In praise of liberty

Yesterday Mr Clegg made a speech saying the Coalition government will ensure “the state has far less control over you, and you have far more control over the state”.

That’s good news. The back-up detail, coming from both the Conservartive and the Lib Dem Manifesto, makes good reading. They will abolish the ID card scheme, scrap the ID Register, reduce holdings of email and internet records, restrict CCTV, cancel the ContactPoint Childrens database and restrict storing DNA records.

We are all invited to write in to add to the list of repeals, and we are promised fewer criminal offences. I invite contributions here, as I wish to see a big Repeal Bill.

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179 Comments

  1. Martyn
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:24 am | Permalink

    CRB Checks:
    1. Reduce the demand for CRB checks to only those who will or are likely to work alone and unsupervised with children.
    2. Get rid of the current insane demand for a second (or third, or fourth!) CRB check if one takes up additional voluntary or work positions and make it a once and only requirement subject to, perhaps, review every 5 years….

    • Mark
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      Add in: get rid of the ISA – which was designed to operate on the basis of rumour and innuendo. Grayling did mention he would "consider abolition". Do it!

    • Robert K, Oxford
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Permalink

      Yes, good ones

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        As a man of 70, I am really scared of being with any form of child nowadays. All they have to do is tell a lie and I am branded a paedo. Not nice at all. You have to prove you are innocent too, which, of course, is impossible. English law understands that – but – hey who cares!
        We all know the CRB check is useless because it shows what has happened legally in the past (or, most scarily, by anonymous gossip). In no way does it show what is going to happen in the future. (Ian Huntley???)
        And, of course, it puts lots of people off helping out in schools, scouts, cubs…..
        It must be abolished. In the past, there was the Black List and, of course, when we teachers went for a job all our references were checked by phone – and NO GAPS!

        • Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:22 am | Permalink

          Quite right. Over in France the' first thing that a child does if it needs help is to go to the nearest adult. None of that "paedo" nonsense here.

  2. Amanda
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:26 am | Permalink

    I'd like to nominate CRB checks. These work on the principal of guilty until proved innocent. They do not appear to stop child abuse. They stop adults volunteering for children's clubs etc. And it is doubly onerous that people have to pay for them themselves, and have one done for every activity – or was this just another Government stealth tax?

    • APL
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      Amanda: "They do not appear to stop child abuse."

      Not least because much child abuse takes place in Local Authority care homes. Ask Margaret Hodge (what happened in care homes -ed) in Islington in the '80s & '90s.

    • Posted May 21, 2010 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      Yes, we are seeing too much of the "Code Napoleon" creeping in now. We should still have the innocent until proven guilty re-asserted.

  3. Amanda
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    Humps in the road. I'm not exactly sure if this would come under the Great Repeal Act, but I'd like to clear all the humps and bumps from the roads. Firstly, I like every hump to be looked at to see if it is saving any lives in its position – really saving lives. If not, then it should go. They ruin cars – costing us all money, and must increase 'carbon emmissions', if you care about such things.

    The same goes fro speed and other motering cameras designed to raise cash from the public – again if motering experts feel that any saves lives they should be kept.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:04 am | Permalink

      Well said indeed. I recently picked up my sister from hospital after a minor operation and the drive home involved a dozen or so speed bumps. Despite me slowing to a near halt, each bump caused great pain. Get rid of 'em.

    • APL
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      Amanda: “I like every hump to be looked at to see if it is saving any lives in its position”

      If they took up every bump, pulverized it and used the rubble to fill the holes in other parts of the road, we might have a reasonably good quality road surface.

      • Amanda
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

        Excellent idea, particularly in the South East of England, where, not being under the benign influence of a Labour MP seeking to maintain their votes, your roads are truly terrible.

        Surely, turning humps into hole fillers is a cost saving as well !! (And could provide interesting material for a comic turn.)

    • Peter Turner
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

      Amanda – I agree. A hump in a road is a hazard. Who ever heard of building hazards into a road. I know that they are intended to reduce speed but the consequencies of not reducing speed are too heavy. I know of a young motorcyclist who is now a paraplegic due to a hump in the road.

  4. HK
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:31 am | Permalink

    As many will no doubt post, the Lisbon Treaty… but recognising that the coalition will not take that suggestion seriously, at least reverse as much as possible of the red tape that comes with EU membership.

    • Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

      Once the coalition has passed its petition legislation (i.e., 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in Parliament), we might be able to force this one onto the table.

      The Lib Dems won't be able to refuse, will they?

  5. Amanda
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:35 am | Permalink

    Ban on fox hunting. A ban introduced because of class hatred, must surely be a key ban to go in a Repeal Bill. Foxes need controlling in the countryside, that is a fact of life, however unpalatable to townies. This ban should be lifted and country people allowed to control foxes in the best way they see fit. It is, after all, our farmers and country people who keep Britain the beautiful country that it is. I trust them far more than any Government official.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:28 pm | Permalink

      Fox hunting wasn't just a ban introduced because of class hatred – but of hatred of the idea of hunting and killing an animal for fun.

      • Amanda
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

        But the animals are not killed for fun, they are killed because they need controlling – just as deer are culled to keep populations healthy. Hunting weeds out the old and sick animals, shooting is not so discerning.

        At least you agree class hatred was part of the reason. Don't you find all this hatred rather dehumanising?

        I always find it strange that people are so emotional about foxhunting, but say not a word about the cruel practice of halal slaughter, all for the sake of a religious ritual.

        • Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:08 am | Permalink

          Quite right too. Anyone who has seen a chicken run following the un-necessar carnage by a fox would have no qualms about it. Anyway it provides a day out for the local farmers – not all of whom are toffs.

        • Amanda
          Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

          I recently came across a flock of ducks on a walk near my home – everyone of them had had its head ripped off by a fox. And that is not the only such event I have heard of recently.

          When you think about it, in the past it would have been the local squire and his men who would have had the wherewithall to hunt foxes with horse and hound, and so rid the local population of a threat to their living and livelihood. It seems a travesty of justice that this has been turned on its head by the 'lefties' and 'townies' as the debauchery of 'hunting for fun'. It's about time honest history classes were restored to every school.

        • Kevin
          Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

          Of course fox hunting is done for fun.

          Pointing to fox attrocities doesn't legitimise a sport that is morally wrong.

          I don't believe there aren't better ways to control fox numbers but even if we can't find better ways fox hunting is still wrong – the price we pay for participating in fox hunting is greater than the economic price we may have to bear otherwise.

          I don't think it is relevant to mention halal when discussing fox hunting and characterising anyone who doesn't agree with fox hunting as a "leftie" or "townie" or saying the argument is only about class hatred seems a rather desperate way to defend it!

        • Robert Pay
          Posted September 6, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

          The ban on fox hunting was the one of the few times I really heard Labour MP's roar with enthusiasm (the other being the introduction of 50% tax to punish the bankers – and London's positon as a financial centre and therefore the tax take. Amanda is right – fox hunting was a chippy measure designed to get the chipmeisters (party before country and bashing the "toffs" – anyone outside the public sector earning six figures) to vote for Blair's war in Iraq. (His displacement activity for not being allowed to reform anything at home because of the worst Chancellor since WW2 or probably ever…

      • lola
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        What's wrong with killing an animal for fun? I like killing rats, well, strictly speaking my Heinz57 terrier type thing hates rats with a passion and likes to kill them and I egg him on.

  6. Amanda
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:49 am | Permalink

    Finally, can I give a purpose to this Repeal Bill – to give us back our 'common law' freedoms, and to once again treat the British population as responsible adults; stakeholder and shareholders of this, our country.

    In which case the European Human Rights Act must be at the top of the tree of impositions to repeal.

    This, also means that alongside this Bill must go all legislation designed to promote multi-culturalism; in, must come the supports that encourage a strong, cohesive society, where people are responsible and involved. Those who do not want to be involved, can find themselves somewhere else to live that is more conducive to their own values; in the long run everyone will be happier: and I know of what I speak.

    • James Morrison
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:27 pm | Permalink

      I have to say I agree with all of your contributions/suggestions, Amanda!

      Wouldn't it be lovely to see ALL of your suggestions acted upon, and isn't it such a shame that they (mostly) won't be.

  7. Norman
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:50 am | Permalink

    Not sure if this is a criminal offense but the stories you read about people being questioned by police for taking photos of public buildings always seemed ludicrous to me. As though terrorists couldn't take photos / visit buildings with hidden cameras if they really wanted to. Farcical and makes us a laughing stock.

    The Terrorism Act (whatever it's called) and it's provisions should also only be used against people suspected of terrorism offenses. It may be nice for the police (and even politicians – wasn't it scandalously threatened to be used against Iceland?) to be able to use some of the provisions as loopholes to get around hurdles but that's not the reason why we gave away so much of our liberty in a knee-jerk reaction when the Bill was passed.

    I wonder what will happen to non-EU immigrants regarding the ID card scheme. My wife is a non-EU national and she has had to register for (and carry) one. The bureaucratic hoops we had to jump through were ridiculous and I could write an essay on how inefficient the whole process is.

    • Mark
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:26 am | Permalink

      Section 44 stops have already been declared illegal by the European Court. They are almost entirely ineffective in dealing with real terrorism (I doubt whether there is a single case that couldn't have been covered by a proper Section 43 stop), but trade instead on creating a climate of fear among the public, worthy of any dictatorship. Similarly with Section 58, which deals with photography of police. From Rodney King and Blair Peach to Ian Tomlinson, it has been clear that police do occasionally overstep the mark into unlawful aggression that can result in murder – and photography is one of the best safeguards against this.

