Focus on where you live:
Article for the West Sussex County Times
At my public meetings last week, I raised the case of a police force which refused to issue ‘wanted' posters of two murderers who had escaped from an open prison (sound familiar?) as that would infringe their human rights.
Yet a shopkeeper who chased a gang of vandals with a rolling pin because they had just smashed his window was charged with carrying an offensive weapon.
Last Christmas, Worthing Borough Council advised a pantomime cast not to throw sweets to the audience because of food allergy fears. A Yorkshire council decreed that a village Christmas party could not go ahead without a health warning that mince pies might contain nuts and be hot.
A Grantham greengrocer (bring back Mrs T) was told by the council that a small, trestle table outside his shop for 49 years was dangerous and had to be removed.
Children can't play conkers in case of injury. Teachers won't take them on school expeditions for fear of litigation. You can be an experienced mountaineer and still have to sign a council form to allow you to climb a ladder.
Firefighters in Devon aren't being allowed to slide down traditional poles. Perhaps someone will try to ban the film of Bridget Jones on the grounds that it could incite dangerous activity.
Since the days of the puritans there have always been people whose mission in life is to stop the rest of us enjoying ourselves. But in today's nanny society, this bossy minority seems to have got the upper hand.
We all want to ensure public safety and proper conduct. But children will lose out if teachers cannot take them on trips. Police officers cannot do their job properly if they are constantly looking over their shoulders. We should not allow obsessive political correctness to prevent professionals from doing their job.
8 March 2007
"I pledge to work hard for everyone in the constituency, to stand up for local people, and to be a strong voice at Westminster for your concerns"