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If supporters of democracy and Leaving the EU are ready to donate, let’s skip any protest that will fall on deaf ears and go straight to being the change that the UK needs

October 10, 2019 Leave a comment

img_4318As we look at the days and weeks ahead, no one can be sure what further twists and turns we will experience in the events that surround the Brexit process.

What we can be sure of however, is that nothing in British Politics is ever going to be the same again.

Unbelievable as it might seem to the many millions of us who have become captive spectators of the ridiculous shitshow that our Parliamentarians have been acting out now for some 40 months, the majority of our elected MPs continue to believe that contrary to all the principles of democracy, Brexit can be stopped and forgotten, and that they have some kind of mandate that justifies any action that they take to get this done.

The events that have led to a situation where we have a wilful majority of MPs squatting in Parliament that contradicts the will of the People and the instruction that they have democratically been given is pretty much the perfect political storm. One that has been created by inept self-serving politicians looking to preserve their own power; taken forward to the point of destroying British Democracy whilst they disloyally sell out their own Country to a Foreign Power under the auspices of Remain.

We may never know if David Cameron and Nick Clegg would have dealt with their need to create the Fixed Term Parliaments Act differently, had they known exactly what was to come.

Reality is that with the exquisite mix that is a hung parliament, filled with politicians who have no integrity or responsibility towards the People who elected them, all puffed up like a gargantuan peacock using the FTPA like a life-preserving crutch – we have what we can only hope will be an historically unique situation. One where resolving and clearing up all of this dreadful mess will only be achieved when we have politicians running this Country who can and will always do the right thing.

Sadly and most regrettably, politicians of this calibre and nature do not exist en masse in this Parliament today. If they did, we would never have found ourselves in the circumstances that we are currently in right now.

Whether the MP that you would normally Vote for or aim to see elected in the Constituency where you live would be Conservative, DUP, Labour, Lib Dem, SNP, Plaid or even from the Brexit Party, none of the Parties that they are loyal to are equipped, have the intention or have the policies in place (or the will to create them) to look at everyone and everything across this Country and then behave not as if they are acting out their own fantasies in a parallel universe, but are in touch with what we all need to see, feel and experience. Basically making clear that they are with us all in exactly the same room.

With all of this madness going on since the European Referendum Vote in 2016, it was perhaps inevitable that sooner or later the discussion amongst those who support Leaving the EU – even if just to respect the concept of democracy – would move to suggestions of protest and even civil disorder. All in the hope that action of this kind would change the minds of those who are misusing their power and the responsibilities of their Office to coercively overturn Brexit and bolt us into a permanent form of Remain.

It won’t.

Not because the argument that we have and share isn’t justified, right and legitimate. But because the people who have their hands on the levers of power and are therefore at the controls of this chaos are not.

Events are not under anyones control. Once each and every decision has been made, the consequences and the events that will subsequently follow are always out of the hands of the decision makers – no matter what they might have us believe or what we have already been told.

As such it remains possible something that Boris Johnson is doing already or is about to do will end up having the required result.

However, I like many others cannot say that I feel hopeful.

With this Remain-collective-Opposition running the Country, behaving like some giant snake attached to the tail of a very small dog, there is as much chance if not more that we could have this same zombie Parliament until the early Summer of 2022 as there is that we will have the General Election that we are all waiting for anytime soon.

When the next General Election does come – whether its this Autumn or in around 30 months time – without having change in the kind of politicians that we have and are able to elect, nothing will really change for any of us who are on the receiving end of all that they do.

Whilst the faces might look different, the way that broken politics has failed to represent us properly in this Country for decades, will simply continue onwards just the same.

At the time of a National crisis – which is precisely what we are now in, it is difficult to imagine engaging in any process that does not appear to offer an instant solution and a remedy for all those involved.

Yet if we don not start to think differently about the cause of all these problems we are having and how all these issues would actually be resolved today, as we look forward when we get to that place tomorrow, we will only be regretful when we get there and realise that nothing in our relationship with government will have actually changed.

The change we want and the change we need is not a change that will resemble anything that any of these Political Parties are telling us that they will do.

Yes, we must Leave the EU cleanly. But Brexit – in terms of our future – is just the symbolic act of opening the door.

So if we now back any of these proponents of the old politics, which is all about them and not about us – no matter what it is that they now say, all we will be doing is endorsing candidates and politicians who once elected will still resemble the politicians that we have got already in every meaningful way.

If there is the money, support and the will to do everything that is now necessary in order that the UK can take control of its own future and destiny AND do all that is best for our People whilst bringing democracy back in from the cold, we should together be seeking to create a new movement for change and with it a political party that reaches across all parts of the political divide.

