Monday, 17 December 2007


Like many people I have been suffering from too much global warming today, I'm afraid the office heating system wasn't coping with the outside temperatures too well. This may have made me a little more cranky than usual so look away now if you're feeling delicate.

I found these posts on John Redwoods diary today, they confirmed what I have suspected for some time - the argument for not allowing us a referendum does not hold water. The idea being that if we elect the great and good to represent our views they should be allowed to get on with it.

Unfortunately from what John says it is obvious that most of us and our views are not really represented most of the time, and the real scrutiny is done (if at all) by outside lobby groups who have read the proposed legislation. Even that really doesn't help as Johns points out that a lot of the real regulation is added in the form of statutory instruments AFTER the bill has been passed.

It's no wonder we end up with over complicated, unenforceable laws. It is my belief that this situation has been exacerbated by the vast amount of regulation coming from the EU that has to be implemented in the UK. All our valuable Parliamentary time is taken up implementing things we have little or no control over - a situation which can only get worse in the light of the new EU treaty that Gordon Brown has signed on our behalf.

We no longer live in a true democracy and this makes me very sad indeed.

I would like a web project started to publish in full all current legislation and all proposed legislation - freely available to anyone who was mad enough (as undoubtedly some of us are) to read it. Give us some real power if our MP's can't cope with the small print let the bloggers at it!

It may be it's already out there, but not in one place - let me know if I'm missing out!


Francis Irving said...

For existing law, look at the Statute Law Database. It isn't perfect - partly because it doesn't have case law. But it is much better than the situation before it launched a year ago.

We (mySociety, who make are working in various ways to make the awesome proposed legislation interface that you want and need happen. I suspect it is going to be a while though.

Meanwhile, the Public Bills Before Parliament page on the Parliament website is pretty good.

Also, if you'd like an easier start to get into this, it would be super if you could help Public Whip analyse MPs voting record. We need people to go through votes in Parliament and work out what they mean. Email if you fancy it.

Mrs Smallprint said...

Thanks Francis.

I think the is a great site and I have added it to my side bar to alert others to it.

Newmania said...

Well you seem like a thoroughly good sort Mrs S.