Ken Livingstone’s rant against the HSE inspired a host of responses from readers. Many of them agreed that the HSE were 'barmy bureacrats' but others thougth the Mayor leave it to the experts

“I’m not sure who will be barmier – Ken or Boris.” So sums up reader Tim Oakley to the beloved London mayor’s latest tirade, this time against the unlikely source that is the Health & Safety Executive. According to Livingstone the HSE’s concerns about building houses near so-called ‘hazardous installations’ eg gasometers, is way over the top and threatens the development of 16,000 homes in the capital.

Well some of you are right behind the newt lover. Step forward Darrall, who rails against bureaucracy:

“While most of the time certain H&S matters are vital, health and safety is often used as a tool by some as a bureaucratic instrument. Life is not without risk and provided the risks have been adequately assessed then there are no reasons why this project should not occur.”

Ron Hind adds his support:

“I am no fan of Ken but he is at least standing up for what he believes in, and a desire to see it through. There is no doubt that we are all being stiffled by bureaucracy, and barmy rules that serve little purpose, other than to make life difficult for individuals and companies alike.”

The case against is put by Alastair Stewart (surely not the former business editor of our esteemed magazine?). Says Alastair:

“Is there no end to the cheap, intemperate jibes this Barmy Bolshevik will aim at the building industry? Can you imagine Michael Bloomberg coming out with such brainless public comments as this and his toe-curling outburst on Metronet? Londoners should kick out this embarrassing liability asap.”

John is even more succinct:

“Go back to sleep Ken, or to Cuba!”