Whether Left or Right, Leave or Remain, it’s what we have in common between all of us that should be dictating the public policies and the choices we make to create our future.

We must do everything necessary to remove bias and any form of manipulative behaviour from politics that prevents equanimity of government. We need leadership and power that values each and every one of us the same.

Together we have the power that can achieve this change if we can discover the collective will to do it.

But it will not happen if we sit back and believe that someone else is going to step in and make the difference.

If we as individuals, together as communities and being one as a Country want things to really be different in the UK now and for the future, each of us must step up and be the change.

 

 

Changing Politics for the better Pt 7: Social Care

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

It’s very easy to forget that most of us will become old, and that 1 in 4 of us will require care in the later part of our lifetimes.

Whilst there currently some resentment of the ability for older people to influence politics with their Votes ‘because they won’t be here to see it’, the reality is that every single person in this Country should receive care and support at any time during their life – should they need it, whether it be just through the provision of education, access to the NHS, benefits or more specialised support, that includes Social Care for anyone who needs it when they become elderly.
Most of us would agree with this approach upon reading it. But the reality is that right across the provision of services to people who need them in this Country today, there are too many experiencing lower levels of service than it would be reasonable to expect from the Public Sector, and in some cases, they are not receiving help at all.
Of these services, one of the hardest hit by changes in local Government Budgets and the way that Local Authorities are now run is Social Care.
There is no longer the level of consistency of service provided to guarantee that the support needed, wherever or however that need might require, will be the same for everyone.
This must change.
But we must also address the causes of the problems with Social Care and Public Services first.
When we hear Politicians talking about Social Care and how they intend to address the problem, they will almost certainly suggest that the problem is all about money or lack of funds. Sadly, thinking that throwing money at every problem will solve it, is just something that current Politicians do.
Yes, in the short, but probably only the immediate term, additional funds can appear to make a problem like this go away. But without looking deeper into the much wider problem and facing up to the changes that must now be made, the problems with Social Care and all forms of Public Service Delivery are simply not going to go away.
In a Country as wealthy as the UK appears to be, we should all have unhindered access to the Public Services that we need.
Those Public Services should be affordable if they are managed and delivered in the way that they should be. And we should all be happy that the contributions that we make through Taxes and National Insurance will be spent appropriately and that everyone will receive help and support to cover all their needs, if and when they genuinely need it.
A good Government could begin by:
  • Reversing the European Working Time Directive and replacing any other restrictive working practices that make workers rights more important than the ability of the organisation or business they work for to perform economically.
  • Installing new legislation to protect employees that works sensibly and fairly for both the employee and the employer.
  • Doing away with any rules, regulations and laws that mean it is more cost effective for a Local Authority or NHS Trust to outsource or contract out any role, supply or service to a profit-making private contractor, than keeping the provision or service ‘in-house’.
  • Removing gold-plated and disproportionate pension schemes that are being subsidised by Taxpayers and the expense of service provision.
  • Creating new profiteering laws to prevent third party agents or middle men from taking profit from supply chains at any stage, without adding real value to the services or products offered.
  •  Legislating to prevent Councils and Health Authorities seeing Temporary Staffing Agencies as an easy option to overcome staffing difficulties.
  • Undertaking sweeping Public Sector Reform to ensure that Officers and those employed by any Public Service are ready, able, prepared and unhindered in doing their job, without the influence of blame culture, or fear of doing wrong.
And there is definitely much more….

Changing Politics for the better Pt 6: Governing the Internet, Social Media and the online world

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

For many young people, access to the Internet, Smartphone technology and publishing every aspect of our lives online is already experienced as being the way that things have always been.

