Defending the castle in the UK - Mercedes-Benz Forum

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 09:12 AM Thread Starter
BenzWorld Elite
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 95 E300
Location: Inside my head
Posts: 36,850
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
(Thread Starter)
Defending the castle in the UK

Is this accurate? It sure is interesting that people are so insecure in their homes that they would wish so radical a change in the social contract.


More Guns, Less Beeb?

By Scott Norvell
[bbc story :]
For a group that holds itself up as champions of Democracy, Britain's chattering classes sure can get their knickers in a knot with the will of the people offends their liberal sensibilities.

Case in point: a recent stunt by BBC Radio 4's Today program. As an exercise in grass-roots lobbying, Today asked its 6 million weekly listeners to propose a new law for the new year. A labour MP, Stephen Pound, was drafted to front the bill when it was all over.

More than 10,000 new laws were suggested over the course of a couple weeks. Of those, five were short-listed and voted on via email and telephone by some 26,007 respondents. The results, as one wag put it, "blew up" in the face of Today's producers and presenters.

Clearly expecting some sensible law mandating fat-free potato chips or renewed efforts to save the ruby-throated thrush of Upper Equatorial Guinea, the organizers were obviously aghast when the winner, with 37 percent of the vote, was a law allowing homeowners to use "any means" to defend their property from intruders.

Runners-up included measures forcing people to opt-out if they didn't want their organs donated for transplant after death, a bill to ban smoking in all workplaces including bars and restaurants, a double-headed one on term limits for prime ministers and compulsory voting, and, finally, a ban on Christmas advertising before December 1.

The winning law quickly became known as "Tony Martin's Law" after the Norfolk farmer who spent nearly four years in jail for killing a 16-year-old burglar who had broken into his home.

Currently, the law allows the use of "reasonable force," but in practical terms it tends to weigh heavily in favor of the wrongdoer instead of the wronged, and draconian weapons laws mean homeowners are unlikely to have more than a cricket bat or soup ladle to defend themselves. Tony Martin, in a far-from-unusual act of gall, was sued for lost wages by a second burglar he merely winged.

But after he heard the result, the Labour politician appeared to withdraw his support, arguing: "This bill is unworkable," as it "endorses the slaughter of 16-year-old kids."

Mr. Pound was apoplectic. The bill was "unworkable," he said. "I can't remember who it was who said 'The people have spoken - the bastards,'" he quipped.

Radio 4 later insisted that the remark, a paraphrase of Mark Twain, was tongue-in-cheek, but in the next breath he said his enthusiasm for direct democracy was dampened by the experience.

Other commentators were similarly outraged. The Daily Telegraph predicted the mass slaughter of 16-year-olds with pump-action shotguns across middle England. Simon Jenkins, writing in The Times, was frothing. How dare they, he said.

That the law "should be presented to Parliament with all the dignity of the nation's public service broadcaster is a mockery of democratic process," he wrote.

As usual, the much-maligned tabloids were more in tune with the frustrations of the common folk than the opinion-mongers of the broadsheets. The Today poll was a clear indication of just how frustrated folks in England are with rising crime and the apparent inability of police to do anything about it, they said.

And while a few listeners of Today wrote in to express horror that their compatriots could "endorse vigilantism," most nailed the real problem illustrated by the whole exercise. "Is it surprising that the public is disenchanted with politicians when they patronisingly treat clearly expressed majority democratic wishes like this?" one viewer wrote.

Martin's Law is clearly not going anywhere anytime soon. Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott found the wishes of thousands of the citizens he ostensibly represents to be "amusing." The Guardian called it "embarrassing."

And people wonder why Brits are cynical about their government and media?
Botnst is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 10:00 AM
Cruise Control
Zeitgeist's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: '87 300TD/'90 300D/'94 Quattro/'89 Vanagon/'01 EV Weekender
Location: Cascadia
Posts: 51,712
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Quoted: 1419 Post(s)
Lifetime Premium Member
RE: Defending the castle in the UK'd think the Brits would already be aware of the dangers of letting any fool use "all means necessary". This inevitably leads to ill-advised unilateral and preemptive actions that can blow up your face.
Zeitgeist is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 10:48 AM
BenzWorld Elite
teky's Avatar
Date registered: Jun 2004
Vehicle: chris
Location: uk north east region
Posts: 1,790
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Defending the castle in the UK

sounds daft dont it but we are more keyed up than you think
teky is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 12:13 PM
BenzWorld Elite
Storm's Avatar
Date registered: Jan 2004
Location: Islamabad, PK
Posts: 4,115
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Defending the castle in the UK

Personally i think the UK has gone mad with all the new laws and stuff,.... the congestion zone charges being the daftest idea ever!!!
Storm is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 04:07 PM
BenzWorld Extremist
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 280SE 280CE 560SEL
Posts: 978
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Defending the castle in the UK

Radio 4 is listened to more by the chattering classes than the great unwashed.

I consider myself pretty liberal (has a different meaning in UK than US, I think) but I actually agree with the sentiments of most of these ideas, apart from compulsory voting (there are enough compulsory things) and 'any means' if that means shooting the postman if you don't like the look of him...but on the other hand our British judicial system is still stacked in favour of violent criminals at present.
jjl is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 09-26-2004, 08:00 PM
BenzWorld Elite
mzsmbs's Avatar
Date registered: Sep 2004
Vehicle: 1972 Mercedes 250 (/8) W114/M130
Location: on a high bank of a creek
Posts: 7,296
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
RE: Defending the castle in the UK

Storm. - 9/26/2004 2:13 PM

Personally i think the UK has gone mad with all the new laws and stuff,....

that's the main reason there was this tea party in a port of Boston a few years back...[;)]

You'd make a fine American![:D]

in political asylum
mzsmbs is offline  
Sponsored Links

  Mercedes-Benz Forum > General Mercedes-Benz Forums > Off-Topic

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mercedes-Benz Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


  • Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
    Thread Tools
    Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
    Email this Page Email this Page
    Display Modes
    Linear Mode Linear Mode

    Posting Rules  
    You may post new threads
    You may post replies
    You may not post attachments
    You may not edit your posts

    BB code is On
    Smilies are On
    [IMG] code is On
    HTML code is Off
    Trackbacks are On
    Pingbacks are On
    Refbacks are On


    Title goes here

    video goes here
    description goes here. Read Full Story
    For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome