Simplify viewing of British Standards publications (BS numbers)

For some bizarre reason it is really difficult to study the British Standards legislation unless you buy each 1 at an exorbitant amount of £160 or so. Libraries will let you view them on computer (with a password or some such twaddle) but you can only print off something like 15%.

If tradesmen are expected to follow these standards then for goodness sake make them accessible! 

Why is this idea important?

For some bizarre reason it is really difficult to study the British Standards legislation unless you buy each 1 at an exorbitant amount of £160 or so. Libraries will let you view them on computer (with a password or some such twaddle) but you can only print off something like 15%.

If tradesmen are expected to follow these standards then for goodness sake make them accessible! 

Overturn unfair criteria of Criminal Injuries Board

As it stands in familial sexual abuse cases, if  the injury or sexual assault happened before October 1 1979 and you were living with that person as a member of their family, you are not entitled to claim.

This is a complete travesty of justice. How can a child who suffered sexual abuse on 30 Sept 1979 be any less deserving than a child who suffered 1 day later.

The child would in most cases have had no choice whatsoever as to whether they lived in the same house as their abuser.

Overturn this barbaric rule. There should be retrospective awards to cover all bases.

Why is this idea important?

As it stands in familial sexual abuse cases, if  the injury or sexual assault happened before October 1 1979 and you were living with that person as a member of their family, you are not entitled to claim.

This is a complete travesty of justice. How can a child who suffered sexual abuse on 30 Sept 1979 be any less deserving than a child who suffered 1 day later.

The child would in most cases have had no choice whatsoever as to whether they lived in the same house as their abuser.

Overturn this barbaric rule. There should be retrospective awards to cover all bases.

Lower minimum age for buying alcohol in pubs/clubs to 16

Before 'challenge 21' etc.  since the '50s teenagers went into pubs when they could 'get away with it' around 15 or 16. Because they wanted to be seen as 'adult' they behaved & drank in a sensible manner overall.

When things changed they started hanging around parks drinking copious amounts of cheap booze, causing trouble & getting ill.

Let them back into pubs (they're going to drink anyway) & at least they can follow a sensible (on the whole) template of behaviour around booze.

It'll give them something to do socially & at least they could go dancing etc., something taken for granted by teens in the 'dance hall days' 

For 12-15 year olds there should be far more adequate provision in terms of youth activity centres with music, sport, parkour, etc.

Why is this idea important?

Before 'challenge 21' etc.  since the '50s teenagers went into pubs when they could 'get away with it' around 15 or 16. Because they wanted to be seen as 'adult' they behaved & drank in a sensible manner overall.

When things changed they started hanging around parks drinking copious amounts of cheap booze, causing trouble & getting ill.

Let them back into pubs (they're going to drink anyway) & at least they can follow a sensible (on the whole) template of behaviour around booze.

It'll give them something to do socially & at least they could go dancing etc., something taken for granted by teens in the 'dance hall days' 

For 12-15 year olds there should be far more adequate provision in terms of youth activity centres with music, sport, parkour, etc.

Lower the age of criminal responsibility to 7

7 is the accepted 'age of reason'. I'm tired of hearing people talk of under 12 year olds as if they wander around in a bubble of ignorance, unaware of right & wrong. This is not true. People just forget what being a child is like.

If kids are so incapable of knowing consequences of their actions etc then why are we putting them into schools at 4?? We expect them to do homework, obey teachers & school rules, not bully, learn a variety of subjects, take exams, perform in concerts etc but then argue that, criminally, they exist in some kind of moral vacuum!!

Having myself been subjected to incredibly vile & evil wrongdoings by a 10 year old (who knew exactly what they were doing) when I was 6 the last thing I'd want is to see the age raised to 12 or above. It's naive insanity.

Why is this idea important?

7 is the accepted 'age of reason'. I'm tired of hearing people talk of under 12 year olds as if they wander around in a bubble of ignorance, unaware of right & wrong. This is not true. People just forget what being a child is like.

If kids are so incapable of knowing consequences of their actions etc then why are we putting them into schools at 4?? We expect them to do homework, obey teachers & school rules, not bully, learn a variety of subjects, take exams, perform in concerts etc but then argue that, criminally, they exist in some kind of moral vacuum!!

Having myself been subjected to incredibly vile & evil wrongdoings by a 10 year old (who knew exactly what they were doing) when I was 6 the last thing I'd want is to see the age raised to 12 or above. It's naive insanity.