Yet for those who have lived through the arrival of analogue, then digital mobile phones; analogue internet with the dial-up tone, then broadband and streaming too, the whole process feels remarkably quick when looking back on 30 years doesn’t actually feel like its that long.
But a process that has been very short for what has been achieved in terms of technological development and access during that period of time, has been remarkably long for the large wheels of government, which have moved throughout this period at a rate that looks comparatively very slow indeed.
Like it or not, the way that we interact with each other and with anyone with whom we have contact has been affected by this extraordinary change.
Social skills that we learned through basic interaction and conditioning with other children, with adults and with the people we met as children has been replaced with a cultural restructuring.
Children are now handed ipads or tablets at a very early age and quickly learn to use the tools that they have been given. Yet in so doing, they surrender much of the understanding and trial and error learning processes that come via human and community interaction, and they do not develop a robust or rounded set of social skills as a result.
Likewise, the ease with which adults can order almost anything on the internet and the speed with which what were once long winded processes are now completed, for many is a new skill, outlook or understanding that simply cannot be unlearned.
Yet the changes that on the face of it appear to have significantly improved our lives have at the same time created a strange and unrealistic dichotomy, where ethics or the rules of interaction with others only seem to count in ‘real life’ when we find ourselves face to face with others, and even these now seem to be being eroded too.
A distance now exists between many people that was never there before. Not with the people we know and love. But the humanity is being lost from the way that we interact with each other in those situations beyond. And instead of the parallel universe that is the Internet catching up with the way that things have always been done in the real world outside, the dehumanisation of relationships that exists on the Internet is now finding its way slowly, but steadily into the way we behave with each other in the real waking world.
We only see the tip of this daily in the way that the removal of social barriers on the internet encourages people – who in real life would never dream of talking to other people face to face in the same way – to attack, criticise and yes, troll other people as if their action will never create any harm – simply because it has been done online.
Without government having already taken the steps to govern our use of the internet with a working, open, accessible but nonetheless safe framework for social interaction and conduct with business, people in the online world are simply going to continue cherry picking what they want to take away from the rules we are currently much better at accepting when we are in and focused on the world beyond.
The apparent ease with which internet giants can appear almost overnight doesn’t give them a free reign to ignore rules of an unwritten kind that have developed and governed the way that people behave over a very long time.
In fact, if anything, the whole thing needs to be turned on its head. We must learn to respect the Internet as another part of our already complex lives, and ensure that the rules are no different and that what we do online and especially in the case of interaction with people we never have or may never have cause to meet are simply the same as they would be if we were meeting with that person face to face, and government needs to do so before it is much too late.
Life is already becoming much too cheap as a result of a system which conditions us to believe that we can always quickly get our own way.
We must embrace the positive aspects of the internet and smart technology for the benefits that it ahs and will continue to deliver for us all. But at the same time, we must also recognise the very dangerous and destructive side to this two edged sword and ensure that legislation is created and then evolved to make sure that the Internet really is a tool that is there to benefit everyone and is not just there to be exploited at the expense of others by yet another ‘knowing’ few.
A good Government could begin by:
  • Removing the ability of all to be completely anonymous on Twitter, Facebook, WordPress, Blogger, Youtube or any other form of social media where commenting and the ability to openly attack anyone or anything is openly involved.
  • Ensuring that a system does exist where legitimate anonymity such as whistle blowing or helpful comment and dialogue from those with a genuine desire to help others whilst needing to protect themselves professionally can also exist.
  • Creating legislation to ensure that no decision that could affect the future and wellbeing of any individual in any way, such as credit checks & authorisation or CV matching can be fully automated or completed by algorithms alone without human interaction on the part of all parties involved of some kind.
  • Creating legislation to ensure that everyone is automatically ‘forgot’ after a period of three years, so that everyone has the ability to legitimately move on with their lives, and only appropriate authorities hold longer term records on any individual or business and hold the right in certain circumstances to disclose.
  • Legislating to ensure that any social media or publishing platform builds in detection software that will automatically trigger an on screen flag when formulations of words or topics that might be offensive to others might be involved.

Changing Politics for the better Pt 5: HS2 & Travel by Rail

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

HS2 is an unnecessary expansion of rail infrastructure using public money. A lot of money that could be spent more wisely and more effectively in other ways. A final bill that is only set to grow like the cost of Crossrail has.

Politicians have been guilty of fire hosing money at problems, rather than giving thought to solutions that would be better and cost less – usually because there is much more effort and political risk involved.
HS2 is not a transport project that offers genuinely good value. It is not creating a new link in the way that HS1 did when it linked London with Brussels and Paris via the Channel Tunnel.
HS2 gives the impression of creating more opportunities for travel whilst not solving or doing anything to address the problems with rail travel in the UK that we have already got.
Yes, we do need more capacity on the UK rail network. But capacity can be significantly increased without spending billions on new lines and line beds across open countryside.
We just need to make better use of existing infrastructure, improve it where it needs it and be realistic about the benefits vs. the cost.
A lot of the problems with rail travel today were brought into being by the shortsightedness and backward view of politicians and the consultants they employed as consultants to advise them in the 1960’s.
Public Services always cost the Public money. But that’s because a fair and comprehensive level of service provision for all will never offer blanket profitability.
The minimum requirement from any public service should only be that surplus or ‘profit’ generated from one area of an operation should be allocated to those that cannot do so with the aim that surplus offsets any cost. Run commercially but without shareholders taking dividends would soon keep subsidies required to the absolute minimum and ensure that they were seen to be an investment, rather than a form of commercial loss.
A good Government MUST scrap HS2 and change the way that problems with rail travel in the UK are being addressed.
They could begin by doing the following:
  • End the HS2 Project and take any so-called losses on the chin.
  •  Reopen closed line beds and stations across the network.
  •  Take franchises back into ‘public care’ and run them as commercial enterprises without shareholders.
  •  Increase capacity in the network by extending existing terminus stations, building new ones where services get ‘turned around’ and rebuilding those demolished as part of the enactment of the Beeching Act.
  • Use Computer Technology to reduce gaps between services safely.
  •  Create partnerships with heritage railways to provide passenger services using their existing rolling stock and introduce green and efficient rail cars to increase capacity and services in rural and poorly served areas

