Melon Farmers Original Version

Great Repeal Bill

UK government consults on bad laws to repeal

12th February

 Offsite: Liberty Lite...

The repeal bill: what's left in, what's left out

See article from


13th January

Update: Blunt Words...

Dangerous Pictures Act has been ruled out from the Not so Great Repeals Bill

AllanB has been pursuing with his MP the possibility of including the Dangerous Pictures Act in the government's fading Great Repeals Bill

A reply was received from Crispin Blunt who describes himself as Minister with responsibility for the criminal law.

AllanB wrote:

After a page or so describing what the DPA was all about, and how images had to meet several tests (explicit, realistic blah blah) before warranting prosecution this is the quote the offence is tightly drawn to apply to only the most extreme material we do not intend to propose this offence as a candidate for repeal.

The justification for the offence remains the impact they may have on those who view them , although he doesn't state what that impact is.

Presumably they've embraced the Rapid Evidence Assessment (REA) findings. This was a much influential 'academic' report written by anti porn activists. So if anyone is into further letter writing I would recommend challenging the REA. The last government was criticised by the parliamentary science and technology select committee for misusing scientific evidence to justify policy decisions which were actually based on ideological grounds. If ever there was engineered evidence the REA is it.


1st December

Update: Underwhelming...

The Great Law Repeal Bonfire limited to a match and a couple of twigs

Home Secretary and Minister for Women and Equality Theresa May has announced that the socio-economic duty, which was created as part of the 2010 Equality Act, will be scrapped.

The announcement came as the Home Secretary outlined a new approach to equalities that rejects political correctness and social engineering.

In a speech at the Coin Street Community Centre in south London, the Home Secretary announced plans to tackle inequality by treating people as individuals rather than labelling them in groups, and ending the top-down approach that saw Whitehall trying to impose equality from above.

At least there is at least one welcome twig on the government bonfire. The speech also included the Home Secretary announcing that a measure in the Freedom Bill will allow people who were prosecuted for having consensual gay sex at a time when this was illegal to apply to have their convictions deleted from criminal records.

Up to 12,000 men will be treated more fairly thanks to the changes relating to convictions for consesual gay sex with over 16s.

The Freedom Bill, due to be published by February next year, will change the law so that people can apply to have such convictions deleted from the Police National Computer.

Until 1967 gay sex was illegal, and many men who were convicted in the 1960s now find themselves unable to volunteer with charities because criminal record checks show they have been convicted of a sexual offence.'


22nd November

Update: The Great Law Repeal Bonfire...

Looks like only electoral promises will be fuelling the flames

  Nick Clegg's Freedom Bill
...a bit of a damp squib

The Deputy Prime Minister announced with great fanfare in July that he would pilot a Freedom Bill through Parliament, sweeping away meddlesome legislation and freeing up individuals and business from overbearing rules.

A massive consultation was launched with people invited to submit their ideas for laws which should be scrapped on a website run by Clegg's department, the Cabinet Office.

Some 46,000 people logged on and left their ideas, with each entry generating a stream of comments and debate.

Now Clegg has told friends there is simply too much detail . And he has handed the project to the Home Office, where officials have been charged with truncating the scheme and turning it into a much smaller civil liberties bill.

Deregulation measures aimed at freeing up business have been stripped from the Bill to make it simpler, to the dismay of Tory MPs.

In a sweeping statement at the launch of the Freedom Bill initiative, Mr Clegg had vowed to free our society of unnecessary laws and regulations – both for individuals and businesses. He promised to strip away the excessive regulation that stops businesses from innovating. He urged citizens to get involved and said it was a totally new way of putting you in charge . Launching the Your Freedom consultation site, he said: Every suggestion and comment will be read. So please use this site to make yourself heard. Be demanding about your liberties, be insistent about your rights.

One Lib Dem insider said: Nick felt he was being tied up in knots so he washed his hands of it.

A spokesman for the Cabinet Office last night confirmed that the Freedom Bill was now being handled by the Home Office. However a spokesman for the Home Office said: I don't think any one department has ownership of this bill.

Comment: Shameful

From Phantom on the Melon Farmers Forum

This was one of the LibDem flagship policies. A concession wrestled from the Tories in the coalition agreement. And now Clegg has handed it to the Home Office.

Check out the Home Office ministers.

  • Theresa May, Con
  • Pauline Neville-Jones, Con
  • Damian Green, Con
  • Nick Herbert, Con
  • Lynne Featherstone, LibDem
  • James Brokenshire, Con

Somewhat of a Tory weighting in that department. And the Tories in question are not of the Ken Clarke variety. Would a Tory group of this nature really be keen on repealing laws? Pauline `MI6` Neville-Jones and Damian `Immigration` Green? I think not.

So it seems Clegg has not so much handed it over, but abandoned it altogether. In short, once the LibDem leader washed his hands of it, the repeal act died. There is not a chance of a Tory Home Office investing any political capital in what they would see as wet, wishy washy policies which would, in their eyes, subvert authority and control.

Seems to me Clegg simply sold out on this one. Even though he'd won coalition support - simply because it proved tricky to do.



10th September

Update: Your Freedom...

Last day for comments and votes on laws to repeal

Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, today thanked the public for their contribution to the Your Freedom debate, which he launched on 1 July. Now that 46,000 people have left 14,000 ideas and 95,000 comments on the Your Freedom website, Mr Clegg said that it is time for ministers and officials to set to work examining every idea to see what might be feasible and how it might be brought into effect.

