We have just come back from a short city break in Naples. So what struck me strongest about Naples? Well the complete lack of any 'Health & Safety' for a start. Everyone charges about on scooters without, horror, helmets on, weaving through the traffic and, where necessary, mounting the pavement. No driver seems to bother with seat belts, everyone smokes, the streets are littered with rubbish and the buildings covered with graffitti, the police, especially the Carbineri, are extremley smart and well turned out (in sharp contrast to our slobs) and everyone seems very relaxed and happy.
Taking all the above into account I thought I ought to look up the average life expectancy of these Neopolitans when I got home as, obviously, they must all die very young and you know what- they don't !! Italians actually live longer than us - the average Italian can expect to live for 79.86 years. Why do they live so long? Probably because they aren't stressed out trying to avoid death by living theire lives according to the set of rules devised by such fatuous public bodies as The Food Policy Unit in Defra. This employs 70 entirely surplus to requirements Civil Servants whose role in life seems to be to warn us to eat less meat. The Italians in contrast eat what they like, smoke what they like and drive how they like and live longer. There is surely a lesson here for George Osborne as he seeks ways of cutting public expenditure and re invigorating the economy -and that is make a bonfire of all the 'nanny knows best' departments and 'units' in the public sector - the savings in money would be large and you know what - we would probably all live longer and, even if we didn't, we would certainly enjoy life more.