Tuesday, March 06, 2007

An Englishman's Home

I'm not a regular reader of Richard Littlejohn but I think he has a point in his column today when he writes:

"Labour is about to introduce a law which will, quite literally, legalise daylight robbery. A bill giving bailiffs the power to break into our homes received its second reading in Parliament yesterday.

If it passes on to the statute book, any of us could find our front doors kicked in and our valuables seized. "

Ed: It's a little like the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA) in its original form which would have given "responsible persons", i.e. traffic wardens the right to access your PC. It's not quite as simple as that but it was very close and before media attention was drawn to the clause, the Home Office were very keen to push the legislation through.

The problem with this new legislation is the way it might "leak" into other areas, i.e. a firm of cowboy clampers are sent in to recover an alleged parking debt. It's rather worrying and proves conclusively that an Englishman's home is certainly not his castle or even as strong as a paper bag come to that!

And some more madness for you... Churches are now required to display "No Smoking" signs!

A government spokesperson from the Department of Health said: “Churches and other places of worship are not exempt from the ban and we provided the same guidance literature to all affected enclosed public places.“ Guidance will be published for businesses in plenty of time before the new law comes into force. “We will work with churches to ensure that their responsibilities are clear under the law. Prominent signs will be required at each entrance. “The design of such signs can be flexible and designed to match surroundings.”

Ed: That's good, you can display one over the crucifix then. That should keep the government insprectors happy!


Anonymous said...

As a residential landlord who has tried to use our local county court bailiff "John" to recover money awarded to me by the court from ex-tenants who have done moonlight flits or trashed flats etc I can only support some extra powers.
There are deliberate debtors in this country who laugh at the feeble powers of the civil legal system.
Believe me - if you owe money and cannot pay then no-one is going to be able to get it out of you under the present system.
OK they can take you to court, go to a lot of expense and trouble, win their case against you and then what?
The Bailiff will say its not worth bothering as they won't let him in and in any case he can't take anything domestic, and all the debtor has to do is say that everything belongs to someone else (lie) and the bailiff has to just go away.
The law is heavily weighted in favour of the debtor, needs changing.

DrMoores said...

I quite agree with you that the law needs changing but I think that it may need a little sensible deliberation over the measures on offer.

Anonymous said...

What happens if it the wrong house or the original sinners have moved? Has any thought gone into this? It is all rather worrying I feel and is too fierce. There should be more safeguards. I don't like it and I am not in any debt to worry about.

Responsible Smoker said...

This is horrendous and I am ashamed that any member of Parliament can consider supporting such powers without a Court Order!

On the nonsense of 'No Smoking Signs" is it only me( a confirmed smoker) that sees a sinister propaganda campaign in the timing and nature of the latest Govt adverts against secondary smoking. The evidence for lung damage caused by exhaust fumes is undisputed and based on detailed research yet we have a seriously scary and melodramatic advert based on a family wedding to convince us all that secondary smoking is a deadly silent killer. This campaign will run up to July, I am sure, so that Public Opinion will be firmly in support of the Smoking Ban being introduced. Dr Goebbells propagandist efforts seem paltry compared to this Governments use of Advertising!

Anonymous said...

Give them the power only if the whole debt collection industry is tidied up and held hugely more accountable to the sham they are now in much the same way that the Police & Criminal Evidence Act 1984, Criminal Procedure & Investgations Act 1996, Criminal Justice Act 2003 and Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 have overhauled the workings of law enforcement officials.

Tony Beachcomber said...

The Baliff report is a bit alarmist, but then it is the interpretation of the report by a centre right journalist.
Please correct me if I wrong but I always thought baliffs only act when you do not pay your council tax, refuse to pay fines and ignore debt orders,

DrMoores said...

It is a bit.. alarmist that is and I agree with you in regards to the importance of recovery. The danger is in the solution being disproportionate and I don't see the proper balances being set in rapid legislation.