From the Rule of Law to New Labour

John Redwood blogged today on “Killing the High Street”. I started to write a post, but went off topic onto wider issues. I therefore publish my post here.


Mr Redwood you point to a much wider problem when you say


“We will not linger long, deterred by the rip off car parking charges and by the need to comply with an ever more terrifying array of traffic and personal conduct rules and laws. We know the yobs will flaunt all this with no consequence for them,….”


We are moving from a society under the rule of law to one where we are constrained by laws. Under the rule of law, the laws are irrelevant for most people. Breaking the law is not something that people would consider, even if the most severe punishment were a public ticking-off and a fine of 50p. This is because as this vast majority don’t just aim to live on the boundaries of the law, but living peaceably with one another. A good number of these peaceable citizens working to positively enhance the society around them. Furthermore, serving the community whether an elected official or a local government employee is something to be admired.

Ever-increasing laws and rules mean that we are all law breakers, and equally guilty. Politics becomes the arena for the grasping (MPs expenses) and the manipulators (As this weekend showed). Employment in the public sector becomes a matter of secure jobs, gold-plated pensions whilst failing to serve the public.

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