Stop pedestrianisation mania

The proliferation of ridiculous 'town planning' ventures, which see huge amounts of expensive paving, yellow lines & wavy lines, plant pots, & dubiously appealing plastic architectural 'improvements' crowding our pavements & roads is stopping people:

A. Reaching shops by the simple act of crossing from 1 side of the road to the other

B. Parking anywhere near said shops & being forced to buy online or go to sterile out of town malls

Consequently small shops unique in character are going to the wall in droves as nobody can access their shops!!

Why is this idea important?

The proliferation of ridiculous 'town planning' ventures, which see huge amounts of expensive paving, yellow lines & wavy lines, plant pots, & dubiously appealing plastic architectural 'improvements' crowding our pavements & roads is stopping people:

A. Reaching shops by the simple act of crossing from 1 side of the road to the other

B. Parking anywhere near said shops & being forced to buy online or go to sterile out of town malls

Consequently small shops unique in character are going to the wall in droves as nobody can access their shops!!

Stop supermarkets charging exorbitantly for plastic carrier bags

My problem is the hypocrisy of some supermarkets charging way over the odds for plastic bags to up their 'green' credentials whilst flogging their own goods in overwhelming amounts of both rigid & soft plastic, dyes etc.

Sainsburys use eco-friendly plastic bags…..so why can't others follow suit?

The small handled, square paper 'bag for life' types are not strong, cut into your hands, are unwealdy, & impossible to use for those with certain conditions like RA, whereas plastic ones are flexible & can be hung over the wrist.  

Why is this idea important?

My problem is the hypocrisy of some supermarkets charging way over the odds for plastic bags to up their 'green' credentials whilst flogging their own goods in overwhelming amounts of both rigid & soft plastic, dyes etc.

Sainsburys use eco-friendly plastic bags…..so why can't others follow suit?

The small handled, square paper 'bag for life' types are not strong, cut into your hands, are unwealdy, & impossible to use for those with certain conditions like RA, whereas plastic ones are flexible & can be hung over the wrist.  

Transparancy in nutritional labeling standards for food

Currently supermarkets are getting away with making food seem healthier by bunging in whey powder, cheese powder etc into products that never traditionally had them (bread/crackers etc) so as to make the protein ratio higher, thereby making the fat & sugar percentages look lower. This is hoodwinking the public & completely unnacceptable. It's also making things more difficult for those with dairy allergies, vegans etc as they have to scrutinise ingredient lists for milk products where they would never before expect to find them.

Why is this idea important?

Currently supermarkets are getting away with making food seem healthier by bunging in whey powder, cheese powder etc into products that never traditionally had them (bread/crackers etc) so as to make the protein ratio higher, thereby making the fat & sugar percentages look lower. This is hoodwinking the public & completely unnacceptable. It's also making things more difficult for those with dairy allergies, vegans etc as they have to scrutinise ingredient lists for milk products where they would never before expect to find them.

Overhaul NHS dental contract systems

There are now a ludicrous amount of people without an NHS dentist & this has to stop. As well as the obvious dental health issues there are serious future heart health implications for a nation with rotting teeth.

The system was excellent in the '70s. Shouldn't we be progressing by 2010? Rather than routinely hearing tales of people extracting their own teeth with pliers?!

It's barbaric.

Why is this idea important?

There are now a ludicrous amount of people without an NHS dentist & this has to stop. As well as the obvious dental health issues there are serious future heart health implications for a nation with rotting teeth.

The system was excellent in the '70s. Shouldn't we be progressing by 2010? Rather than routinely hearing tales of people extracting their own teeth with pliers?!

It's barbaric.

Overturn smoking ban: rescue pub trade & stop inciting smoker hatred.

