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The Makeshift Manifesto

December 6, 2019 Leave a comment

MM2We are hearing promise after promise and commitment after commitment based upon what our current crop of politicians and aspiring MPs will do for us if we give them our vote.

The problem is that if any of them do get elected with a majority this week – and therefore attain the ability to actually deliver on any of the things they have promised – the promises they have made will look and sound very different when they come to fruition for many reasons, not least of all because so little thought and consideration has gone into how those promises were actually formed and made.

The UK is desperate for change

If we were able to elect the right politicians, we would not need manifestos at all.

Good politicians would do the right things and would be committed to doing whatever is necessary to get the job done – all without any consideration for what the impact of their actions may or may not be for them themselves, the Political Party they represent or anyone else who has influence upon the way that they think.

Unfortunately, we don’t have the option to choose the right politicians in the 2019 General Election.

The system that we have has ensured that different names, different people and the different things they all say won’t deliver anything different to the outcome or result. Anything and everything they do will always end up being exactly the same.

That isn’t to say there isn’t any value to the things that politicians are currently talking about.

Any good salesman knows that no matter how small it might be, selling anything has to be anchored on the basis of at least one truth.

The politicians we have are savvy enough to be able to focus in on topics that people will identify with and talk about them or make offers to the Public that suggest the politicians will address them. Promises that will be calculated as being just enough to get them elected – which is the only real job or purpose that any and all of these politicians genuinely want to get done.

We don’t know what the outcome of the Election on Thursday 12th December will actually be.

But whatever the outcome of the 2019 General Election is, the fact that we have such poor, self-serving politicians as the majority of Candidates to become MPs means it is pretty likely that even greater chaos than what we have seen in the past two years is well on its way. That chaos may really begin to hit us all very hard in our everyday lives if there really is no change in politics and politicians continue to believe that they can continue to behave just the same as they are.

So what could politicians be doing differently now if they were focused on the right things?

Actually there is an awful lot.

But successful outcomes for us all means having new politicians who are big enough and confident enough in their own abilities, knowledge and understanding to know that the biggest thing they have to think differently about is the desire to always in someway feel like they are in control.

No, not the kind of control we think of like driving a car or riding a bike.

This is the idea that politicians can control future events by the decisions they take now or at a certain time.

They can’t and never will.

It just looks like that – some of the time.

So when I say that good politicians wouldn’t need manifestos, what I mean is that they wouldn’t need to try and bribe us with whatever they can dream up to convince us.

We would just elect good politicians because we could trust them to get on and do what’s best for all of us whenever they make a decision.

We could trust good politicians to do the right thing.

Real Change

Because we don’t have good politicians, it’s worth having a think about the kinds of things they would actually be doing with the power that we have given them as part of that journey of doing the right things on our behalf.

Below is a list of the kinds of new policy ideas and changes that good politicians might be already acting upon, thinking about, questioning, discussing, researching and developing right now, if they were already in government.

It is not an exhaustive list by any means and I will apologise to any reader now who immediately finds the absence of a topic or suggestion in keeping with this document that I have for some reason or none left out.

There is, in reality today a never ending list of things that really need to be done and these are just a beginning or a start.

This is a Makeshift Manifesto

The points are deliberately short to bring focus and attention to the areas that need work in Public Policy if things in this Country were really to be changed and there was a genuine, wide-ranging commitment on the part of politicians to really get things done.

Some of the points will seem controversial, like withdrawing or rescinding the Legislation on Employment Rights that came from the EU.

I have raised them not with the intention of upsetting anyone or winding anyone up. They are there to serve as a gateway to the reality that there are much bigger and usually very negative consequences sitting beyond the mantras and sound bites that are deceptively used to draw voters in. The sweetest sounding lies and partial truths that often hurt the very people that they are supposed to help as they appear to positively impact the people they were designed for, but then negatively impact the world around them and then come back to haunt those same people too.

The way politics and the media operates today doesn’t foster genuine learning, discussion and debate. It focuses on fear and encouraging instant reactions and doesn’t allow anyone to take the time to sit down, go through ideas in the right way. It certainly doesn’t explain.

For example, when talking about subjects like hourly wages and rates of pay with young people and students, they will most often only be focused on what the value of pay to them is actually worth.

