Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Magazine article The Spectator

Banned Wagon

Article excerpt

STUNG by accusations of operating a nanny state, the government turned away from the idea of banning things some time ago. Roll on, then, the `voluntary code of practice'. Voluntary in the sense that if you don't agree to it, you can be sure something worse will follow.

This week, fireworks appeared in the shops for the first time this year - in preparation for Guy Fawkes Night. The casual observer might well be drawn to conclude that this means there is no demand for fireworks at any other time of year. But not so. Under a voluntary code of practice between the government and the British Pyrotechnics Association, fireworks are only offered to the general public during a three-week period leading up to 5 November. Given that retailers who infringe existing regulations face fines of L5,000 and/or six months in jail, it is not difficult to see why the fireworks industry has agreed to the code. …

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