back to article Criminalise British drone fliers, snarl MPs amid crackdown demands

The British government should make it a crime to disable geofencing and electronic conspicuity on one’s drone, according to MPs from a parliamentary committee looking at future drone regulation. In a report issued today, Parliament’s Science and Technology Committee (STC) demanded the government issue a White Paper (not a …

  1. macjules Silver badge

    criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

    That covers a very large area of East London and the City, if you consider London City Airport, let alone criminalising anyone with a toy drone who lives in West London, since you have 2 airports plus one heliport in an area large enough to create a very large no-fly zone. Might just as well ban all drone sales in the UK.

    As usual, knee-jerk reactions from a bunch of jerks who need a good kneeing.

    1. Wilseus

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      That's right. East London and the City are highly representative of the other 99.9% of the UK.

      1. Kevin Johnston

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        well, actually....looking at a map of areodromes in the UK, I can see 9 in the Preston/Manchester/Liverpool/Macclesfield section and the only really large areas clear of them are hills/mountains

        Couldn't count how many there are but it is hundreds at a minimum so puts a huge area of land out of use for drones.

        1. phuzz Silver badge
          Stop

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          I thought that was well, but they specifically mention "licensed aerodrome", and that basically only covers airports that take passengers/cargo, so it's actually a surprisingly short list, about fifty sites in all.

          I seem to have got confused between a 'Public Use License', and an 'Ordinary License', and I can't find a number for 'Ordinary Licenses', but at a guess a few hundred?

          Mind you, it might be a sensible distinction for any legislation to use.

        2. Ragarath
          Trollface

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          Oooo my turn.

          A lot of people are always keen to tell me if I want good broadband move into a built up area. Now I can tell the people that want to fly drones for fun to go live in a more rural locale?

      2. macjules Silver badge

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        London as an example of the UK density of aerodromes. I mostly live in West Sussex close enough to Chichester with Goodwood, Bognor, a private strip and a heliport close enough to the city to effectively ban any drone usage around it for quite a large area. I would add Tangmere but I do not think that it is still a viable aerodrome now.

        1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          You've still got Shoreham-by-Sea though, which is still in pretty active use isn't it?

          1. macjules Silver badge

            Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

            Yes, but you have a lot of private strips in West Sussex. In fact looking at something like https://ourairports.com and zooming in to South East England you can see that there would not be many areas where you could legally operate a drone except just a few miles around Midhurst or Crowborough.

            1. werdsmith Silver badge

              Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

              Yes, but you have a lot of private strips in West Sussex.

              Private strips are unlicensed, this legislation applies to licensed aerodromes.

              1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

                Unlicensed? Is that even legal in the British idiocy bureaucracy?

                1. werdsmith Silver badge

                  Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

                  Yes of course. Many aerodromes are only licensed for certain hours, and so flight instruction may only take place in those hours. Outside those hours pilots can operate unlicensed at their own risk. Other airfields are not licensed at all, but subject to other existing rules around planning and nuisance and of course aviation.

                  As long as you can legally and safely approach and depart from land under the rules of the air, you can use any piece of land with permission from the owner. (assuming there is enough flat smooth space for a safe landing/take off if you are fixed wing).

                  1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                    Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

                    I am surprised, I'd have thought it would have been regulated more strictly. Here in the Netherlands landing and taking of is strictly restricted to designated airports with special dispensation for police and emergency helicopters. For balloons the rules are a bit less strict but start with not anywhere near an airport.

                    1. werdsmith Silver badge

                      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

                      So if you have your own farm you can’t land your plane in your own fields in NL?

                      There is a farmer a few miles from where I live, gets around his land by hedge-hopping in a Piper SuperCub. He is over 70 and the most remarkable thing is that he can get in and out of a PA18 cockpit at that age.

                      1. Chris Parsons

                        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

                        Hey!!! I'm over 70 and cycled from Cornwall to Munich and back last year, so you keep your ageist remarks to yourself!!!

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            I can sense the ghost ...

            In good weather nearly every time I'm out in the garden working the laundry line there is an aircraft 99% certainly taken off from Shoreham or landing there. Often two.

            Or cycling around the east perimeter there's a Helo hovering, etc.

            So yeah, it is well in use.

      3. katrinab Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        In that airports tend to be situated at the edge of large centres of population?

    2. Twanky Bronze badge
      Childcatcher

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      erm. Did you just say that because drones would be effectively banned in London then they might as well be banned throughout the UK?

      edit: Wilseus beat me to it.

      1. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        Did you just say that because drones would be effectively banned in London then they might as well be banned throughout the UK?

        I've said it before and I'll say it again. There are people that genuinely think there is nothing worth going outside the M25 for. And to those people I say: You are entirely correct. Please, please don't ever bother leaving London, there is nothing for you out here. All the scary countryside with associated wild cows, aggressive sheep, dangerous insects and whatnot are all out here and they really are all out to get you. It's horrible, you'd hate it. Plus the mobile signal is just terrible everywhere. Stay where you are, all crammed on top of one another and we will enjoy keep you safe from the country beyond the M25.

        1. The Specialist

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          Do we get to keep our taxes inside M25 as well? Then you have a deal.

          1. IDoNotThinkSo

            Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

            Only if we can keep our food outside.

    3. jmch Silver badge

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      "criminalising the flying of any drone"

      I think the "any" in there is nonsense. A distinction needs to be made between toy drones that weigh a few grams, more advanced toys, that, while packing larger range and excellent cameras, also weigh no more than a few hundred grams, and industrial-strength drones, ie something that could be used for deliveries (and therefore strong enough to be weaponised / large enough to make aviation a concern).