Yet when you take the time to discuss and explain how the businesses that employ them operate and what wage rises will actually mean as a result of the knock-on effects to the employer, the customers and the employees just like if not them, they are typically far more interested in what has been said. Indeed, they are genuinely receptive to the steps that would need to be taken to make the money they earn and already have in their pocket have better value. They want to see the changes come into being that would change not only theirs but everyone’s lives for the better – again, getting done what really needs to be done.

So no matter how the following points might immediately make the reader feel, they are offered up as no more than the equivalent of a light being shone on the areas of Public Policy that need to be changed; in some cases removed and in others completely transformed, simply to ensure that the battle to deliver something better for ALL People in the UK – that MPs are not yet fighting – is ultimately won.

‘You can’t do the right thing because it’s too complicated’

This isn’t costed. It can’t be done. Things don’t work like that. It’s not practical. It’s idealist.

These are all reactions that can be expected at the end of reading what follows below.

During conversations with many people about public policy generally and particularly with people who voted to Remain in the Referendum on Leaving the EU, I have become increasingly aware that the majority of us agree with all the kinds of suggestions I am making and with it the principle of ‘doing the right thing’. But they also believe this kind of change is impossible because it’s either too complicated or we will never have the right people in politics to do what it takes to get these things even considered, let alone started, completed or ‘done’.

Whilst this view is completely understandable when considering the mess that British politics is now in, it’s because politicians have not been prepared to look difficult policy decisions and challenges in the eye and deal with them properly as they should that the UK is now in the trouble that it is and so many people are suffering across our communities.

Brexit is a symptom of the very problem where the politicians who have been elected and given the responsibility to lead us and make decisions on our behalf always take the easy option. Do decision making in isolation without care for consequence. And give us government that is always thinking about the next election and is therefore on the run.

The reality is that if politics was done properly in the UK, manifestos and the false promises within them would be redundant.

Issues would be addressed and considered by Government as they need to be, rather than being wrapped up in shiny paper at election time and sold to us as part of some grand but nonetheless hollow strategic plan.

Cost, practicality, how the system works and all those things may be very relevant in considering what is only list of suggestions for consideration that follows here.

Any one of the suggestions made, when considered or even enacted in isolation might be appear impossible simply because of all the other existing policies that already interact with that area of policy, which in the immediacy of that apparently broader sense might make it seem impossible for that one thing to be done.

But none of this is impossible.

In fact, we all deserve an approach to public policy which is not fearful of even considering changes to public policy just like these.

This means that we need to change the way that we think as well as the people we elect to think on our behalf.

Only when we have political leaders who think differently will we all see and then understand how different and how better things in this Country can be if our politicians are prepared to break away from the idea that achievement only comes from compromise when repeated compromise itself means we continually end up with all the same things.

We must have real leaders in Government before we can actually be led.

A small caveat

Everything that follows is basically a starting point or a means to reaching or finding a way to an end. The overriding principle is that we should make better and more effective use of all that we have already got, rather than falling into the trap of thinking that the problems that we have can only be solved by throwing money around or by replacing whatever the problem is with something new.

This kind of thinking might be representative of ‘the way that things have always been done’. But in the long term, it helps no one.

PLEASE NOTE: There is no specific or intended order. As a result of an attempt to avoid duplication (which may have failed here and there…), some points or suggestions may appear to be located under headings which are different to where you might automatically assume they should be. It does however illustrate the point rather well that no public policy decisions should ever be made in isolation as all public policy is joined up!

Thanks for reading!

 

Best wishes to all,

Adam Tugwell

7 December 2019

The Makeshift Manifesto – December 2019

 

1 – Taxation

  • Reform of HMRC to make it ‘customer friendly’
  • Tax the ownership of land, property and wealth rather than personal income
  • Tax Internet transactions at the location of the customer or the device they were using, not at the location of the company base
  • Simplify the taxation system, providing transparency and remove confusion
  • Aim for flat tax or limited tier system which is not based on the level of earnings, but where all earners pay proportionally the same
  • Aim to reduce and then remove VAT once all other parts of the Tax system have been changed and are working appropriately
  • New ethical ‘in the spirit of’ legislation to prohibit Tax Evasion or Avoidance where no preventative Law is deemed to exist or cover the abusive act, but where Tax Evasion or Avoidance has taken place nonetheless

