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What do you think of the coalition's political reforms?

12:20 UK time, Wednesday, 19 May 2010

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has outlined a series of political reforms which he claims are "the biggest shake up of our democracy" in 178 years. What's your reaction?

The coalition government has pledged to introduce fixed term parliaments, an elected House of Lords and to hold a referendum on changing the voting system. The public have also been asked to nominate laws to be repealed.

Mr Clegg went on to announce the government was scrapping plans for identity cards, the National Identity Register, further biometric passports and the children's Contact Point database. He promised better regulation of CCTV and restrictions on the storage of innocent people's DNA.

What do you think of the coalition's proposals? Will they change British politics? Or do you think more needs to be done?

Full text of Nick Clegg's speech

This debate has now been closed. Thank you for your comments.


Page 1 of 7

  • Comment number 1.

    Well, I guess that means that the Hunting with Dogs legislation is due for a review. Watch out all you Foxes!

  • Comment number 2.

    Thank God someone with a bit of common sense is in government, maybe he will revert cannabis back to class c or even better de-criminalise it as they have done in large portions of europe and maybe he will review the Gary McKinnon case

  • Comment number 3.

    About time!
    First though, where is the website/email/mail address to send the lists to, I hope its a huge letter box as there are many many things to scrap, including all those Nick mentions (id card, database for all kids....)
    A few things to scrap...
    Membership of the EU, or at the very least put this to a referendum NOW! Its costing us a fortune in money and jobs with no end in sight. We can trade with Europe with out being in the EU - Russia, China, Africa, America, New Zealand.... they all manage it!
    Health and safety - or at the very least make it compulsory for every single decision made 'on health and safety grounds' to be accompanied by an individually signed letter from the head of health and safety outlining the restriction and reasoning with an appeals route. Cutting down bunting because of the health and safety of drivers - what stupid and unfounded nonsense.
    Terrorism legislation - it is ridiculous that we can be told a guy is a terrorist nutter but he can't be locked up or deported. If he is a nutter lock him up, if he isn't then why try and deport him? If you think he is a nutter prove it in an open court, if you can't then he probably isn't. Just because Blair and Brown were happy to lock people up for fun doesn't mean we should! (BTW I'm 45, white, working, Christian...)
    Speed cameras and speed patrols outside of a 30mph zone, frankly these are just fund raising efforts whatever the police claim, the real problem - and the reason kids can't play in the street or walk to school - is the lunatics who can't obey 30mph speed limits and are never ever caught because the police are racing up and down motorways ticking people off for doing 80mph when there are no pedestrians, oncoming cars, road junctions... Perhaps we will also end up with the police back in our towns and villages as a useful side effect, you never know this might just cut down on crime?
    CRB checks - if a teacher needs to be checked then compare the teachers DNA with that of criminals on the police database - that at least will ensure no one is missed by accident, for the volunteers in sports clubs etc. then it is up to parents to decide what risk they are willing to take - personally I don't think this country is a playground for millions of perverted lunatics and I think our current 'guilty unless the police say you are not' is the wrong way round.

  • Comment number 4.

    Everything sounds good and positive at the moment. Fixed term parliamenst and PR works elsewhere in the UK.

    The Govt. needs to save money so scrapping things that are non-core makes sense.

    But these are the easy decisions lets see what is in the budget.

  • Comment number 5.

    The trouble is the election system they are proposing is Alternative Vote which is only slightly better than First Past the Post. Hardly a reflection of democracy.

    I do like the idea of an elected House of Lords though, elected by whom though is the question!?

  • Comment number 6.

    It's somewhat ironic that Clegg would use the great reform act as his model for change. An act that pretended to offer greater democracy whilst merely consolidating power with existing elites...fixed term parliaments anyone?

  • Comment number 7.

    What if I want the laws to remain?
    The only fair and democratic thing to do would be to have a referendum. I like having CCTV everywhere I go and I agree with the DNA database.
    The only people who need fear these things are the guilty!

  • Comment number 8.

    We are seeing the end of a communist government - it is being replaced with real, sensible policies. I'm actually excited about government for a change, it is truly refreshing.

    Hopefully they can go back and scrap the vast majority of the laws the Labour government introduced.

    The end of the nanny state!

  • Comment number 9.

    I like the promised roll-back of the surveillance state, but I am not sure about the electoral reforms.

    We used to have a reasonable democracy before New Labour fixed the constituency boundaries in its favour, which is easily put right, and a fully elected upper chamber could argue that its own mandate equalled that of the commons. A guaranteed recipe for conflict there.

  • Comment number 10.

    Making these big speeches on political reforms and scrapping ID cards is the last thing that should be on the government's mind. They have far greater and more pressing problems in sorting out the national debt, regulating our financial institutions and building up the economy and creating jobs. Vote catching was one thing, down to basics is what is needed here. Clegg must realise that the only way he steered into power was on the back of the Tories and there appears a mismatch already in what the coallition wants to do. I give the marriage a couple of years at best.

  • Comment number 11.

    I think the ConDems need to give themselves a good shake first before the start shaking up democracy.

  • Comment number 12.

    I wait with baited breath to see just how far this coalition government will go with reform.
    It is just what this country needs, to put power back into the hands of the electorate but in part it flies in the face of the LIb Dems urge to get us more integrated into Europe, including taking on the Euro.
    If Cameron and Clegg are really serious about rolling back the power of the state, so expanded under the 13 years of Labour, then we do really have to look at our relationship with the EU.
    I voted for a Common Market, not this all encompassing goliath we have now.
    Repatriate the power to govern ourselves, free from the shackles imposed by the EU, that would be a good start.
    Take off the statute book 10 laws for evry new one imposed.
    Repeal the Human Rights legislation and put in its place something we can own ourselves, not imposed from Brussels.
    Its no good our politicians saying we are locked into treaties and agreements we cant get out of.
    The old saying, if there's a will there's a way comes to mind.
    I suppose we will just have to wait and see whether this lot are just the same as the old lot. Fine on retoric, rubbish on action.

