Thursday, 29 January 2009

Henry Porter on new bailiffs' powers

For those who caught my recent post on how bailiffs are going to be given the legal authority to forcibly enter the homes of debtors and use physical restraint against them, there's a further article on the subject by Henry Porter on the Guardian website today.

It is clear that householders are going to be offered violence in their own homes owing to this law, but the trouble is that no one has been able to discover under what circumstances bailiffs will be able to push people aside while seizing a TV or computer or the wedding picture in a silver frame.

You can read the full article here.


Anonymous said...

Having ended up on the wrong end of the bailiffs twice (case of mistaken identity after moving), this kinda scares me quite a bit. If I'm in will they take my word for it that I'm not the person they're after, or will they just punch me in the face and take my stuff anyway? And I dread to think what would happen to my collection of santa hats if I was out. Fair enough that bailiffs need to be able to enter the home of someone who is uncooperative, but they could already do that with the help/supervision of the police once they'd gone through the courts. But no, we have lost yet another basic right that we took for granted - when are we going to take to the streets to oust our Labour overlords? The next general election cannot come soon enough - lets vote the fuckers into third.

Or fourth - have you ever thought of running for government? Dibs on home secretary - even I could do a better job than that idiot.

dan! said...

I've stood for local government twice. Once as an independent for the parish council and once as a Liberal Democrat for the borough (or was it county? Hmm...).

The new proposals are indeed scary, not least because the government chooses to redact the guidelines given to bailiffs, which is quite extraordinary.

Anonymous said...

Wow, awesome! At last I know a politician who doesn't suck!

Now we just need to change the system so someone other than the main two parties can get into power. Perhaps a coup? If the populace haven't cared about what's happened so far, we'd probably get away with it.

Think we need to replace the house of commons (or at least the cabinet), with a panel of professionals chosen by lottery. The current system is broken - it's set up so only career politicians can get to the top, and by then they only care about their autobiographies and how many companies will hire them as advisors once they're voted out. Something appealing about having people in charge who haven't devoted their lives to getting power - and we'd still have the house of lords to keep them in check if we got a few crazies. What could possibly go wrong?

Let me know next time you're standing, I'll rent a flat and get on the voting register up there. I could be your campaign manager. Dibs on home secretary.

dan! said...

I agree that the cabinet should comprise professionals in the given areas of competence, but I'm not for the lottery idea.

The way things are now, we have legislators running executive branches of government, more often than not they have zero experience relevant to the departments concerned. If someone asked you who would be best placed to run the Department of Health, a politician, or say, the head of a major health trust or the BMA, you would go with the latter because quite rightly you would think they had the most relevant experience.

The cabinet shouldn't contain any MPs (after all, the cabinet is an executive body, lot a legislative one), it should be filled with the best people we can find to do the job, but subject to parliamentary oversight.

As for my running again, never going to happen. Ever.

Anonymous said...

The problem with all politics is that whoever is in charge can and will be bought off - either directly with money, or indirectly through biased studies, reports and lobbying. The whole system is fatally flawed.

Most disappointed to hear you won't be running again; sounds like you have a good reason though.