      Something I'm not an expert on, maybe someone here can enlighten me... but surely a drone which is mostly made of ultra-lightweight plastics, weighing a couple of hundred grams and no more than a foot in diameter, could be chewed up and spat out by a modern jet engine with it barely noticing?

      1. Annihilator

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        "Something I'm not an expert on, maybe someone here can enlighten me... but surely a drone which is mostly made of ultra-lightweight plastics, weighing a couple of hundred grams and no more than a foot in diameter, could be chewed up and spat out by a modern jet engine with it barely noticing?"

        Plenty of youtube videos out there showing this. "No" is the short answer. While the majority of the drone is made of nice light plastic, the batteries and the motors aren't.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          While the majority of the drone is made of nice light plastic, the batteries and the motors aren't.

          I expect it's the batteries that cause the most concern. There are some handheld devices that you aren't allowed to fly with because the lithium-based power source is considered unstable....and that's in the controlled environment of the cabin, nevermind being shredded into an engine where there's already a series of controlled jet fuel explosions going on.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          Some drones are several kilos and while the engine on a A320 may not bother too much grinding one up, the propeller on a Cessna 172 could suffer a lot of damage along with the jet engine of a private jet. A chunk of foam impacting the leading edge of a Space Shuttle cause a catastrophic accident. A drone could also get lodged in the workings of a wing causing all sorts of issues.

          The biggest issue is the aviation industry doesn't take chances. If an impact on the plane is noticed, it has be be thoroughly inspected. That can take the plane out of service for a few hours or a few days. That sucks if you are one of the passengers and a delay means you aren't going to make it to your destination that day.

          I hold a certificate in the US for commercial operation of a UAS (drone). I had to study to pass the test, but it wasn't that hard. I have to retest every 2 years so it means more money to sit the test and more time to keep up to date, but no big deal. The cost to register my drone is a one time fiver. I put the registration number on the drone and it's no big deal. I'm not flying around airports. The only restrictions are for "controlled" airports. The little ones around me aren't counted and I just use some common sense. Since I had to learn something about flight patterns, I know where aircraft are likely to go and can keep away of the very few flights a day. The certificate isn't required for hobbyists, but there are a few more restrictions. The process has got me interested in getting a private pilots license if I can ever afford the lessons.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

            A drone stuck in the engine of a private jet? Meh.

      2. DJO Silver badge

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        weighing a couple of hundred grams and no more than a foot in diameter, could be chewed up and spat out by a modern jet engine with it barely noticing

        Would you be happy flying a plane where one of the engines just had a load of metal passing through it?

        Damaged or not the engine would need to be taken out of service and at the very least thoroughly inspected, at worst a full rebuild would be needed. Neither of these options are cheap - taking a plane out of service, inspecting the engine, hiring a replacement plane, all told the bill could easily run to 7 figures - all for a £75 drone.

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

          Damaged or not the engine would need to be taken out of service and at the very least thoroughly inspected, at worst a full rebuild would be needed. Neither of these options are cheap - taking a plane out of service, inspecting the engine, hiring a replacement plane, all told the bill could easily run to 7 figures.

          You missed out the sucking of air over your teeth and saying "...and it all depends on if I can get the parts, guv"

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

        "I think the "any" in there is nonsense. A distinction needs to be made between toy drones "

        As far I can see the commitee is not making any such distinctions so we must not do that either. Then it will apply to *any* drone.

        Basically legislation to squeeze money from drone owners every few years, for ever. Disguised in "security" and "safety" bullshit.

    4. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      I have to say that the word "aerodrome" conjures up images of Neville Chamberlain waving a piece of paper at Croydon. Are aerodromes still a thing?

      1. DJV Silver badge

        Re: Are aerodromes still a thing?

        Yes, and so is waving pieces of paper at Croydon*.

        (* or any built-up** area of your choice)

        (** or built-down)

        Yours

        The Society Of People Who Like To Wave Paper A Lot

    5. Imhotep

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      Given the spectacular shit show documented in ElReg recently, where the police devoted a lot of money and manpower to not find a drone or even be sure that such a drone existed: what would be the point of passing yet more laws that could not be enforced and which divert resources from where they are needed?

    6. Cederic Silver badge

      Re: criminalising the flying of any drone within three miles of a licensed aerodrome.

      It's why I haven't bought a drone, despite greatly desiring one (primarily for aerial photography).

      I just wouldn't be able to legally fly it pretty much anywhere - especially when you add in the restrictions around buildings and people.

  2. Tom 7 Silver badge

    Never underestimate the power of ignorance.

    Tell me more about hotlinks.

  3. Paratrooping Parrot
    Black Helicopters

    Make it like owning a vehicle

    Have drone licenses, which one has to pass a test for. Also, drones should have some form of registration plates. I know that I am going to be down-voted for not being a droneiphile, but they are basically remote controlled flying vehicles that can cause considerable damage if used incorrectly.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      Yes - all drones - no exemptions, and registration marks at least 1 metre high for visibility from the ground.

      The cliched statement ' if possession of x is criminalised, only criminals will have x' has never been more apt. In what universe do people think that a) removing geofencing takes more than a second b) that a bad person might not cover up their registration marks and c) that we don't already have laws dealing with weapons in public places?

      People seem to have this bizarre idea that all drones are DJ Phantoms. You can, literally build a drone from bits of stick and sticky back plastic. Use a mobile phone as the controller if you don't want to fork out the £50 for a GPS enabled controller running open source stacks.

      If you really want to address real public order/safety issues why not mandate licencing and registration for ALL knives? You know, the dangerous things that kill people every day?

      1. OneTopBanana
        Facepalm

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        All knives?

        "I'm sorry sir I can't sell you this mini kitchen herb chopper without seeing a valid Knife Licence."

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          > All knives?

