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How daft does it have to get?


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Daily Telegraph 22/1/7


"The Government has admitted signing up to new EU laws even though they may be illegal under European treaties, according to papers made public last night.


A leaked letter from Geoff Hoon, the Europe Minister, shows that the Government turns a blind eye in Brussels to possible illegality because it can be used as a trade-off in EU negotiations.


Mr Hoon, a supporter of closer European integration, argued that if EC legislation were in the public interest and it was in Britain's longer term interests to vote in favour "the Government will support the measure even where it had doubts about the legal base".



His admission came in a letter sent on Nov 9 to a Commons watchdog on EU legislation, the cross-party European Scrutiny Committee.


The group had questioned the legal base for a draft regulation about a European monitoring centre for drugs and drug addiction.


When the committee raised its concerns with Caroline Flint, the Health Minister, she said the Government had not opposed the regulation because of the desirability of getting European business done expeditiously and to demonstrate a willingness to be flexible on one proposal so as to support the Government's negotiation position on others.


The committee asked Mr Hoon whether it was proper for the Government to support a measure, despite reservations about its lawfulness.


In what the committee's top adviser, Sir Edward Osmotherly, described as a "surprisingly frank" letter, Mr Hoon revealed that the Government did not let doubts about a legal basis stand in the way of a proposal if it was expedient on other grounds to back the measure.


However, Mr Hoon was silent about whether there was any hard evidence that trade-offs were effective.


In a second letter dated Jan 9 this year, Mr Hoon said that where the Government had reservations about the choice of treaty on which an EU regulation is based, it took a realistic view of where Britain's interest lay.


"One of the factors to be considered would be the benefit (or not) of utilising our negotiating capital in Brussels on this issue, and the impact on relations with EU partners." British readiness to be "flexible" strengthened its negotiating position on other dossiers. "Perhaps the next illustration of the value of appreciating the concerns of our partners is to consider our own view of other Member States' actions in negotiations," Mr Hoon said.


"We might feel less inclined to assist another Member State in relation to its own particular policy concerns if it had not shown us a similar level of cooperation.""

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A piece from today's Daily Mail relating to rail transport, the last paragraph being a classic:


"Rail bosses sparked fury today as they told commuters: ?Packed trains are safer.?


The Office of the Rail Regulator, which monitors safety on trains, came under fire for its claim, made after MPs demanded they act to end overcrowding on safety grounds.


It comes amid the growing row over cattle truck conditions on London?s commuter trains.


Newbury Tory MP Richard Benyon wrote to Bill Emery, chief executive of the Office of Rail Regulation, this month asking him to take whatever action possible against First Great Western for the ?appalling service? from West Berkshire to London.


An ORR spokesman said: ?Research in the late Nineties... found that where there was a crowded or overcrowded train carriage there was no detrimental effect to people involved in crashes. In a lot of cases people were better off in train carriages where there was overcrowding.? "


I had to use the train to get to Liverpool and then Doncaster yesterday, excellent service, off peak travel so plenty of spare seats and I felt very safe......and comfortable!!! :wink:


[ 23.01.2007, 11:04: Message edited by: Paul Kennedy ]

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From today's Times:


"Rogue doctors and thousands of other health professionals who have been struck off for misconduct in other European countries are able to work in Britain because there is no mechanism in place to warn employers.

In a letter to The Times today, ten leading medical regulators have expressed grave concerns about the vetting procedures.


The number of professionals ? including doctors, nurses, dentists and chiropractors ? from the European Economic Area registering to work in Britain has doubled in three years. The regulators said that although most were of benefit to Britain, a small, poorly trained minority were exploiting the system and could put patients at risk."


Rogue foreign doctors 'exploiting loophole to find jobs in Britain'

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A 64 yr old was told that he couldn't dive into a public swimming pool.

He did, and the female attendant called the police who told him to leave. He returned in the afternoon to complain, and the police later called at his house and arrested.

The case went to court and he was given a conditional discharge and ordered to pay court costs of ?455 within 7 days. (Daily Mail)


Another one.(Mail)

Health chiefs want to cut down a 50 yr old yew tree outside a GP's surgery because they fear a patient could slip on a fallen berry.


Do we cut ALL trees down because they drop leaves?

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I read the diving one myself Peter, since the person in question had been warned, why didn't they just ban him, if they really felt the rule had to be applied. It is all rather pathetic that it ended up in court with the person involved now having a criminal record........guess if he does it again he'll get sent to prison.....despite the shortage of cells. :(


[ 25.01.2007, 14:48: Message edited by: Paul Kennedy ]

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At times I despair, I really do. When will there be an end to this lunatic legislation. The irony is that if the motorbike thief kills or injures somebody whilst riding the stolen bike, the police will be criticised for not stopping them when they had the chance of doing so.


Much as I rightly criticise the police from time to time, at times it seems this obsession with legislating for everything makes their job impossible for them, no wonder so many of the older officers retire as soon as they can, I really don't blame them.

