You can’t do that here

Don’t you just love it when politicians’ backs are against the wall, they make a superfluous law to cover their incompetence. Unfortunately, some of these laws are still banned – mainly because they haven’t come off the Statute Book:

Owning a pack of cards within a mile of stores of explosives;

Standing on your neighbour’s windowsills, presumably to clean them;

You can’t officially hire a taxi while it’s moving. The London Hackney Carriages Act 1843 states even if a licensed taxi has its “for hire” light on, the driver is only allowed to seek trade when it’s at a standstill. It’s a rule overlooked by coppers who have better ways of using their time;

A cabbie can’t ply for hire, or can you hail it, while suffering from the plague; got sections 33 and 34 of Public Health (Control Of Disease) Act 1984, Chapter 22;

You’re not allowed to drop dead in the Houses of Parliament, either, which will come as surprising news to many of the peers who are still there, as it’s a Royal Palace, anyone who does cough there is entitled to a State Funeral… Hence all passings in the Palace of Westminster are signed off by ‘mutual consent’ (don’t think the stiff has much say in that) at the nearest hospital. If you push up the daisies, become an ex-person in ‘the House’, you will be recorded as meeting your alleged maker in St Thomas’s Hospital across the Thames;

More famously, you shouldn’t carry a plank down a pavement. Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act bans you from carrying ladders, hoops and wheels;

You’re not supposed to get pissed in a pub if the publican knows you are doing so, but you can carry on drinking if s/he doesn’t notice;

You can’t eat chocolates on a bus;

Go to a fancy dress party as a soldier or sailor because of the Seamen’s and Soldiers’ False Characters Act 1906;

It is still against the law to stick a postage stamp upside-down on an envelope as it is insulting to the Queen;

It’s been illegal for MPs to enter Parliament in a suit of armour since the 1313 Statute Forbidding Bearing of Armour;

You’re not allowed to slide on ice or snow. Well, not “in any street or other thoroughfare, to the common danger of the passengers” anyway, under Section 54 of the Metropolitan Police Act Of 1839;

Pelican-touching is “expressly forbidden” should you happen to find one in a London park, according to the Royal Parks And Other Open Spaces Regulations 1997. You can pet one if “prior permission is obtained”;

It’s a fairly recent law – 1986, I believe. You can’t suspiciously handle a salmon. I was wondering if removing salmon from a river or private waters under a very long coat, whilst running, was classed as suspicious;

Section 54 of our old friend Metropolitan Police Act Of 1839 states that kite flying in a public place is punishable by a fine of up to £200 if it causes a nuisance.

4 thoughts on “You can’t do that here”

  1. If they prosecuted eating chocolate on a bus, they could make money from that. Even more if they prosecuted eating KFC or burgers on the route 29 to Wood Green.
    I have broken one of those laws. I went to a ‘1940s’ fancy dress party once, dressed as an Army Captain in a hired costume.
    Cheers, Pete.


    1. When I got the 29 from Camden to Trafalgar Square, (both ways) it only ever went as far as Wood Green. I fell asleep on the bus after a night out, and ended up there. Luckily, it was a 24-hour service, so I was able to get one home soon after. 🙂


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