      • Stuart Fairney
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

        Yes indeed, the ban on photography of the police is chilling. What happened to "nothing to hide, nothing to fear"

        I guess that only applies to us.

    • Posted May 21, 2010 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Everyone in France carries an I/D card but it is NOT the biometric monstrosity carrying every minute detail on it. The separate Carte Vital (health card) does have some medical info. + Health Insurance details on it.

  8. Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    Two words John: Smoking Ban.

    There is no more intrusive, invasive, unwarranted attack on personal liberty than this. Read Deborah Arnott of (word left out) charity ASH, that pressure group we taxpayers are forced to fund gloating in the Guardian about how they (influenced-ed) our democracy and parliament, stacked the deck with campaigners masquerading as independent experts, create a false consensus ("the swarm effect" as she boasts) etc, forcing a policy through that nobody else wanted.

    It has to go John. It is the nanny state writ large. It's wrecked millions of social lives and thousands of businesses, to no end but to satisfy a few zealots. If the Coalition do not repeal it, it is proof that their rhetoric of freedom is empty.

    Oh, and while I'm at it, I see today that Theresa May is going to have a "review" of the drinks laws; expect the same thing with the Temperance Movement activists pushing through harsh restrictions under a figleaf of "independence" and skewed evidence. We fund them too. I understand that the government is looking to make savings. Defunding these (word left out) campaign groups is a very good place it could start.

    • Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:38 am | Permalink

      John, my apologies if some of my terms were too undiplomatic. But I would urge you as an MP to seek an investigation of the relationship between government and these sorts of groups, who are funded by government, and use that funding to "influence" government. It is something that I would like to see MPs asking questions about in the House.

      Mr Clegg has talked, in his "Freedom Speech" about ending vested interests' influence. It worries me that that may mean only ending some vested interests- perhaps business ones- while ignoring the vast network of other lobbies that has arisen over the past few decades and now have very significant influence on policy. It is the Parliament's job to represent the most fundamental lobby of all- "we, the people"- and I hope that the "New Politics" will seek to emphasise that role.

      • Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:25 pm | Permalink

        Again, once the petition legislation is in place, smokers will only need 100,000 signatures to trigger a debate in Parliament.

        This time, the gormless pub owners might lend their weight, before they go under for lack of patronage.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:32 pm | Permalink

      I don't agree – as a non smoker I find smoking in public places very anti social.

      If people want to smoke that is up to them I guess but it isn't nice how it is inflicted on other people. Even people smoking outside isn't very nice since if you're walking behind someone it is very unpleasant.

      • James
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Permalink

        And that is the very point. It is NOT the job of the State to create legislation based on what is "unpleasant" or "isn't nice."

        Even if one disregards the 30 fold increase in pub closures resulting in 30,000 closed businesses, the increase in drink spikings and attacks outside pubs; even if one ignores the deliberate promotion of an atmosphere that allows discrimination against smokers in job and fostering spheres (where in some areas smokers are forbidden from fostering children!) to be seen as acceptable; even if one disregards how this law rides roughshod over private property rights (should the State be allowed to tell anyone what legal activity can or cannot happen on their own property?); even if one ignores how it makes a mockery of the legal system in that it makes one person criminally liable for the actions of another (such as the case of the landlord who was punished as he "allowed" smoking in his pub, despite being on holiday hundreds of miles away), EVEN IF ONE IGNORES ALL THIS……

        ….. There is just no way that legislation should be created according to people's personal preferences. So? I hate ipods that are too loud and clatter away irritatingly. I hate the mind-rot of X-Factor and its ilkthat seems to turn people's mind into jelly and seems to fill out TV schedules constantly. But do I want them banned? Of course not – tolerance is an attitude not, as much as the Labour party would have liked us to believe otherwise, a tick-box list of things that are "acceptable" and things that are, according to Party diktat, "unacceptable."

        • Kevin
          Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

          I agree that there is too much onus on the state to rid society of things that are unpleasant and that it isn't their place to do so, in my opinion society should take responsibility to govern this sort of thing.

          However I don't believe smoking is just unpleasant, I believe it is unhealthy. I know many people doubt the impact of passive smoking etc. but personally I don't want to risk it!
          So on this grounds it is appropriate to legislate.

          I don't think the bad things you describe are caused by the smoking ban – they appear to be caused by people being unpleasant or misguided – this behaviour can't be fixed by changing the smoking laws it needs a different solution.

      • Jonathan
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

        Kevin, pubs are not public places, but let's suppose they are. It can't be argued that private smoking clubs are public places. No doubt some people will try.

      • Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

        Why not have smoking rooms, staffed by smokers, then?

      • Junican
        Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:14 am | Permalink

        Kevin, you are SO yesterday. Everyone who goes to my pub agree that they actually MISS the fragrance of tobacco smoke. Now, all you get the the stink of cooking, the stink of women's scent and the stink of flatulance – all over your hair and clothes. Besides, it has been proved beyond doubt that second hand smoke is harmless. Get up to date!

        • Kevin
          Posted May 23, 2010 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

          Well, it sounds like your pub has bigger problems than the smoking ban and I don't think I'll pay it a visit!

          I don't think it has been proven beyond doubt that second hand smoke is harmless – besides, would it also not be (relatively) harmless if people spat on other people's clothes? It doesn't mean it is acceptable.

    • Simon S
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:47 pm | Permalink

      A good idea would be to cut off funds to all these fake charities with immediate effect. Let them get out with collecting tins and see how many people will donate to fund their plush West End offices and the overpaid zealots that infest said offices.

  9. Julian
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    The coalition have proposed getting rid of Home Information Packs but not the energy certificates. This is completely the wrong way round. HIPs were wanted so that different buyers didn't need to pay for independent surveys. All buyers would have access to the same information about the house, paid for by the seller.

    What spoilt this scheme was the requirement that all houses have an energy certificate, similar to those on fridges etc.

    With a fridge, people will check the energy efficiency and perhaps buy the most efficient fridge. In time, efficient fridges will sell more than inefficient ones. However, there is not a variable supply of houses. Is a house buyer really likely to choose a different house because of the energy efficiency? Most people have very few houses to choose from in their price bracket and location, number of bedrooms, car parking, garden etc. are going to be a greater priority. Even if one buyer is put off, another one will buy the house.

    The main factors determining energy efficiency in a house are loft insulation, double glazing, cavity wall insulation and the age of the boiler. All these can be checked by looking and don't need an expensive survey done by someone who needs to make as much money as possible from doing surveys.

    This is another one of those pieces of legislation designed to "send a signal". We need to sweep them all away.

    The requirement for these certificates imposes an unnecessary financial burden on house sellers. Getting rid of HIPs but leaving these would be a lost opportunity.

    • Winston's Black
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Permalink

      The energy certificates come courtesy of our Masters in the EU and EU legislation will not be touched by "Cast-Iron" Dave or, given the coalition should I regfer to Compo and Clegg?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:42 pm | Permalink

      A large wager with anyone who cares to bet, that the EU dreams up some scheme to tax houses on their energy efficiency and this EPC nonsense is just the Trojan horse for such a scheme

    • Acorn
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      I have said it before on this site. Just give the buyer the last years gas and electric bills. Tell them how many lived in the house and their age groups. Simples! as that little furry thing would say.

    • Junican
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:21 am | Permalink

      Julian. I think that you are quite correct. I originally thought that the HIP plan was a good idea because all the legal searches etc would be done once when a house was put on the market, rather than repeated again and again.
      Needless to say, the idiots in government could not leave a sesible idea alone – no, they had to complicate it and thus make the idea worthless. I agree with you – keep the original proposal and discard the add-ons.

  10. Mike Stallard
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    I am a non smoker. I have a beer at night and sometimes some wine out of a cube with my lunch.
    Having said that, I would like to see some decency restored to the anti smoking laws. I loathe seeing people standing outside in the rain. There is no need for it. They could easily be given a designated room within the building, or indeed within a pub.
    Secondly, I should like to see pubs given more or less a monopoly of alcohol. That way their licences can be revoked and people will have to behave in the street, like they still do in Australia. What with Theresa May's outstanding speech to the Police yesterday, we could perhaps see town centres cease to be a no go area after 10 p.m.

    • Amanda
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

      As a non smoker, I also endorse this move. I too, really hate seeing people hanging around outside pubs and offices in all weathers, particularly older people. Quite disgraceful. Not smoking on stations, in the fresh air, is equally ridiculous.

      Let landlords choose how they separate smokers and non-smokers, and let non-smokers – like myself – choose where they take their business. The power of the market, not that "(word left out) charity ASH", described by Ian above.

      Has it ever been proved that there is such a thing as health damage from 'secondary smoking'? And, has this every been put into perspective with the other things we do in our lives that may cause damage, eg eating fat or sugar, or running a lot?

      I had to remonstrate with my daughter in law the other week for frantically waving cigar smoke away from my little grand-daughter when we were at a rugby match. (The propoganda result of the smoking ban.) Firstly, it was very rude of her – babies are not the usual target audiance for rugby matches; secondly I am sure my grand-daughter will do worse things for her health, and a little bilogical resistance will not hurt!!

    • APL
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Permalink

      Mike Stallard: "They could easily be given a designated room within the building, or indeed within a pub"

      Yes, ulitmately the issue of smoke pollution is simply a matter of air conditioning.

      The fascists in Labour turned it into one of control.

    • Kevin
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

      I second this post

      • Chris
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

        As do I!!

      • Junican
        Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:23 am | Permalink

        I third it.

