Encourage young entrepreneurs, don’t hold them back

Section 157 of the 2006 Companies Act bans under 16s from being the director of either a company or a charity.  

Whilst I appreciate that this is a law that only directly affects a very small minority of people, they are a very important minority, and it is thus in all out interests that we repeal it.

These people are the cream of the next generation, potential business or community leaders of the future.  Their talent and drive should be nurtured, encouraged and allowed to flourish.  Holding them back to the level of less able youngsters has quite the opposite effect.  

If we want this country to have a future, we should be encouraging our most able and driven youngsters to use their talent to its full potential.  The removal of unnecessary barriers, such as this draconian piece of legislation, is essential to doing this.

Just because this law only restricts a very small minority is not an excuse for its existence, particularly as the very people it is restricting are the same people that we will need to help get this country out of the mess it is in.

A government which cares about the future of this country would repeal this law without hesitation.

Why is this idea important?

Section 157 of the 2006 Companies Act bans under 16s from being the director of either a company or a charity.  

Whilst I appreciate that this is a law that only directly affects a very small minority of people, they are a very important minority, and it is thus in all out interests that we repeal it.

These people are the cream of the next generation, potential business or community leaders of the future.  Their talent and drive should be nurtured, encouraged and allowed to flourish.  Holding them back to the level of less able youngsters has quite the opposite effect.  

If we want this country to have a future, we should be encouraging our most able and driven youngsters to use their talent to its full potential.  The removal of unnecessary barriers, such as this draconian piece of legislation, is essential to doing this.

Just because this law only restricts a very small minority is not an excuse for its existence, particularly as the very people it is restricting are the same people that we will need to help get this country out of the mess it is in.

A government which cares about the future of this country would repeal this law without hesitation.

Reverse the decision that all new nurses will be required to have degrees

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Why is this idea important?

The basic requirement for being a good nurse is surely to have a kind, caring personality, not an ability to write a good essay.  It is therefore hugely worrying that entirely uncaring, but academic people could soon qualify as nurses at the expense of those who are very caring and attentive, but do not have an aptitude for academic study. 

What is more, there is a very real possibility that some of those who get degrees will become ‘too posh to wash’ and think the traditional duties of a nurse below them.  This will do nobody any favours. 

On top of this, has any thought been given to how this ludicrous proposal will be funded?  There are surely only three possibilities, all of which are unpalatable:

  1. The government will fund this unnecessary extra education, through grants and subsidies, increasing the already gargantuan budget deficit, thus further exacerbating the economic woes of this country.  
  2. Nursing will become a career option which is only available to the wealthy, as they will be the only ones who can afford the training.
  3. Trainee nurses will be required to take out large loans, saddling them with huge debts that they may never pay off.

Clearly none of the above, or any combination of them, is in the slightest bit desirable from the point of view either of potential nurses or of society as a whole.

Stop ‘child labour’ legislation from restricting teenagers’ right to work

Child labour laws were initially brought in to protect children from the kinds of working environments that no longer legally exist in this country.  They are now overbearing and prevent people who want to work from working, when it would be hugely beneficial to them to do so.

All restrictions of the employment of 16/17 year olds should be fully lifted, as should the restrictions on the number of hours 14/15 year olds can work during school holidays and at weekends.

In addition, 13 year olds should be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during school holidays and 5 hours a week during term time, and 12 year olds up to 10 hours a week during the school holidays.

Why is this idea important?

Child labour laws were initially brought in to protect children from the kinds of working environments that no longer legally exist in this country.  They are now overbearing and prevent people who want to work from working, when it would be hugely beneficial to them to do so.

All restrictions of the employment of 16/17 year olds should be fully lifted, as should the restrictions on the number of hours 14/15 year olds can work during school holidays and at weekends.

In addition, 13 year olds should be able to work for up to 20 hours a week during school holidays and 5 hours a week during term time, and 12 year olds up to 10 hours a week during the school holidays.

Amend all ‘child protection’ legislation so that it does not apply to teenagers

Teenagers are no longer little, sweet children who need mollycoddling and protecting as though they are still toddlers.  They are adolescents, who are in the process of turning into adults and thus need to learn to behave as adults and be guided into the adult world. 

