Eric Pickles has put in a useful effort for the typically hotly contested 'Dumbest Idea' category of British legislation.
He has suggested that allowing people to park in No Parking areas - indicated in the UK by double yellow lines - for up to fifteen minutes would be a boon to struggling high streets and revitalise dying town centres, lift the economy, eradicate world poverty and cure cancer.
Okay, some of that may be hyperbolic. But it's not much stupider than what Pickles is actually suggesting, which is to take a perfectly simple rule (YOU MAY NOT PARK YOUR CAR HERE) and make it stupidly complicated - YOU MAY NOT PARK YOUR CAR HERE BUT YOU MAY AS LONG AS IT NOT FOR MORE THAN FIFTEEN MINUTES.
Setting aside the dubious claim that allowing people to park free of charge on the street would really have a significant impact (how much money can you really spend in fifteen minutes?) this is so impractical it prompts me to wonder when the last time Pickles drove his own car.
Double yellow lines are there for a reason. TO MAKE IT SAFER. Allowing people to park there for a short spell will make things far more dangerous.
Then there is the policing issue. It makes fining for illegal parking almost impossible: "I was only here 15 minutes, gov!"
Either get away with double yeller lines altogether, or keep the rule as it is. If there needs to be more parking, make it official, rather than creating more ambiguity, whinging-room and silliness.
Anyway, I'm not sure double yellow lines are killing the high street. I think inflated rents on properties and not being very good or competitive are what is killing the high street.
Maybe David Cameron will order the internet to be closed because it is killing the high street?