          Yes, all blades. If it can cut, is made of metal, then its included.

          I should go and patent the safety knife. A knife that only exposes a tiny portion of the edge of its blade. If there is a certain excessive amount of pressure the blade should click back into a sheath which requires two hands to reopen and reset the blade.

          Basically the safety knife will be able to slice already sliced ham and cheese (blocks of cheese can still be grated or sliced into slices using a section of the grater). ANything thicker like a full size turkey will require a knife that should be registered, have a certificate of safety (at least at the point of sale), be stored in a locked cabinet like a gun would or, get ready sliced turkey from the butchers.

          Good for butchers.

          1. Ordinary Donkey

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            Things like that already exist.

          2. Danny 2 Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            "Yes, all blades. If it can cut, is made of metal, then its included."

            The knives the Westminster bridge attackers were ceramic, not metal. Presumably they chose them to pass metal detection before they chose their improvised attack. Bought from Lidl. They are a lot more brittle than the kind of knives most killers use but the post-attack photos of them show none of them snapped.

            This is maybe too much information since I was only objecting to the "is made of metal" comment. I'll delete this comment if anyone asks me to.

        2. Alister Silver badge

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          In the UK, you have to be over 18 to buy a kitchen knife, or for some reason, a spoon

          1. Simon Harris Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            Re: Spoons

            Watch Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves - dangerous things, spoons.

            When I say 'watch' I mean fast-forward through it and just watch the bits with Alan Rickman in.

          2. HelpfulJohn

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            "...or for some reason, a spoon"

            Drugs?

            Preventing medicine, ice cream, salt and spice overdoses ........

            THINK OF THE CHILLLLLDDDDRRREEENNN!!!!!!!!!

            1. James 139

              Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

              With the proper sized spoon, you can remove an eyeball.

          3. Cederic Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            In the UK this morning several hundred people were seen in central London with 2 foot of naked steel held in their hands.

            Even in the Palace of Westminster there were a range of blatantly illegal blades on show.

            I did wonder if Sadiq was going to have the lot of them arrested.

        3. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          Or as happens in ASDA at the self-service tills, "sorry, you must be over 18 to by these plastic picnic knives"

    2. Roger Greenwood

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      Quite right. I had to pass an exam to operate a radio for the same reason - it can affect others if not used correctly. Exceptions are toys with limits built in (e.g. mobile phones). Don't get me started on dog owners . . . .

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        OK - but what about cyclists?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          I can sense the ghost ...

          Not sure if you are sarcastic or not. I hope you are.

          If you are serious - how many people do bicycles kill and injure (other than the rider) compared to cars, vans, lorries, etc? Even proportionally it doesn't stack.

          Running red light by bicycle is not right and a dick move, but equally not a good reason for a car to 'nudge' them and send them flying as a 'punishment'.

          Speaking of exams - owning a gun in USA doesn't seem to require exams.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I can sense the ghost ...

            I wasn't being serious - i just thought that it was obligatory in any 'why don't they think of the children' internet discussion to bring up cyclists!

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I can sense the ghost ...

              Fair enough

          2. werdsmith Silver badge

            Re: I can sense the ghost ...

            If you are serious - how many people do bicycles kill and injure (other than the rider)

            Other than the rider? Does the rider not matter then? Not to mention the unfortunate victim driving the motor vehicle who will suffer PTSD and a lifelong problem in the event that they are involved in an accident resulting in the death of a cyclist due to the stupidity of the cyclist.

            Wednesday morning this week, I was driving in the dark at 0615. I came across a cyclist on the road in front of me on an unlit road in dark clothing, no lights - not even a reflector. Alongside the road was a separate cycle track. I saved that cyclists life by my vigilance but I was angry he put me in that position. It's not just about his life. His relative mass and lack of hard surfaces is totally irrelevant.

            Unless you are a psychopath, being involved in a death accident would ruin your life regardless of fault.

            1. Snapper

              Re: I can sense the ghost ...

              Yeah, and where is that legislation I heard about that makes it automatically the drivers responsibility?

              Central London is not a great place to cycle at the best of times simply because it wasn't designed for it, and it won't change overnight. Having said that you'd think the 50% (my estimate watching a lot of cyclists) of the vulnerable people on cycles would at least signal before changing direction or pulling out to go round a bus, not jump red lights or go the wrong way down one-way streets, wear noticeable or reflective clothing, and stick to the highway code and put fucking lights on their bikes and take off the headphones!

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              I can sense the ghost ...

              I think you totally missed the point.

              And yes - not having lights is also a dick move. I'm not some idiot who defends cyclists at all cost.

              1. werdsmith Silver badge

                Re: I can sense the ghost ...

                I think you totally missed the point.

                I don't think so. Cyclists don't get a free pass to break the law because they are soft.

                Neither do little drones that might smack a toddler in the face.

          3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

            Re: I can sense the ghost ...

            > a dick move

            You mean totally illegal. I suspect you need to read the highway code again. It applies to all road users.

            1. Fred Dibnah Silver badge

              Re: I can sense the ghost ...

              The Highway Code applies to all road users, but responsibility isn't equally apportioned because different users have different potentials to cause harm. That's why the rules and responsibilities for drivers are more stringent than for pedestrians, cyclists, horse riders, etc.

              If cyclists & pedestrians ever start killing 1700+ people every year I'd accept a HWC re-write.

          4. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: I can sense the ghost ...

            "Speaking of exams - owning a gun in USA doesn't seem to require exams."

            It requires a Federal background check and there are limits on how many you can but per unit of time. California is going to require checks to buy ammunition if they haven't already. Never mind that one could drive to a neighboring state and buy all they wish without such checks. It's not like you can just walk into a store, plop down some cash and walk out armed like Neo in the Matrix.