2 – Industrial Relations

  • Reform union legislation to prevent and make illegal any strike that will or has the potential to effect transport and public service provision
  • Remove right of unions to have paid shop stewards or other union representatives on organisational or company payroll
  • Legislate to prohibit unions making donations to political parties, third party organisations or outside causes

3 – Defence

  • Reinstate National Service to ensure that all eligible young people qualify academically, complete parallel apprenticeships or undertake military training as a key part of their professional development and steps towards the workplace
  • Aim to bring all military hardware and software development and manufacturing into the UK or UK hands, outsourcing only where no other options are available
  • International Military Policy to be non-interventionist and non-aggressive unless directly attacked or there is a requirement to maintain an appropriate military presence overseas either to support UK Foreign Aid activities or as part of Partnership commitments with other Countries (NATO, UN etc)
  • Outlaw civil prosecution against any alleged military ‘crime’ – whether current, recent or historic
  • Continue with the Renewal of Trident
  • New Naval Ship Building programme to include adequate ‘at sea’ Fisheries Protection for all UK Waters
  • Rearm and finance the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force and Army to ensure that combined forces are able to cover all domestic and possible/likely overseas requirements at all times

4 – Communication

  • Support the telecoms industry to provide 100% Broadband coverage across the UK within 5 years
  • Ensure that all critical infrastructure and software is provided by UK Companies, managed and manufactured in the UK

5 – Education

  • Apprenticeships at 14 for non-academic young people as part of a change to ‘heads’ vs. ‘hands’ parallel routes to age 21 where education is based on experience, academic attainment or both, rather than just exam results and educational level reached.
  • Prohibit bogus or ‘worthless’ degrees
  • Remove commercialism from all places of learning to ensure that the focus is on teaching, not running as a business
  • Cap the salaries of senior academic and management staff in all publicly funded educational establishments
  • Remove ‘private’ interest in any publicly funded educational establishment or vehicle
  • Legislate to support Teachers first and foremost in the parent-teacher relationship
  • Add critical thinking to become a required part of all curriculums
  • Means tested paid tuition fees for further and higher education students for first time applicants of all ages
  • Means tested maintenance grants for further and higher education students for first time applicants of all ages

6 – Foreign Policy

  • Reform overseas aid to provide direct and meaningful support, rather than just funds or contracts to private companies
  • Contracts awarded to private companies as part of Foreign Aid should be given to business indigenous to that specific Country, with the focus that profits and employment end up in the pockets of local people and businesses – not simply back in the UK
  • Create a non-military foreign aid logistics and development service

7 – Brexit

  • Immediate rejection of any of the existing ‘Withdrawal’ Agreements made with the EU
  • A completely Clean Exit from the European Union on WTO Terms – as directed by the UK Electorate in the European Referendum Vote on 23rd June 2016
  • No negotiations on trade until the UK has formally Left the EU and is functioning with trade on WTO Terms
  • No further payments to be made to the EU after the UK Leaves the EU
  • No balloon payments made as part of the process of the UK Leaving the EU
  • Immediate start on the alternative Borders option for Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland to include the establishment of the Open Border Service
  • Immediate protection orders to safeguard British Farming, Fisheries and all areas of production at risk from foreign imports
  • Immediate implementation of a temporary protectionist policy on all trade with the EU where the products, goods, foods and services are already available in the UK, to stay in place until those industries can self-sustain
  • Immediate ban on the import of all EU derived products, goods, foods and services that are subsidised and therefore underwritten by the EU, unless they are not already available in the UK

8 – Business & Finance

  • Readopt an unashamedly protectionist, UK first approach to all industries and services
  • Adopt a non-global approach to supply chains and production
  • Require all UK Business to adhere to new Covenant of UK Environmental Standards covering all production, operations and purchasing within 2 years
  • Focus new trade deals on Foods, Products, Goods and Services that the UK has not historically provided itself or for the period it remains unable to do so
  • Reform and limitation of financial services and banking to restrict or where necessary prohibit the use of speculative (betting), futures and non-transparent financial devices in any form
  • Restrict the power of privately owned credit scoring agencies
  • Regulate and restrict current system whereby banks and financial institutions can effectively create money through system of leverage
  • Confiscation of all material assets law for all Bankers and Financiers who are convicted of financial exploitation of others
  • Sell here, produce here requirement for products and services in mass Public or consumer use
  • Anti profiteering laws to be introduced
  • Restriction of intervention and right of agency in any supply chain where no value has been added via the transfer
  • services
  • Punitive fines to be introduced for unethical business practices
  • Fiscal prudence law outlawing policy decisions based only on cost and/or spending
  • Reverse changes made by Gordon Brown and the 1997 Labour Government to Pension Funds
  • Legislate to restrict or stop Planned Obsolescence consumerism
  • Legislate to prevent private companies issuing fines for parking offences
  • Create new Parking Court
  • Legislate to remove the grey area where gig economy companies can employ people on sub-contract or self-employed basis without being a full franchisee to be banned