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From today's Sunday Express:


"RAPISTS and sex attackers are set to escape justice because many of the foreign doctors employed to examine victims have proved incapable of doing it properly, a Sunday Express investigation has revealed.


Cases could also be thrown out because some of the doctors have returned home after not being paid. It is feared some will refuse to come back to give evidence unless their fees are settled. Others may be untraceable.


One senior medical forensics examiner said: ?It is an absolute, unprecedented shambles. There is a tidal wave of sexual assault cases going through the courts in which much medical evidence is simply not credible.


?The vast majority of doctors used had never even seen a rape victim and based their knowledge on a two-day crash course inforensic medicine.


?For God?s sake, some couldn?t even speak English. How were they supposed to communicate with a traumatised woman who?d just been raped??


The scandal has emerged after a private medical forensics company, Veritas Management, of Skipton, Yorkshire, was hired by a consortium of seven UK forces led by Avon and Somerset Police.


They believed Veritas offered savings of up to 50 per cent on the cost of employing traditional police surgeons, most of whom were long-serving GPs.


By its own admission, Veritas employed mostly foreign doctors, insisting that they would be trained. However, the contract was cancelled last November by

mutual consent after just six months amid a flood of complaints from detectives and an admission from Veritas that it had under-bid. The company is now in administration and forces are negotiating with new providers."


These are very serious crimes, with very low conviction rates so much so that further changes to the law are being considered, this sort of problem just makes things so much worse, for the police in trying to solve the crime, for the large number of victims, for those who have sometimes been wrongly accused by so called victims who have a "grudge", and for our wider society when a guilty person is not convicted and is free to commit further such crimes.

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Step 1, Doctor in North London has his three laptops stolen which contain valuable photos of his kids over 10 years.

Step 2, Police do nothing

Step 3, Doctor offers reward for return of items

Step 4, Police threaten to arrest him for receiving stolen goods. :confused:

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Firemen are no longer allowed to climb stepladders under the government's current health & safety regulations. As a consequence, they can no longer fit household smoke alarms because being up a stepladder presents an 'unacceptable risk'.


I always thought fireman used ladders as part of their work and sometimes in very dangerous conditions, no doubt many have stepladders at home which they use regularly and safely.


I understand one of our posters might have some professional expertise in this matter and might choose to comment. :wink:

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"Four flats overlooking a London are on sale for up to ?84 million each - a record even for London.


They are the penthouses on top of four blocks of flats being built at One Hyde Park, close to the Royal Albert Hall with views over the Serpentine"


Daily Mail


A little bit out of my league. :D

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"A health and safety specialist who was caught shaving in his rearview mirror while speeding in rush-hour traffic because he was late for a first aid course, has been banned from driving for six months.


Edward Hutcheson was yesterday convicted of careless driving and fined ?300 as well as the ban when he appeared before Perth Sheriff Court.


The 39-year-old professional safety adviser was spotted using an electric shaver and leaning forward to look in his mirror while travelling at 70 mph along the A9 south of Perth last March.


Hutcheson, who had previously worked on accident investigations with the police was spotted driving carelessly, close to a notorious accident blackspot on the busy route north near Auchterader, Perthshire.


The court heard that when stopped and questioned by police, Hutcheson told officers that he had been speeding because he was late getting to a First Aid course.


He also claimed that he had been forced to lean across the inside of his vehicle at an awkward angle so he could see past a dozen mannequins he had stored in the back of his car blocking his view.


Hutcheson, from Blantyre, South Lanarkshire was so busy shaving in his mirror that he failed to notice the police officers who saw him when he sped past their patrol car, which was passing in the opposite direction.


On witnessing Hutcheson's behaviour, the officers immediately turned round and chased him for a mile before they were able to get his attention and force him to stop. The officers told the court that Hutcheson had only one hand on the steering wheel and appeared to be checking if he was "getting a good shave" as he overtook a number of vehicles on the two-lane highway.


Despite pleas that he would lose his job if he lost his licence, Sheriff Michael Fletcher found Hutcheson, who had denied dangerous driving, guilty of the lesser offence of careless driving and banned him from the road. "It is near the top end of careless driving, considering the conditions you were driving in and what was going on," the sheriff said."


The Independent

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I agree Paul.

I am glad I went to school when I did and led a normal well rounded life.

Who supports these decisions to allow them to be put into place?

Smacks of dictatorship to me.


I wonder if that involves football or rugby as well. :confused:

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I did think about it Observer, and probably would have done had the articles I read indicated the level of specific payments to individuals, particularly those at the "top of the pile", who no doubt will also be rewarded with a promotion to somewhere else within the UK's bureaucracy.

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  • 2 weeks later...

From the Daily Mail:


"Nine criminals held in jail for extra time during last year's foreign prisoners crisis have been handed pay-outs totalling ?55,000 by the Home Office.


The foreigners claimed compensation because of mistakes made while they were being held beyond their original jail term."


Can I assume that deductions for "board and lodging", compensation to their victims and reimbursement of their original legal costs will be deducted from their "windfall", somehow I doubt it. :wink:

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