    • Chris Rose
      Posted May 23, 2010 at 6:58 pm | Permalink

      I totally agree that we should encourage alcohol to be drunk in pubs. Not only would this reduce antisocial behaviour, it would also reduce litter.

      As a non-smoker, I think the anti-smoking law is barbaric.

  11. Robert K, Oxford
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:28 am | Permalink

    There is bound to be overlap but here goes:
    • 28-day detention without trial contained in current anti-terror legislation
    • Control orders
    • Budget for GCHQ to monitor internet usage and emails
    • ASBOs
    • On-the-spot fines by police
    • National DNA database
    • National Identity database
    • National Health database
    • Regional Development Agencies
    • Town & Country Planning Act, 1947 et seq
    • Acts of Union (it’s time the Scots were allowed to go their own way)
    • All road signage introduced since 1997

  12. John Duncan
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    How about the smoking ban?

    • Junican
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 3:29 am | Permalink

      Quite, John.
      I think that the ban was rushed through with such haste and such trickery that MPs did not know what they were voting for. But, of course, they could not possibly admit that they 'knew not what they did'. At least since the election, about half the MPs are new and are not sullied by ignorance and troughing.
      The problem of course is getting an amendment off the ground and before parliament. A petition with 100.000 signatures may be needed. It can be done.

  13. Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    How about every European treaty, act, regulation or law?

    Followed by every other act passed since Labour came to power?

    That would cut regulation, cut waste, cut bureaucracy and make genuine economic growth possible.

    • Steve Gilham
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

      Yes! — let's not have any half measures. If there's to be a proper Repeal Act, it might as well do the job properly.

  14. Miller
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    Human Rights Act

  15. Andrew Withers (LPUK
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Nobody can be fined or lose their livelihood and property without due process through a Court of Law.

    That means the end to automatic fines inflicted by GATSO's, with the threat of 'a bigger fine and points' if you dare take your case to Court.

    That means an end to on the spot fines by any Agent of State

    That means an end to HMRC have unrestricted access to your home and records.

    That means an end to threats of imprisonment and fines that last for years by the OFT , Insolvency Service, Local Authorities and a myriad of other State funded Quangos.

    Any Agent of the State that brings a prosecution in a roven corrupt,vexatious, incompetent manner against any individual shall be personally liable for the loss and damage caused. Therefore they should personally carry indemnity insurance, not rely on Crown Immunity.

    • JohnRS
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Andrew

      Absolutely spot on!!

      This nicely encapsulates many of the laws being listed here for inclusion in the bill. If this general princple underpinned the whole Repeal Bill then it would/should kill off many of the abuses NuLieBore created.

    • Dave
      Posted May 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

      Couldn't agree more.

  16. Nick
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Are you going to to let the citizen decide which bills go on a case by case basis, or are you going to dictate which bills go?

    How about the finance bills? ie. You have to get permission from the citizen as to

    1) If you are allowed to borrow any money, and if so how much
    2) If you are allowed to tax, and if so how much.

    For example, I can't see in your manifesto a promise to increase capital gains. You have no mandate to do that.

  17. Alfred T Mahan
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    Get rid of CRB checks in their entirety. Never mind the inconvenience for volunteers – I have two companies in social care and they are a major cost and inconvenience. We could live with that if there were any evidence at all that they've prevented crime, but there isn't any. None. Nada.

  18. no one
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:57 am | Permalink

    Top of the list has got to be reform of road enforcement

    Folk loosing their licence and job for being caught doing 35 in a 30 limit a few times in quick sucession by hidden cameras is crazy

    We need enforcement of other aspects fo driving, in particular tackling folk driving with zero braking distance, and much less emphasis on adehrance to often politically inspired speed limits

    Speed limits should be set by panels of advanced drivers and not councils and their engineering consultants and politicians

    And we need to stop the widespread road thinning at great cost when we need more capacity and room for ambulances to get past in an emergency and not less

    Moving onto DVLA and the amount of nonsense a diabetic has to go through to renew their licence every three years is crazy, with little relevance to actually checking their medical condition, sweep away the form filling

    Moving onto immigration repeal all the nonsense which allows anyone in to work on an intra company transfer visa, they follow the normal work visa route or they dont, dont allow slave trading outsourcers to flood the country with intra company transfer visa holders

    Moving onto the nonsense you suffer if you move address with outstanding nhs appointments, we should not be going to the back of the queue simply for moving address (as the country needs to meet job needs etc)

  19. no one
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:59 am | Permalink

    Re "Nobody can be fined or lose their livelihood and property without due process through a Court of Law" yes yes yes yes yes yes

    people who choose to deny crazy prosecutions in court should not risk extreme loss as they do now, intimidation to accept fixed penalty tickets shoud be stopped

  20. Chris H
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:00 am | Permalink

    Anything and everything that revolves around political correctness. I am fed up being told that I can't say this or that about particular things, places or people, otherwise I may be had up on a charge by some busy-body. Apart from that I agree with pretty much everything else that others have said so far; especially issues to do with Europe and databases, these are my pet hates.
    In fact when you look at it, there is such a huge raft of laws to wade through, will we actually manage to find all the really nasty ones before the deadline?

  21. no one
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    stop employers being able to defend themselves with very expensive lawyers at employment tribunal, force the individual managers to turn up, turn it into a proper system that the claimant can use without needing lawyers as it was supposed to be

  22. Stewart Knight M
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:03 am | Permalink

    Probably one of the most unfair and insidious, and abused, laws was the new harassment law, a piece of ill concealed stupid legislation of which I have personally two experiences of.

    Firstly a relative snatched a lot of property from the estate of a dead relative and when pursued by the family in a most proper way, they made a complaint of harassment to the police who said, if they feel harassed then the law says they are harassed and you are liable for arrest. I checked and this is indeed the case. It didn't matter the right or wrongs of the case, it didn't matter the reason they were being pursued, the simple fact was if they claim to feel harassed and make a claim then they are by definition harassed.

    The second instance was when my step son borrowed a lot of money from my in laws and then refused to pay it back…lots to the story but basically he is a literal criminal and should never have been given the money, but that isn't the issue. When he was asked repeatedly to return it, quite recently, he made the same spurious claim of harassment to the police who then visited my in laws and made them sign a form admitting liability and they were told if they kept harassing him they would be arrested. Again, the comment was made that if they felt harassed then they were by law harassed and a criminal act had been committed.

    I know a solicitor in both cases could have been involved, but this isn't the issue again. The issue is that two people who were either thieves or fraudsters could hide behind the stupid law of harassment and the police, quick to follow protocol and targets, just took their sides.

    Repeal the harassment laws as they stand if you want to do some good and stop scumbags using them and the police for their own ends.

  23. Stuart Fairney
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    No chance of Cameron or Clegg doing this, but repeal the hand gun ban.

    It has not influenced criminals in any way, since by definition criminals break the law. It has disarmed the law-abiding and taken away a very enjoyable pastime.

    May I ask your personal (as opposed to party) views on this one JR?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 24, 2010 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

      http://www.conservatives.com/News/News_stories/20

      Amend firearms legislation to ensure the UK target pistol shooters can train and compete in this country. This will end the absurd situation where we use public money to support athletes to train abroad in an activity banned in this country.

      I came across this and hope it is still policy ?

  24. Man With A Very Hot
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Repeal the smoking ban.

  25. Julian
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I absolutely agree about CRB checks. They are intrusive and pointless. I have just had to supervise filling out forms for Sunday school teachers. These people have been known by us for decades. They spend 20 minutes with children once a week and are not alone with them. The work to complete these forms for us and for the vast organisation that processes them is a total waste of time.

    The pattern of so much legislation introduced over the last 13 years is: "we have a problem with a handful of individuals – we must solve it, not by targetting the problem, but but controlling everyone to a greater extent".

  26. Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:23 am | Permalink

    There has been a wiki set up to do just what you propose, I believe by Doug Carswell:
    http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Great_Repeal_Bill

  27. wonderfulforhisage
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    My wife is a part time teacher who works in a county council special unit teaching one to one. She is of course CRB checked, authorised, stamped, paid up etc.

    Recently she applied to our local comprehensive for additional part time work teaching one to one in the school's special needs unit. She was accepted.

    She now has to have a further CRB check even though her new school and the special unit she teaches in are part of the same county education authority. Until such time as her new CRB check comes through she has to be escorted in her new school wherever she goes. For instance, although she is now a member of staff at this school, she has to report to reception on arrival and they 'phone through to the special needs unit requesting that somebody be sent to reception to esort her to the classroom where she teaches.

    I know of nobody who can see any sense in this. I wish that you and your fellow MPs would/could pass a simple law that stated that common sense should trump bureaucractic stupidity.

    In my view this type of stupidity stems from the compensation culture that has grown up over the past twenty or so years. If the law could somehow be changed to allow that genuine accidents and bad luck to be a fact of life rather than an opportunigy for damages, then the CYA mentality in the public sector (and to a lesser extent the private sector) would not be so prevalent.

    Bring back risk say I; say no to risk assessment.

  28. Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:35 am | Permalink

    My choice is unlikely to meet with political favour although it would, I believe, have a majority of public support.
    As I mentioned on my blog, my number one choice would be to repeal the law which abolished Capital Punishment.
    With a policeman knifed yesterday (in your constituency, I think) and in intensive care, we need a serious re-think on the subject.

    PS No mention of the knife attack on the BBC! Number two choice would be to abolish the BBC.

  29. Chris
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Smoking ban

    Human rights act

    Access to our homes without a warrant

    Asbos

  30. alan jutson
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    All Laws and Bills which assume you are guilty until "YOU" prove you are innocent.

