U.K.'s Silly Laws Survey

Nov 7th, 2007, 06:15 AM
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U.K.'s Silly Laws Survey

I read a survey on laws and other regulations that were culled from published research into ancient legislation that has never been repealed although subsequent statutes have rendered them obsolete. The top ten is funny enough to post.

Do not take political or any other message out of this, please. By the way, what is a mince pie?

And which one is YOUR favorite? For me it is a tie between 6 and 7.

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament

2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down

3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store

4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day

5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter

6. A pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet

7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the king, and the tail of the queen

8. It is illegal to avoid telling the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing

9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour

10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:27 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
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The Liverpool canard is just untrue. It's an urban myth for whose existence there's simply not a shred of evidence. And the city council trots out the denial every now and again, but the gullible keep on recycling the nonsense.

As for the others. Your evidence for their existence is what, excactly? And if your answer is "some publicity-seeking stunt by a crap satellite channel", I'll repeat the question.
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:34 AM
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1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament >>>>>

in fact this isn't true (after all what would the penalty?)

What is true is that if a member of the Houses of Parliament dies on the premises then the sessions are immeditely suspended for the day.

This is obviously a bit of a pain, so all such people (and given there are a lot of old codgers in the Lords there are a few) are taken away in an ambulance and declared dead at hospital.

There was quite an argument about whether Airey Neave was "in parliament" when he was murdered.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:44 AM
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The survey was conducted by UKGold Tv apparently. They also quote some strange foreign laws. I saw the story on the BBC site. http://tinyurl.com/2j2t7e
hetismij is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:49 AM
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Incidentally, the "stamp upside down" idiocy is an American-invented fantasy.

During the run up to the Declaration of Independence, sticking tax stamps (which didn't bear the monarch's head) upside down was, in the colonies, a gesture of - well mild protest. The penalty? none, because it wasn't illegal.

But it suited the New York Times in 1897 to reprint gleefully a mild observation made in 'Notes and Queries', a London quarterly magazine, about a "popular" (ie believed by foolish people who repeat tittle-tattle unthinkingly) superstition that Queen Victoria would be upset if her face was upside down.

But no-one in 1897 was stupid enough to believe there'd ever been a law making it treason. It takes the credulity of the 21st century to accept such tripe at face value

You can see the NYT 1897 reprint of the London article at http://tinyurl.com/3c4d2n
flanneruk is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 06:52 AM
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There used to be an old English guy who specialised in digging up medieval by laws.

I remember him demanding the right to drive his sheep (in the singular) through a US nuclear airbase.

Very confused GI on the gate, who called his sargeant, who called the captain, who called the CO.

As I recall he and his sheep were eventually escorted through the base under very heavy guard.
waring is offline  
Nov 7th, 2007, 07:03 AM
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It IS illegal to write on banknotes.

There's an Act still in force - the Police Town Clauses Act 1848 (from memory) that is the law that sets up the old bill. It also codified the powers etc.

It's full of daft laws and has never been repealed as it would repeal (re-Peel?) the Met's charter.

It's illegal to hang your washing outside.
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Nov 11th, 2007, 08:43 AM
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A mince pie is a pastry tart filled with currants/raisins and other dried fruit. Often accompanied by rum butter and eaten by the majority of the population on Christmas Day so mass-law breaking I am afraid!
bellini is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 04:37 AM
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Cromwell outlawed christmas (popishness you see) so that's where that one comes from.

Thankfully we managed to persuade our humourless twats to move to another country. I wonder what happened to that?
Cholmondley_Warner is offline  
Nov 12th, 2007, 06:28 AM
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The humourless twats debunking for the New World predate Cromwell.

Compulsory Church attendance
No music, dancing, laughter, singing, drinking, cards or theatres, jewellery or makeup.
A bachelor not being allowed to live alone.
Prosecution for a dirty house.
Being burnt for witchcraft and heresy, the death penalty for sex outside marriage, or for disobeying your parents (at any age).

This is why July 4th is known as "Riddance Day" in the UK.
waring is offline  

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