            1. Richard 12 Silver badge
              Mushroom

              Re: I can sense the ghost ...

              Except at "gun shows" and private sales, where none of the above checks are federally mandated.

              So yes, you can (in some states), walk into a gun show and stagger out with so many firearms and ammunition that you can barely keep upright.

              One hopes that most sellers at these shows would refuse to sell to someone trying to do that, but there's no legal requirement.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: I can sense the ghost ...

              "It requires a Federal background check and there are limits on how many you can but per unit of time."

              Totally depends on the state. Some require it and some don't. And in those states who don't, you can do exactly that.

              Of course the types of weapons you can buy is limited, unlike in Greenland where you can basically buy whatever you can afford at age of 16.

              "I'd like to have a heavy machine gun."

              "Sure, how many you want? We have this M2HB in sale right now!"

          5. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: I can sense the ghost ...

            " how many people do bicycles kill and injure (other than the rider)"

            Rider does count as killed person. Just like in car accidents. And there are plenty of those.

        2. paulf Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          Cyclists should have knife licences? and dog licences?

      2. Chris G Silver badge

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        "Dog owners" I'm not sure which way to go on this, should everyone pass a test before getting their dog licence or should every dog pass a test to see if it is ready to be a pet (and keep a human)?

    3. Jess--

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      I would love to know how much damage you think can be caused by the drone I have been flying around (for a bit of fun in the wind) this morning, it's a little over 2 inches square and an inch high.

      I suspect the only other things in the air that it represents a danger to are insects.

      my planes and helicopter on the other hand are seriously dangerous but aren't drones so from your point of view require no license or training

      1. Evil_Tom

        What's the difference

        What's the difference between a radio controlled plane or helicopter and a drone?

        Honestly just asking... I don't know. I seem to remember the term "drone" came from radio controlled full silzed planes that were used as target practice in the early half of the 20th century?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: What's the difference

          What's the difference between a radio controlled plane or helicopter and a drone?

          I think a primary difference is the amount of skill required to operate them. RC model planes and helicopters require a certain amount of skill to get them up into the air and stay there - helicopters more than planes - whereas most "drones" (mostly quadcopter designs) have built in automated stability and flight characteristics which require much less skill to operate.

          And then there's the cost, too, fully flyable off the shelf quadcopters can be had for very little money.

          1. naive

            Re: What's the difference

            Between a drone, some swans or geese flying close to a plane ?.

            It seems to make more sense to create size and weight limitations for drones.

            1. John Robson Silver badge

              Re: What's the difference

              Swans and geese don't tend to have dense metal motors in them.

              Nor do they tend to have explosive/corrosive batteries.

              1. stiine Silver badge

                Re: What's the difference

                You obviously have never been to a park with a loaf of bread and box of dead batteries... just like dogs, pills and peanutbutter, if you wrap it in bread, a duck, goose, or swan will eat it.

              2. Chris G Silver badge

                Re: What's the difference

                It is also quite difficult to radicalise swans and geese, they just don't have the attention span when you make them sit through long sermons.

                1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                  Re: What's the difference

                  Most geese are already radical enough by nature (it is a traditional -but forgotten- guarding animal).

              3. DuncanLarge Silver badge

                Re: What's the difference

                > Swans and geese don't tend to have dense metal motors in them

                No they are even denser, having bone, muscle, all sorts of organic bits and parts not to mention a certain amount of water content.

                1. John Robson Silver badge

                  Re: What's the difference

                  >>Swans and geese don't tend to have dense metal motors in them

                  >No they are even denser, having bone, muscle, all sorts of organic bits and parts not to mention a certain amount of water content.

                  Erm... bones, I hate to tell you, aren’t denser that the lumps of metal in a motor.

                  A bird (non frozen) is actually quite soft and squishy.

        2. Gavin Chester

          Re: What's the difference

          From the point of the view of the proposed legislation there is no difference.

          What most people think of as drones are more correctly described as MultiRotors but the proposed legislation defines a drone as any Unnanned Airbourne Vehicle (UAV). That means it impacts model planes (including free flight models), model helicopters and the quadcopters people tend to think of when you say drone.

          As there’s no defined weight limit yet (250g is often mentioned but as there’s no laws it’s still an unknown) then technically even a paper plane will fall under the UAV description.

        3. Peter Christy

          Re: What's the difference

          Most (but not all) model aircraft flyers already belong to one of the model flying associations, and as a result, carry third party insurance to the tune of £25Million (yes, that's right, £25 MILLION). This is necessary as many events are held on MOD property, and even the remotest chance accident could cause very expensive damage!

          Very few people who casually buy recreational drones carry 3rd party insurance, or are even aware of it.

          The model flying associations already hold a members register, and issue membership numbers, so for them, the proposed legislation is a massive duplication of effort. They also encourage members to take part in achievement schemes that go some way to assuring a degree of competence. These schemes also include questions on the legal requirements for model flying.

          Again, few casual drone purchasers will have received any instruction in the legal or operational requirements for flying their drone.

          The achievement scheme run by the British Model Flying Association (BMFA - the largest of the 4 UK associations) is far more demanding than that proposed by the DfT.

          So whilst there may no legal (or much physical) distinction between model aircraft and drones, the pilots who operate model aircraft are generally far more aware of their legal obligations and responsibilities than casual drone operators.

      2. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        I would love to know how much damage you think can be caused by the drone I have been flying around (for a bit of fun in the wind) this morning, it's a little over 2 inches square and an inch high.

        My TV, a large screen modern TV cost a few quid, screen is covered in loads of little scratches from my kids flying micro drones in to it.

      3. d3vy Silver badge

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        "I would love to know how much damage you think can be caused by the drone I have been flying around (for a bit of fun in the wind) this morning, it's a little over 2 inches square and an inch high."

