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Archive for 7 mars, 2017

För att fortsätta på temat Sverigebilden kan man ju påminna sig att vårt land ibland har använts som avskräckande exempel på en förmyndarstat. Det har t ex gällt frågan om den obligatoriska användningen av bilbälten. Jag återgav för rätt många år sedan på den här bloggen ett inlägg av den konservativa ledamoten Ray Whitney i det brittiska underhuset när frågan debatterades där den 7 mars 1980:

From 1932 until only a few years ago, Sweden lived under a Socialist Government and became immersed in what might be called nannyist legislation and nannyist attitudes of all kinds—the sort of attitudes that are reflected in this Bill. Forty-five years of that legislation, solidly, without a break, has impinged deeply on the political and social conciousness of Sweden and the Swedes. Happily, we are a long way down the road. We have not yet reached that stage. Now, after 3 May last year, we are embarked on a course back to freedom. It would be inappropriate suddenly to veer off in this one sector of our life in the wrong direction, and follow the Swedish road. The Swedes themselves have seen the folly of their ways. In the last two elections, they have rejected the opportunities offered to them of Social Democratic or Socialist Governments.

Tvångsbälte i förmyndarstaten?

Uppenbarligen såg många britter den obligatoriska användningen av bilbälten som ett ingrepp i den personliga friheten. Redan 1972 hade det blivit lag på att bälten skulle finnas i alla nya bilar men det var inte tvång på att spänna fast sig förrän 1983. När frågan om lagstadgad användning var uppe i Överhuset just 1972 hade lorderna där ett intressant meningsutbyte som jag inte kan låta bli att återge några utdrag från:

LORD WAKEFIELD OF KENDAL: My Lords, while the fitting of safety belts in cars is one thing, the using of them is quite another. Are statistics available showing the relationship between the use of safety belts and the fitting of such belts in cars? This must clearly have a quite considerable bearing on all kinds of information and statistics which are now being given.

LORD MOWBRAY AND STOURTON: My Lords, if the noble Lord will read my answer to the first supplementary of the noble Lord, Lord Avebury, he will find that I have given the exact details.

LORD SEGAL: My Lords, is the noble Lord aware of a device available in Italy and Sweden, which shows a warning red light on the dashboard when the car is being driven with the seat belts not in use, and will he encourage its adoption in this country?

LORD MOWBRAY AND STOURTON: My Lords, that is another point which we can look at. But if we think that safety belts are the answer, we might persuade people perhaps even more strongly than by a red light.

THE EARL OF BRADFORD: My Lords, does my noble friend consider that a better way of getting people to wear safety belts is by education, rather than by the irritation of attempting to enforce regulations in very difficult circumstances?

LORD MOWBRAY AND STOURTON: My Lords, I heartily agree with my noble friend on that point.

LORD STRANGE: My Lords, will the noble Lord agree that seat belts in ordinary cars can be highly dangerous unless steel hoops, such as are used in racing cars, are also fitted?

LORD MOWBRAY AND STOURTON Yes, my Lords. I can see what the noble Lord is getting at.

Ja, så där böljade debatten fram och tillbaka bland Överhusets ädla ledamöter. Innan diskussionen avslutades framförde i alla fall en av lorderna en pragmatiskt baserad synpunkt:

LORD BRECON: My Lords, will my noble friend agree that most accidents are caused by bad driving?

THE LORD PRIVY SEAL (EARL JELLICOE): My Lords, I think we have now sufficiently fastened our seat belts, and that we might now unfasten them and get on with the next Question.

Men det skulle som sagt dröja ett drygt decennium innan det blev lag på obligatorisk användning av bältena. Och det var faktiskt regeringen Thatcher som genomförde den reform som hennes partikollega med det avskräckande exemplet från Sverige tidigare betecknat som ”nannyist legislation”.

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