Changing Politics for the better Pt 4: Housing

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

If a housing shortage forms the basis of the housing problem, why is it that every time a new estate is built, prices of those new-builds and the homes in the communities around them don’t simply go down?

That is the question that we must answer, because the answer is not to keep on building and concreting over our fields and what used to be our green and pleasant land.
The UK is pretty much alone in prizing property, its value and the accumulation of personal private wealth off the back of it in the way that we do.
With disproportionate buying power having enabled exceptional overvaluing at the top of the market and a money-generating culture having made it normal for doing everything on credit to be normal and therefore for debt to be farmed, the housing market has become inflated over and over many different times to the point where the value of a home is disproportionately higher than the average salary in each and every British Town.
At the top end of the scale, people have so much money that they can afford to own or purchase more than one. Second homes have squeezed many of our rural and seaside communities, where low priced homes for life have been absorbed into a weekend and holiday market, for no better reason than just because.
There is no reason to be down on those who are successful, if that success is not generated by riding off the back of others or then used to disadvatage others lives.
Yet a system that not only allows, but actively encourages property ownership as a way of generating income for financiers and builders, without regulating ownership and disincentivising under use can only succeed by making housing a growing problem for everyone else.
A Government working for all MUST change the way that the housing problem is being addressed.
It could begin by doing the following:
  • Stop the push for green-field building.
  • Regulate builders and the financiers working in the property market .
  • Make unnecessary profiteering on house building and community property illegal.
  • Bring in a higher level stamp duty or purchase tax on second homes.
  • Introduce higher tiers of council tax for second or multiple homes.
  • Use a penality system to discourage houses in rural areas and by the seaside being left empty for days or even weeks at a time.
  • Give local communities a real and meaningful veto over large scale development and not leave it up to appeals to the Secretary of State before a planning decision can be put on hold

Changing Politics for the better Pt 3: Money

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

The role of money is now seen and accepted as being a key to every part of life.

For many of us, monetary wealth is a benchmark or reference point for happiness.
Money has been elevated to the status of a god. And we interpret our reality based on what we believe.
Because it has become such an emotionally powerful tool, the role of Money has become imbedded in the psyches of decision makers and is automatically considered to be the key or default factor when all decisions are made.
As such, Politicians make decisions based on the premise that spending more money or simply lowering costs will be the best way to solve any problem – no matter what the non-monetary costs, knock-on effects or consequences for us all are involved.
When it comes to the creation of money and the economy itself, very few Politicians have a genuine understanding of the processes and real responsibilities that are involved.
It is a fact that successive Governments have simply abdicated responsibility for the one area of policy that is guaranteed to have an impact on us all.
They look upon the banking system peripherally and listen to economists who give them the messages that they want to hear.
Often, they interpret and perceive information only in the short or electoral term and are only too happy to allow problems with debt and overspending stack up for later generations. It’s only ever the quick-hit to gain our buy-in and support for them about which we are told.
Beyond the ineptitude of the Politicians, the finance industry has become a law unto itself in these circumstances and whilst capitalism itself is pretty much an intrinsic personal state, untamed and allowed to flourish on the basis of exploiting others and taking value from supply chains without adding any or putting anything meaningful back in, is itself having an incalculably negative impact upon the basic cost of living, and why we are in a situation where going into debt is for many the only way that People can keep going and have ‘normal’ lives where these unseen influences have made basic life too expensive to afford.
We cannot continue allowing anyone with the power to do so, to keep pushing up prices directly of indirectly beyond what it is reasonable for an average salary and typical commitments to afford.
Monetary responsibility must be returned to the hands of Government and not entrusted to the whims of so-called specialists and experts who have no understanding or no desire to understand the impact and consequences of what they do on anyone else, so long as there is a juicy profit involved.
A good Government could begin addressing the difficulties being created in our lives through the miss-use, miss-creation and miss-management of money by:
  • Removing the ability of banks to ‘create’ money through any type of leverage process.
  •  Abolish the practice of spread-betting, hedging or any financial activity which involved speculation or making profits from activities which are at arms length from the businesses or bodies with which the shares they are handling are affiliated with, and so are not in any way actively involved .
  • Create a Law to stop unreasonable Profiteering from any financial or business activity that removes agents and middle men who take value from supply chains simply by assuming temporary ownership and adding fees and margins without adding value to whatever it is that’s involved.
  •  Work with the City to create a new and hopefully temporary set of Regulations to restore ethics to all financial practices and above all refocus the way that publically owned businesses are run to prioritise service and value, rather than returning guaranteed levels of profit to shareholders.
  •  Incentivise banks to speculate on the creation an development of small businesses, placing the emphasis on there being risks involved for bankers too, rather than allowing them to walk away from opportunities that would benefit us all if realised.
  • Create a new People’s Bank which will provide cash-free services to all People who are receiving benefits from the Government of any kind, and will fill the gap in supporting new businesses and projects for growth that the time it takes the banks to transform to responsible capitalism leave behind.
  • Considering a reset of our currency in whatever form that might take, to ultimately bring values back in line with where they should be, so that those with much cannot continue to leave those with very little behind.
  • Introduce a Flat Tax system.
  •  Tax all retail business at the geographical point of sale
  • Remove the ability of commercial organisations or bodies that they have control of to oversee credit ratings and the influence they can have on businesses or individuals of any kind.

