"I was saddened and appalled at the Prime Minister's [PM] comments with regards to Health and Safety [H&S] regulation. He used the old chestnut and proven myth, of children having to use goggles to play conkers to justify a stinging attack on "the monster that is excessive H&S regulation" [Front page Jan 6th edition]. Prompting a condemnation by Richard Jones, head of policy and public affairs at the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health who replied "Labelling workplace H&S as a monster is appalling and unhelpful, as the reason our legislative system exists is to prevent death, injury or illness at work, protecting livelihoods in the process."
The proposal to increase the speed limit on motorways and duel carriageways to 80 MPH is another example of policy incentives based on myth and prejudice, rather than sound evidence. A a comparable speed increase in the US in 1995 lead to a 16.6% rise in fatalities. A major role of Government is to protect the individual against the abuse of power, be it a criminal, an unscrupulous employer, or a speeding motorist.
The PM and this Government clearly is not concerned about the well being of the individual, they play to the gallery rather than base their policies on sound evidence. If regulation is worsened as a result, then many lives will be lost, numerous injuries and ill health will be caused.
While I approve and welcome better regulation, prejudging any review in this way is dangerous Government by myth and prejudice. Reasonable regulation is the only way to control those with power, who have little regard for the health, safety and welfare of others."
Chair, Windsor Labour Party