  • Comment number 13.

    I'm cautiously optimistic about this coalition, as long as they don't cave in to the constant sniping from the right wing press I see no reason why it shouldn't be a success.

    It is slightly depressing that less than a fortnight into the new government the internet forum doom sayers are in full flow.

    Lets hope that the coalition can introduce reforms strong enough to win back some public trust.

  • Comment number 14.

    Nick Clegg is only doing what suits him and the Liberals. We are going to be asked which laws we would like to tear up. The human rights act for starters but he has already said he is strongly opposed to that. Therefore he is only listening with one ear.

  • Comment number 15.

    The coalition are doing a wonderful job and will get this country back on its feet. The proposals to make the Lords elected and the fixed term parliaments are super and will enhance democracy no end.
    There will be no more quarelling about politics and everyone will recognize the problems we face and get down to cooperative business.

    Hope this comment satisfies the moderators. Quite frankly it ain't worth commenting on these blogs.

  • Comment number 16.

    The people's mandate in the first instance was not for a coalition government at the Centre. Wonder how one would take Nick Glegg so seriously post elections.

  • Comment number 17.

    Did anyone else notice that as Nick was doing his speech that included a promise to increase our our freedom and civil liberties that behind him though the window an "unelected" security guard was trying to move on a member of the public who was legally standing behind him on a public footpath just watching.So much for freedom hey Nick.

  • Comment number 18.

    About time too. Root and Branch

    The Human Rights Act and similar "nanny state left wing control freak stuff" should be right at the top of the pile for the bonfire.

    And they need to do something about the Court overturning deportations etc as well.

  • Comment number 19.

    Very impressive words. If he follows through on his word, this can only be a good thing for all of us.
    It's one of the most refreshing things I've heard any of our politicians say in a long time. Fingers crossed on our deputy prime minister coming to the rescue. Well done Clegg!

  • Comment number 20.

    Scrapping the meaningless HIPS would help the property market.

  • Comment number 21.

    I am very impressed with his words. I think that the reduction of MPs will force them to listen to their constituents. It astounds me that MPs do not need to live in the area they represent, and I think this will create a better connection to their area. Great speech!

  • Comment number 22.

    This is not democracy. There is no mandate for this "government" to attempt such sweeping change. I guess we're watching the death of the Liberals

  • Comment number 23.

    I would like to see the law on capital punishment repealed. It's time that people who take other lives should face the ultimate punishment. I would also like to see the law which allows criminals to gain compensation from their victims, no matter how much havoc they caused to their victims life. Oh, there is no such law? Then why are we always hearing of criminals going free, getting compensation and suing the person they have initially attacked/burgled?

  • Comment number 24.

    Instead of grandiose schemes Clegg could get on and do something meaningful like changing the Human Rights legislation so that we are not faced with the continuing farce of giving house room to so many people who mean us harm.

  • Comment number 25.

    All the 'reforms' proposed so far are a bunch of populist 'we are going to stop doing things that annoy people' like for example stopping wheel clampers.

    Its when this dogs breakfast of a coalition start making us do things that we do not want to do, thats when the fun will start:-

    1. When thousands of us have to find jobs because the economy has gone into recession due to cuts in services and increases in VAT.

    2. When we have to find the money to pay for things in the NHS we currently get free.

    3. When we find we have no public services because they are on strike again or its no longer being done due to cuts.

    4. When our mortgages go up again due to rising inflation because a bunch of middle-class people have been given the tax cuts they voted tory for and house prices in the south-east have gone through the roof again.

    5. When we find that despite having no overall moral right to be in office we find that government has been rigged so they stay in power despite a majority of MP's who do not want them to.

    6. When we find that despite all the rhetoric:

    there are still the same number of quango's ( they have increased their number, before they have even scrapped the first!);

    that hospital administrators still have massive salaries and hospitals/waiting lists do not improve,

    that bankers/share dealers still rake in massive bonuses whilst we are told to tighten our belts,

    that all the cuts seem to fall on the low paid or unemployed and the rich stay as they are.

    Then we find that after a couple of by-elections the tory vote is down and the lib dem vote has evaporated they start to introduce vauge 'peoples' laws to try and create popularity; 'back-to-basics' anyone?

  • Comment number 26.

    Hope it comes to pass ! As for repealing laws - start with all the laws that have originated from Brussels !!!

  • Comment number 27.

    "The only people who need fear these things are the guilty! "

    And what is your definition of "guilty"?

  • Comment number 28.

    If this means that around the country, where parents have fought to prevent their school from being closed and opened as an academy, their views take precedence over the sponsor then that will be a good thing. However, since both Lib Dem and Tory councillors have ignored huge campaigns, I can't believe it.

    When Cameron talks about "big" society, it means nothing. Society starts small, not big, with talking to your neighbours, being prepared to help out, being prepared to compromise.

    The ideas as I see them at the moment will allow the selfish with big mouths get their own way, while trampling on those who are diffident.

    I live in a Labour ward within a Tory borough. We have had to fight to get our street cleaned whilst we are forced to see Tory controlled wards with nice new pavements, no rubbish, etc.

  • Comment number 29.

    Legalise recreational drugs such as Cannabis. Licence the supply chain and tax them like cigarettes and alcohol.

    That way, millions of users can enjoy them in quality controlled, known strength, unadulterated forms without having to buy them from the criminal fraternity.

    With the supply taken out of the hands of criminals, so is all the money. The police can concentrate on the criminal gangs peddling the most harmful drugs and the tax on legal drugs can go some way to preserving the enforcement budgets.

    An illegal market decimated overnight!

  • Comment number 30.

    Very interesting and in some ways it makes it clearer how a lib-Dem/Con alliance can work, because they are talking about dismantling some of the less palatable aspects of 13 years under Labour.