Changing Politics for the better Pt 2: Bringing Jobs & Manufacturing home

September 6, 2019 Leave a comment

Globalisation and the Global Marketplace have been sold to us for decades as the place where a forward-looking economy should belong.

But like everything else in the world of the old politics, there is no mention of the consequences for us all, for our industries, for our communities and our Country as a whole, by embracing this kind of deep-seated policy which is sold to us on the basis of making the cost of living cheaper, whilst the true and far reaching costs are never mentioned, but massive profits keep coming to shareholders, the City and all of those who are intricately involved.
The truth about globalisation is that money and making more of it for those who are financially invested in it is all it ever has been and will be.
The benefits for everyone else are far outweighed by the costs that are significantly higher and reach into so many different areas of life negatively – and contrary to everything that we are told.
When businesses move factories across the world, they do so to save money on the costs of operating here, whilst exploiting less advanced economies elsewhere, thereby taking all the benefits from selling into our own economy, without having to contribute anything meaningful here or there.
It’s exploitation and blatant profiteering irrespective of how positively the concept is then sold.
As an economy, we are better prepared, resourced and able to be specialists as manufacturers and producers in certain things.
So it is with goods and products that fall outside of this where we should engage the wider world positively and encourage them – through importing those things – to do the same kind of things.
For goods, services and produce that British People use regularly or pretty much every day, the businesses that provide them should be based here, pay tax here and benefit the wider economy which is benefitting their owners in a very dynamic way.
Localism is a term that has been heavily misused by politicians in recent years. But that doesn’t mean that a Good Government should not now pursue a genuinely localistic view.
Companies and their owners should be encouraged and incentivized to provide goods, products and services that not only appeal to the people that live near to their premises, but are also used by the people they employ.
This isn’t about having a downer on capitalism. It’s about keeping capitalism as a concept that is open and beneficial to all and not just the few.
Globalisation sounds great until the penny drops that it is completely screwing everyone here, over there and is only beneficial to those who have money involved.
A Good Government MUST engage with the global economy differently, encouraging the import of goods that we cannot produce here, whilst securing our own market for all the things that we can supply and do well.
It could begin by:
  • Imposing additional taxes on goods imported that could be made or otherwise produced here.
  • Taxing British Companies that have moved manufacturing to other Countries to encourage them to return.
  • Create Laws and Legislation that underpins realistic levels of profitability, so that Companies cannot simply create a cost vs. benefit disparity on the basis of the money they earn for shareholders as an excuse to move abroad .
  • Incentivize new startups and developing businesses that have the ability and desire to thrive in our Markets.
  • Changing employment Laws to make employing British People more attractive, whilst ensuring that the choice for employees to work with contracts that benefit them and the businesses that they work innovatively are voluntary in every sense and not just imposed.
  • Promote and further the concept of responsible capitalism and encourage a business culture where profit is not simply measured in financial return alone.
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