9 – The Internet & Social Media

  • Legislate to ensure that identities of all social media account holders/users to be known to publisher and anonymity of public user identity (usernames) only given for legitimate reasons

10 – Public Services

  • Create Public Interest Companies (Trusts) to provide all municipal services and services across multiple Authorities covering traditional County areas or similar
  • Create new standard or charter for public servants
  • End the role of ‘created’ and unnecessary add-on management, back-room and administrative roles
  • End policies which facilitate and allow redundancy and rehire
  • Reform Local Government & Civil Service Pension Scheme
  • Rescind independence in decision making of all QUANGOs making them answerable Nationally to Parliament and locally to the most appropriate Local Authority or tier of Government
  • Remove EU Tender & Procurement Legislation
  • Prioritise new, small and local business over corporate business for any outsourcing requirement that remains
  • New non-financial or indirect corruption laws for all tiers of government and public services

11 – The Courts & Legal System

  • Reform and reinstatement of legal aid with appropriate fixed fee format, legal professional sector pay and enforcement body to administer and clear penalties for any abuse of the system
  • Reform of legal profession standards monitoring and regulation
  • Divorce Laws to be reformed with first point of call becoming mediation in all civil cases where no Criminal Laws have been broken
  • Mediation to become licensed
  • Create Legislation to impede influence of obstructive and unreasonable Divorce cases not settled by mediation
  • Volunteer Magistrates to be excluded from all Family Law cases
  • Reform Magistrates Service to remove innate prejudice and political correctness from recruitment processes
  • Legislation against ‘ambulance chasing’ or ‘where there’s blame, there’s a claim’ approach to litigation on basis of blame attribution
  • Dissolution of the Supreme Court and return to Law Lords or system that sits outside of political influence
  • Reform of litigation Laws to support David vs Goliath cases where small businesses could not afford to take on big business when in breech of contract

12. Law & Order

  • All convicted Terrorists to receive whole-life tariffs
  • Referendum on Capital Punishment
  • End to Police Community Support Officers
  • End requirement for Police Officers to be educated to degree level
  • End to direct entry for senior officers who have not come through the ranks
  • Resume system of Police Prosecutions
  • Aim for all minor offences to be prosecuted within 24 hours of arrest and before offender release
  • All young people from age 14 to 21 years convicted of criminal offences other than murder, manslaughter or terrorism to be immediately enrolled for National Service
  • Decentralisation of Police Stations and return to locality Policing
  • Remove all targets and statistical monitoring of Police work that incentivises behaviour or quality of work

13 – Freedom of Speech

  • Protection of the tolerant against spurious intolerance
  • Right to be forgotten to become automatic after 3 years
  • New law to support freedom of speech and right to speak with removal of right to inflict views on others verbally, in writing or through intimidation or threatening behaviour of any kind

14 – Animal Welfare

  • Rescind EU Laws on Abattoirs
  • Support construction of new local Abattoir network and mobile abattoir service for the most remote areas
  • No animal to travel more than 50 miles from farm to slaughter
  • Revise Hunting with Dogs Legislation to outlaw illegal or disruptive intervention by non-hunters, remove any right to prosecute for accidental Fox hunting, whilst tightening Law on prosecution against those seeking to flout Ban using birds of prey or other by-pass devices
  • RSPCA to lose charity status, be taken into public management and given evolved role to support work of DEFRA and all other Public Services and Agencies dealing with Animal Health & Welfare

15 – Nationalisation / Public ‘management’ of Everyday Essential Services & Utilities

  • Place all utilities and services essential for everyday public use into non-profit making status and/or create alternative public managed business providing alternative provider to all customers