    Had their been a rainbow coalition, the lib-dems would not have got these reforms. The whole idea of small government, civil liberties, freedom for individual aris a breath of fresh air!

  • Comment number 31.

    How about outlawing politicians talking claptrap?

  • Comment number 32.

    Common sense at last. About time.

  • Comment number 33.

    4. At 1:11pm on 19 May 2010, Allan wrote:
    Everything sounds good and positive at the moment. Fixed term parliamenst and PR works elsewhere in the UK.

    The Govt. needs to save money so scrapping things that are non-core makes sense.

    But these are the easy decisions lets see what is in the budget.


    I agree totally, but these are 'easy decisions' that Labour would never have made; "Let people get on with their own lives without state interference, perish the thought" would have been their attitude.

  • Comment number 34.

    I don't have any problem with classical ID cards, no biometric data stored so why this fuss about ID cards? Can someone explain this to me?

  • Comment number 35.

    I was a natural Labour voter. Although I vote on policy, most of my votes have been cast for Labour candidates.

    However, NuLabour introduced what became so like a Stalinist state with STASI-like powers and loss of individual liberty that I have been forced to vote elsewhere.

    I really value the scrapping of identity cards, the National Identity Register, further biometric passports and the children's Contact Point database. These were hard-won liberties which Labour, so afraid of the public, were keen to dispose of. There are others yet ... Habeas Corpus must be reintroduced for one.

    At last I can see an administration which (for all its faults, and there will be many) helps me again to be proud to be British.

  • Comment number 36.

    7. At 1:16pm on 19 May 2010, ireenya wrote:

    What if I want the laws to remain?
    The only fair and democratic thing to do would be to have a referendum. I like having CCTV everywhere I go and I agree with the DNA database.
    The only people who need fear these things are the guilty!


    It's your hair tearing ignorance that will mean that undemocratic, illegal surveillance will continue world over. Thanks for ruining civilisation with your submissive attitude.

  • Comment number 37.

    Clegg talks of CCTV reform. I'd like to see the public area cameras work on a principle that's being introduced by insurance companies into cars in the US:

    Camera feeds go straight to a local recording mechanism (e.g. built into the camera), NOT to a central control. This means no monitoring or spying. When there is an incident or if suspicious behaviour is reported the recordings of the last however many relevant minutes or hours from all cameras in the region are sent for analysis. The capability for live monitoring could be retained but to be used only in exceptional cases, clearly defined - and with camera lights flashing to indicate we are being watched.

    The presence of cameras would still act as a deterrent for muggers and the like but because we ordinary citizens need no longer walk around in the knowledge that somebody is watching, I can see no problem with rolling out even more cameras without us becoming a big brother society.

    Of course there would be a loss of certain current legitimate use but for me the liberty is a price worth paying for that. Also, if the Government really is serious about trusting citizens, by repealing liberty-taking laws that erode trust in police and the authorities in general more people might be inclined to help police in their pursuit of real criminals and overall we might all be better off.


  • Comment number 38.

    Do we have a right if we do not want terrorist to be let loose in our country?

  • Comment number 39.

    Stop the DVLA (and the Driver and Vehicle Agency in Northern Ireland) selling our details to anyone who claims "just cause" for these details.

    No personal details to be sent outside of the UK, no control other who gets them or how they are used.

    Close down the ANPRS camera system. Other countries do not need it, why does the UK?

  • Comment number 40.

    At last! A sensible approach to reducing the mindless march of the state. If the coalition keeps going like this the country will come out of the process in 5yrs better managed, fairer and with a smaller government footprint. All in all a good thing.

  • Comment number 41.

    I agree with some previous posts - it all sounds good so far.

    I think that we need desperately to review two massive "under the counter" issues in this country - drugs and prostitution. We know that from a Government perspective legalisation would increase revenue, from a health point of view hygeine would be more assured (purity of drug and STDs in prostitutes) and for the client there would be a recognised cost. The other advantages are that quality can be controlled, issue can be controlled properly and the black-marketeers who gain from these things have a massive area of their income taken away.

    I'm not suggesting that all drugs should be legalised, but a proper, non-political, review needs to take place. Despite users of both or either being branded as pariahs it is said that over 50% of youths try illegal substances and around 1 in 3 men have paid for a sexual service at some point. (I'm happy to have more accurate information published, btw).

    So, Nick, get going on your good works.

  • Comment number 42.

    No sign of PR for Parliamentary elections equals no real reform.

    I am furious that my vote in a "safe seat" will continue to be meaningless for the rest of my life. Resizing constituencies will not solve the problem. It will be engineered to reduce the number of opposition MP's for the forseeable future.

    It's no use having an upper house elected by PR if the lower house is elected under our present corrupt system and can overrule the upper house anyway.

  • Comment number 43.

    Who is the Prime Minister?

  • Comment number 44.

    Nick - you have a long, long way to go before you can claim to deliver full democracy to this country. But do we hold out for anything other than a flimsy band aid to patch up the current undemocratic situation
    Apart from tweaking the voting process to elect lower house (commons) members, will you ensure full elections (aka accountability) for members of the counterbalancing upper house (lets not call it the Lords!!)
    and when will you address the Elephant in the Room - the Monarchy. This feudal anachronism of deference, patronage and unaccountable power surely needs to be abolished (if not now certainly upon the death of the current incumbent).
    Add into the mix a codification of the constitution (i.e. write it down for all to see and the 'constitutional court' to interpret in times of dispute) and a FOI act that covers all but the most sensitive state secrets (i.e include the unelected Royals in its scope - especially as they do interfere in public life - think Charles and his pet projects and lobby groups)
    Your objective should be to make the people sovereign, not the crown - then we can claim to be a democracy

  • Comment number 45.

    So many laws to choise from, NuLabour averaged 9 laws a week over their 13 years!

  • Comment number 46.

    "The biggest shake up of our democracy since 1832, when the Great Reform Act redrew the boundaries of British democracy, for the first time extending the franchise beyond the landed classes."

