This forum is about wrong numbers in science, politics and the media. It respects good science and good English.
Sadly, I have joked about this in the state of Washington.
We recently passed a law that you can't smoke within 25 ft of any door or ventilation intake.
When i drive in traffic, quite often I end up behind a smoker whose by product ends up in my car. It is quite annoying. I start to utter the words "There ought to be a law", then realize what I am saying, hit recirc on my dash and get to fresh air.
Now if we could just figure out how to get rid of laws....
How to get rid of laws? I have long thought that no law should last longer than the government that enacts it and that every law should have a sunset clause, say 5 years or so. If a law is seen to be good and effective, then the next parliament (or congress or whatever) can debate and act to keep it. If not, it lapses.
This should have a doubly beneficial effect. Bad laws will dissappear, the total body of law will inevitably be reduced making law a much simpler process and governments will be too busy worrying about what old laws should be kept or discarded to worry much about messing things up with new laws.
You have done us all a service by bringing to our attention the FORCES International website. It is so complementary, and complimentary to the ethos of Numberwatch."Powered by reason, driven by passion", indeed!
Their acronym, "Fight Ordinances and Restrictions to Control and Eliminate Smoking" is so apt, in that it sets the scene for the much bigger picture of the Epidemiology scams, Health scare scams, Pharmaceutical scams, the Global Warming and Climate scams. --- Just read John's book,"Have they got scares for you!", and then read their news story of yesterday:- "Making the 'epidemics' fit the agenda"! There is much much more of extreme relevance to the issues we face, and do read the wonderful articles by their UK columnist, James Leavey; so full of very English satire and whimsy.
And, Steven, my compliments on your reply Post, “How to get rid of laws?”. This is, to me, much more than a suggestion, it is a positively fundamental recommendation. Pragmatism at work, 'cut the crap', and USE your vote. ( But first we need to get out from under the onerous influence of the EU). Then we can 'kick ass' as they say.
Hm. Not sure about the tenure of laws. Laws automatically expiring are a disaster waiting to happen. Take Belgium, it has no government. Such an idea would mean the country would be without any laws atall and no-one to enact any more. Fortunately, any such law that laws expire automatically would itself expire with the government that created it....
But, what should happen with outdated laws is that they should just die and no longer be enforced. The regulation that all taxi cabs should carry a bale of straw endured long after the IC engine replaced horses and did no real harm.
Bad laws should be scrapped. It appearing not to be a good idea to let the police use their discretion any longer since their idea of discretion invariably means prosecuting victims and sending old ladies to jail for non-payment of council tax while allowing hardened criminals to roam free with, at most, a caution and they choose not even to respond to many calls for help.
The Crown prosecution service has managed to reach the stage where they decide not to prosecute if they cannot guarantee a conviction. This is a handy let out from prosecuting for "cash for peerages" etc. when what they should do is determine if there is sufficient evidence to give a jury a chance to make a decision; standards and levels of evidence.
Of course, the UK is damaged by its insistence in the significance of each full stop and semi-colon in the wording of the law and can quite effectively argue for a completely novel interpretation based on such trivia whereas, I am sorry to admit it, the French Napoleonic code seems more sensible in this regard because it is the intent of the law that counts, even if the actual document is written by a dyslexic.
I would suggest that good laws are ones where they have the majority support of the population (informed population?), are enforceable and rational and achieve the objective, no more and no less and with no unintended consequences that aren't sorted out immediately.
In a democracy, that is.
In a democracy, the government is intended to be "by the people, of the people and for the people." Well, I think "people", meaning you and me, were n there somewhere, but sadly it is increasingly evident that in Europe, and not least in the UK, we do not have democracy. It is sad mix of bureaucracy, autocracy and any other ***cracy except demo.
Take the speed law. Quite evidently this fails to be a good law because the vast majority of the population break it repeatedly and treat it with distain. Fair enough, if the objective of the police is, as it once seemed to be, to clamp down on bad driving, the speed law was a nice definitive way, when used with discretion, to pick on bad drivers and punish them for speeding. Alas, today there is no discretion, speed has become synonymous with dangerous driving and it is in fact a money grab. There is no excuse for it any longer.
I extend bad laws to include bad taxation. Any tax that so alienates the population that it comes to a general appreciation of smuggling and the like has to be poor. I refer to the three old chestnuts of the budget, beer fags and booze.
Now so expensive that while it would not do to introduce extra customes and imigartion staff to manage the problems of drugs (ilegal), guns, the exploits of the snakehead gangs, and so on, once the revenue from cigarettes and alcohol took a hit from cross channel traffic in came another 1000 staff authorised by the Broon.
The reasons or justifications for the secondary smoking inspired laws escape me altogether.
Sorry, rant over.
JMW, --- In praise of rant
My felicitations. Out of 'rants' come 'reveilles' which alert us to the need to take action. Only the 'tirade' of the suffering can bring relief from 'tyranny'. The trick is, to keep the 'kite aloft' by bringing constructive action to bear. Constructive action requires people with the tools to shape the protest; problem is, tools require material to work on. Rants serve to fuel the momentum needed for that critical first 'Launch'.
(well, thats my somewhat poncy way of putting it). --- So, rant on; apologies not accepted!
We face the imminent loss of our sovereign monarchy, our sovereignty, and our judiciary. Steven's suggestion infers that we have a constitution whereby Parliament is answerable to the people, and that this Parliament can enact binding Laws on a sovereign state. Of course, under the current UK's unwritten constitution, limiting the life of laws, with or without 'sunset' clauses, is not feasible; too many 'weasel words'.
However, there is a way:--- Change to a written constitution which binds Parliament to this Legal requirement, and at the same time take this opportunity to add another Legal requirement i.e., to bind Parliament's hands against the transfer of any sovereignty or legal powers to another State or Bureaucracy. And at the same time, cut the bureaucrats 'off at the knees', by making NGO's illegal. They are, anyway because they are unelected pseudo mini governments and not accountable to anybody, even the legitimate government. --- This outlaws the EU super state straightaway, and takes us back to EFTA the European Free Trade Association, this time, with some real 'teeth'.
Please welcome my rant everybody,