Monday, 24 September 2018

Security Measures

Another group of collectors’ cards from Palmin, makers of cooking fats for German kitchens. As so often in the Palmin universe, the focus is on public safety – the theme of this series is sicherheitsmaßnahmen (security measures). We begin on the busy streets of Berlin where pedestrians navigate the traffic under the watchful eye of a uniformed officer. Next the focus is on the motorist whose natural tendencies to anarchic self-destruction are kept in check by traffic signals while the guardians of law and order observe events from an elevated tower (as seen in Pottsdamer Platz) at the centre of the intersection. Signals play a major part in the next picture, regulating the movement of trains for the avoidance of collisions. The remaining cards feature a ship’s radio officer, a mountain railway and an airport with an illuminated runway for night flights. Despite the great bonfire of regulation that preceded the 2008 financial crash, it remains a dirty word in the language of radical right politics. In the desperate search for economic advantage on the part of Britain Alone Against the World, inevitably regulation will come under ever greater assault. Especially those that protect the vulnerable and disadvantaged. It’s interesting to note that there have recently been calls from politicians for an end to speed limits on British roads. We can expect to see more of this sort of libertarian thinking, in defence of the inalienable right of the powerful to conduct themselves with reckless disregard for the safety of lesser mortals. We can also expect the regulations that protect the rights of property owners to be resolutely reinforced. No bonfires there.

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