The smoking ban should be lifted or amended as it is based on false science & brainwashing. A 39 year study by the BMJ in California found no risk to health from passive smoking. Those who say 'But you're stinking up the air' appear to have no problems walking & driving in massive concentrations of carbon monoxide from car exhaust fumes every day, often blithely pushing their kids in buggys inches in front of them while crossing the road! Yet strangely we hear no clamour for a car ban.
I'm allergic to formaldehyde & end up gasping for breath in the presence of glossy magazines…would I be able to get its use banned? I doubt it.
The UK ban has ruined the pub trade. Beautiful buildings that formed the heart of rural communities are boarded up daily. A huge amount of non-smokers oppose the ban as the fun & life has drained away with their smoking friends, who are now effectively placed on house arrest & denied the pleasures others take for granted. I'm all for separate rooms & good ventilation, but a ban is, imo, victimising & discriminating against people with a disability & should be overturned by use of the Disability Act, as they are being denied goods & services enjoyed by non-smokers. Before anyone hoots with derision at smoking being a 'disability' I've seen it classed as such by the WHO. It's not a 'selfish choice' but an addiction. Publicans tell me UK town centres are becoming far more violent since the ban as people are now snorting cocaine in the loos to relieve cigarette cravings, thereby making them paranoid & aggressive, the opposite effect of cigarettes, which calm & mellow the user. What has society come to where the NHS is, as of today, prepared to dole out free heroin while demonising smokers, who have paid far more into the NHS than they've taken out. 
Car fumes are tolerated by smoker-haters without a care, but
Which would you rather be shut in a locked garage with, a smoker or a car belching out fumes?
I’m not advocating a car ban obviously…but I’m pointing out the hypocrisy of the aggressive non-smokers who swoon & force little hacking coughs out within 20 feet of a smoker whilst freely allowing their babies to be pushed between car exhausts while crossing the road!
The recent & severe pub decline is absolutely down to the smoking ban. Whilst drink driving law, poor public transport systems, & the proliferation of cheap supermarket booze has contributed to a very slow reduction in pub clientele from the early ’80s, this pales into insignificance compared to the decimation of pubs since the ban. I don’t know anybody who would not stampede back to their locals if this ban were lifted. Smokers are now forced to be miserable exiles who are denied the social contact of pubs, & their non-smoking friends choose to keep them company, drinking awful, canned supermarket fizz at home rather than beautifully kept real ale. It’s a no-brainer. Nobody would give a fig about the difference in price as they’re paying for a happy experience & ambience, in the same way people visit cinemas, restaurants, & hair salons, despite there being cheap mobile hairdressers, frozen ready meals, & DVD hire.
Many people are unable to beat their addiction. Nobody is stopping alcoholics drinking in pubs & they are addicts who do actually damage others as well as themselves in terms of violent assaults etc. (unlike the lie that is the fictitious harm of passive smoking) yet nobody is excluding them or trying to force them to get counselling!
Many smokers actually smoke more since the ban, due to the stress & depression of the social isolation & demonisation caused by this disgusting & unjustified witchunt.
The BMJ study found 'No causal relationship between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and tobacco-related mortality' therefore all smoking bans should be immediately retracted. Ventilation should be in place merely out of politeness if people don't like the smell or it makes their eyes sting. I'm all for consideration. Let's face it, if there was a completely anonymous study & aggressive non smokers were honest, they would probably admit that smoking doesn't actually bother them one iota, they're just enjoying being given a government sanctioned carte blanche to pick on a minority group with impunity, hurling insults & feeling smugly superior whilst revelling in the enjoyment of raining on other peoples' parades. We're right back to the playground in this respect. The whole thing reminds me very much of that famous programme by Jane Elliot called 'The Essential Blue-Eyed', where children were 'taught' to discriminate against 1 another on the basis of eye colour! Watch it & there you'll see the true motivation of the crowing, intolerant non-smoker, bullying to gain supremacy. Inciting hatred against a minority is supposedly a crime, but it seems the gloves are off when it comes to smoker-baiting, the new global sport.
 

Why is this idea important?

