The Times podcast: Masters of Disasters: Broken records!
By Richard Seymour
8:00 AM Jan 22nd, 2014
We all have our own versions of the “Masters of Disaster”. And we have, in this instance, had a chance to look through the archives and make a selection of the stories that have, over the decades, had the most profound impact on our lives.
There are many stories about broken records and the impact that they have on our lives and our lives as a nation. But when it comes to the impact of the media on human welfare, it is hard to beat the case of the Titanic. Yes, the Titanic had its own set of record setting incidents. But there was more to it than that.
And there always has been. There are all sorts of records that have been broken. They are broken because they were set by someone or something else. They are broken because of someone’s stupidity or greed. They are broken because of someone being in the wrong place. They are broken because of someone’s carelessness, or because of someone being out of the loop, or because of the wrong person.
Yet the story of the Titanic is one that most people will never get to hear.
It is the story of those people who, in the course of history, have broken the most records.
It is the story of the records being broken by an incident that happened after the Titanic had been built.
The story of the Titanic tells us that, when a great ship like this is put together, it has to be inspected for any faults. You may be talking about an industrial ship. You may have a military ship. Any great ship will have to be inspected. This was a new ship and there were a few serious problems that were discovered. We were told, at the time, that there were no problems. We were told that the ship was good as new and ready to go.
There were many people involved in the building of the ship. The story of the Titanic tells us that the ship was built in a way that meant that the problems, once discovered, were kept secret. We were told that the ship was a very good ship, that it was ready to go.
And then, what happens? All hell breaks lose.