Protecting them as ‘children’ encourages rebellion, as they are prevented from doing anything vaguely exciting, risky or grown up, or from taking any responsibility for themselves and so turn instead to illicit and often particularly dangerous thrills such as trespassing on railway lines, drug abuse or joy riding.

Teenage boys in particular, when treated like weaklings and starved of risk, danger, competition and responsibility are prone to acting ‘macho’ and being violent in order to prove they are tough and strong enough to be a ‘real man’.

Treating teenagers as ‘children’ also prevents them from gaining the vital skills and qualities required to face the real world, leaving those who do not rebel ill-equipped to face the challenges adult life when they are finally thrown out into the real world at 18 and suddenly told they are different now because they are an ‘adult’.

All ‘child protection’ legislation should therefore be amended so that it only applies to those aged under 13 years, as it does more harm than good when applied to teenagers.

Why is this idea important?

Teenagers are no longer little, sweet children who need mollycoddling and protecting as though they are still toddlers.  They are adolescents, who are in the process of turning into adults and thus need to learn to behave as adults and be guided into the adult world. 

Protecting them as ‘children’ encourages rebellion, as they are prevented from doing anything vaguely exciting, risky or grown up, or from taking any responsibility for themselves and so turn instead to illicit and often particularly dangerous thrills such as trespassing on railway lines, drug abuse or joy riding.

Teenage boys in particular, when treated like weaklings and starved of risk, danger, competition and responsibility are prone to acting ‘macho’ and being violent in order to prove they are tough and strong enough to be a ‘real man’.

Treating teenagers as ‘children’ also prevents them from gaining the vital skills and qualities required to face the real world, leaving those who do not rebel ill-equipped to face the challenges adult life when they are finally thrown out into the real world at 18 and suddenly told they are different now because they are an ‘adult’.

All ‘child protection’ legislation should therefore be amended so that it only applies to those aged under 13 years, as it does more harm than good when applied to teenagers.

Stop protecting the anonymity of teenagers convicted of violent crime

Amend the law which grants the right of anonymity to young offenders so that it does not apply to those aged 13 or over convicted of the most serious crimes, such as murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm.

The law should be protecting the victims of these crimes, not the perpetrators.  What is more, the public should have the right to know the identity of someone who has been convicted of committing a very serious crime in their community.

By the age of 13 someone should be well aware that such crimes destroy the lives of the victims and the victims’ families and should thus suffer the full consequences of their actions.  The perpetrators of these crimes are violent thugs, not sweet, innocent ‘children’ who need mollycoddling and protecting, and the law should reflect this.

Why is this idea important?

Amend the law which grants the right of anonymity to young offenders so that it does not apply to those aged 13 or over convicted of the most serious crimes, such as murder, attempted murder and grievous bodily harm.

The law should be protecting the victims of these crimes, not the perpetrators.  What is more, the public should have the right to know the identity of someone who has been convicted of committing a very serious crime in their community.

By the age of 13 someone should be well aware that such crimes destroy the lives of the victims and the victims’ families and should thus suffer the full consequences of their actions.  The perpetrators of these crimes are violent thugs, not sweet, innocent ‘children’ who need mollycoddling and protecting, and the law should reflect this.

Remove the law which allows police officers to enforce a 9pm-6am curfew on completely innocent, law abiding citizens

Whilst the police should have the power to deal with troublemakers and people who are causing a public nuisance, they should not be able to victimise innocent members of the public who are merely going about their everyday lives.

Paragraph 6 of Section 30 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act allows a police officer to remove a person they believe to be aged under 16 to their place of residence if they are not accompanied by an adult, even if they have done nothing wrong and are not causing any trouble to anyone.

This means that all under 16s can potentially be punished for the misdeeds of a minority and are legally treated as potential criminals regardless of their actual likelihood of committing a crime.  Curfews should be used as a punishment for those who have actually done wrong, not as an instrument to victimise an entire age group.

What is more, this law does nothing to tackle anti social behaviour, as other laws (including the others in section 30 of this act) already give police the powers to deal with people who are acting in an unruly or antisocial manner.  If anything this law actually serves to waste police time that could otherwise be used tackling genuine yobs.

Section 30, paragraph 6 of the 2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act should be removed from the statute books at the earliest possible moment in order to make it absolutely clear that this law is an unacceptable breach of the civil liberties of entirely innocent citizens.

