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« Charlie Elphicke and Mark Field MP: Modernisation of public sector pensions to pay for 50% council tax discount for pensioners | Main | David T Breaker: Tax relief for 'homeworkers' »



Damn good idea. One of my pet hates is the government meddling in peoples' lives and refusing to leave people and their property alone. Obviously if you infringe on someone's person or property you should have the full force of the law unleashed against you. Otherwise the government should mind its own business and, in doing so, encourage people to look after themselves.

One small example is health and safety legislation. Where I once worked we were banned from running down the aisle, even though doing so would have made things more efficient during a busy period. Why weren't we allowed to run? Answer: Health and Safety. Now, if I want to run down an aisle and risk breaking my leg that's my own fault. If the owner of the business doesn't want me running down the aisle he can simply ban it. There simply doesn't need to be health and safety. If you don't like a company's health and safety practices, go and work somewhere else.

Mark Wadsworth

YES, getting out of EU would help.

I envisage a "Regulations hotline" manned by Dave (who alternates with Jean on Tuesdays and Thursdays) who has a list of all 10,000 regulations (or whatever the number is). If you stumble across one that seems pointless, you ring him up with the SI number and ask him what the point is. If he doesn't have an quick answer, he (or his colleague Jean on Tuesdays and Thursdays) just crosses it off the list and declares it invalid.

Parliament then gets a list every month of hundreds of regulations that Dave or Jean have declared invalid. Either they re-enact them one-by-one as primary legislation or they are just consigned to the dustbin.

Of course, at weekends the hotline isn't manned (or womanned) so you just dictate the SI number onto the answering machine and it is then deemed to be suspended, pending Dave (or Jean) getting round to reinstating it.

David Belchamber

A brilliant idea in principle but of course in practice it will fall foul of EU regulations.
However, I do think that many English laws should be repealed and others consolidated into much simpler statements of principle - based on commonsense and natural law (e.g. equality laws, elf and safety, human rights etc).
Any laws that regularly have the opposite effect to that intended (i.e. many of Blair's, like the Hunting Bill) or those that have not been invoked in, say, 100 years should be repealed.

Don Jameson

I quite like David Belchamber's 100 year sunset approach, but thank goodness it wasn't set at 50 years - or we'd have no 1925 Honours (Prevention of Abuses) Act prosecution...

David Cooper

Good idea. All too often nowadays we see common sense and good practice unnecessarily upgraded into legislation. Of course it does lead closer to the unpalatable truth about so much of it emanating from the EU and having to be rubber stamped without scrutiny, but the sooner our parliamentary party is forced to recognise this the better. (Even the great Boris stopped short of the logical conclusion in this context, when giving vent to his feelings about the child car seat regulations earlier this year.)


LOL, Don Jameson.

The 100 year sunset is fine for what it is. I bet it is a tiny proportion of the worthless statutes and regulations currently in effect though. We have probably had more of them in the last ten years than the previous hundred.


Why only two?


One difficulty - how do you decide if 'a law' is only one law? The new Companies Bill has hundreds of provisions, divided into all sorts of parts. Is it 800 new laws (especially given that many of the clauses alter, or even substantially improve many current provisions), or just one new law?

matt wright

Good idea,



The policy should be to reduce government regulation and to draw attention to the mess that is the EU, which causes most of it.
This policy is a childish stunt that demeans the demand for better government.

If we're looking for stunts and headlines -

How about give Civil servants in each department 3% of the money they save in closed Quangos and reduced regulatory costs as a pay bonus next year (and dock their salaries visa versa)?

Arthur Blunt

A fantastic idea. Reduce law creation to a minimum and law destruction to the maximum. That way by the law of diminishing returns the law of gravity will have to be revoked and we'll all fall of the planet.


YES YES YES. And your cow is beautiful! I'm sure I heard her on Farming Today last week, being incisive over the single farm payment fiasco.

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