    So this is going to be bigger that the the Representation of the People Act 1918 then, Mr Clegg, which gave the vote to the majority of men and began the inclusion of women?

  • Comment number 47.

    If it means we can campaign for a repeal or amendment of the Public Order Act to stop the police from abusing the law and arresting street preachers and trying to criminalise Christianity then Cleggs plans to ask the public to nominate which laws to be repealed has to be good.

  • Comment number 48.

    Please sign my e petition against the change in Parliamentary Voting Rules at GoPetition Please use the fshare button on the petition to send it to your friends

  • Comment number 49.

    I suggest Mr Clegg review the law against killing people. It is an infringement of my civil liberties to prevent me by law from killing whoever I so choose. End the police state!

  • Comment number 50.

    At 1:16pm on 19 May 2010, ireenya wrote:
    What if I want the laws to remain?
    The only fair and democratic thing to do would be to have a referendum. I like having CCTV everywhere I go and I agree with the DNA database.
    The only people who need fear these things are the guilty!

    I'm not guilty. I don't want them.

  • Comment number 51.

    I'm reserving judgement until they declare what they're doing about replacing IR35 as they both separately promised to do.

    I've heard rumours that there may be some backtracking going on. Remember that you're gambling with 1 million+ votes boys.

  • Comment number 52.

    Now that the Conservatives have finally agreed to a referendum on electoral reform, I'm hoping that Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems hold firm and insist on having the Lib Dems' preferred option, STV, as a viable option in such a referendum.

    It would be very hard for the Conservatives to justify a refusal. If they accept that the question will be asked - that a referendum will be held - they can hardly justify refusing to let the people, decide on whether or not the answer shall be STV.

    If the Conservatives do stubbornly refuse to allow the people, to decide whether or not to move to STV, they will be rejecting the opportunity to form a government simply to deny them the option of STV. How on earth would David Cameron possibly justify that? Where would his "vote for change" slogan be then?

    Therefore, I hope that the Lib Dems,and Nick Clegg, will stand firm and absolutely insist on having STV as an option.

    It will be okay if the Conservatives to choose: government, or stubborn refusal to allow them, the people, to decide for ourselves on STV.

    I believe that It's will also be easy for Labour: just offer the Lib Dems a referendum with STV as an option!

  • Comment number 53.

    WRT letter no. 23.
    NO to capital punishment.

    UK. home of the unsafe conviction.
    Birmingham 6, Guildford 4. (One died in prison).

    It is the abuse of the Human Rights Act that is the problem.

  • Comment number 54.

    The Lib Dems revert to form and start destroying our democracy. Every time they have had any power they have set about wrecking the Lords and grabbing more power for themselves.

    AV is a laugh, it merely consolidates power in the old, failed parties and prevents any of the smaller parties getting a say.

    An elected Lords will remove that historic, steadying influence that Britain has benefited from.

    These are dark days.

  • Comment number 55.

    Who wants 2 House Of Commonses-1 circus is enough.If we`re going to have an elected 2nd chamber please give members long terms-life peers? 2 elected chambers doesn`t seem to work elsewhere-It hamstrings the US for example.The government runs on its civil service and surely they`re not elected every 4 years!Capable,successful people not necessarily people who can inspire audiences are surely the best people to run the country.

  • Comment number 56.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 57.

    Switching to PR is long-overdue. Crazy that we still use such an outdated system. However I think they should leave the House of Lords alone as it is. It's a good, working system of adding experience to governance. Something really important. The real power lies in the democratically elected House of Commons, while the Lords just lend their experience to proceedings.

    I've lived in countries with elected upper houses. People never know or care who they are voting - as the positions have very little power anyway. Much better to have experienced people who know how to look out for flaws in new laws than a bunch of wannabe politicians who couldn't get elected as MPs.

  • Comment number 58.

    Personally I'd rather see AV+ (Alternative Vote Plus) rather than AV (Alternative Vote). This is what the previous Labour government were proposing. Does Nick Cleggs remarks today rule AV+ out?

  • Comment number 59.

    If Nick Clegg wants to give more power to the people let him give us a referendum on the so called human rights legislation instead of one that is going to benefit his own minority party and stop pretending he wants to change the voting system for the benefit of the country and not for his own party.

    I for one am sick to death of his self righteous attitude, when he went into coalition with the Tories he gave up all right to preach what was right and in the best interests of the country, he did it for the benefit of his own party, who would have thought before the election that about half the Lib Dem's MPs would be on the government payroll

  • Comment number 60.

    The first thing on the bonfire should be the 1972 European Communites act that has robbed Britain of her sovereignty, democracy and freedom.

    Then the EU-phile parties can go too, nobody wants them yet they cling onto power and continue to make it more and more difficult to remove them.

  • Comment number 61.

    When the Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats were in opposition they were continually complaining at the government making policy announcements outside parliament, so why are they doing it know.
    There's trouble ahead with this Lib Con/Con Lib as it appears to be a big Con.

  • Comment number 62.

    As one poster has asked. Is there going to be a similar address for those of us who want to keep various acts?

    I may be in a minority but I want to retain the Human Rights Act and other legislation and courts that have resulted from our membership of the EU. In most cases they are the last recourse against an over mighty government (of whatever political hue). Besides the Human Rights Act is a grandchild of proposals written after the last World War, mostly by the British.

    Without a written constitution we subjects are at the mercy of any government with a majority in the House of Commons.

  • Comment number 63.

    "What do you think of the coalition's proposals?" - (BBC).
    With the way that the LibDems continue trying to ignore Conservative pledges while expecting their own pledges to be accepted - not much right now.

    The Conservative pledge to change the 'Human Rights Act' for a British Bill of Rights is extremely important to many voters - on a par with Immigration - and the LibDems are trying to 'scupper' it.

    This will alienate very MANY people...

  • Comment number 64.