        When it hits a plane doing a few hundred mph I'd expect the damage to be quite bad..

        Think about the damage a tiny stone does to your windscreen doing 70 on the motorway...

        1. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          > doing a few hundred mph

          Concord doesnt fly anymore.

          1. RancidRodent

            Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

            "A few" means three or more, most commercial aircraft cruise at 350-450mph - or a few hundred miles per hour. in casual parlance.

            1. Simon Harris Silver badge

              Re: Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

              A quick google and it seems landing and take-off speeds for airliners is around the 150 knots mark.

              When they reach the quoted cruising speed they're probably out of reach of most drones.

              1. d3vy Silver badge

                Re: Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

                @simon.

                It's your use of "probably" that I find worrying.

                Also, 150 knots is about 170mph.. see my previous statement about small stones at 70mph.

            2. A.P. Veening Silver badge

              Re: Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

              A bit more than 550 mph.

              Just checked, the Boeing 747-8 has a cruise speed of 914 km/h, which is 567.9 mph. For the Airbus A380 it is 903 km/h (561.1 mph).

              1. Chris 15
                Thumb Down

                Re: Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

                Quote: A bit more than 550 mph.

                Just checked, the Boeing 747-8 has a cruise speed of 914 km/h, which is 567.9 mph. For the Airbus A380 it is 903 km/h (561.1 mph). </quote>

                At Flight Level 360 maybe aka 36000ft. Know many drones of the nonmilitary type that fly that high do you? (not sure many of those even can fly higher than 10,000ft).

                1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

                  Re: Concord (sic) doesnt fly anymore.

                  At Flight Level 360 maybe aka 36000ft. Know many drones of the nonmilitary type that fly that high do you? (not sure many of those even can fly higher than 10,000ft).

                  FYI: I was replying to @RancidRodent, who started about cruising speed. I was not replying to @Simon Harris, who posted while I was typing my reply.

        2. DuncanLarge Silver badge

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          > Think about the damage a tiny stone does to your windscreen doing 70 on the motorway

          Hardly any. A tiny chip at most.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            "Hardly any. A tiny chip at most"

            Ahh, but a chip none the less. So you'd be happy sitting in a plane taking off doing 170mph while something small and metallic gets pulled into one of the engines?

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            "Hardly any. A tiny chip at most."

            A tiny chip is still going to ground the aircraft. The pilot may need a change of shorts too after something smacks into the windscreen during take off. That little chip may turn into a crack at cruising altitude. Airlines don't take those sorts of chances.

        3. NotBob
          Facepalm

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          Think about the damage a tiny stone does to your windscreen doing 70 on the motorway

          None at all? I mean, at 80 mph, little stones don't generally do any damage to windshields here in the states, so it doesn't matter if you mean 70 mph or 70 kph, it's not going to damage any half-decent windshield. If they did damage like you seem to think, we wouldn't dump truckloads of them on the highway every winter.

          1. d3vy Silver badge

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            @not Bob

            Ok, I'll Grant you not all stones damage whinscreens, but some do, the mere fact that Auto Glass exists as a company and makes most of their money from stone chip repairs backs this up.

            Now let's remember we're not rely talking about traveling at 70mph... We're talking about taking off at 170mph or landing (not sure on landing speeds and I can't be bothered to look it up for you).. now bear in mind that stone chips at 70mph DO happen...

            Now (and I know this might be difficult) think about the speed that the fan at the front of a jet engine is spinning at..

            Its traveling forwards at 170mph are spinning at 10k-25krpm. I think you'll agree putting a drone though that is probably not a great idea..

    4. jmch Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      Just to be doubly safe, let's also require that a person waving a flag should precede the drone wherever it goes

      1. JimC

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        Its an interesting thing, the red flag law is often quoted as an example of ridiculous legislation, but by 30 years after its abolition motor vehicles were killing getting on for 5,000 people a year, and increasing.

    5. Steve_UK

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      No, you do not have a "drone licence". No such thing, which clearly shows that you have no knowledge!

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        Probably talking about PfCO for commercial drone operations.

        PFCO

    6. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      When in doubt, make it illegal which seems to work very well.. not. The license might have some impact on revenue for the government but there are those that will ignore it like it's a speed limit sign.

      The problem is one of enforcement. Again, look to laws for motorists and while generally they seem to work, there's a percentage of drivers that basically ignore many laws.

      What you'll end up with is large queues of folks waiting for "licensing" and some will just give up and leave.

      1. werdsmith Silver badge

        Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

        The problem is one of enforcement. Again, look to laws for motorists and while generally they seem to work, there's a percentage of drivers that basically ignore many laws.

        The enforcement of these laws works very well when there is an accident and a driver can be proved to be ignoring the law, that law will be used against the driver.

        If you are in a serious accident, you can bet your phone records will be checked to see if your number was active at the time of the event. If there was no law in place there would be no case, but there is and drivers need to be aware of books flying towards them. Most drunk drivers are caught when they are breathalysed at the scene of an accident.

        If your unlicensed £1000 drone goes beyond RF control and lands somewhere you can't reach it, it might get handed in to the police. Will you go and claim if if there is a law against unlicensed drones? OK, it wouldn't stop a criminal but that's not because enforcement again ordinary thickos isn't possible.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

          "If your unlicensed £1000 drone goes "

          More like £30. It's lost, who cares. Definitely not the owner.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

            This demonstrates a chunk of the problem.

            Big expensive amateur drones, or commercial drones, like those from DJI, are potentially lethal where ever they are used.

            Cheap play drones tend to break when they bump into things, I gave up repairing mine.

            Yet Government "experts" just talk about "drones" without consideration of what exactly that covers.