The smoking ban should be lifted or amended as it is based on false science & brainwashing. A 39 year study by the BMJ in California found no risk to health from passive smoking. Those who say 'But you're stinking up the air' appear to have no problems walking & driving in massive concentrations of carbon monoxide from car exhaust fumes every day, often blithely pushing their kids in buggys inches in front of them while crossing the road! Yet strangely we hear no clamour for a car ban.
I'm allergic to formaldehyde & end up gasping for breath in the presence of glossy magazines…would I be able to get its use banned? I doubt it.
The UK ban has ruined the pub trade. Beautiful buildings that formed the heart of rural communities are boarded up daily. A huge amount of non-smokers oppose the ban as the fun & life has drained away with their smoking friends, who are now effectively placed on house arrest & denied the pleasures others take for granted. I'm all for separate rooms & good ventilation, but a ban is, imo, victimising & discriminating against people with a disability & should be overturned by use of the Disability Act, as they are being denied goods & services enjoyed by non-smokers. Before anyone hoots with derision at smoking being a 'disability' I've seen it classed as such by the WHO. It's not a 'selfish choice' but an addiction. Publicans tell me UK town centres are becoming far more violent since the ban as people are now snorting cocaine in the loos to relieve cigarette cravings, thereby making them paranoid & aggressive, the opposite effect of cigarettes, which calm & mellow the user. What has society come to where the NHS is, as of today, prepared to dole out free heroin while demonising smokers, who have paid far more into the NHS than they've taken out. 
Car fumes are tolerated by smoker-haters without a care, but
Which would you rather be shut in a locked garage with, a smoker or a car belching out fumes?
I’m not advocating a car ban obviously…but I’m pointing out the hypocrisy of the aggressive non-smokers who swoon & force little hacking coughs out within 20 feet of a smoker whilst freely allowing their babies to be pushed between car exhausts while crossing the road!
The recent & severe pub decline is absolutely down to the smoking ban. Whilst drink driving law, poor public transport systems, & the proliferation of cheap supermarket booze has contributed to a very slow reduction in pub clientele from the early ’80s, this pales into insignificance compared to the decimation of pubs since the ban. I don’t know anybody who would not stampede back to their locals if this ban were lifted. Smokers are now forced to be miserable exiles who are denied the social contact of pubs, & their non-smoking friends choose to keep them company, drinking awful, canned supermarket fizz at home rather than beautifully kept real ale. It’s a no-brainer. Nobody would give a fig about the difference in price as they’re paying for a happy experience & ambience, in the same way people visit cinemas, restaurants, & hair salons, despite there being cheap mobile hairdressers, frozen ready meals, & DVD hire.
Many people are unable to beat their addiction. Nobody is stopping alcoholics drinking in pubs & they are addicts who do actually damage others as well as themselves in terms of violent assaults etc. (unlike the lie that is the fictitious harm of passive smoking) yet nobody is excluding them or trying to force them to get counselling!
Many smokers actually smoke more since the ban, due to the stress & depression of the social isolation & demonisation caused by this disgusting & unjustified witchunt.
The BMJ study found 'No causal relationship between exposure to environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) and tobacco-related mortality' therefore all smoking bans should be immediately retracted. Ventilation should be in place merely out of politeness if people don't like the smell or it makes their eyes sting. I'm all for consideration. Let's face it, if there was a completely anonymous study & aggressive non smokers were honest, they would probably admit that smoking doesn't actually bother them one iota, they're just enjoying being given a government sanctioned carte blanche to pick on a minority group with impunity, hurling insults & feeling smugly superior whilst revelling in the enjoyment of raining on other peoples' parades. We're right back to the playground in this respect. The whole thing reminds me very much of that famous programme by Jane Elliot called 'The Essential Blue-Eyed', where children were 'taught' to discriminate against 1 another on the basis of eye colour! Watch it & there you'll see the true motivation of the crowing, intolerant non-smoker, bullying to gain supremacy. Inciting hatred against a minority is supposedly a crime, but it seems the gloves are off when it comes to smoker-baiting, the new global sport.
 

End humiliating medical tests for genuinely disabled.

Those on HR DLA shouldn't have to be subjected to a battery of further medical tests as part of the current welfare reform proposals.. These people have usually been subject to many tests over the years. Why should 1 doctor's opinion be trusted more than another anyway?
Too often we're bombarded with negative 'scrounger' type stereotypical imagery which has contributed to a recent surge in disabled hate crime.  What you don't get to hear about are the people with very real & disabling conditions (with a poor enough quality of life anyway) subjected to Dr's asking them to urinate in front of them & other such grossly humiliating 'tests'& questions. Enough is enough!
 

Why is this idea important?

Those on HR DLA shouldn't have to be subjected to a battery of further medical tests as part of the current welfare reform proposals.. These people have usually been subject to many tests over the years. Why should 1 doctor's opinion be trusted more than another anyway?
Too often we're bombarded with negative 'scrounger' type stereotypical imagery which has contributed to a recent surge in disabled hate crime.  What you don't get to hear about are the people with very real & disabling conditions (with a poor enough quality of life anyway) subjected to Dr's asking them to urinate in front of them & other such grossly humiliating 'tests'& questions. Enough is enough!
 

