Not your castle anymore

The government has been accused of trampling on individual liberties by proposing wide-ranging new powers for bailiffs to break into homes and to use “reasonable force” against householders who try to protect their valuables.

Under the regulations, bailiffs for private firms would for the first time be given permission to restrain or pin down householders. They would also be able to force their way into homes to seize property to pay off debts, such as unpaid credit card bills and loans.

So employees of a private company will have the right to break into your home and beat you up.

No, there is no justification for this. Hempen and lamp posts time I think.

12 thoughts on “Not your castle anymore”

  1. You knew it was going to happen as soon as the government went into the banking business. What is the betting this will be first used by bailiffs on behalf of Northern Rock?

  2. Nicely conflicts with the right to self-defence in your own home. How long til the first bailiff is stabbed to death by someone being attacked by said bailiff?

  3. If the Government is going to offer crisis loans at APRs nudging 30% they’ll need to get the money back somehow…

    I’m surprised Baliffs already have the power to break in. But now they may get the power to restrain people. Will they be trained how to do it properly?

    Is this corporatism?

  4. “Will they be trained how to do it properly?”

    More to the point, will they bother? Coppers are trained to restrain, but many still feel the need to beat the crap out of someone.

    This is another ticking timebomb. I hope it starts to be acted upon widely in time for the next election. The perhaps when people see the tearful stories on the news (not BBC Pravda, of course) support for Gordon’s regime will fall away.

  5. One of the comments in the Times article pointed out that this would give robbers a perfect excuse: “Just collecting a debt. You don’t owe anything? Oh, sorry, wrong address.”

  6. I wonder what happens when a bailiff does this, and kills a householder, then they find out they were at the wrong address and they just murdered a harmless innocent person in his own house.
    That one should be good for the documentary makers.

    If a government ever set out to provoke a bloody revolution, they couldn’t do better than this.

    Incidentally, we are beginning to understand why they took our guns away.

  7. Monty:

    You’re probably wrong.

    It’s already happened a couple or three times over here (though by official DEA men rather than private bailiffs) and I don’t remember too many extended expressions of public outrage.

    We all yell and “tsk, tsk” about such occurrences
    but either must (“in the final analysis,” to use a trite phrase that actually fits here) believe, with the authorities, that they’re “terrible mistakes” for which no malice and not much blame should be imputed OR we’re just too indifferent (or cowardly) to take other steps indicated.

    I don’t see much indication of “bloody revolution” over these incidents (and we’ve plenty of guns over here). I don’t pretend to know anything about “what it takes,” except to say that, obviously, it takes a lot “more.” Except in movies, I haven’t even heard anyone throw open their window and yell out “I’m mad as hell and I ain’t gonna take it anymore!” And, if someone did, everybody’d know right off he was crazy to (depending on season) let all that heat or air-conditioning escape.

    It may annoy you (and others). But I’m afraid you’re talking to the wrong audience or age or generation. WTF? Can you imagine the farmers at Lexington today? “Look boys, I’m as upset as
    you are. But what we’re plannin’ is just plain stupid. If we don’t get killed or even badly wounded, we’ll still lose ever’thing we got to the lawyers and probably won’t get to collect on our Social Security. It plain don’t make any sense, no-way.”

    Most of us go through life exerting no little thought and effort to staying out of the history books.

  8. It’s already happened a couple or three times over here (though by official DEA men rather than private bailiffs) and I don’t remember too many extended expressions of public outrage.

    I could be wrong, but I suspect public outrage will be rather greater at ‘freelance’ killings by bailiffs than state-sanctioned killings by g-men.

    There’s a lot that The Man In The Street is willing to tolerate in the name of Laura Norder that I don’t think he’s willing to tolerate in the name of propping up the banks.

    (maybe you’re right, and I’m being optimistic)

  9. I presume they only break in when they can’t get in via having the door opened. I would expect a police officer to be present. If some oaf tries breaking into my house with me in it I will be fighting back and as far as I am concerned regarding my family, reasonable force includes deadly force.

  10. john b:

    You’ve hit the nail on the head(!) right there in your last line.

    I have a big advantage on you on just this type of thing. I’m just a bit further along. Can you remember WW II ? I can. Not so clearly for the beginning but much more by the time it was over.

    Try Wikipedia “Lend -Lease” and just scroll down that awesome, mind-boggling list of material goods. And, while you do, bear in mind that roughly almost THREE TIMES THAT AMOUNT went, separately, to the UK.

    I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that almost all of the formerly-famous Mesabi Range of iron-rich mountains that fed such industry went into the stuff by now rusted away all over the world. A waste, to be sure—but a necessary waste at the time.

    People of most of the world simply have no idea (nor do most Americans removed in time from the experience) how altruistically average Americans viewed these transactions. People with better heads wrote the deals up as loans and leases and people in the US enjoyed a prosperity (compared to the Depression) of steady and steadily higher wages and civilian rationing of virtually everything of importance. But the fact is that common people everywhere looked on the whole thing as a “gift” and had scant hopes of repayment. What’s more, they would have behaved nearly identically without any prospect of repayment whatever. And, in a sense, very little of the sacrifice of goods and effort were ever repaid because, over the length of repayment time and at the interest rate applied, most of such repayment was made in
    increasingly inflated terms.

    The plain fact is that, although in the US we have some who’d favor going to war to take over some foreign country’s oil or other resource, it wouldn’t “sell” to most. What will sell is taking a stick to foreign thugs, whether organized or not, who mess with the order of international trade through which all peaceful peoples are rendered better off. We hope for help but will sometimes go it alone. Either way, we’re “in for a heap o’ trouble,” nowadays–from most of the world and from the monolithic liberal left here at home (in whose view nothing ever of any importance done by the US was for any other than strictly pecuniary asdvantage except when there was sadistic pleasure to be derived from injuring the interest of less-advanced, preferably primitive, and, most importantly, “colored” people.

    As I see it (and with only a proper and due application of exaggeration for emphasis),
    the Rev. Jeremiah Wright epitomizes and justly sums up the place of the US in world opinion. Others just dispense with the raving and gesticulating: diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks.

  11. Isn’t this an essential adjunct to making the new ID card offences liable to civil rather than criminal penalties?
    No martyrs in jail for refusing to cooperate – just the front door, the car and the telly gone.
    Peter Rachmann would have LOVED this!

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