Feeds

Topless Liverpudlians confined to tropical fish stores

Britain's absurdest laws wow the crowd

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security for virtualized datacentres

A survey to determine which of Britain's laws merits the "most absurd" crown has named a ban on popping your clogs in the Houses of Parliament as worthy winner.

Second up was the rarely-enforced legislation which makes sticking a stamp bearing Her Maj Liz II's head upside down on an envelope an act of treason, closely followed by the Liverpudlian bylaw which prohibits women going topless unless they work in a tropical fish store.

The poll was carried out by UKTV Gold, and the 4,000 participants also honoured Ohio's prohibition on getting fish pissed as the best piece of international tomfoolery. Occupying second spot on the worldwide podium was Indonesia's punishment of masturbation by decapitation, with the fact that in Bahrain a male doctor "can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror" taking the bronze medal.

And before you start crying foul on the topless Liver Bird thing, the Telegraph quotes a Liverpool City Council spokesman as debunking: "It's something that has been heard of before and does crop up from time to time, but it is absurd. It is a myth and totally made up. It has no basis in fact."

Which is a terrible shame, we reckon, especially for tropical fish fanciers.

The dying in parliament one is, though, completely true. The reason for the ban is that the buildings count as a royal palace, and Nigel Cawthorne, author of The Strange Laws of Old England, clarified: "Anyone who dies there is technically entitled to a state funeral. If they see you looking a bit sick they carry you out quickly."

Most ridiculous British laws:

  1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament (27 per cent)
  2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British monarch upside-down (7 per cent)
  3. In Liverpool, it is illegal for a woman to be topless except as a clerk in a tropical fish store (6 per cent)
  4. Mince pies cannot be eaten on Christmas Day (5 per cent)
  5. In Scotland, if someone knocks on your door and requires the use of your toilet, you must let them enter (4 per cent)
  6. In the UK, a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman's helmet (4 per cent)
  7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen (3.5 per cent)
  8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing (3 per cent)
  9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament in a suit of armour (3 per cent)
  10. In the city of York it is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow (2 per cent)

Most ridiculous foreign laws:

  1. In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk (9 per cent)
  2. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation (8 per cent)
  3. In Bahrain, a male doctor can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror (7 per cent)
  4. In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm (6 per cent)
  5. In Alabama, it is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle (6 per cent)
  6. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed (6 per cent)
  7. In Vermont, women must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth (6 per cent)
  8. In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except at funerals or hospital visits (5 per cent)
  9. In Japan, there is no age of consent (5 per cent)
  10. In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon (4 per cent)

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Are you a fat boy? Get to university NOW, you PENNILESS SLACKER
Rotund types paid nearly 20% less than people who didn't eat all the pies
Emma Watson should SHUT UP, all this abuse is HER OWN FAULT
... said an anon coward who we really wish hadn't posted on our website
Japan develops robot CHEERLEADERS which RIDE on BALLS
'Will put smiles on faces worldwide', predicts corporate PR chief
Bruges Booze tubes to pump LOVELY BEER underneath city
Belgian booze pumped from underground
Oz carrier Tiger Air takes terror alerts to new heights
Don't doodle, it might cost you your flight
Amazon: Wish in one hand, Twit in the other – see which one fills first
#AmazonWishList A year's supply of Arran scotch, ta
Let it go, Steve: Ballmer bans iPads from his LA Clippers b-ball team
Can you imagine the scene? 'Hey guys, it's your new owner – WTF is that on your desk?'
Oi, London thief. We KNOW what you're doing - our PRECRIME system warned us
Aye, shipmate, it be just like that Minority Report
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.