    7. Fred Dibnah Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Make it like owning a vehicle

      And make drone pilots wear high viz and polystyrene helmets.

  4. mark l 2 Silver badge

    This is more than likely to get some unaware child or parent arrested for using a drone near there home, than anyone with any criminal intent. As after all criminals/terrorist would never remove the ring fencing if they wanted to operate a drone in an unauthorised area.

    1. Oengus Silver badge

      Also, no one will ever sell a cheap drone without geofencing or import a drone with geofencing meant for another country from an internet marketplace.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Yes - but who could afford to - a controller and a GPS receiver would cost so much - maybe even £10, could go up to £11 with delivery. (OK that's deliberately pushing it to the limits of the Amazon marketplace - call it £50 and you can get one assembled and delivered PRIME). Can I just reiterate - Arduinos can control drones, Raspberry Pis can control drones. There is code out there for using an Android phone as the onboard computer. This isn't technology you can put back in a box.

        1. drawoC esuomynonA

          Agreed but won't putting it in a box keep all the wires nice and neat?

        2. Clive Galway

          Stickers?

          Price is not so much the problem, it's weight.

          The lightest class of quadcopters ("TinyWhoops") are in the sub-30 gram kind of range, often 18-25g

          A GPS receiver typically weighs ~5-10g

          With these things typically having a flight time of 2-3 minutes, adding another 25-50% or so of weight is going to seriously reduce that flight time and performance of the quad, and that's not even considering where to mount the bloody thing

          Meanwhile, fixed wing aircraft are treated totally differently - for example, there is legislation coming in whereby you can fly a fixed wing up to 1000ft, but a quad is only allowed to 400ft.

          If it really were about reducing the possibility of AirProx events, then this makes zero sense - how is a fixed wing less likely to hit an Aircraft than a Quad?

      2. stiine Silver badge

        So, you just have to shoot your customs inspectors and hire new, competent ones.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Upside

    So anyone with drones who misuses personal information is a criminal... There's Amazon busted!

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Upside

      That was my take on it too.

      "Other new criminal offences to be aimed at drone users, according to the MPs, should include the capturing of “an individual’s data without their consent”

      What I'm not sure of though is whether I need to purchase a drone so that I can get the extra protection from the proposed law. Will we non-drone owners still only get civil case protection against use of our data without consent?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Electronic conspicuity

    Tell me more about this tech that can be applied to a 250 gramme drone....if we attached it to cigarette packets it might solve the NI border problem.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “weaponisation” of drones

    like strapping kitchen knives to them and other terror-related offences

  8. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    Electronic conspicuousness

    We're seeing discussion of mandatory electronic visibility in the paragliding world. We like the idea of being visible, but at the moment it looks like (according to a probably poorly-remembered article) the kit might cost in excess of £1700 - which is half the price or more of a new wing.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Electronic conspicuousness

      You should be happy about this then - in a few weeks some bright kid in China will have figured out ADS-B on a chip weighing 5 grammes and sold at pence per dozen on ebay. Just strap a cheap drone to your wing and you are sorted. Heaven forbid that bad people might start putting ADS-B on seagulls......

      1. Robin Bradshaw

        Re: Electronic conspicuousness

        I cant think of a worse outcome than creating the conditions that would result in china making tiny ADS-B transmitters, pry one out of a crashed drone, prod the electronics a bit to make it report as being several jumbo jets vaguely near the current location, strap it to a seagull and head to your nearest airport to cause havok

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Electronic conspicuousness

        start putting ADS-B on seagulls

        Seagulls around here are notorious for stealing chips

        1. werdsmith Silver badge

          Re: Electronic conspicuousness

          They have evolved from being Sea Gulls. They are now Land-Fill Gulls.

      3. Ochib Silver badge

        Re: Electronic conspicuousness

        What like this? https://generalaviationnews.com/2018/10/02/uavionix-debuts-1090nano-chip-for-ads-b/

      4. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Electronic conspicuousness

        "in a few weeks some bright kid in China will have figured out ADS-B on a chip weighing 5 grammes"

        There is nothing about ADS-B that requires super expensive parts. It's the horrendously expense and tedious process of getting anything that goes on an aircraft tested and certified.

        I'm not sure if regulators are going to allow non-certified transmitters to be used on drones. I have no doubt that they'd work just fine or at least many of them would. I expect that DJI could have one that adds no more than a few quid to the cost of the drone already fitted as standard.

  9. Simon Harris Silver badge

    "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

    What if you're scratchbuilding your own drones and writing your own avionics software, as I'm sure some enthusiasts like to do?

    If there's no geofencing in your home-brew software to start with, or maybe you didn't even put GPS in your drone, does that make it a crime?

    1. Alister Silver badge

      Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

      If there's no geofencing in your home-brew software to start with... does that make it a crime?

      Well yes, obviously you are dangerously subversive, and should report to your nearest detention centre for re-education immediately.

    2. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

      Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

      Nope, because you haven't disabled it. Not providing it in the first place is entirely different. Might be a court visit to prove that, but if the law were worded as "disable geofencing" such a law would not be broken.

      Pretty much its a sure sign the people pushing this law haven't the first clue about real-world applications. Behaviour as usual. Nothing to see here.

      1. Barrie Shepherd

        Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

        "Pretty much its a sure sign the people pushing this law haven't the first clue about real-world applications"

        They are MPs, career politicians, no need for them to have any real-world experiences or knowledge of what they spout about, after-all they primarily regurgitate the dross fed them by the lobby groups.