    A fundamental review of all laws( drugs in particular) against the tennet " No third party victim, no crime". If all drugs were legalised, irrespective of any harm they may do, our exposure to crime and the costs of enforcing current ineffective ligislation would be substantially reduced.
    I am not my brother's keeper. While I would make every effort to persuade my brother not to take drugs I would not prevent him from so doing. He should be able to purchase any drug he wants at the local chemist shop; and I undersatnd that was the case before 1956. I also understand that Queen Victoria included opium in her grocery requirements.
    The futile policy of trying to prevent the supply of drugs has caused a crime epidemic. The suppliers make huge profits and promote the use of drugs. Addicts resort to crime to feed the expensive habit. Drug dealers contaminate the drugs they supply by attemting to expand the quantity for sale while reducing the strength; that would not happen if the drugs were available from the local chemist. Addicts often die from over-dosing because they do not know the strength of the product; sometimes they get nasty infections from the contaminants.
    The public are subject to mugging, housebreaking and car theft to feed the habit. Addicts resort to prostitution to feed the habit. Our prisons are overflowing with inmates who are there because of drug-related crime.
    Let us call and end to this nonsense. Legalise all drugs. I have never taken a drug in my life and I never intend to, but my wife's nephew died from a drug over-dose. As nice a guy as you would ever wish to meet. His only crime was to mix with the wrong people and get hooked on drugs.
    I have no doubt that many reading this will be of the opinion that he got what he deserved. Would those same people hold a similar opinion if he had died from drinking too much alcohol?
    I hold the policy of criminalising drug-use responsible for his death, and the deaths of many others every year.
    Please, Messrs Clegg and Cameron, do something.

  • Comment number 65.

    Would be happy to see the back of ridiculous things like IR35 (how much spent on lost Court cases?!), but I do have concerns the new administration may use this process to throw the baby out with the bath water, in its eagerness to repeal Labour legislation. Labour did pass some good, much needed legislation, which need to stay. The Hunting Act is one which certainly needs to remain, despite silly protests about its enforceability. It's very hard to enforce anti-car crime laws in many places - that doesn't mean we should legalise car theft!

  • Comment number 66.

    I would like to see the introduction of a bill that enables carers to get the same pay as a person being employed on the national minimum wage (currently people getting carer's allowance are being paid 32p an hour for a job that lasts a maximum of 168 hours a week), the removal of the leglisation that states that state secrets are kept secret for 30 years and a discussion on the merits of MP's getting fewer holidays (as most MP's will be on holiday in a few weeks and not come back until September / October)

  • Comment number 67.

    Let's hope this is for real, rather than just tinkering. I'll believe it when the smoking laws are brought into line with the rest of the EU, where all countries (except the UK and Ireland) now offer premises owners a range of options to allow them to accommodate all their constomers/guests. As this affects 28% of the population (yes, smoker prevalence has risen since the ban), it's hardly a trivial issue. The anti-everything zealots won't be happy, but then they never will be.

  • Comment number 68.

    Having been very sceptical about the coalition with the Whigs, I'm beginning to warm slightly to this man. I particularily like the idea of giving people the right to repeal stupid laws, the fox hunting ban being the first that springs to mind.
    Too long have we suffered communist laws that restrict our freedoms, other Trotsky laws that spring to mind are, the banned use of mobiles in cars, the smoking ban in pubs, speed bumps in every street with 20 mph limits, bans on keeping certain breeds of dogs, the list goes on.
    I will certainly be making my views known to the Government about repealing laws which restrict my personal freedom.

  • Comment number 69.

    I think it is a brilliant idea to restore peopls civil liberties.

    I am training to be a solicitor so i am in my early 20's I have been stopped and searched on several occassions and the police only treat me properly and abide by the rules when I tell them what I do for a living. I have seen them search my friends and they don't do anything by the book. They take all their details even though they have done nothing wrong, which they aren't meant to do.

    Ever since the S and Marper ruling in the Europen courts England has been breaking the law by keeping innocent peoples DNA on the database, I unfortunately also have mine stored on the DNA database wrongfully. I have written requestign it be removed, but in fact got a legally incorrect and unthoughtful letter in return. I look forward to the day that my DNA cant be stored on the database anymore as I have done nothing but be a law abiding, tax paying, hard working citizen. I am only victimised because I am young.

  • Comment number 70.

    I would like to know why Nick Clegg and David Cameron are letting POLICE have POWER Under The Licensing Act to destroy Pubs/Clubs/Restaurants/etc from stopping Promoting The World Cup and England for The World Cup 2010 and they are stopping members of the public and Public Houses/Restaurants etc from Flying The England Banners,England Flags and stop them using and wearing England T-Shirts and Tops when they both say they want to back The England 2018,The England 2022 World Cup Bid apparently why so give POLICE this POWER???

  • Comment number 71.

    Spin, spin, spin, spin, spin......Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose - or for the Europhobes out there - nothing changes much. `Once the media get hold of a gruesome crime that took place where a surveillance camera had been taken away or a child murder where police claim the DNA database could have been critical in helping them ctahc the murderer, watch them go into reverse! "New politics" is in itself a spin - the only difference is that with most of the media on their side, this Government won't be accused of spin - but that's exactly what they're doing.

  • Comment number 72.

    The LibDems previously banged on about a local income tax rather than the iniquitous council tax - has this been conveniently forgotten?

  • Comment number 73.

    I think we should keep the ID card system. If you have nothing to hide you would not mind it. It would be good for the UK to have them. I think it is a big mistake to scrap it.

  • Comment number 74.

    Crikey the public never fail to amaze how like sheep they are. Why dont people question things and why do they continue to blindly believe politicians. Presumably this non-elected government will use a form of PR to analyse what "laws to get rid of" ie they will only do so if > %50 of voters ask for it - or would that be a little bit too democratic? Why do people think everything so far is so good? Clegg has completely sold out- just read and think about what he has said. The argument of "what is best for the country" is disingenuous at best. For example if the proposals that this "government" are putting forward are "best for the country" why were the LibDems campaigning for something different? My lifelong vote for LibDems will go to either Labour or the Tories from now till the day I die !

