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UNDERNEWS

Undernews is the online report of the Progressive Review, edited by Sam Smith, who covered Washington during all or part of ten of America's presidencies and who has edited alternative journals since 1964. The Review, which has been on the web since 1995, is now published from Freeport, Maine. We get over 5 million article visits a year. See prorev.com for full contents of our site

January 31, 2010

POLITICIANS MAKE LIFE A MOVING VIOLATION

Some time ago we reported that Congress had passed more bills since 1976 than it had in all its previous years. This trend is also pronounced with state and local governments. It seems that politicians think they prove how good they are by banning and regulating new things. Here's the latest on this trend from Britain:

Telegraph, UK - Thanks to Labour, it is now illegal to swim in the wreck of the Titanic or to sell game birds killed on a Sunday or Christmas Day – eventualities overlooked by previous governments.

Labour has made 4,289 activities illegal since the 1997 election, at a rate of about one a day - twice the speed with which the previous Conservative government created crimes.

Gordon Brown was the worst offender, with his government inventing 33 new crimes a month. Tony Blair's administration made 27 new offences each month.

Some of the more inventive crimes dreamt up by Labour include "disturbing a pack of eggs when directed not to by an authorized officer" and reporting the door of a merchant ship to be closed and locked when it isn't.

Labour also introduced laws against activities which would already have been covered by previous legislation – such as "causing a nuclear explosion."

Liberal Democrat home office spokesman Chris Huhne, who brought the figures to light, will criticize the government's administrative binge in a speech tonight.

He will say Labour has spent 12 years "suffering from the most acute and prolonged bout of legislative diarrhea", calling the rate of 69 new Home Affairs Bills in 12 years "staggering".


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