This phase of Your Freedom will begin on Friday 10 September, after which the site will not be accepting new comments or ideas.






















20th July

Offsite: Stasi Britain...

Turning us into a nation full of suspects

In response to UK deputy minister Nick Clegg's call for suggestions for laws and regulations that should be scrapped, spiked writers will put forward their suggestions for which laws should be consigned to the shredding machine of history. Here, Tim Black makes the case for scrapping the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act.

A man's home is his castle . Rarely has this 400-year-old quipped defence against the arbitrary exercise of state power seemed quite as quaint as it does today. Because whatever else a man's home is, whatever else he feels his private sphere to be, it is certainly not impermeable. In fact, due to a whole raft of legislation over the past 10 years, our private existence has never been quite so transparent. The state, should it so wish, can read our emails, can check which websites we visit, can watch us take our dogs for walks, can follow us on our way to work…in fact, the possibilities for state surveillance are endless. And the chief reason for this is a spectacularly snide piece of legislation called the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).

...Read the full article


10th July

Offsite: Your Freedom...

Stop policing our thoughts, including the hateful ones

Kicking off spiked's proposals for which laws should be thrown in the shredding machine of history: rip up the religious hatred act.

Introduced by the New Labour government in 2006, the Racial and Religious Hatred Act is an attack on what is for spiked the most important freedom of all, the freedom upon which all other freedoms are built, the freedom without which we cannot be free-thinking, free-associating, independent citizens: freedom of speech. The act captures the dual fear that has motivated the authorities' many, myriad attacks on free speech over the past decade and more: their fear of ideas, which they consider to be toxic and virus-like, and their fear of the masses, whom they look upon as an easily stirred-up mob, a pogrom waiting to go forth and decimate.

...Read full article


3rd July

Updated: Your Freedom...

UK government consults on which bad laws to repeal

The state has crept further and further into people's homes and their private lives under the cover of pretending to act in our best interest. That needs to change, says Nick Clegg:

During their 13 years in power, the Labour Government developed a dangerous reflex. Faced with whatever problem, legislation increasingly became the standard response. Something needs fixing? Let's pass a new law.

And so, over the last decade, thousands of new rules and regulations have amassed on the statute book. And it is our liberty that has paid the price. Under the cover of pretending to act in our best interest, the state has crept further and further into people's homes and their private lives. That intrusion is disempowering. It needs to change.

The Coalition Government is determined to restore great British freedoms. Major steps have been taken already. ID cards have been halted. Plans are underway to restrict the storage of innocent people's DNA. Schools will no longer be able to take children's fingerprints without their parents consent.

But we need to do more. The culture of state snooping has become so ingrained that we must tackle it with renewed vigour. And, especially in these difficult times, entrepreneurs and businesses need our help. We must ensure we are not tying them up in restrictive red tape.

So today we are taking an unprecedented step. Based on the belief that it is people, not policymakers, who know best, we are asking the people of Britain to tell us how you want to see your freedom restored.

We are calling for your ideas on how to protect our hard won liberties and repeal unnecessary laws. And we want to know how best to scale back excessive regulation that denies businesses the space to innovate. We're hoping for virtual mailbags full of suggestions. Every single one will be read, with the best put to Parliament.

It is a radically different approach. One based on trust. Because it isn't up to government to tell people how to live their lives. Our job is to empower people, giving you the freedom and support to thrive. That belief is right at the heart of this Coalition. And both coalition parties recognise that Whitehall doesn't have a monopoly on the best ideas.

So, finally, after years in the wilderness, freedom is back in fashion. This is our chance to redraw the boundaries between citizen and state. It's your chance to have your say.


Some Early Suggestions

Thanks to emark

Repeal of the Dangerous Pictures Act banning 'Extreme Porn'



Repeal of the Dangerous Cartoons Act


You can vote, and leave comments.

Update: Suggestions

3rd July 2010. Thanks to emark and simcha

TV Censorship


Video Censorship



4th May

Dangerous Hopes...

Tories plan bonfire of Labour's crap laws

David Cameron has unveiled a detailed blueprint for the first days of a future Conservative government as the polls suggest he is on course to win the largest number of seats in the general election.

In a Sunday Times interview, the Conservative leader revealed the four pieces of legislation that would dominate his debut Queen's speech.

The centrepiece of the Tories' Queen's speech, to be held within the next month if the party forms a government, would be a great repeal bill .

This would scrap ID cards, home information packs and dozens of rarely enforced criminal offences introduced by Labour over 13 years.

Hopes that the Dangerous Pictures Act may be on the bonfire list

Thanks to freeworld

Douglas Carswell MP and Daniel Hannan MEP drew up a " great repeal bill " a couple of years ago, a blueprint of legislation which should be scrapped.

Carswell seems to be saying that Cameron's announced "legislation bonfire" has a basis in their "Great repeal bill", so it may be of interest to people here who haven't seen this document -

The notorious "Dangerous Pictures Act" in Straw's "Criminal justice and immigration act" of 2008 is listed, and they say this section of the act should either be abolished or "carefully amended", so the definition satisfies the tests of "consent or direct harm". It's the inclusion of patently fictional material for possession, even of clips from classified movies which cannot be real by definition, which are the worst aspects of the DPA.


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