A new law every three-and-a-quarter hours!

It comes as no surprise today to learn how prolific the Labour government has been when it comes to introducing legislation. The Blair premiership has seen an average of 2,685 new laws introduced each year! That is one every three-and-a-quarter hours! It has been Blair's answer to everything – there is nothing that can't be solved without a piece of legislation in the crazy world of New Labour. The research by legal information providers Sweet & Maxwell, has shown that more than seven new laws have come into force every day since Tony Blair came to power a decade ago! I know ignorance of the law if not a valid excuse in court, but how on earth are we supposed to keep on top of it all?! To make things worse, the legislation is usually massively complex and largely ineffective. Five acts passed in 2006 totalled more than 100 pages, three more than 200, one more than 300, one more than 500 and one more than 700.

It is not just New Labour that has been rushing out laws as though they are in some sort of competition; the EU is no different. Last year the EU created 2,100 new pieces of legislation. That works out at something like 7,785 pieces of legislation a year, or 13 a day!  The Tory response from Oliver Heald was "Tony Blair and Gordon Brown think the answer to everything is to make a new law. But, after creating thousands of new laws, violent crime has doubled, the NHS is suffering a funding crisis and too many of our young people leave school unable to read or write." There is a financial cost to all this as well. The CBI believes that new employment laws alone had cost firms £37 billion since 1998. If proof were needed that a large and interfering government was counter-productive in every sense, then this research is it.