Why is this idea important?

Whilst the police should have the power to deal with troublemakers and people who are causing a public nuisance, they should not be able to victimise innocent members of the public who are merely going about their everyday lives.

Paragraph 6 of Section 30 of the Anti Social Behaviour Act allows a police officer to remove a person they believe to be aged under 16 to their place of residence if they are not accompanied by an adult, even if they have done nothing wrong and are not causing any trouble to anyone.

This means that all under 16s can potentially be punished for the misdeeds of a minority and are legally treated as potential criminals regardless of their actual likelihood of committing a crime.  Curfews should be used as a punishment for those who have actually done wrong, not as an instrument to victimise an entire age group.

What is more, this law does nothing to tackle anti social behaviour, as other laws (including the others in section 30 of this act) already give police the powers to deal with people who are acting in an unruly or antisocial manner.  If anything this law actually serves to waste police time that could otherwise be used tackling genuine yobs.

Section 30, paragraph 6 of the 2003 Anti Social Behaviour Act should be removed from the statute books at the earliest possible moment in order to make it absolutely clear that this law is an unacceptable breach of the civil liberties of entirely innocent citizens.

Remove the right to anonymity of 16/17 year olds convicted of crimes

Amend the law that currently provides special legal protection to all under 18s convicted of crimes so that it only applies to those under the age of 16.

By the age of 16, somebody is more than mature enough to face the full consequences of their actions.  The law should reflect this. 

The law as it stands means that the press are prevented from revealing the identity of a 16/17 year old convicted criminal unless the Judge presiding over the case specifically lifts their anonymity.  The result of this is that the media report that ‘A 16 year old, who can not be named for legal reasons has been convicted of …’.  This tarnishes the reputation of all 16 year olds, even though the vast majority would never dream of committing the crime that that individual 16 year old has been convicted of committing, as it gives the impression that:

(a) It could be any 16 year old who has done it, and

(b) There is a likelihood that any 16 year old might commit a similar crime. 

This is not the case.

As with any other age group, the vast majority of criminal offences are committed by a very small minority.  This small minority should be forced to take full responsibility for their actions. 

Why is this idea important?

Amend the law that currently provides special legal protection to all under 18s convicted of crimes so that it only applies to those under the age of 16.

By the age of 16, somebody is more than mature enough to face the full consequences of their actions.  The law should reflect this. 

The law as it stands means that the press are prevented from revealing the identity of a 16/17 year old convicted criminal unless the Judge presiding over the case specifically lifts their anonymity.  The result of this is that the media report that ‘A 16 year old, who can not be named for legal reasons has been convicted of …’.  This tarnishes the reputation of all 16 year olds, even though the vast majority would never dream of committing the crime that that individual 16 year old has been convicted of committing, as it gives the impression that:

(a) It could be any 16 year old who has done it, and

(b) There is a likelihood that any 16 year old might commit a similar crime. 

This is not the case.

As with any other age group, the vast majority of criminal offences are committed by a very small minority.  This small minority should be forced to take full responsibility for their actions. 

Repeal the 2004 Christmas Day Trading Act

The Christmas Day Trading Act prohibits large shops (those covered by Sunday Trading laws) from opening at all for retail on Christmas day.

 This ridiculous piece of legislation is an unnecessary interference both in business and in peoples’ right to spend their spare time as they choose.  The Government should not be interfering in the harmless activity of its citizens, and certainly not at the expense of businesses during a time when our economy is in such a bad state. 

 As shops would only open if there was demand for them to be open and they were able to get staff to work that day, the sole purpose of this piece of legislation seems to have been a means by which the Government could impose its own values upon the rest of society. 

Why is this idea important?

The Christmas Day Trading Act prohibits large shops (those covered by Sunday Trading laws) from opening at all for retail on Christmas day.

 This ridiculous piece of legislation is an unnecessary interference both in business and in peoples’ right to spend their spare time as they choose.  The Government should not be interfering in the harmless activity of its citizens, and certainly not at the expense of businesses during a time when our economy is in such a bad state. 

 As shops would only open if there was demand for them to be open and they were able to get staff to work that day, the sole purpose of this piece of legislation seems to have been a means by which the Government could impose its own values upon the rest of society.