The Social Action, Responsibility and Heroism Bill is a grim and annoying waste of time. The only good point about the bill is that it is very short.

It says that a court, in considering a negligence case against someone, must have regard to:

  • whether or not the alleged negligence occurred when the person was acting for the benefit of society;
  • whether or not the person demonstrated a generally responsible approach towards protecting the safety or interests of others;
  • whether or not the person was acting heroically by intervening in an emergency to assist an individual in danger.

Courts have to think about all of those things anyway. Is that not known in government?

Does justice secretary Chris Grayling not have enough on his hands, being on the wrong end of numerous judicial reviews (arising out of his tiresomely incessant attacks on the legal aid system), without wasting parliament’s time by trying to get through this utterly pointless bill? Isn’t parliament generally busy with Iraq/Syria/the deficit/devolution and so on?

Have I got this wrong in that these other things aren’t that important? Have I been missing something with my touching faith in democracy, in that the function of parliament is to afford space and time for people like Mr Grayling to ride around on creaky old hobby horses?

Adrian P Dalton, Ben Hoare Bell, Sunderland