    Automatic fines by Government Departments like Customs & Excise and Inland Revenue which again assume you are guilty until "YOU" prove you are innocent..

    Police speed cameras, especially mobile ones. They do nothing to deter crime (as you are notified some weeks later of the offence) but cause poor relations between Citizens (why not stop real crime) and the Police. Before people complain, I have no problem with being stopped for speeding or any other offence by a following police road traffic vehicle, at the time of the offence.

    DNA Data base for unconvicted people, Guilty even though "PROVED" innocent..

    CRB checks, again guilty until proven innocent. And the Banning List, again guilty until proven innocent.

    Human Rights Act and all other legislation which ties our hands in dealing with undesirables.

    The Health and Safety culture which demands Risk Assessments and Method Statements for everything, when in fact it should rely upon realism, commonsense and reasonableness.

    The ever growing and seeming need for the proliferation of road signs, coloured tarmac, and coloured lines, which make our streets look like Toytown.

    Private Wheel Clamping Companies, whos fees are usery.

    Private Bailiff's, many of whom have a questionable background. All Bailiffs should be Officers of the Courts acting on instructions/directions from the Courts, to impose judgements made/given by the Courts.

    Sorry got to go, running out of time. but sure many others will contribute.

  31. Acorn
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    According to SLD, there are currently circa 5600 pieces of primary legislation; and, 42000 pieces of secondary legislation. The socialists hatched and generally buggered about with 1100 and 31000 of these in their thirteen years of tyranny. ( I must have missed a lot of these on the Parliament Channel).

    Repealer's; here is your starter for ten:-

    Which Act of Parliament removed the requirement to destroy DNA samples? Which Act amended which Act, to allow DNA samples to be taken without consent? Your time starts now:-)

    Clue: Go to SLD and type in the quick search title field "criminal justice" and press go at the end of the line. Then think of the poor buggers who have got to un-stitch that lot just for the "samples" (DNA to you and me) bit JR mentions above.
    http://www.statutelaw.gov.uk/Home.aspx

    • Acorn
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:00 pm | Permalink

      The answers.

      Criminal Justice and Police Act 2001.
      Criminal Justice Act 2003 (amended the Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984).
      (Not forgetting the Police Reform Act 2002 which allowed a "designated person" who is not a police officer, to act like a police officer.)

  32. lola
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    All of the above.

    Plus the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000. This is Brown's device to centralise knowledge and control of financial services and fiscal control in his hands by breaking up the Bank of England and the Treasury and DtI wisdoms. It established the ghastly – and failied/failing triumvirate of the FSA/FOS/FSCS. These quango's are utterly unaccountable to anyone and are bureaucratic nightmares which encourage moral hazard and cartelisation in financial services, especially banking. Their regulations are not and never have been 'light touch'. They were and continue to be 'wrong touch'. The whole edifice needs tearing down; the ludicrous FSA rule book subject to a symbolic book burning ceremony; and a small number of their employees returned to places like the Bank of England and the Treasury where they will be able to do the right job. As far as regulating the likes of me is concerned self regulation should be re-established in double quick time. However political expediency may require some sort of oversight but this can be done with four blokes and dog working from a couple of rooms in a cheap office block, not an ivory tower in Canary Wharf housing 2600 – soon to grow to more than 3000 – bureaucrats.

  33. Deborah
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:17 am | Permalink

    The Local govt Act 2000 requirement that councils should have a leader and executive model. This law has significantly reduced the influence of democratically elected councillors, concentrating power into the hands of a small group of people chosen by the leader.

    • Deborah
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:17 pm | Permalink

      delighted to see this is in the coalition's programme for government published this morning.

      • DennisA
        Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

        Yes, Cabinet government of local councils mean't cliques that restrict the influence of other elected councillors.

  34. Edward
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    The 1996 and 1997 amendments to the Firearms Act. Pointless, knee-jerk reactions which have achieved nothing.

    And the smoking ban.

  35. paul
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Without due process no agent of the State can fine you, deprive you of your Liberty, Property and Livelihood without due process of Law. 1688 Bill of Rights

    No one should be able to enter my home without a warrant, issued, with due consideration and process, by a judge.

    I should have the right to remain silent and not be threatened with my silence harming my defense.

    Stop with the guise that NI is not an income tax. Its a tax on my income so rid us of the propaganda that we only pay 22% base rate, when we actually pay 33%

    If someone is a danger to the population, they they MUST be deported. The human rights of 60 million people, NOT to be bombed are to be the concern of the state, not the rights of one who wants to kill.

    Agents of the State cannot be immune from prosecution or any reason.

  36. Joe O'Mahoney
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I'm not sure how one goes about repealing it but the last thirteen years have seen a shift of power away from the individual and towards the state. This has become cultural now, rather than legislative, but includes:

    1. The police being able to stop, search, detain as never before and a general interefering malaise that any person in a flourecent jacket can tell one what to do 'because of terrorism'.

    2. An obsessive rolling-out of bureaucracy in the public sector especially on grounds ranging from 'valuing diversity' and 'professionalisation' to 'health and safety'.

    3. A growing list of organisations (both public and private) that have access to 'our' data, that may seize and control our 'person' or property.

    4. Finally, I'm not sure it was a dream, but I believe once we had something called habeas corpus?

    Good luck to you sir. And please remember despite one of the worst governments in history, the Tories still failed to win a majority – you need to earn our trust.

    Best wishes

    Joe

  37. Mark
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    There are many suggestions for this that have already been detailed here:
    http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Great_Repeal_Bill

    I strongly support most of them, and don't have violent objections to any.

  38. Woodsy42
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    Incidentally you don't need to repeal the human rights act, you only need to insert a clause to the effect:
    Anyone deliberately acting in an illegal manner causing distress or restricting the rights of others forfeits their own rights.

    Crb checks are now used in an insane way – they should be replaced by a clearance certificate, needed only in very limited circumstances of private interaction with a child. Certificate holders should need only one such certificate at a time which should last a fixed term (say 5 years unless revoked by a court) and be accepted by all employers and organisations.

    Personally I would like to see an end to all fines and forfeits that have no legal redress through the courts plus all laws desiged to bully us and 'send a message' – starting with the smoking ban and the ban on proper light bulbs!

  39. Dave Atherton
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    1. Membership of the EU as it stands.

    2. Some anti-terrorism laws.

    3. Amendent to the smoking ban.

    4. ID cards.

  40. Dave
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    Limit the scope of CRB checks to actual cautions or convictions or even official warnings. Allow people to know about and challenge what has caused them to "fail" a CRB. At present anyone could be turned down on the basis of a malicious anonymous allegation or suspicion without even knowing about it, let alone being able to challenge it. This really is stasi stuff.

  41. JohnRS
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Where to start?

    Definitely all the things on your list, plus

    – Human Rights Act and full withdrawl from the EU Court of Human Rights
    – Smoking ban; partially repeal, let's at least have private smoking clubs if nothing else
    – Controls on pub hours, minumim pricing etc (but lock up drunks not fine them!)
    – All drug controls; treat them like alcohol, legalise, control and tax them to remove organised crime and free up police
    – Terrorism Laws; all the stop/search, anti photographer, anti demo, pointless paper work at banks, security panto at airports
    – Firearms Laws; why should all the guns belong to the bad guys?
    – Centralised NHS databases
    – Most of the Dept of Health and their nanny state laws
    – Hunting ban
    – PCSOs aka plastic plods, proper police please
    – ACPOs unlicensed centralised CCTV database
    – ASBOs and all other avoid/get out of jail early schemes
    – Uncontrolled exchange of private data between government departments
    – All fines not imposed by a court, no more on the spot fines
    – Postal votes unless for (confirmed) health reasons

    I'm sure I'll think of more in a minute

  42. Del
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:47 am | Permalink

    I would like to think that I can transport by person or vehicle for legitimate use in persuing my DIY and other hobbies without fear of fine or imprisonment, hence a criminal record. The carrying of knives for offensive use can be dealt with using laws that existed prior to this legislation.

  43. ARN
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    You haven't mentioned the ISA vetting and barring scheme ( http://tinyurl.com/2vj4g4s ), due to come into effect for individuals from 26th July this year.

    Surely there can be no dispute that this is one of the most intrusive, ineffective and authoritarian of the Labour laws, and I trust this is also on the repeal list.

    To quote from the HO website : "it is anticipated that 11.3 million people will become ISA-registered" … "All ISA-registered individuals are subject to continuous monitoring" … Says it all, really.

  44. Liz Brown
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Liberalise the smoking ban – do as they do in Spain and Portugal where the imposition of the ban is down to the proprietor/manager of the bar, cafe, restaurant etc. Where there are 2 areas in such places and where sufficient ventilation is provided, smoking is permitted

  45. Andrew Duffin
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Julian, you are not paying attention. The Energy Performance Certificate is required by an EU regulation, so there is nothing any British Government of any colour can do about it, no matter how large their majority. Getting rid of HIP's (the UK's bit) but keeping the EPC (the Supreme Government's bit) was all that they could do.

    Which brings me to my proposal for repeal:

    The European Communities Act 1972.

    It's like the Ruling Ring in Tolkien; once that is gone, everything that has been done with it falls too. At one bound we become, once again, an independent self-governing nation.

    With that out of the way, we could then turn to the other – very worthy – suggestions above, with no chance of anyone saying "Oh, but you can't do that, it's an EU requirement".