        1. Adrian 4 Silver badge

          Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

          the dross fed them by the lobby groups Daily Wail

          ftfy

        2. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge

          Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

          it's all right - our current Prime Minister has made it his business to be personally tutored in IT matters so would know the difference between the GLC and GPS and indeed any solution would not be viable without Blockchain technology

    3. OneTopBanana

      Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

      "If there's no geofencing in your home-brew software to start with, or maybe you didn't even put GPS in your drone, does that make it a crime?"

      If you home build a car or motorbike and don't put lights and/or breaks on it is is a crime? Yes it is.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

        "Breaks" - extremely stupid comparison as it would render any car/bike/other road vehicle pretty useless.

        Lights - if the vehicle is built without them and therefore for daytime use only then it will pass an MOT, I know quite a few people who have built motorcycles in this way and can use them on the road.

        What you're doing is inadvertently highlighting the stupidity of this proposed legislation, and the same fault exists with quite a lot of existing legislation too. For some reason you're not allowed to modify something to bypass certain rules but you're allowed to build it that way in the first place (see VCRA for a start).

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

        "If you home build a car or motorbike and don't put lights and/or breaks on it is is a crime? Yes it is."

        No it isn't. It is only illegal if you use it on the road without lights at night. I have Trials Motocycle that has no lights yet is road legal, taxed and insured.

        Oh, and it is 'brakes' not 'breaks'.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Oh, and it is 'brakes' not 'breaks'.

          Curiously 'breaks' was the 19thC spelling. I'm sure that's not the reason for the obvious typo, but the point is at least as useful as your post.

    4. RancidRodent

      Re: "make it a crime to disable geofencing..."

      The thing about criminals is they - erm - tend to break the law.

  10. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Boffin

    Just limit working height ?

    It's obvious any attempt to limit use based on location is prone to creating more problems than it solves - even if the mechanisms to enforce it existed (which they don't).

    Would it not be a better solution to limit working height of drones to <x> metres as a blanket regulation, and then allow licensed exceptions for situations where more height is needed ?

    Again, enforcement is still problematic, but much less prone to bunfighting over lines on a map ?

    The much wider problem that needs addressing - and I have no idea where to start - is that technology is really testing the "you can do whatever you like as long as it's not illegal" baseline of liberal democracies. Mainly because it provides a dazzling array of ways to make a complete and utter public nuisance of yourself with very little - almost no - effort.

    You won't solve non-tech problems by tinkering with the tech. The non-tech problem with drones is morons, and we haven't yet found a solution that that anywhere in history or geography.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Just limit working height ?

      "Would it not be a better solution to limit working height of drones to <x> metres as a blanket regulation, and then allow licensed exceptions for situations where more height is needed ?"

      Height above ground or height above sea level? I've seen RAF fighters and/or trainers flying below me when driving my car in some areas of the Lake Distract, Wales and Scotland.

      1. A.P. Veening Silver badge

        Re: Just limit working height ?

        And what about planes flying below sea level? This happens pretty regularly on taking off from and landing at airports below sea level.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Just limit working height ?

      In the US, the maximum height is 400' AGL with some exceptions. Some areas near airports require an authorization and have lower limits. You can apply for a waiver of the 400' AGL limit by application and they will grant it if you give them a good reason and list your safety protocols to keep the flight safe. Things like having a dedicated spotter looking for aircraft in the area and listening to local aircraft radio frequencies, etc. The waiver is only good for a limited time. The heights are all "Above Ground Level" (AGL).

      Given that most people are flying to take photos/video and most drones have really wide angle lenses, 400' is higher than what works well for photos. If you are flying around a building, the limit is 400' above the building within 400' laterally. The same goes for any structure such as a radio tower although you have to stay away from guy wires.

      Enforcement doesn't really come into play unless somebody calls the cops because they think somebody is spying on them or there is an accident. The only other cases are of people dropping banned stuff into jails and flying around restricted military bases, national landmarks, etc. Yellowstone National Park had to ban them because people were crashing them into geyser pools and other places where fishing them out would be very difficult. That lead to a ban at all national parks. I've love to get aerial photos at someplace like Yosemite but I'd also hate to have dozens of drones buzzing around and disturbing the peace that weren't mine.

  11. imanidiot Silver badge
    Flame

    Can we please NOT mention FLARM in discussions like this. Imho it's a fucking disgrace of a system that should never have found widespread use in the way that it did, and is actively detrimental to flight safety in many areas. It has it's uses in mountain flying when stuck to a ridgeline doing 200 km/h in a glider, or for a paraglider pilot on that same ridgeline, but over flat or merely hilly land it's a nuisance and pilots rely on it too much. The fact the company that sells it holds a monopoly and is actively working to keep it proprietary and closed (With the price of new systems rising higher and higher too) doesn't help either. The fact that they brought out updates that actively break the system by stopping the updated flarms from seeing unupdated ones is to me a reason the whole GA community that used them at the time should have just told Flarm to fuck off.

  12. Peter Galbavy

    Nice to see last year's Gatwick strawman exercise results are being put to good use...

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The final law will probably end up making childrens folded paper darts illegal

  14. Stu J

    This is the only place you really need to look

    https://drones.nats.aero/page/app

    The bits that are pink and are Class D Airspace aren't prohibited, you've just got to be aware. For example, the Class D airspace above me is part of the Manchester CTR, and although aircraft traverse it going in to both Liverpool and Manchester, they shouldn't ever be below 1,400ft (if they are, we got bigger problems given how far out from both airports I am), and my drone should never be above 400ft, so there shouldn't ever be a risk of conflict.

    Specifically, the CAA states: "There are no separate regulations in place regarding the flight of small unmanned aircraft in controlled airspace below 400 ft (Class A,B,C,D,E)", so even though I'm technically in Class D airspace SFC-3500, as far as drones go it's 400-3500, which is a moot point.

    TL;DR - There's plenty of places you can fly your drones.

