For Joe public life is full of events. From the time you wake in the morning to the time you rest your head again at night, we do stuff, lots of stuff.
We get the breakfast going, get the kids ready for school, listen to the news, go to the shops, buy food, clothes or just shop for nick nacks, visit the hospital or doctors or even take a neighbour, take the bus to see friends, meet in the local coffee shop, attend meetings, go to work, take a drive, sing or take photographs, eat out, an evening in the pub or just watching TV.
We all fill our days in different ways…but, virtually everything you do, touch, buy or imbibe is covered by a plethora of laws, rules or regulation. Totally.
In a post on 6th Feb (Britain at the Crossroads) I indicated that the UK is now a totalitarian state, governed by an unelected and totalitarian super-state. That does not mean that cops are running around waving guns at everyone to get them to do things they dont want to do, but it does mean that virtually everything you do, touch, buy or imbibe is covered by a plethora of laws, rules or regulations. Totally.
I ended that post by asking a simple question.
Quiz for today, totalitarian: If you don’t believe that Britain is governed totally by political rules, regulations, orders and diktats, please name me 6 everyday activities, yes, just six, that you undertake that does not require a. permission, b. licence, c. regulated action, d. regulated packaging, materials, ingredients, tools etc.
i.e. 6 activities that never touch the state or a regulator.
I recall reading somewhere that in the 1950′s it was claimed that the average member of the public only ever came into contact with the state on 3 occasions, school, the post office and paying tax. Not quite true but I think you get my drift.
I didn’t get any takers, so I am giving you the opportunity again. Has the UK become a totalitarian state or can you name just 6 activities that never touch the state or a regulator?
When you have decided that you cannot find 6 things, I will then ask which political party will have the guts to start repealing all these laws, rules and regulations, and take us back to being a free democratic society, a society where you decide, weigh up your own risks and take responsibility for your own actions and activities.
I think you may be hard pushed to answer that as well.
I think it was pre First World War when the minimal school/post office/paying tax contacts with the state applied. The huge growth of officialdom was spawned by two world wars – or at any rate it’s acceptance in thpublic’s mind. The 1945 Labour government made huge inroads into people’s lives – for instance by nationalising whole industries. Until Mrs Thatcher, the Conservatives accepted much of this. The resulting melange was called Butskellism ( combination of Butler and Gaitskell ). There was some rolling back of the state most obviously affecting private life in the Fifties ( Food rationing etc which lasted much longer here than it did on the continent because of bureaucratic inertia and Labour insistence on ” fair shares for all”) . Wartime measures like Identity Cards continued ( used for many other purposes than the original – such as NHS registration) but the legal requirement to carry one was actually overturned by the courts rather than the government when a case brought by an officious policeman was thrown out. The attitude to officialdom in such matters was one of healthy contempt – unlike today where political correctness has imposed more restraints on free speech than wartime Defence Regulations ever did.