  46. StevenL
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    UK legislation we can chop:

    The Anti Social Behaviour Act – illiberal – some senior council officers use it as a tool to make people do whatever they want. I've even heard of a council threatening its' tenants with ASBO's for hanging their washing out on the balcony, because a senior Planning Officer thought it looked scruffy.

    The Regulatory Enforcement and Sanctions Act – would take a silly £4.4 million a year gravy-train QUANGO with it and now the government want to use the administrative sanctions powers within it to allow local councils to fine small businesses thousands of pounds without taking them to court, based on council officer's and the OFT's interpretation of highly subjective EU legislation.

    All prescribed quantities from weights and measures legislation (such as landlords having to sell beer by the half pint or pint) because they are outdated, restrict innovation and consumer choice.

    The Price Marking Order – makes it a criminal offence for retailers not to put prices on goods. A waste of time, most retailers want to put prices on goods, if they think they can trade better without price labels let them try. Also means council officers waste time and money trooping around retailers checking price labels are present and correct.

    EU legislation we should try and get chopped:

    The Consumer Protection (Distance Selling) Regulations – allows consumers a 7 day cancellation period when buying online/from catalogues/over the phone. OK for big business, disproportionately affects small businesses.

    All recent EU legislation on chemicals. The EU war on harmless chemicals (perpetrated by club Med that just ignore EU rules on everything anyway) is damaging to British businesses and harms consumer choice.

    EU laws on health and nutrition claims on food. Another well intentioned piece of legislation that criminalises many small businesses selling these 'superfoods' and give regulators a bad name. If people want to believe that eating 'Wheatgrass' will make them live forever let them. The government are quite happy to ignore the spirit of the legislation themselves when they tell us that '5 a day' has various health benefits.

    Legislations that needs to be reformed pronto:

    Consumer Credit Act and all it's regulations and orders. Completely unworkable, too complicated, no one actually understands this legislation in it's entirety. Witness the ambulence chasers offering to pick holes in your credit agreements for evidence this has failed.

    The Cancellation of Contracts made in a Consumer's Home or Place of Work etc Regulations – well intentioned legislation to protect vulnerable householders from rogue traders that is full of loopholes and does not actually protect them from criminal, instead criminalises every plumber, electrician etc that does not know they exist (i.e. 90% of them)

    Allow traders to sell in imperial units again subject to them not short measuring consumers, making proper conversions and using accurate equipment.

    That'd be a good start!

  47. Cathy
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Permalink

    Don’t know what legislation or rule appertains, but this relates to police time and priorities.

    I reversed my car into an unmarked police car that had only one officer in it.

    No damage to either car, but the officer explained that under the rules we both needed to be breathalysed.

    Fifteen minutes later three policeman turned up in a van and took details, driving licence and so on…

    They then contacted a car that would come down to take the breath tests.

    As this wasn’t considered a high priority it took a while, so an hour passed before a car containing two traffic policemen came to breathalyse myself and the first officer.

    At the height there were six policemen there, but for most of the time there were four officers in attendance.

    Now the officers were charming, polite and professional and explained that all this had to be done to follow protocol. I raised no complaint to them or to anyone else I wasn’t annoyed, but it just seemed to be an inefficient use of resource.

    So when you stand back and look at the situation, you have a collision with no visible damage, no claim, but at its height took up the time of six policemen. This in a busy city centre.

    Meanwhile I read that some people needing a policeman can’t get one.

    There must be other situations such as this, which could be streamlined.

  48. Rare Breed
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    JR – I realise we wont get all that we ask for so bearing that in mind…..

    If we can get one Act repealed it must be the Civil Contingencies Act. There is no justificable reason for its existence. If there were a civil emergency I hope the primary obective of the state would be to restore the rule of law and property rights and not to take them away.

    This evil should not be on the statute books.

    I would be grateful for your support on this as you are one of the few MPs to actualy speak your mind and stand up for the genuine rights of the British people.

    Yours Hopefully.

    Rob H.

  49. adam
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    Repeal all terrorist legislation since and including the 2000 terrorism act.
    These acts accuse me and other law abiding british people of being terrorists and restrict our freedoms on that basis.
    They are therefore completely fraudulent.

    If you investigate terrorism, it turns out the western militarily establishment has all sorts of connections to terrorism.
    (Various allegations about named individuals and western authorities deleted – general case made that western governments support organisations that later it denounces as terrorist-ed)
    All these people and organisations have far more links to terrorism than me and yet are not subject to supervision.
    If we want to investigate terrorism and blowback, we should put these military industrial complex organisations under investigation because they have all the proven links with terrorism, not the average law abiding joe.

    The terrorism acts should either be abolished or directed only at government employees.
    The expansion of military intelligence needs to be questioned.

  50. Dave
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    I'd like to see the end to one part of the Sex Offenders Registry. Namely, the part that says you can be placed on it if you are:

    "a non-convicted person thought to be at risk of offending. "

    When so many other aspects of the State cross reference against this list, what a disgrace it is that non-convicted people who in someone's mind are "thought" to be at risk of offending.

    A knee jerk reaction to the Soham case I think, although I could be completely wrong.

  51. Del
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Correction
    I would like to think that I can transport an implement by person or vehicle for legitimate use in persuing my DIY and other hobbies without fear of fine or imprisonment, hence a criminal record. The carrying of knives for offensive use can be dealt with using laws that existed prior to this legislation.

  52. Simon S
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    Trial without jury

    Guilty until you prove yourself innocent for speed camera offences (I got a letter from the police threatening me with 6 points and a £1000 fine if I didn't know who was driving the car at the time).

    Use of CCTV cameras and cars for various revenue raising scams by councils etc.

    Law which enables Bailliffs to break into your house, pin you down and take your possessions.

    Law which enables Private car parking firms to extort money by posing as official bodies.

    The law that says we must queue for hours at the Dartford Tunnel just to give them another £1.50. I often lose quite a lot of money by being delayed there and stopped from doing my job.

    The Civil Contingencies Act 2004 (state of emergency and rule by decree)

    Coroners and Justice Bill (secret inquests)

    Serious Organised Crime and Police Act 4 (used to ban protests of any kind)

    Protection from Harassment Act (the criminalisation of civil disobedience)

    Law which allows the State to retain DNA records of innocent people

    Smoking ban (give the choice back to Landlords)

    Mental Health Act, it no longer requires a psychiatrist to section you, just a couple of tame Police Doctors. Part of the Fixated Threat Assessment Centre which consists of a dozen staff entirely dedicated to having people who have committed no crime locked up under the Mental Health Act.

    Private Limited Company ACPO to be disbanded. Various scams and charges levied (CRB etc) and lobbying for laws which suit the police rather than the communities they are supposed to serve. http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1145581/B

    Proceeds of crime act powers which were extended to councils and other bodies. "The right to search homes, seize cash, freeze bank accounts and confiscate property will be given to town hall officials and civilian investigators employed by organisations as diverse as Royal Mail, the Rural Payments Agency and Transport for London. There is a risk of local authorities abusing the powers to search people’s homes, seize their money, freeze their accounts and confiscate their property."

    My 13 year old son told me that it can be deemed illegal should he walk down the street with more than one friend. There are also areas around here which the police occasionally deem to be no go areas for youths. I'm not sure which laws these things come under but it seems pretty unreasonable. There are plenty of laws to deal with youngsters should they misbehave so making gatherings of more than two people illegal and banning them from certain areas seems unreasonably draconian.

  53. JimF
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    All the legislation which penalises the many in more ways than the few who are caught are punished.

    If 1 million people have been inconvenienced in some way, for example having to give i.d. in triplicate for every person actually caught money-laundering, then that should be taken into account in the sentence issued for the one person caught.

  54. Toby
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The smoking ban must be amended.

  55. Alan Thrower
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:34 pm | Permalink

    What Ian B said so eloquently.

    The smoking ban is the most spiteful and inequitable legislation this country has seen. It needs amending to afford choice for all. Smoking pubs and strictly non-smoking pubs, what could be easier?

  56. Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:35 pm | Permalink

    The ridiculous concept that it's a crime to possess some (vaguely defined) information must go. It's becoming ever more common to see people convicted of "possessing information likely to be useful to a terrorist". This is would be comical if it wasn't so serious. The possession of a book, frequently one containing nothing more than an confused interpretation of GCSE chemistry, surely can't be a crime in a civilised society.

    As noted above CRB checks and the smoking ban should be severely attacked, and the fox hunting ban should go.

    On top of that, ALL sections of legislation that allow the real legislation to be dictated by the minister of the day via statutory instruments, thus bypassing parliament, should be repealed. This was a favoured tactic of the Labour government – passing 'laws' that say little more than 'the relevant minister shall henceforth decide and amend the law as and when he sees fit'.

    Also, the majority of the Digital Economy Bill fiasco.

  57. JimF
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    Transparency in dealings by Councillors – a ban on closed meetings and covert decision making in all but very exceptional circumstances.
    No more "hollowing-out" of our local infrastructure by Councillors cosying-up to local developers and other suppliers. Total transparency in local Council decision making where a % of local residents can legally demand answers from Councillors on their activities
    i.e. direct democracy i.e. local and national referenda on local and national issues. We'll let you steal that one from UKIP!

    • April Ryan
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      JimF

      Having been involved recently in issues similar to those you describe I have found that there are rules (local council Standing Orders) which prevent Councils going into closed session without good reason. Any closed sessions also have to provide a public record of the meeting.

      With regard to Councillors cosying-up to local developers, or indeed being local developers (a not infrequent scenario) there is the Code of Conduct which Councillors must abide by.

      Finally, we have the right to acess all and any information regarding the running of local Councils through the Freedom of Information Act.

