uments on a computer rather than curernpeople?rnAttorneys paid by the government onrna case-bv-case basis to do “legal aid” workrnfor the poor and who deal with divorce,rnsmall civil claims, and criminal defensernwork, constitute a patchwork of smallrnpartnerships spread across the country,rnbut Major’s government deliberatelyrnsought to concentrate this work in thernhands of a few large firms. Lord Mackayrnof Clashfern, who was the Conservativerngovernment’s Lord Chancellor (thernhead of the legal system), redesigned thernsystem in such a way that poor clientsrnwill no longer be able to choose who representsrnthem but will be forced to takerntheir cases to lawyers belonging to arnmonopoly licensed and franchised byrnthe state. Independent practitionersrnare being forced out of business by theirrnown principled unwillingness to allowrnsemieducated high school graduates,rnemployed by the British legal aid boardrnas inspectors, to go through their confidentialrnfiles.rnBehind all these disasters lies a socialistrnobsession with providing everyonernwith more free health, “education,”rnteeth, and pseudosafety. In the past thisrnwas done by raising taxes; under thernpseudoconservative John Major, the pretensernwas maintained that more of everythingrncould be provided by employingrnextra commissars to squeeze the suppliers.rnBold and meaningless planning targetsrnworthy of Stalin filled such foolishrndocuments as “Health of the Nation,”rnand absurd slogans, mission statements,rnand charters proliferated. The new professionallyrnunqualified administrators allrnspoke about enforcing “policy” and “priorities”rnand demanded endless quantitiesrnof information to enable them to dornso. This meaningless information isrnthen used by these bureaucratic clerks tornnag and torment the same skilled professionalsrnwho have slaved to provide it.rnChuck it. Major . . . or rather, the Britishrnpeople chucked you.rnIn Britain, well-run and effective smallrnprivate schools have been forced to closernbecause thev could not provide all thernnonsense specified in the bureaucraticrn”National Curriculum” laid down by therncentral government, even though theirrnpupils were better educated and betterrnbehaved than those from the state-runrnschools. Many other small businesses arernin difficulties because they cannot standardizernor label their goods according tornthe choking net of the law or complvrnwith absurd and unnecessary health, fire,rnand safety regulations. A nonsmokingrncolleague of mine has recently been toldrnthat he is a fire hazard because he has toornChronicles accepts advertising fromrnreputable book publishers andrndistributors and from companies sellingrneducational and cultural productsrncompatible with the magazine’srnpurpose and standards.rnAlthough we try to verifyrnclaims made by advertisers,rnpubUcation of an ad does not inrnany way constitute an endorsementrn*rnChroniclesrnADVERTISING DEPT.rn934 N. MAIN ST.rnROCKFORD, IL 61103rn815-964-5813rnmany books and papers in his office.rnHow do British second-hand bookshopsrnsurvive?rnMany of these rules were invented byrnthe enthusiastic socialists who run thernEuropean Community in Brussels, butrnwhy does the British government have tornenforce them? In a British world ofrnchronic shortages, why is there alwaysrnenough money for administrators,rnsnoopers, and regulation enforcers? Arnnonsocialist, freedom-loving governmentrnwould have made sure that therernwere never enough staff and resources tornenforce the decrees of Britain’s Europeanrnmasters. Why did Britain not simpl)’rnallow her small traders to go on workingrnjust as they chose, by assigning anrninadequate number of idle officials tornenforce the rules, b’ slowness to prosecute,rnand by imposing tri’ial sentences?rnAfter all, that is the way the British governmentrncurrent!)’ deals with juvenilerndelinquents, burglars, and illegal immigrants.rnInstead, the owners of smallrnabattoirs, cheese-makers, and horticulturistsrnhave been relentlessly persecutedrnby British officials whose interpretationrnof the Brussels regulations is more rigid,rndetailed, and socialist than anywherernelse in Europe. In no other country havernEuroregulations been expanded andrngold-plated in the way they have been inrnEngland.rnAnyone who has ever complained tornBritain’s politicians about these insolentrnfolk or about the arbitrary behavior ofrnBritain’s innumerable ruling quangosrn(quasi-autonomous, nongovernmentalrnorganizations) set up by Parliament hasrnbeen told by politicians that thev couldrnnot possibly interfere. In this way theyrnhope that the British people’s resentmentrnand hatred of living in an over-regulatedrnsociety would be focused on theirrnmost immediate tormentors and not onrnthose who were really to blame—therngovernment. It was a tactic that did notrnwork, and that is why John Major’s socialistrngovernment was ignominiouslyrnkicked out of office. The key virtue ofrnBritish democracy is that the people dornhave the power to “turn the rascals out.”rnHowever, matters are now getting evenrnworse. Although he will not admit it.rnLabourite Tony Blair loves the socialistrnregulated society even more than JohnrnMajor did.rnChristie Davies is chairman of thernsociology department at the University ofrnReading, England.rn36/CHRONICLESrnrnrn