  • Comment number 75.

    Details please Mr Clegg. Already too much of the hyperbole strewn announcements. How would this public 'involvement' work? X factor type votes every Saturday, referendums every other week, MP's mandated to support ideas with over 50% (55%, 66%)? Or do you mean the government gets to pick and choose which ideas to pursue and ignore those you don't like?
    Just had a brilliant idea! Why don't we divide up the population into groups (we could call them constituancies) and then have each one elect a representative . The representatives could meet regularly and decide what should and shouldn't be done. We could do the same at the local level and have ... councillors. No don't tell me! It's already been done!
    Please grow up Mr Clegg. You wanted power and now you have some. Use it and let people judge. Hiding behind the public ('It's what you wanted.') isn't going to work.

  • Comment number 76.

    Clegg can't deny the facist farce that is the 55% No Confidence Bill, so he glorifies it as some right of government, rather than admitting it is just to entrench the position of his and Cameron's jobs, and yet he has the audacity to call himself a liberal in the same speech.
    I don't think any member of the public particularly cares about having a fixed term parliament either, it is just maximising the time until ConDem alliance has to relinquish power.
    Clegg also overlooks the Parliament Act of 1911, that was real reform of the House of Lords, and it wasn't 150 years ago. This reshaping of the Lords into a PR system just makes it more impossible to unseat this treasonous alliance.

  • Comment number 77.

    I fear getting rid of the DNA data base as I feel more really dangerous criminals not being caught.
    Also what about the women getting the vote...........was that not a huge change in our democracy!!!

  • Comment number 78.

    This is what I voted for, a big shake-up of the nanny/police state. Remind the bureaucrats that they are servants and not masters, give the power back to the people.

    I'd like to see Clegg agree to a referendum on the EU, because if the people want out, surely he should let them have their way, and if they want in, the Eurosceptics will have to shut up for a while.

    Ditch all the quangos that have grown up with a vested interest in interfering with family life. Stop grants to all the charities that spend huge amounts on advertising, almost equal to the amount of funds they raise from the public. Remove all the rights of access to private homes without a court order or immediate safety-to-life concerns.

    Above all, trust the people. Most of us are honest and object to being assumed guilty by state officials or made guilty by stupid laws that add no value to anything except the police database.

  • Comment number 79.

    The strange thing is that although I loathe Labour I happen to agree with ID cards and I believe everyone should be on the DNA database.

    I have no intention of committing any crime and I would be happier if criminals were caught quickly and cheaply and trials were quicker and cheaper using the database.

    I think people should take a step back and look at this on the basis of which is the greater evil. I would volunteer my DNA happily for al the difference it would make (I would expect it to simply take up some disc space somewhere for the next few years).

    If there were a referendum on making it compulsory for all to be on the DNA database I would vote in favour.

  • Comment number 80.

    Can we ever stop hyperbole? (I guess not).

    The "biggest shake up of our democracy" patronises those who fought with their lives for a franchise for starters.

    But clearly Mr Clegg needs to familiarise himself with the history of the Whigs. The year 1868(142 years ago)is a time that Mr Clegg may wish to reflect upon.

  • Comment number 81.

    We must give "new boys" Cameron and Clegg a chance to develop and implement their new and radical policies some of which are to be welcomed and others which will no doubt founder. The electorate have got what we voted for and everyone has to be willing and able to compromise. Let's have a bit of "British Bulldog/Dunkirk" national spirit and try to make the best of things. Germany lost just about everything in WW2 and yet look at their country today. And we in Britain are nowhere near such destitution - we have simply overborrowed and run out of credit.

  • Comment number 82.

    To be honest Nick likes to listen to his own voice. He does not keep his promise. He has already broken the biggest one of all. Taking away Student fees. My son is in debt of £30,000 student fees and he is not even 22 years old.

  • Comment number 83.

    No govt is ever fettered by its predecessors. Those who say we cant get rid of silly Euro laws is peddling a lie. Repeal the European Communities Act 1972 - thats the granddaddy of all Euro legislation - get rid of that and the rest of the rotten edifice fails. In doing so every law library in the country could clear two thirds of its shelving.- think of the saving in trees and ink.

    As for the ECHR - we drafted the blessed thing but could derogate from it prior to the Human Rights Act. Get rid of that monsterous piece of self-indulgent drivvle ( which Labour then spent much time trying to get around anyway) and replace with a basic Bill of Rights and Freedoms - which would in no way ever extend to foreign nationals , convicted criminals or terrorists convicted in other countries.

    End the ban on fox hunting - not a hunter myself but the law is hopeless and in large part disregarded. In any event more hunting at least might cut the number of urban foxes.

    Remove fixed Speed cameras- they dont give the motorist an even chance and deprive them of fun. Make the police earn their fancy BMW X5s and Volvos. Oh Yes - and require police when using mobile cameras to produce photo evidence of the offence - they arnt required to at the mo - their say so is enough for most magistrates.

    End prison overcrowding at a stroke - drop all the current lifers rapists and paedophiles to the end of a short rope. Probably more than 5000 places created in a "snap" so to speak.

    End Rights for prisoners generally - The idea of hard labour might give pause for thought.

    There are surely many more but Ill have to stop day dreaming now and earn a living to help pay for the last 13 years of Labours profligacy.

  • Comment number 84.

    Reform is good, but they are attempting to get rid of ContactPoint as being in the same category as ID cards and DNA databases. How can a tool that has been created to protect children, and is already protecting children be in the same category as something that is potentially an invasion of privacy?

    Why are these politicians not talking to social workers, police, Child Protection Officers etc who are using this tool before deciding to scrap something. Add to that the money as already been spent, and they are throwing away £224m.