      I am not suggesting that all is well, indeed it isn't and I believe that there are many local Councils who are seriously eroding the democratic process. What I am saying is that there are rules they should be following and it's in our hands to hold them to account.

  58. Keith Hart
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    The deeply flawed Digital Economy Bill has got to go at once.

  59. Kevin Peat
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:12 pm | Permalink

    Human Rights Act

    Then I would back my Government to the hilt with its austerity measures in the firm belief that it was undertaking them for the good of the British people.

  60. Javelin
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I would like the Bank of England pension fund to be subject to FOI requests. I wrote to them recently, suspecting they had shifted out of bonds to equities (2008/2009 they shifted completely to bonds).

    I also think schools should publish simple bullying statistics. Number of reported incidents per year group, number of reported assaults, number of police calls, number of pupils leaving because of violence. This information should be monitored by Ofsted and the Board of Governors under statutory laws in the Childrens Act and Education Act but there I have never found a school that does this. I put an FOI into my local school for this info and all the pupils I have spoken to claim it is massively higher than the head teacher let's on. This move would reduce bullying and fights in schools hugely on one swoop – basically by getting the school to do what the law requires.

    • StevenL
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:06 am | Permalink

      Come on Jav, we can forgive the B of E that perk.

  61. Michael Lewis
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    The biggest threat to the financial liberty of people of the UK is the BofE. I doubt anyone would buy the idea of abolishing it all together.

    However, the next best thing: no central banker has the right to threaten the financial liberty of its citizens by printing money.

    • lola
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

      Seconded.

    • tomsmith
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:52 am | Permalink

      Abolishing the Bank of England and establishing free banking would be a great move towards liberty but as you say it is unlikely to happen.

  62. Steve
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

    I've made my nominations on the basis of restricting me in things that I could or may want to do:

    1. Repeal the ban on handguns – We have an Olympic shooting team that cannot legally pursue thier sport in the UK.

    2. Blanket public smoking ban – This legislation should be moderated to enable people who want to smoke and have a drink, to do so. (I am a non-smoker)

    3. Anti-Terror legislation – A sensible regime needs to be put in place, one that doesn't allow the police to do what ever they like. Why can't you take pictures in public – This is straight out of the Solviet handbook on population control.

    4. Digital Economy Bill – Again, if record companies and movie studios want to ensure that people can't copy thier IP, then let them develop the technologies that allow it – Why criminalise ordinary people?

    5. Ban on hunting with dogs – Not a horse rider or hunter, but this legislation has made many perfectly legitamate persuits illegal or nearly so.

    6. Health and Safety legislation – I'm not sure what acts encompass this, but the examples of how the slavish and stupid interpetation of this group of law is restricting so many aspects of society are too numerous to list.

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Agreed on point 1 in spades. To ban olympic shooters from having single shot target pistols that would be more or less useless in the committing of a crime is utterly mad. All the more so because (I think) one can still possess black powder revolvers. Only good to about 50 yards but if one were robbing a bank or some such, very useful indeed.

  63. Robert George
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see a Quango sunset clause that would require the minister responsible to make a conscious decision every say 3 years that a quango needs to continue to exist.

    I see no reason why any Quango from the BBC to the smallest promotional organisation should not be subject to such a provision.

    Obviously many no longer relevant Quangos would fall by the wayside but perhaps more important I anticipate that this provision will greatly encourage better performance from those that remain.

    • April Ryan
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

      Good point, although personally I would want to abolish all Quango's at a stroke. I believe there would be a huge saving in money and not a single instance of unemployment as a result given the fact that Quango's are manned by people who have several employment streams.

      I am horrified at the number of Quango's we currently have and am convinced that in order to justify their existance they are one of the major instigators of unecessary, irrelevant and unhelpful legislation.

  64. alisonfi
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:55 pm | Permalink

    Please repeal the smoking ban – introduce measures that encourage establishments to choose and offer equal choice. I dont smoke but I think the effect this has had on pubs is obvious.

  65. Tony E
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    This government must repeal RIPA, removing the ability of councils to snoop on us as if we were traitors or terroroists.

    Then they must look at all the legislation which allows private companies (such as the PRS) to behave as if they are governmental authorities, handing out fines (which are legally nothing of the sort) and intimidating people with the threat of court proceedings.

    I am a recording artist, which should make me a net gainer from the PRS draconian powers – yet I find the regime disgusting and I know that all sorts of companies employ such tactics, from licencing bodies to parking authorities. It has to stop.

    • DennisA
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

      Absolutely right, an insidious piece of legislation. And no more trials without juries. I hope the Labour Leadership hopefuls are reading this, they may see why they were given the push. Oh no, we don't want them back again…..

  66. Robert George
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 2:59 pm | Permalink

    Channel Islands victimisation.

    Not many UK citizens realise that Channel Island and IOM? citizens have had many rights(eg health services) in the UK withdrawn By Blair /Brown because the CI are not in the EU. This should be reversed. Blair Brown constantly bullied these small islands.

    Overseas OAP's

    Uk pensioners resident in the USA and EU have their pension rights protected including their rights to future increases.

    However, UK pensioners in Australia and NZ had their rights to any future increases taken away by Blair/Brown and these pensioners have to go cap in hand to beg for additional support from the Australian and NZ governments. These elderly people earned their rights to a pension by working in the UK and should not be penalised because of where they have chosen to live in retirement.

  67. David Price
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Repeal the Digital Economy Bill – this will also save future embarassment for the political parties when they "inadvertently" re-purpose someone else's images and copyright material.

    Repeal whatever acts allow the continual subjugation of the majority by the minorities, in particular all the political correctness rubbish.

  68. Citizen Responsible
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    The EU Human Rights Act.

    There are so many abuses of this. In the latest example, two Al Qaeda operatives found guilty of planning a mass casualty in the UK cannot be deported back to Pakistan because it would infringe their human rights.

  69. Spartan
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Amend Smoking Ban

  70. Charles
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood
    Photography has been my hobby for over 40 years. I photograph landscape to townscape, indeed any subject. I am now retired and would have loved to come to London to visit all the sights and to photograph them, but? After hearing on the radio and seeing on TV innocent individuals being stopped by the police for simply carrying a camera or taking photographs, and then; I believe having them deleted by the police is beyond my comprehension. So like many tourist from home or overseas I have bypassed London as a holiday destination, London appears a police state within a state. The free? World must think we are idiots. Now that we have ended 13 years of tyranny by control freaks; we need to become part of the free World again. The police must have better things to do than hound tourists.

    • April Ryan
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 11:21 pm | Permalink

      It's ironic that the hapless tourist is treated like spy when we have the Freedom of Information Act by which we can, alledgedly, access virtually any and all information pertaining to public bodies AND we have Google images of every street in the country.

  71. Liz
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    These are the ones that come to mind immediately
    The Human Right Act
    The Licensing Act – which has lead to city centres becoming no go areas and expense and bureacracy for anyone running a simple fund raising event.
    Anti terror legislation implemented by local authorities and misused – in future only the police to possess such powers with strict safeguards to stop them misusing it – deleting tourists' photographs a notable example
    Budget for GCHQ to monitor internet usage and emails
    On-the-spot fines by police or worse local government officers
    National DNA database
    National Identity database
    National Health database
    Regional Assemblies and Development Agencies
    Horse passports
    Acts of Devolution/Union with Scotland and Wales unless England has democratic parity
    Harriet Harman's last Act

    • DennisA
      Posted May 20, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Horse passports are down to the EU again. Get rid of the EU and all else falls into place.

  72. pipesmoker
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    All Act's of Parliament that replaced the Justice of the Peace Act, 1361.

    Then give so called anti social behaviour it's true name and call it crime. The Blair con for it!

  73. Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:00 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, the vetting and barring scheme will only be scaled back. It should be dropped in its entirety.

    For such a scheme to work at all, people will have to be vetted on a regular basis and many people will simply refuse to work with children if they have suffer this intrusion and expense.

  74. Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    What IanB said.

    It's a bit rich to find Mr Redwood writing In Praise Of Liberty, and calling for a big Repeal Bill, when he is himself one of the MPs who voted for the total smoking ban. No doubt he will be lobbying hard to continue to see Britain's 15 million smokers excluded and marginalised and demonised. But then, most likely so will ex-smoker David Cameron, and soon-to-be-ex-smoker Nick Clegg.

  75. Crowbait
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    The first thing to check before amending or abolishing laws is

    whether Brussels will allow such an action. Remember the vast

    majority of UK legislation stems from the EU and we Brits have

    no say in the matter. Will the current 'so called' government,

    for once, stand up for the voters who pay their salaries

    and expenses and gold plated pensions etc.?

    I really don't think so

  76. Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    The Animal Health Act of 1981 was changed in 2002 in order to give retrospective legality to the seizing and killing of animals – mostly healthy – killed by officials at the time of the foot and mouth crisis.

    I wonder how many people are aware that its terms allow "officers" (not defined) to enter property for the purpose of killing any animal – infected or not – that DEFRA considers should be put to death.

    If one had faith in the common sense, veterinary understanding or scientific basis of such decisions all would be well – but animal health policy throughout the EU is dire and the UK often seems to make it even worse. Technical advances in vaccines and diagnostics are not considered and the ignorant arrogance of some who wield power is frightening.

    Many have still not forgotten how pets and priceless breeding stock as well as literally millions of farm animals (many heavily pregnant) were summarily taken and killed in 2001. It could all happen again so easily – and owners next time would have no legal right at all to stop it.

