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Have your tragic say - The Ex-Communicator

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July 1st, 2010

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05:58 pm - Have your tragic say
'Have your say' on the bbc site is always tragically revealing of the British mind. This thread, responding to the spurious Your Freedom website that the new govt have set up, is particularly ridiculous.

Reading through, the most popular ways for govt to 'increase our freedom':

- repeal the Human Rights act
- legalise deadly force when defending one's property
- bring back the death penalty
- get rid of speed cameras
- abolish the metric system
- name women who make rape accusations
- allow cars to drive in bus lanes
- abolish health and safety laws
- no restriction on racist speech and antisemitism
- abolish political correctness
- use water cannons on protesters
- cut scroungers' benefits
- make it legal to dig snow (sigh)

Yes, England's finest legal brains at work here. So many saying 'I demand you abolish my human rights!'

Though I think the most popular suggestion, to be fair, is legalise drugs. Good idea, but it's the one suggestion which definitely won't be adopted. I notice Theresa May announced in the House on Monday that drug legislation would be made tighter, with more substances made illegal, and a greater emphasis on abstinence.

ETA - someone is collating the stupidity at Your Freedumb (damn, wish I had thought of that title)

(10 comments | Leave a comment)


[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
I don't think BBC listeners are particularly more conservative than average, but the kind of people who comment on websites like this tend to have been whipped up by the conservative tabloids.

The 'snow' thing was a false story put about by the Daily Mail during the last cold snap that if you cleared the snow away from your door, you would be legally liable if anyone slipped over. It seems to have struck a chord.
Date:July 1st, 2010 07:37 pm (UTC)
Did he actually say "baklava"? Because that's patisserie.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 08:44 pm (UTC)
It would obscure your features if it was all over your face
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2010 02:19 pm (UTC)
making it legal to dig snow? Is that illegal?

Sort of maybe the law's not clear and could probably do with being tidied up, a simple clarification note from the MoJ would probably do the job.

Tort of Nuisance, dates back centuries, if you so something in a public place that creates a nuisance to others and it can be shown that you were either negligent or deliberately trying to make it worse, you can be prosecuted.

So if you clear the snow, and don't do it properly, and the surface then freezes creating black ice (a danger), and someone slips and falls injuring themselves, and it can be show you were negligent and didn't do it properly, then there's a very small chance someone will go for it.

This hasn't happened to anyone within the last century as far as can be seen.

However, there are some corporate legal advice firms that, due to it not being clear, advise firms not to clear up public space because there's a slight risk. Others in the same business say the exact opposite, so it depends on what your insurers want you to do.

In other words, it's a tabloid scare story with slightly more basis in fact than, say, the banning eggs by the dozen lead in this weeks MoS, but is in fact only an annoyance for stupid people...

(and yes, we did look into putting it forward as a private members bill awhileback, but decided it was such a silly thing anyway it wasn't worth dealing with)
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 06:11 pm (UTC)
The thing that pisses me off is that if all of the suggestions are as bonkers as the ones you've listed here, then that feels like the government is given a mandate (by absence of sensible suggestions) to do whatever the hell they like. Although they'll probably do that anyway...[goes away to see whether we can afford to buy one of the Greek islands for sale to live a simpler life].
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 06:16 pm (UTC)
They can't use the suggestions as any kind of resource, because I suppose literally everything will be suggested, and the weight of opinion will not be representative. To be fair I think any such consultation, from any party, is spurious.
[User Picture]
Date:July 1st, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC)
I was going to say "snow WTF?" but I see you've already explained.

Like you, I think it's rather pointless to set up a website like that, then go "yay web-2.0-enabled democracy huzzah", when the results will obviously be spurious. I do think it's a pity so little mainstream effort is going into working out how new media might be used in more genuine consultations and to facilitate more participatory democracy. My experience here is that government bodies are usually way behind the average 30 something, never mind the average teenager, in understanding what cyberspace can do for you.
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2010 01:05 am (UTC)
Yes, I think this is a big problem at the top level in government and in the private sector, because my generation and older mostly don't understand technology very well - (but some do of course). I don't know if this is going to be a permanent thing, always each generation failing to keep up. Might be.
[User Picture]
Date:July 2nd, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC)
Aye; Clegg, personally, likes using web technology for consultation, and has done so for internal party stuff several times. Unfortunately, whenever the Govt decides to do something like this, it ends up being messed up. Milibands environment wiki remains the biggest mess up, but I think this may end up close second, it's just not been thought through.

Ah well, at some point 'online community building' will be a skill people hire for.

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