Bouncer Ken is not on the job

Remember this from the last election? From the Times in October 2009 we had Kenneth Clarke promising a bonfire of red tape.

Ken Clarke promised a nightclub-style “one in, one out’ policy on new rules on business today, vowing that a Tory government would introduce no new regulation without getting rid of an old law.

I wonder what happened to that policy?

“We will introduce a system of regulatory budgets across government, that means no new red tape will be introduced without a compensating cut in the costs and burden somewhere else,” Mr Clarke said.

He would serve as a “bouncer” to prevent red tape from reaching the statute book, promising to chair a new body to scrutinise regulation.

That sounded great.  So why then why do I see this over at Douglas Carswell’s blog (One of the few truly conservative MPs).

This great pile of papers are copies of all the new laws that Brussels has imposed on us over the past six weeks. 

My friend James Clappison, the brilliant MP for Hertsmere, plonked them on my desk on his way to the European Scrutiny Committee – which can neither delay nor veto any of it.

On the day we launch a campaign for an “in / out” EU refereundum, it is appropriate that you should be able to physically see that most of the laws and regulations that govern us are imposed by commission officials – merely rubber stamped by those we actually voted for.

Now I wonder why Europhile Ken Clarke forgot to mention that more than 75% of our laws and regulations come directly from Europe, completely bypassing Parliamentary scrutiny? 

So Ken, where’s the other pile of papers of all the old laws you promised you were going to get rid of then?  Just asking.


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