  77. Simon
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:44 pm | Permalink

    RIPA
    No-one to be allowed to enter a person's home without a warrant signed by JP.

  78. Chris
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

    CRB checks – just jobs for the boys as you cannot even take one check from one job to another.

    Smoking Ban – possibly the most divisive law Labour passed in their disgusting time in office. There's no need for it , it's illiberal to its very roots. There's just no place for it in a mature democracy like Britain.

    ANY punishment without trial – this means no more GATSOs, bin fines, speed traps etc where the letter informs you you "have committed an offence" and demands money before you even know what the letter is concerning.

    Also, Digital Economy Bill, Human Rights Act, National DNA database, scrapping of 80% of the CCTV cameras (or more)…

    In fact, can't we just burn the statute books for the last 13 years?

  79. John Bracewell
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

    Repeal Postal voting except for those genuinely unable to attend a Polling Station.
    Hunting Ban – foxes are vermin like rats not pretty liitle kittens.
    Smoking Ban.
    All 'Get out of Jail' free or early laws.
    Late night drinking laws.
    Amend the BBC licence fee – make BBC News commercial and reduce fee to enable good quality public interest programs to be made.

  80. Lord Monkington-Smyt
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:01 pm | Permalink

    Anti knife laws:

    This may sound strange, but I think the anti-knife laws have got ridiculous. If I am working in my garden and using a small lock knife to cut stems, string, small branches etc, as I often do, I could do without the knowledge that if I pop out to the shops and forget to take it out of my pocket, I could (and probably would) be treated in the same way by the Police as if I had been found with a samurai sword at a nightclub. It is an extreme law rushed through because knife murders went up, but innocent people are getting caught up by it. My wife's cousin was taken to court and treatened with prison because he had left a stanley knife in his car accidently after a job (he is an electrician), went to the pub and was stopped by the Police. Luckily he avoided jail but he now has a criminal record.

  81. Robbo
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Permalink

    The European Communities Act 1972

  82. Jonathan
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Amend the smoking ban. This problem won't go away. We will get more and more angry and feel less and less willing to be good citizens. By that I mean donating blood, donating organs, cooperating with the police etc: every thing which makes society function. Objecting to other people carrying out a very highly taxed legal activity, which disturbs nobody, on private property is so ridiculous it doesn't merit a response.

  83. sheila
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    The smoking ban needs amending to allow choice for all

  84. Tug
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    The Smoking Ban must be reformed to allow all people choice,smoker and non smoker alike, Who could complain about having smoking and non smoking venues,everyone has a choice,everyone happy and the added bonus is our Pubs and Clubs get a chance of staying in Business and paying much needed revenue into the Country once more. If the Conservatives/LibDems are true to their words about civil liberties and personal freedoms then a reform of the smoking ban is a Must.

  85. Chief_Sceptic
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Repeal or make illegal, all of the following …

    'RIPA'

    Civil Contingencies Act

    Terrorism Act

    Trial without a Jury

    Detention without charge

    Power of Entry to your Property, other than for Police with warrant

    Every single "grand panjandrum" Database

    Retention of DNA & Fingerprints of those not found Guilty

    Human Rights Act

    Licensing Act

    The ban on Handguns

    The ban on Smoking

    Dear God, I could go on for hours ! …

  86. Chris Rose
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    I should like to see the building regulations simplified. I cannot see why it necessary to get approval for work to be done in your own house. This would seem to require the repealing of the Building Regulations 2004.

    We have lived with such daily hazards as electricity for over 100 years, and yet it only in the past 6 years that we have been deemed incompetent to do so. The same argument seems to apply to gas, water and other household services. And yet, compared with 100 years ago, we are all supposed to be better educated.

    I suspect that trade associations have lobbied the government with health and safety arguments and thereby gained for their members a huge amount of business that is of little benefit. Let an Englishman's home be his castle again, and the health and safety therein his responsibility!

  87. Chris
    Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    John: how do you deal with two people registered with same name? I am registered as Chris and yet I see someone posted at 9.47 am with same name. I have been reigstered with your website for quite some time, but only recently noticed this new arrival. Would prefer to keep identities separate. I wish to comment on your posting but will wait until things clarified.

    Reply: I don't interfere with people's names – they choose them. If someone uses a name to advertise or one that might be offensive then I would tend to delete the posting. I suggest you add to your name to differentiate.

  88. Posted May 20, 2010 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    Here's a list for starters;
    Disengage from the Human Rights legislation;
    Stop "No win no fee" actions as they only encourage vexatious litigants.
    Dismantle ALL QUANGOS starting with those that cook up schemes for extra, often un-necessary, Licence schemes.
    Stop Charity Shops from buying in goods for re-sale unless they are subject to ALL retailing regulations (i.e. no subsidies). This applies to providing coffee and light refreshments. One in Birmingham has alreadt put a bona fide cafe directly opposite out of business.
    Stop Local Authorities from producing subsidised goods and services when the private sector already exists. One such has built three Nurseries in the vicinity of a private venture and, because of their subsidies such as Rates, etc;. have put him out bof business.
    Make Supermarkets pay full rates on their car parking.
    Be careful where you put double yellow lines which prevent passing trade from stopping by for a quick purchase.
    Reverse the Rateable value zoning. whereby Supermarkets can have the bulk of the store in the cheaper zone while a small retail shop pays the full whack of Zone A.
    Look towards implementing the small business exemptions as per the U.S.A.

    These are some – there are plenty more but these will do to go on with.
    Past National Chairman, Federation of Small Businesses (F.S.B.) – not the Russian Secret Service!

  89. stevie
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:02 am | Permalink

    smoking ban , ripa, hra bbc and zealot driven ,proof light , vindictive,spiteful,pub ruining smoking ban. For starters….

  90. dan
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:11 am | Permalink

    End the scheme to switch off analogue radio and replace with digital radio.

    There are millions of perfectly good analogue radios which will be scrapped if this scheme goes ahead – and millions of people will be forced to buy new digital radios. This is unfair and pointless; expensive; and a waste of resources. Furthermore anyone with a decent hifi will tell you that analogue radio has much better sound quality than the harsh tinny digital radio.

    • BillyB
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

      I agree ! digital radios are small computers and consume far more power. Keep both. Have a choice

      • paul
        Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

        When you can power a digital radio with a lemon and a piece of copper and tin, then maybe…. until then, I agree

  91. tomsmith
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    Amend the smoking ban along the lines of the more flexible model adopted in Spain.

    Stop all government propaganda. I don't want the government telling me that smoking makes me ill or that the ice caps are melting when they are using my own money to do so.

    Don't try to control the price of alcohol in order to influence behaviour. Wait until the law is broken before you do anything.

    Immediately halt the current trend to trial without jury. Legislate to protect jury trial if necessary.

    Repeal the regulation of investigatory powers act.

    Cut GP pay, get rid of over management in the NHS, introduce competition. Instead of money going directly to the NHS it should instead go to patients who can spend or save it for later treatment as they wish.

    Make the BBC license fee voluntary and the BBC a subscription service. Or disband the BBC.

    End the use of statutory instruments under the European Communities act. Properly scrutinise all new EU law.

    Repeal the minimum wage and the working time directive. These are nothing to do with the government and are economically damaging.

    Remove the UK from the new EU pesticides legislation (Council Directive 91/414/EEC)- it is incredibly damaging to our already unprofitable farming sector.

    End the single farm payment. If farming can be done more cheaply elsewhere then what's the point in subsidising our farmers to do it? It is economically damaging to us and to farmers in the third world who have a comparative advantage in the production of agricultural commodities. New Zealand ended farm subsidies some years ago and their farming sector survived.

    Re-introduce normal light bulbs.

    Stop introducing targets and quotas based on environmental sustainability. If the government must interfere then Pigouvian taxation to price in the externality is a much better solution than central planning.

    Stop paying charities and quangos to do anything. If they are paid by the state then they are the state and are not independent in any way.

    Get rid of all legislation aimed at controlling how we think and speak- eg hate crime law

    End the incredibly draconian gun ownership rules in the UK.

    Make it legal to hunt animals with dogs again.

    Don't tax capital gains at 40% (or whatever)

    Legalise all drugs and tax for revenue.

    Legalise prostitution.

  92. Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood,

    After posting about the smoking ban, I then started thinking of lots of other bad laws. As I'm sure everyone is.

    But it occurs to me that perhaps the greatest innovation the Coalition can introduce would be, rather than to have us all put everything into just this one repeal bill, to instead introduce a culture of repeal.

    That is, often bad laws stay on the books when they should not do. Britain has a history of leaving laws to fall into disuse when they didn't work out as intended, or times have moved on, or whatever. Every now and again somebody writes an amusing article about how it's still the Law that men must attend archery practice on Sunday, or that innkeepers must keep a certain quantity of feed for horses, and so on.

    What I would like to see most of all is a change in the mood of parliament, such that MPs are regularly looking at our bloated legal code and saying, "do we need this law?" and "do we need that law?"

    Perhaps a regular annual repeal session could be introduced to the parliamentary timetable, or something. Whatever, it would be a fine thing to see you all making a conscious effort to cut through the tangled web of legilslation, as a specific goal. The list of bad, foolish or irrelevant laws would be very long indeed. Let's not stop at one grand act of repeal; let us instead have a culture of repeal. A repeal bill each year would be a fine focus for the (classically) liberal who believe that our society works best when its citizens are as free as possible to pursue their lives unmolested by the state.

