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December 11, 2005

Where Freedom Reigns.

Absolutely bloody marvellous. Time was, with exceptions for the hot pursuit of criminals, firemen and the like, an Englishman’s home was his castle. Other than Customs and Excise  (something I was never too keen on) everyone else needed a warrant to demand entry. There had to be a prima facie case, argued before a magistrate, before they, whoever they were, could insist on entering your property.

No longer:

Householders who close the door on or refuse to cooperate with bureaucrats sent to check their property for features that will increase their council tax bills could be fined £500 and receive a criminal record.

That’s right. Not only do you have to allow the idle little jobsworth from the Local Council into your home, you’ll get a criminal record of you don’t let him in.

I have to admit that I don’t see the purpose of this at all. 99% of the population would be quite happy to let the guy come in at a time mutually convenient (which might mean our valuers will have to work weekends and nights but so what?) and the other 1% could be easily dealt with by a small change to the law allowing the valuers to apply for a warrant to search the premises.

A vastly better solution in my view than creating a new class of petty Gauleiters who have the right to demand entry as and when they wish.

December 11, 2005 in The English | Permalink

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Tracked on Dec 11, 2005 11:01:06 AM

Comments

"Not only do you have to allow the idle little jobsworth from the Local Council into your home"

Council Tax inspectors work for the Valuation Office Agency, which is part of the Inland Revenue. The Telegraph article actually says this, though you seem to have missed it.

"A vastly better solution in my view than creating a new class of petty Gauleiters"

There's nothing new about this. VOA inspectors have the same powers now as they had in 1993 with the first council tax valuation.

Somebody pointed all this out the last time you ranted about this subject, and still you get it wrong again. You're even less accurate than the Torygraph, which is saying something.

Tim adds: So if it’s the same powers as they always had why is the Minister responsible bringing in new powers, as the article details?

Posted by: Jim | Dec 11, 2005 11:22:18 AM

What new powers is the Minister bringing in, Tim? The article doesn't actually 'detail' any.

Oh and by the way,

"you’ll get a criminal record of you don’t let him in"

is wrong. It's not a recordable offence.

And what's more,

"petty Gauleiters who have the right to demand entry as and when they wish"

is also wrong. Inspectors give at least three and usually seven days notice, and try to arrange a time convenient to the occupier. And this system works, because so far *nobody* has been fined for refusing access to a VOA inspector.

So the whole story is a trumped-up nothing, basically a Tory press release regurgitated by the Telegraph and swallowed by their gullible readers. And you've managed to pack a possibly record number of inaccuracies into a relatively short post.

Posted by: Jim | Dec 11, 2005 12:20:44 PM

I seem to recall a similar referral to this *right to entry* either in the Times or one of the various blogs I read some weeks ago, but can't remember which.

It is exactly the constant proliferation of *new* offences like this that are fucking up the Criminal Justice system which you comment on in your later post Tony Blair on ASBOs.

Posted by: Pip | Dec 11, 2005 2:20:10 PM

"And this system works, because so far *nobody* has been fined for refusing access to a VOA inspector.."

There's always a first time!

Posted by: JuliaM | Dec 12, 2005 8:50:04 AM

And as a matter of fact, there is no 'Inland Revenue' anymore.

The agency is actually 'HM Revenue & Customs' now, after it's merger (or rather, takeover of) with HM Customs & Excise...

Posted by: JuliaM | Dec 12, 2005 8:52:29 AM

Amongst the less than politically correct here in SA there is a theory that to get a really effective guard dog one has to employ an Historically Disadvantaged South African to abuse the puppy for a few days. This engenders a David Duke level of racial tolerance in the hound.

Now I do not subscribe to animal cruelty of any hue, but if I lived in Britain I would be sore tempted to pay some guy in a cheap suit to whack my dogs a few times with his clipboard. Naturally I would not refuse entry to any genuine VOA jobsworth. I'd just make him sign an ndemnity form first.

RM

Posted by: The Remittance Man | Dec 12, 2005 10:58:26 AM