of local authorities have participated. It would appear that 'sloppy slipper' is the trademark of an enterprise that supplies the slippers. Hence the dual naming - some LAs have chosen a different supplier."

And he's sent a number of interesting links. Here you can find the shop window for the Natureform (TM) Sloppy Slipper (TM) campaign. Their sales brochure is here, and a BBC report here.

In some respects of course, we can all see where the Department of Health CSIP Care Services Improvement Partnership Health and Social Care Change Agent Team (no really) is coming from. Old people do apparently fall over because they're wearing ill-fitting slippers, and it then costs the NHS money to put it right.

But yet again, there are serious problems with how they're going about it. BOM's correspondent highlights two points:
  • Cost- why are we taxpayers... er... footing the bill? Yes, provide information leaflets in GPs' surgeries perhaps, but why are we paying? And are we getting a bulk discount? True, Natureform retails the slippers normally at £7.50, and we're getting them for £5 +p&p, but we're talking Big Wholesale here

  • Fairness- it seems that only certain favoured groups of pensioners get these freebies. Many are paid for under the government's £0.5bn pa Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, which is money chanelled into 86 selected, and surprise surprise, mainly Labour, LA districts. So if you're a sloppily slippered pensioner elsewhere, tough.

Meanwhile, we're trying to imagine what happens to all those well ripened sloppy old slippers that get traded in. Are they disposed of in a green way? Incineration is clearly not on. Landfill's out. They might well be biodegradable, but they'd surely emit all manner of noxious gases.

Could they be recycled as granny's boiled egg cosies perhaps.

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