    • BillyB
      Posted May 22, 2010 at 12:37 am | Permalink

      Lets have more renewable laws. Vote to renew or lapse after enough time to see whether the law is successful. Or every year or some other sensible period

    • Andy B
      Posted May 24, 2010 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      Such a suggestion suggests that perhaps the laws were not properly thought through at inception and were mere “knee-jerk” laws in the first place.

      If there’s a “culture” that needs to be cultivated then it is a culture that knows exactly what is a crime, what isn’t and the ability to see the difference.

      Failing this then at least a culture where the government knows when it needs to step in and when it is none of its business… the ability to know the difference is what most of us ask for.

  93. Edward
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    The national minimum wage needs to be abolished or significantly reduced. It pushes low paying jobs into the black economy. There is no justification for the planned rise in October when everyone else is seeing no increases or even reductions in pay.

    • Posted May 21, 2010 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

      Whenever I spoke to them the Lib.Dems. could never understand that if the "price of admission" (the minimum wage) is too high them employers simply can't afford to pay theM. Result – lost jobs and lost job opportunities. There are a lot of people out there who would like some extra pin money so why deny them?

      • Citizen Responsible
        Posted May 21, 2010 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

        There was a cottage industry in Wales making Christmas Crackers. When the minimum wage was introduced, the increased costs forced the company to shut down this “home work” and instead import their Crackers from China.

  94. OurSally
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    I agree with many of the above, but this is one nobody else said, and is older than 13 years anyway.

    Denying expatriates the vote.

    All expats lose their vote in the UK after 15 years abroad. Only the UK has this rule. All other nationalities are allowed to vote at home while resident abroad, in fact the Greeks are obliged to go there and vote in person. This is disenfranchisement in its worst form. If I still had my vote I would not have taken up German citizenship. In Germany foreigners may not vote, so I had no vote at all for a time. Absolutely unacceptable.

    The time limit used to be 20 years, but Blair shortened it to 15.

    • no one
      Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      stop giving the vote to commonwealth citizens here on work or student visas

      there is no reason for them to have it if there are not permanent residents

  95. Kin Free
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    The SMOKING BAN must be the first bad law to be repealed. It was fundamentally designed to be discriminatory and prejudicial to a minority group, no less so than those laws, now reviled, that were invidiously targeted at ethnic minorities such as blacks or jews in recent history.

    The intention of this legislation was ultimately to stigmatise, humiliate and marginalise smokers. Anyone doubting this need only look to the recent comments by a judge in Belfast recently when ruling on whether an awning was a 'roof'.
    Mr Justice Charleton said [because of the awning, smokers could;] …"while away their time watching TV, drinking pints and smoking to their heart's content". "Comfort and shelter were clearly the purpose of this awning".

    Smokers should not expect such excessive luxuries should they? Smokers must be treated with derision by the law!

    I am speechless at the implications of this destructive law and those who defend it. Does ANY DECENT citizen think this is right? How is this possibly conducive to a tolerant and inclusive society? I find it increasingly difficult to comprehend how this country has descended into this pit of righteous malady in such a short time by allowing fanatical interests to subvert our once proud nation.

  96. Matthew
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Agree.

    But also, the balance between employer and employee needs to be redressed, and employers given back the right to give notice to employees.

    An employer cannot legally terminate the employment contract of an employee without having to go through a long drawn out and expensive process to "prove" that either the performance of the employee is seriously sub-standard (this takes months and months and months) or that the role is redundant (also takes months and is hugely disruptive to the entire business).

    If an employee can give their employer a months notice that they want to move to a new job (as per their contract of employment), why is the reverse not permitted?

    IMHO the consequences of this well-meaning employee protection is:
    1. No employer wants to employ anyone in the UK unless they absolutely have to
    2. No employer wants to give someone "a break" (e.g. first job/return to work job)
    3. It costs more to employ people, due to the additional administrative and financial (insurance) overhead, reducing UK business competitiveness
    4. Poor performers are tolerated, at the expense of all their peers, as the real time and business risk costs of moving them out of their current employment create a barrier

    I suspect (but have no direct experience) that the impact of this issue is much higher across the government sector, where performance appears to be unmeasured and management does not have the profit motivation.

  97. rose
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    Repeal all equalities legislation and bring back good manners instead.
    Repeal all legislation which over-rides our sovereignty in law, mainly vis a vis EU and UN.

  98. BillyB
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Scrap this Money Laundering nonsense – has it really stopped any crime? It has certainly added huge amounts of pointless admin to every professional and financial firm in the land and expects them to act as unpaid agents of the law. And it has certainly inconvenienced every person in the land. Costs > Benefits therefore scrap it.

  99. S Matthews
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    The European Arrest Warrant is a disgrace. It assumes that all countries within the EU have legal systems that are the equal of ours, with similar checks and balances. This is nonsense.

  100. Johnny Boy
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

    Repeal the smoking ban as it stands. At the very least amend it to Labour's 2005 manifesto commitment, i.e. allow smoking in pubs and clubs not serving food – that way both the smokers and anti-smokers can be happy.

    Having a law banning a legal act because a minority of the public don't like it, without any evidence of health risks, was crazy in the first place.

  101. DiscoveredJoys
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Permalink

    I agree with many of the suggestions here. Although I am a non-smoker and prefer the smoke-free pub I would prefer even more to see smokers rooms provided where feasible. I'm not a supporter of fox hunting either, but I believe that others should be allowed to hunt if they so choose.

    On a more general note it appears to me that British law sets out to gold plate EU law. Energy certificates plus extra bits for HIPs for instance. Can we not have a general Act which states that EU laws must not be over engineered for English/UK use? Not part of a Great Repeal Act perhaps, but one that might have headed off some of the worst excesses of the last 13 years.

  102. Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    How about getting rid of the FSA, an organ created by one Gordon Brown to regulate the financial sector.

    Well all know how well that worked out.

    The FSA unable to regulate a bowel movement.

  103. Helen
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 1:44 am | Permalink

    The blanket smoking ban has to be either repealed or reformed.

    There was no need for a blanket ban in the first place with the 21st technology solutions that we currently hold, but choice should have been given to cater for all our legal citizens and to protect private property rights.

  104. Robert George
    Posted May 22, 2010 at 2:41 am | Permalink

    Economic Statistical Reports

    This is my 3rd effort but the potential list is endless:

    The production of regular economic statistics should be taken away from Government Departments and given to an independent entity not subject to ministerial or political delay or interference. Perhaps the BOE would be a suitable over-riding organisation.

    One of the reasons the new government is unable to take action immediately is because the previous Labour disaster took all statistical publications to be grist for the spin merchants mill rather than as an essential pre-requisite for good government.

    The result was that although we know Labour brought us economic chaos we do not know the full extent of it because they hid the true facts.

    Good government requires good, timely information

  105. Posted May 22, 2010 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Repeal the handgun ban (Firearms Act 1997) and draconian five year minimum sentence for having an unlicensed gun. A grandmother is currently facing this sentence for simply having a rusty old relic in her home! Gun crime hasn't been halted by these measures – it has increased!

    Also, all of the legislation thrown at replica guns and airguns, which practically destroyed airsoft sports with over regulation.

    Adopt the Castle Doctrine – no bars on self-defence if you are defending yourself, your property or others.

    Allow people to keep and put whatever the hell substances they like into their own bodies – kill the illegal drug market by ending the massive failure of Prohibition.

    Destroy the DNA database of those who received cautions for non violent offences and those not convicted of any crime.

    Hell, just scrap everything Labour has done, then work on the many previous government failures.

    Scrap victimless crimes – focus on fighting REAL crimes. You know, the ones that actually involve victims?

    • Stuart Fairney
      Posted May 24, 2010 at 9:36 am | Permalink

      Well said, The link in your name just became required reading!

  106. Luckymal
    Posted May 23, 2010 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    The only section of society that does not have any human rights are smokers, even terrorists and criminals are afforded human rights, the government have been persecuting smoking in a grand social engineering programme

    The smoking ban was brought in on fabricated lies namely saving people from second had smoke, and on fake consultations that were conducted between anti smoking supporters. Despite what the government funded smokefree organisations say not one person has ever been know to die of so called second hand smoke.

    The smoking ban is costing multi millions of pounds a week, its time it was repealed, not only will it save billions of pounds in the long run but some of our wonderful pubs may be saved from the bulldozer.

    Repeal the smoking ban, repair a division created in society, save our pubs and restore some honesty by exposing deceitful practice.

  107. Luckymal
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    After looking at the proposed cut backs to put our economy back on track i hope the conservatives are going to stop funding ASH

    Ash should be forced to pay their own way they are supposed to be a charity not a publicly funded organisation.

    Stop funding for groups that are there to persecute smokers and the government can save billionsof pounds over the long term.

  108. Michael
    Posted May 24, 2010 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

    I would get rid of SORN (Statutory Off Road Notification). It should never be the case that doing nothing can get you into trouble with the law. There have been plenty of cases where the SORN office have "lost" the sorn letter and fined innocent people.

    Moreover I would scrap road tax altogether (and it's associated dept.) Easy enough to ensure vehicles are taxed and tested – issue a standard for MOT / Insurance companies to produce a two-part certifcate, half of which would be displayed upon the windscreen. This would have the advantage of removing the theoretical 12 month time lag in which your vehicle could be taxed but not tested/insured.

    The lost revenue could be raised by a (small) increase in fuel duty.

  109. Anto
    Posted May 27, 2010 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    You won't get any joy from John Redwood in relation to the smoking ban – he voted for it! Now, he writes an essay on liberty?

  • About John Redwood


    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, He graduated from Magdalen College Oxford, has a DPhil and is a fellow of All Souls College. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.

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