Before Christmas, the influential BBC Radio4 Today programme launched a scheme to allow listeners to choose ideas for possible legislation to be presented before Parliament by Labour MP Stephen Pound, as a Private Member Bill (i.e. one which did not have explicit government backing). He agreed, in advance, to take forward any idea which was shown to be the most favoured by listeners, with the proviso that simply-expressed ideas would obviously require to be refined by legislative drafters (civil servants who exist to put legislative ideas into a form suitable for possible legislation). Many of the suggestions were downright weird, but eventually a short-list of 5 legislative ideas was selected (tabulated from those most frequently suggested) for listeners to vote on.
The idea which found most favour with listeners, and coincidentally the one which I chose to vote for myself, was:
Law 5: "The proposal to authorise homeowners to use any means to defend their home from intruders"
(It garnered 37% of the vote, the runner-up having received only 30%)
Read what all 5 ideas were by clicking here. The Honourable Stephen Pound MP did not, however, care for the choice of the listeners and remarked:
|"The people have spoken, the bastards!"
(I break my own rule in allowing that word onto my weblog only because the person who used it is a duly elected MP and because he was himself, I understand, quoting a reaction to electoral defeat of a Californian US Senate candidate)
I don't always, indeed not very frequently, agree with Mark Steyn, but his reaction to this is shared by me 100%.
Despite efforts to portray Tony Martin, who emerged recently from prison after serving a sentence for having shot dead a burglar at his hime (a ne'er to well, if ever there was one), as some kind of weird misanthrope, he has sounded to me to be pretty normal, bearing in mind a certain eccentricity, in the television and radio interviews with him that I have heard.
I quite agree that the drafting of any legislation such as that outlined in the winning idea would be a complex matter, but the pooh-poohing of the idea as unacceptable by Mr Pound displays exactly why so many people are disenchanted with our politicians and our political orthodoxy.