  15. LeahroyNake Silver badge

    How about

    Some legislation to prevent politicians from...

    Spouting off about crap they don't understand.

    Voting against policies that the majority of their constituents support.

    Sleeping in Parliament.

    Maybe match up the fines and prison sentence to those proposed for people flying a drone.

  16. Marketing Hack Silver badge
    Go

    In this brave new era of British direct democracy...

    Maybe the people should reply with a referendum to ban any MP "droning on" within three miles of a legally zoned home?

  17. Conundrum1885 Bronze badge

    A workaround

    Technically a tethered or free flying craft using ion wind does *not* qualify as a drone.

    Incidentally a glider or timer driven non controlled aircraft as used by many folks is also not affected, at least not yet.

    The description given would also not cover anything using an anti-gravitational drive and as I understand it the Home Office would have to publicly admit that a given device worked therefore counting as "Peer review" and likely resulting in a Nobel for the folks in question, before being able to ban them.

  18. Fruit and Nutcase Silver badge
    Coat

    Homing Pigeons

    Autonomous vehicles with a built-in navigation system.

    All it needs is a pigeon to crap on a MP enjoying a subsidised drink at the terrace in Westminster, they'll widen the scope to categorise homing pigeons as drones

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Homing Pigeons

      I would pay good money to see someone do this using a miniature squeaker, Bluetooth detector and remote control.

      Picture the scene. Some high value person is peacefully having a walk. All of a sudden one pigeon or seagull appears, then two. Then four. Before they suspect a thing the fowl things all dump their loads simultaneously on the poor unsuspecting rich b*****d then fly off in random directions. I call it "Nature's Karma" :-) Mwahahahaha.

  19. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Ban pens

    There are many more ballpoint pens than drones

    Pens can be used to stab children

    Pens can be used by children

    Children are exposed to pens in schools (or do they all have iPads these days?)

    The pen is allegedly mightier than the sword

    If you make 42Bn quid by licensing drones think how much you can make by licensing pens !

    There is a little bit of a problem of how you fill in the form to register a pen, without having a pen - but we can solve that with the same technological solution we will use for the NI border

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Gaol drone flyers?!

    What?

    Will nobody think of the anorak makers?

  21. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Aldi drone blues

    As activists we used to get buzzed by police drones (better than getting buzzed by police helicopters) and we used to speculate on how best to take them down. I see someone has just made an attack drone. My idea was to equip a drone with a jamming device, fly it close to the police drone and then jam it, but expensive drones just head home.

    I'm not an activist now but I bought a £50 drone from Aldi just to try it out and test it. It is a rubbish toy but it allowed me to (illegally) run dental floss from my flat to the flat across the street, which could be used to run cables across chasms. It is rubbish though, and not just because of the silly laws. You have to calibrate the control each time you use it, and by the time you do that it is twenty metres away because the wind blows. I now use dental floss as an anchor because most of the footage I've got from it, on it's SD card or on my phone, is me chasing after it over fields.

    So far I've found three uses for a cheap drone. Running cables; a really great fan for summer; scaring mice.

  22. Big_Boomer Bronze badge

    Dumbf**ks

    The problem as always isn't the law abiding, considerate drone users, rather it's the dumbf**ks who think it would be cool to fly one close to a plane so they can get some cool video. These are the idiots causing the govt to bring in legislation. This is what happens when cool toys/tools get sold to brain-dead dumbf**ks who go on to cause mischief and mayhem with them, or to those deliberately trying to cause mischief and mayhem.

    As for those comparing them with knives/pens/screwdrivers/etc..... good luck killing 300+ people with those. Putting a drone through a plane engine could do just that. There is simply no comparison. It's the exact same reason why higher powered laser pointers got banned. Your toy/tool is dangerous in the hands of idiots and the malicious, so it's gonna get restricted. Get over it, get used to it, or get a different toy/tool.

  23. Tempest
    WTF?

    BANNING - Britain's Solution For Everything

    These narrow-minded Parliamentary deadheads don't think.

    In Britain, laws state that it is illegal to knock on a person's door (or ring their doorbell) and walk away; it is illegal to be drunk at a bar; all whales and sturgeon are the property of the Crown; all cars, until 1976, had to carry a bale of hay;if Londoners annoy anyone by flying a kite the penalty is 500 Pounds; it is illegal for Londoners to carry planks of wood across sidewalks; after 08.00H it it is illegal to shake any rug or mat outside; asking a person for change, under the Vagrancy Act, it is deemed 'begging'; under the Salmon Act it is illegal to handle a fish 'suspiciously'; it is illegal under a 1960 Act to dress as a soldier or sailor.

    Other stupid laws state it is illegal to gamble or use obscene language in a library (remember Lady Chatterley's Lover); it is illegal to sing profane or obscene song ib Public; it is illegal for Parliamentarians to wear armour in the House; it is illegal to keep pigs outside your house without adequate fencing the penalty is One Thousand Pounds; it is illegal for a subject's (you) dog to mate with a Royal dog; it is illegal to eat any unmarked swan; for hanging washing out to dry above a street the penalty is One Thousand Pounds; it is illegal to be without footsocks within 100 yards of the Queen; it is treasonous to affix a stamp upside down; it is illegal to die in Parliament.

    It's illegal to do many things in Britain, but as the Courts attest, people do them anyway. These numb-nuts think that laws will stop everything. NEWS! - they don't and will not. All these banning laws is inhibit innovation, innovation that is so needed these days.

    1. JimC

      Re: BANNING - Britain's Solution For Everything

      I wonder how many of those are urban myths. A fair few I think, and a lot of the rest are actually reasonable.

      For example I don't suppose many of us would think it wrong to insist that farm animals are kept in an adequately fenced enclosure.

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