    This needs reviewing. I work on this database, and although my job would not be affected on this outcome, we are playing with Childrens lives because some people do not want a database to have their childs information on it. Less information, as it happens than a gym membership.

    This information is already held on the DWP database, the school census etc. If it is that much of a problem, remove children who do not have an involvement and keep the database. It is needed, and already a number of children have been helped because professionals around the country can find out who has been working with the child. This can take months without ContactPoint. Even days can be too long to save an at risk child.

    It is backed by Barnardo's, and other children’s charities. It works.

    Why is this not being reviewed, and why are newspapers not actually finding out what Contactpoint does, instead of trying to scrap something they have never see?

    It was bought in following the Victoria Climbier case. We have since had Baby P before it had a chance to go live.

    Does another child need to die?

    Stop this idiocy now.

  • Comment number 85.

    Suggestions - abolish HIPS ,waste of time and money
    Reduce ,eliminate fuel duty.
    Road Fund licencing removed -add a tax to petrol/diesel to compensate.
    Repair the roads properly or pay compensation to people who's cars are damaged by pot holes.
    Bring back conscription if a teen-ager isn't in work/training/education.
    Increase VAT to 20% - spend a lot -pay a lot.
    Increase savings interest rates - seperated from the Bank of England's rate. All interest tax free.
    Build another Thames crossing /tunnel -remove the toll booths at the QE2 bridge.
    Build a motorway from Dover to Cornwall along the South Coast.
    Stop benefits to new arrivals until they have paid into the NI scheme for 5 years.
    many more but it would become boring to read ..enjoy .........

  • Comment number 86.

    The Human Rights act must be scrapped now so we can just kick out terrorists, illegal immigrants, foreign criminals and basically any non UK national we want to. This is a civilised coutry and we don't need a looney left human rights act designed to protect criminals.

  • Comment number 87.

    Great to see a natural leader of people, make such a dramatic start

    Well-done Nick Clegg - let's hope the UK gets fully behind you

  • Comment number 88.

    1."Innocent" people on the DNA database have subsequently been convicted, by DNA evidence, of serious crimes such as murder and rape.
    2.CCTV evidence has resulted in the arrest of thousands of criminals, and makes many law abiding citizens feel safer.
    3.Changing the margin needed to lose a vote of confidence in parliament disempowers our representatives in favour of the government.
    4.Plans to fill the House of Lords with scores of their own supporters, is undemocratic.
    5.Allowing the electorate to decide which laws should be repealed. Yeah right. The Lisbon Treaty for example?
    In conclusion "New Politics" means:
    1. Abolishing a successful method of solving crimes.
    2. Abolishing a successful method of deterring crime.
    3. Less accountable government.
    4. Cronyism.
    5. Spin.

  • Comment number 89.

    All makes perfect sense to me. I am convinced that they are on the right track with this. We have got too comfortable with looking to government to do things for us, and blaming them for things that go wrong.

    But you cannot force people to accept responsibility - they have to want it. All government can do is create the opportunities, prepare the soil, if you like, and wait for people to take up the challenge.

    The real test of this radical approach will be when there is pressure for central government to fix something that should really be fixed at a lower level. Will the politicians resist the pressure, or fall into the trap and rush in to fix it (as GB would always do?). Let's see!

  • Comment number 90.

    "The Anti-terrorism, Crime and Security Act 2001 passed in the aftermath of 9/11 set aside habeas corpus in regard to terrorism suspects who cannot be prosecuted. The Prevention of Terrorism Bill now before Parliament would broaden the ways in which terrorism suspects can be dealt with without being charged or prosecuted."

    At present it is not necessary to have 'reasonable grounds' for suspicion that the person detained for more than 48 hours without being charged is a terrorist. This is a travesty - it *should* be necessary to have 'reasonable grounds for suspicion'.

  • Comment number 91.

    Great. Here are some suggestions of laws which should be amended or scrapped.
    Lords . An elected house of Lords with real scrutiny powers
    Human Rights Act. Foreigners who commit serious crimes should be deported - with few if any exceptions. Stop the illegal encampments by gypsies and the Use of the HR act to allow GB policy to be overridden.
    Smoking ban. Allow pubs to have a well ventilated smoking room if they want - people can then chose to use it or not.No more smoking inspection officers.
    US/UK extradition treaty - far too one sided.
    Mobile phone use in cars. Only prosecute IF use has been found to be careless or dangerous. The law is widely flouted anyway.
    LA snooping powers - open to abuse
    Reduce Govt powers to enter buildings without a warrant. Also restrict snoopiung powers on emails and personal data.
    Relax building and planning regs e.g for minor building works.
    Review all speed limits ( and put them up in some cases.) 80 mph on M Ways.
    Reduce the no of speed cameras which are mostly just a tax raising device. More traffic police instead?
    MOT inspections - increase the time to 5 years ( cars are more reliable now)
    Far too much CCTV. Does it really help with crime ? The evidence is patchy. End the use of secret CCTV car registration id systems ( yes they do exist)
    Scrap ID cards and the DNA database
    End criminalisation of under 18's .The police records should be expunged for all but the most serious crimes after 3 years.
    End the police practice of challenging innocent photographers.
    Streamline planning laws and the practice of death by process. far too much consultation and regulation (eg endless sustainability appraisals which used to be carried out using common sense).Why is permission required for a dish on the roof a block of flats if it cant be seen?
    Revise Buiding Regs. Why should a replacement door or window have to be approved at a higher standard than the original?
    Health and safety laws - some are just ludicrous
    Excessive LA Inspections of of shops and restaurants - why not self compliance with less prescriptive regs?
    Allow traffic to turn left on red if safe [no pedestrians or cars coming].
    Bin snooping by LA's and fines for minor infringements of complex recycling laws.
    End the practice of government at all levels of introducing a new reg or law in response to a one off incident or accident [frequently just an overreaction to be SEEN to be doing something]
    Excessive CRB checks - are ALL these worth the effort? Many aren't.
    HIPs PACKS - I have just used the system and it Is useless . The HIPs info was ignored and searches have all been done again . A complete waste of time and money and it has NOT speeded up the process of buying/selling.
    Reduce the BBC licence fee just to cover basic services. The rest can be financed by ads or subscription .

