Allow juries to do their own research

I believe that juries should be allowed to do their own research into any case that they are hearing and deciding on. If you are on a jury and have to decide on something then surely you should be allowed to investigate the facts yourself. One of the key reasons this wasn't possible before is that the courts weren't allowed to talk about previous convictions. Now, most previous convictions are unveiled to them anyway. So why shouldn't juries be allowed to do their own research into the evidence and facts in the case?

Why is this idea important?

I believe that juries should be allowed to do their own research into any case that they are hearing and deciding on. If you are on a jury and have to decide on something then surely you should be allowed to investigate the facts yourself. One of the key reasons this wasn't possible before is that the courts weren't allowed to talk about previous convictions. Now, most previous convictions are unveiled to them anyway. So why shouldn't juries be allowed to do their own research into the evidence and facts in the case?

Restore people’s and council’s right to turn down phone masts on health grounds.

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Why is this idea important?

In August 2001 the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister under John Prescott issued planning guidance to Councils which included PPG8 -Telecommunications. Regarding the health aspect of masts, this guidance contained three paragraphs:
 

Health Considerations

29. Health considerations and public concern can in principle be material considerations in determining applications for planning permission and prior approval. Whether such matters are material in a particular case is ultimately a matter for the courts. It is for the decision-maker (usually the local planning authority) to determine what weight to attach to such considerations in any particular case.

30. However, it is the Governments firm view that the planning system is not the place for determining health safeguards. It remains central Governments responsibility to decide what measures are necessary to protect public health. In the Governments view, if a proposed mobile phone base station meets the ICNIRP guidelines for public exposure it should not be necessary for a local planning authority, in processing an application for planning permission or prior approval, to consider further the health aspects and concerns about them.

31. The Governments acceptance of the precautionary approach recommended by the Stewart Groups report "mobile phones and health"1 is limited to the specific recommendations in the Groups report and the Governments response to them. The report does not provide any basis for precautionary actions beyond those already proposed. In the Governments view, local planning authorities should not implement their own precautionary policies e.g. by way of imposing a ban or moratorium on new telecommunications development or insisting on minimum distances between new telecommunications development and existing development.
 

Paragraphs 29 and 30 practically contradict each other. This piece of Government advice has been the subject of two court battles:

The first, on the 26th of September 2003 -Yasmin Skelt -v- The First Secretary of State and Three Bridges District Council and Orange PCS Limited: The First Secretary of State conceded the case which allowed a mast to be removed from Grove Way, Chorleywood on the basis that being within the ICNIRP guidelines did not stop the council from considering other scientific evidence with regard to the possible future health effects on the population close to the mast.

Then in November 2004 – T-Mobile UK Ltd v First Secretary of State: The First Secretary of State also lost the case, however this time the solicitors for The First Secretary of State were in The Court of Appeal fighting against a mobile phone operator. The ruling, which dismissed the appeal, effectively said that other than in exceptional circumstances, the council must accept being within ICNIRP guidelines as being safe, and cannot consider any further health evidence when deciding whether or not to give planning approval to a base station (mast). Observers have said that the case made by The First Secretary of State was very weak and did not offer any evidence that showed the limitations of the ICNIRP guidelines. "It was if they wanted to lose the case". The First Secretary of State declined to the appeal the decision. And as the previous case was settled before judgement, this became the case that is now cited in similar situations.
 

There is much evidence that the ICNIRP guidelines are not adequate for determining the health risk of mobile phones, masts or other wireless technology. The ICNIRP guidelines only take into account the heating effects of the radiation while many new studies show that health effects are caused through non thermal mechanisms, at levels far lower than the ICNIRP guidelines (See the Bioinitiative report, Reflex report and others). There are epidemiological studies that show that health problems increase proportionally the closer people (and animals) live to a mast. This would not be the case if the ICNIRP guidelines were ‘safe’.

Given that such evidence exists, it is farcical that the law can say that the ICNIRP guidelines = safe. It is like having a law that states “Bristol is on the moon”. Sadly it is not only farcical, it is also harmful to those people, such as my own family, who are adversely affected by this.

Allow scientists to study what they want

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Why is this idea important?