Part P legislation: urgent public awareness campaign

The introduction of Part P has put many electricians out of business & the rest under extreme beaurocratic & financial stress. With no subsidies offered whatsoever by Labour.Since 2004 electricians have had to shoulder many thousands of pounds in extra costs to keep afloat in relation to additional qualis, insurances (3 different kinds & upping the limit for public liability), form filling, memberships of professional schemes, additional stationary, surveillance visits, calibration certs & meters to calibrate meters, etc etc etc.
My biggest problem with this is that the public are largely unaware of Part P & all it entails. The last government had a tiny & inadequate leaflet the contractor could send away for!!
Consequently, all the modern H&S limitations stipulate such requirements as sparks being unable to energise a circuit if the existing installation is inadequate in some way etc. As the public don't know about this, you constantly hear things like 'But I only want a few sockets….why do I need a new consumer unit?' etc. This makes competent sparks look like conmen. It also influences customers to use 'the bloke down the pub' instead, who is usually unqualified, unsafe, not paying tax (therefore cheaper!) & doesn't test his work, thereby negating the so called benefits of Part P & revised BS7671 (2008). It's also driving many sparks to the wall as they simply can't afford to cover all these outgoings whilst making any profits when people think a £400 job should cost £100 because they don't know any better. Electricians were told that stringent action would be taken against 'cowboy' sparks working outside the law but this has failed to materialise. The cowboys are laughing all the way to the bank whilst fully compliant, tax paying small businesses are being forced into debt & bankruptcy.   

Why is this idea important?

The introduction of Part P has put many electricians out of business & the rest under extreme beaurocratic & financial stress. With no subsidies offered whatsoever by Labour.Since 2004 electricians have had to shoulder many thousands of pounds in extra costs to keep afloat in relation to additional qualis, insurances (3 different kinds & upping the limit for public liability), form filling, memberships of professional schemes, additional stationary, surveillance visits, calibration certs & meters to calibrate meters, etc etc etc.
My biggest problem with this is that the public are largely unaware of Part P & all it entails. The last government had a tiny & inadequate leaflet the contractor could send away for!!
Consequently, all the modern H&S limitations stipulate such requirements as sparks being unable to energise a circuit if the existing installation is inadequate in some way etc. As the public don't know about this, you constantly hear things like 'But I only want a few sockets….why do I need a new consumer unit?' etc. This makes competent sparks look like conmen. It also influences customers to use 'the bloke down the pub' instead, who is usually unqualified, unsafe, not paying tax (therefore cheaper!) & doesn't test his work, thereby negating the so called benefits of Part P & revised BS7671 (2008). It's also driving many sparks to the wall as they simply can't afford to cover all these outgoings whilst making any profits when people think a £400 job should cost £100 because they don't know any better. Electricians were told that stringent action would be taken against 'cowboy' sparks working outside the law but this has failed to materialise. The cowboys are laughing all the way to the bank whilst fully compliant, tax paying small businesses are being forced into debt & bankruptcy.   

Scrap ‘tax on account’ robbery of small businesses

The current tax situation for the self-employed & small businesses, whereby they are required to pay half the coming year's tax in advance 'on account', is completely unnaccepatable & counter productive to business growth.
Imagine if employees were told they had to pay half of the next year's tax in advance in addition to their existing tax burden? There would be rioting in the streets!
It's impossible in a recession to predict the coming year's earnings & totally unrealistic for HMRC to 'assume' you will earn the same amount in the coming year.
This is daylight robbery & must be stopped. You are allowed to put in a 'lower estimate' (with yet more additional form filling) but if this estimate is wrong you are then penalised with interest!
How can this be conducive to small business confidence & growth? Businesses are living in a state of perpetual financial anxiety & this has been the last straw.
Come on Coalition….scrap this totally unfair burden & prove you have small business' interests at heart, unlike the last Labour government.

Why is this idea important?

The current tax situation for the self-employed & small businesses, whereby they are required to pay half the coming year's tax in advance 'on account', is completely unnaccepatable & counter productive to business growth.
Imagine if employees were told they had to pay half of the next year's tax in advance in addition to their existing tax burden? There would be rioting in the streets!
It's impossible in a recession to predict the coming year's earnings & totally unrealistic for HMRC to 'assume' you will earn the same amount in the coming year.
This is daylight robbery & must be stopped. You are allowed to put in a 'lower estimate' (with yet more additional form filling) but if this estimate is wrong you are then penalised with interest!
How can this be conducive to small business confidence & growth? Businesses are living in a state of perpetual financial anxiety & this has been the last straw.
Come on Coalition….scrap this totally unfair burden & prove you have small business' interests at heart, unlike the last Labour government.