    I could go on.... scrapping all these unncessary laws will also save public money which must be a good thing given the appalling state of our finances.

    The initiative to roll back excessive nanny state meddling is a good one - however I doubt much will happen once the various political lobbies and professional regulators start to be involved.[It is certainly not in the interests of many regulators to get rid of regulations- that's the whole reason for their existence.] Clegg and Cameron will need to be bold and hold their nerve.
    Its a shame we cant also prevent more silly laws being made in Europe too ( 75% come from there).Most of these end of being gold plated to the detriment of UK competitiveness and the taxpayer.

    We need the proper scrutiny of new [and existing] laws [including European directives] to ensure they are fit for purpose, do not infringe civil liberties and do not impose an undue admin burden on LA 's the police - for not much benefit

  • Comment number 92.

    A lot of people seem to be prepared to give this coalition a chance.
    The press, as a whole, don't seem to be among this group though. There are a lot of startlingly venomous reports being made, and some of the cartoons are positively hateful.

    Who are the press working for anyway? Whoever it is, they did a very effective job of carrying the Conservatives to their pyrrhic victory.

  • Comment number 93.

    34. At 1:50pm on 19 May 2010, jb wrote:
    I don't have any problem with classical ID cards, no biometric data stored so why this fuss about ID cards? Can someone explain this to me?

    One of the main issues with the hugely expensive ID card scheme was that it would not replace any existing form of ID, but would add an extra layer. The possible information being held is a moot point.
    If this, or any Government said to me "we're going to introduce a new form of identification. It'll simply and improve things for you because you no longer to buy (say) a passport or driving licence - all that information is held on the new card for you - and you can optionally store your bank details and use the card as a bank card" then I would see the possibilities, but instead they said "we are going to introduce a new ID card. It replaces nothing, will become compulsory, and you will have no way of amending inaccurate information held on it, such as a criminal record". I think getting rid of the card is a great idea.

  • Comment number 94.

    The wholesale scrapping of a number of project gives me the view that this is more about "cuts" to save costs than taking a point on civil liberties. Isn't this really stealth cutting as opposed to stealth taxing.

    As to the alternative vote and proportional representation I question whether the issue was seriouly raised when Mr Clegg and his collegues were negotiating thier positions in the government. What I mean by this is that did the Liberal Democrats ever suggest that some members of the Labour party be given a position within the government. I expect not.

  • Comment number 95.

    Is anyone really suggesting we take this coalition seriously?
    I am trying to understand that a third rate party with less than ten percent of MP's has Cabinet Ministers.. sitting in government.
    Woe betide us.
    Cameron did not get the automatic crown he badly sought.
    So he had to jump into bed with thee Lib Dems..just to be in govt.
    Woe betide us all.

  • Comment number 96.

    speaking about this new coalition govenment ive been told by friends who run a pub on the Isle of Wight weve been told take down are england flags and not allowed to wear the shirt in pubs and out on the street because people might get offend, this is so stupid we live in england so shawley we can express the right to be english in this country, im not ukip or BNP im a lib dem voter but this takes the mic big time and this govenment needs to grow a back bone and say to police who are the people that are enforcing this to back off and stop being silly just because silly people who probs wont even be offended because they know we like football and the world cup is coming. just complete major overeaction by the police and please comment if this is happening in your area too

  • Comment number 97.

    any dismantaling of the nightmare prying labour state is welcome, other laws i'd like to see is any new housing to be built with some style other than a brick box and freedom to do what you want to your own property, the ending of crowd size laws, a ban on giving houses to anyone under 30 who has a baby out of wedlock, payment of child support for no more than two children by the same mother and jail for any father who defaults on their child support payments if not working

  • Comment number 98.

    Although its sketchy in detail some of the ideas sound promising, however If the repeal of the hunting with Dogs act takes place.
    It will show us the true Nick Clegg.
    The very thought of re-legalising barbaric cruelty is abhorrent.
    Come on Nick lets have your views on specifics.

  • Comment number 99.

    I am pleased to hear that the House of Lords is up for a review, this is an institution which is well past it's sell by date! I appreciate that there needs to be a second tier to ensure legislation is double checked but I am certain that this is not a job for a bunch of time served politicians who are basically more of the same political House of Commons types and a few remaining titled land owners whose only qualification is that their Norman Ancestors were good at Conquering!

    Something which I have espoused for a long time is not necessarily an elected second chamber but more a drafted in "House of Specialists". Politicians are good at politics and, dare I say it, not much else! Yet they are asked to put together legislation on highly complex and specialist subjects that then goes on to affect us all. Legislation which is, of course, usually put together by Civil Servants, need I say more!

    Would it not be better to have a second chamber made up of people with real in depth knowledge of the subjects in question who can be drafted in to bring a touch of reality to politically driven legislation? These specialists can be taken from a pool of men and women which could be elected by us or nominated by MP’s on a “Proportional basis” on the understanding that they are recognised in their field and not just cronies. I am still working on the how to select them bit - any ideas?

    There would of course be a lot of ‘specialists’ need to cover all areas of course, but you would only need to call into the house those that have the specialist knowledge relating to the specific legislation. In an ideal world this would be an unpaid job but I am sure we could afford a lot more temporary Specialists on the same budget that the full time Lords consume.

    This is just an idea and I am sure it will be savagely picked apart by subsequent postings but, hey at least we are having a debate :o) ..... OK, I’ll get my coat!

  • Comment number 100.

    Keano's boot wrote:
    "We are seeing the end of a communist government - it is being replaced with real, sensible policies. I'm actually excited about government for a change, it is truly refreshing."

    Keano, you need to go back to school. Communist? When? Where?


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