Funding for science is dictated by the government (or a body acting on behalf of the government). This is carried out by calling for research proposals in a particular area of science chosen by the government-often chosen by particular buzzwords seen in the media.

It wasn’t always like this, it was possible to have your own idea then ask for funds. Now we must wait until the government has the idea before we can get it funded.

Please increase the funds for “responsive mode” research and cut back on tHose which promote the government agenda.

Stop the N.H.S being held to ransom.

There is a great deal of money wasted on drugs produced in the U.S.A and sold to the NHS at a price that in no way reflects the costs it accrues in its research and development but more in a price that the market will bare. i suggest that the U.K funds its own non-profit making drug development agency synthesizing many of the drugs that our most acute patents depend on therefore rendering N.I.C.E redundant.

Why is this idea important?

There is a great deal of money wasted on drugs produced in the U.S.A and sold to the NHS at a price that in no way reflects the costs it accrues in its research and development but more in a price that the market will bare. i suggest that the U.K funds its own non-profit making drug development agency synthesizing many of the drugs that our most acute patents depend on therefore rendering N.I.C.E redundant.

Reduce dependency on USA Military hardware

be able to build any military device we need in the UK.  Invest in UK research

and production, not pay (over a weapons platform lifetime) literally tens of billions to

American companies.

Why is this idea important?

be able to build any military device we need in the UK.  Invest in UK research

and production, not pay (over a weapons platform lifetime) literally tens of billions to

American companies.

Smoking versus Industrial Pollution

We smokers are, perhaps, the ONLY members of society who are discriminated against and I feel very strongly that we have the right to smoke in public places, provided we don't invade spaces designated to non-smokers.

If what 'they' say about passive smoking were true then my own children – and most other 30-50 year-olds – would now be suffering from smoking-related diseases, since nearly everybody smoked when I was young (I'm 68).

I am forever amazed at the power of the Politically Correct Brigade and the devious means by which they have convinced politicians and the medical profession that smoking is the sole cause of cancers and other respiratory diseases….yet no-one, to my knowledge, has carried out research to discover whether there are more cancer sufferers in cities (where pollution from other sources is so much higher) than in country communities.

Until they do, I'm not convinced.

Why is this idea important?

We smokers are, perhaps, the ONLY members of society who are discriminated against and I feel very strongly that we have the right to smoke in public places, provided we don't invade spaces designated to non-smokers.

If what 'they' say about passive smoking were true then my own children – and most other 30-50 year-olds – would now be suffering from smoking-related diseases, since nearly everybody smoked when I was young (I'm 68).

I am forever amazed at the power of the Politically Correct Brigade and the devious means by which they have convinced politicians and the medical profession that smoking is the sole cause of cancers and other respiratory diseases….yet no-one, to my knowledge, has carried out research to discover whether there are more cancer sufferers in cities (where pollution from other sources is so much higher) than in country communities.

Until they do, I'm not convinced.

No repeal of hunting act

This web site is a covert way for the Countryside Alliance and the pro hunt lobby (and shamefully most Tory MPs are pro hunt) to get the Hunting Act repealed.  How are those who are against this to have a voice?  This web site does not give people a right to reply regarding suggestions to repeal laws thus giving blood sport ethusiasts a gift!!   Please remember 76% of the public remain AGAINST blood sports and no amout of trying to 'tidy up' the reality of blood sports by allowing hunting in some 'regulated' form.will wash.  It is immoral, unethical and  the ban needs to REMAIN and be strengethend.  Nick Clegg should listen to the majority not a minority of sadistic people!!

Why is this idea important?

This web site is a covert way for the Countryside Alliance and the pro hunt lobby (and shamefully most Tory MPs are pro hunt) to get the Hunting Act repealed.  How are those who are against this to have a voice?  This web site does not give people a right to reply regarding suggestions to repeal laws thus giving blood sport ethusiasts a gift!!   Please remember 76% of the public remain AGAINST blood sports and no amout of trying to 'tidy up' the reality of blood sports by allowing hunting in some 'regulated' form.will wash.  It is immoral, unethical and  the ban needs to REMAIN and be strengethend.  Nick Clegg should listen to the majority not a minority of sadistic people!!