Monday, July 21, 2008

NOTES FROM ORWELLANDIA

Sun, UK Homeowners must let council inspectors in to check for dancing bears after they were handed 1,043 powers to pry. Armies of clipboard-touting officials can demand entry to check on everything from pot plants to fridges. Details of the vast array of laws were quietly slipped out to MPs day by the Home Office. The list includes 430 new powers of entry brought in by Labour ministers – a year after a report said there were only 266.

The checks include whether pot plants have pests or imported “passport” documents, or if hypnotism is being practiced illegally. Inspectors can demand to know if homeowners are keeping rabbits. Brits must also reveal if their hedge is too high under the Anti Social Behavior Act, and whether their fridge has the correct EU energy rating under little-known Energy Information Household Refrigerators and Freezers Regulations 2004. Bureaucrats can also make a sweep for weapons of mass destruction. In 2007 Gordon Brown promised a bonfire of petty rules - yet 16 more have become law since he became PM.

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