A healthier nation, and ‘government by diktat'
Season 2, Ep. 4
What is needed to make England a healthier nation? And why are two committees concerned about government use of secondary legislation? Find out in this month's House of Lords Podcast.What is needed to make England a healthier nation? We hear from Karren Brady and Phil Willis – Baroness Brady and Lord Willis of Knaresborough – this month on the report just issued by their committee.The Lords Sport and Recreation Committee has called for a new national plan for sport, health and wellbeing. Matt and Amy find out why this is needed and what more needs to be done.‘We have some of the greatest sporting leagues in the world… We're producing world-class people at the top end, but in reality, that is a very small pool of people. And whilst they are excelling, the vast majority who are going to our schools, who are going into our youth clubs and our sports clubs, and indeed those who are doing nothing at all, are flatlining. And the result of which is that we are seeing a more obese nation, a less active nation, an unhealthy nation. And the cost on the NHS of all that is absolutely enormous… We're not asking for billions of pounds, we're asking basically for you to reorganize the money that is spent and to focus it where it is best needed at grassroots.’ Lord Willis Baroness Brady also shares her thoughts on her experience on the Sport and Recreation Committee‘It was also great that everybody on the committee came from a very different perspective and has very different expertise, which is what the Lords is all about. We're invited to come here by using our lifelong experience in our chosen field to look at legislation and hopefully make it better and recommend amendments to the government to change to improve them. So it was great to work with so many talented and incredibly knowledgeable people about their areas and come together with conclusions that cross-party we agreed.’ Baroness Brady‘Government by diktat’This month we also speak to Lord Blencathra and Lord Hodgson of Astley Abbots about the government’s use of secondary legislation. The two committees they chair have recently warned about abuses of power by the executive and the need for a rebalancing of power back towards Parliament. Over the course of their discussion, they explain in detail the different concerns the committees have on the changing use of secondary legislation and why we should all be concerned at how it is being used.Go and read Hilary MantelThey also explain what secondary legislation is, other terms you may have heard like skeleton bills and Henry VIII powers and unlikely places to learn about them.‘Well, I'd give you one sentence. Go and read Hilary Mantel on the work of Thomas Cromwell and his relationship with the king.’ Lord HodgsonGuidance or law?We also hear about recent examples of confusion that have arisen from secondary legislation and the use of guidance.‘SLSC are really concerned about guidance, which is advice, and regulation which is law. You have to obey the law, but do you have to obey guidance?... ‘Right back in the beginning [of the pandemic], there was a restriction on only one form of exercise per day to every person in the country, quite an important issue, but that was in guidance. The regulation had no restriction at all. So technically you could exercise as many times as you'd like, but the guidance said only once a day.‘Now, how is the man in the street gain understand the difference between those two?’ Lord Hodgson