16 – Transport

  • Scrap HS2
  • Remove Crossrail Company and replace with non-profit making commercial trust with reformed management structure
  • Build new terminus stations in London and expand number of platforms at existing terminus stations across UK
  • Reopen lines closed by Beaching Act
  • Public sponsorship or loans to new shipbuilding enterprises
  • Create new system of Bicycle & Rider Licensing
  • Focus technological development on Hydrogen and Battery Powered Vehicles
  • Rescind EU Legislation requiring Professional Drivers to do stepped tests for different vehicle sizes in same class (e.g HGV 3 and then HGV1 only afterwards following a qualification period)
  • Rescind Driver CPC Course requirement replacing current system with short online course and tests as part of first Licensing, then regular refresher courses and tests online thereafter to be provided and managed by DVLA for all UK ONLY commercial drivers
  • Professional Foreign Drivers required to undertake same short online courses and tests to drive in UK in ALL circumstances
  • Investment in new road surface technology research to extend lifetime
  • Fines for utility companies leaving temporary roadworks without work taking place at weekends and during daylight hours
  • Utility companies to be made liable for all road repairs where they have devalued the structural integrity of a road surface

17 – Welfare & Benefits

  • Institute a universally applicable basic standard of living rate for all persons
  • Create a people’s bank
  • All Benefits to be paid into a cashless bank account with restrictions on payments tailored to the recipient
  • Removal of assumed right to benefits for any foreign economic migrant
  • Return to common sense approach to disability payments
  • End the use of profit making back to work training contractors

18 – Poverty

  • Introduce a Basic Standard of Living level based upon what it costs to feed, cloth, house and transport a person or persons living in a household at a minimum realistic level
  • Base all benefits on the Basic Standard of Living Level
  • Base all future plans for minimum wage on the Basic Standard of Living Level
  • Explore validity of Universal Income set at Basic Standard of Living Level for the short term unemployed to restrict unnecessary exposure to benefits system and culture
  • Creation of blanket provision of hostels and services for the homeless with tailored approach to individuals and arms-length care and support for those who choose not to use any accommodation offered
  • All supermarkets and food retailers with 3000’ floor space of more to be required to provide and openly promote food bank donation bins

19 – Food & Farming

  • Unashamedly prioritise British Produce
  • Require that all publicly funded meal providers buy British
  • Incentivise local and ethical food supply chains to create a producer to retail industry able to compete directly with National Retailer supply chains with food travelling no more than 50 miles from farm to fork
  • Replace CAP with short term UK Farm Subsidies
  • Remove all EU-derived quotas and restrictions

20 – Politics and Government

  • Reform of electoral system
  • Reform of political Party system
  • Minimum age of Town & Parish Councillors set at 21 years
  • Minimum Age of District Level Councillors set at 25
  • Minimum Age of MPs set at 30
  • Removal of Allowances System for Councillors
  • Introduction of time-served, time-attended, effort-made ‘end of term handshake’ for Councillors
  • De-politicisation of lower tiers of Government
  • MPs barred from holding second jobs whilst in Office
  • MPs barred from holding non-executive directorships whilst in Office
  • MPs barred from holding consultant or sub-contract roles whilst in Office
  • MPs barred from holding any company ownership role with a shareholding of 51% or less whilst in Office
  • Politicians barred from holding more than 1 Elected Office at any time
  • End the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) system
  • Local Authorities to be barred from using fines from parking and road offences as revenue or as a source of income
  • Lords to either be dissolved or be reformed
  • Reform of the Honours List
  • Reform of Commissions system
  • ‘Cronyism’ in Public Office to become a Criminal Offence

21 – Devolution & Localism

  • All powers that can be more effectively governed and implemented at local level to be devolved to the appropriate tier of Government from Westminster, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Belfast
  • Create Parish or Town, District or Borough and County Level independent local authorities where none currently exist
  • Dissolve Unitary Authorities
  • Dissolve Mayor-led Authority Areas

22 – Climate Change

  • Create a Covenant of UK Environmental Standards for all foods, products, goods, services, manufacturing and other items to be published within 12 months and implemented within 24 months
  • Ban on all non-UK based Companies moving into UK Marketplace which do not meet UK Environmental Standards
  • Return public transport to ‘public’ ownership
  • Improve public transport to levels that improve passenger participation
  • Provide 50 free journeys on one form of public transport per commuter per year
  • Prioritise carbon capture technology both for industrial and domestic use
  • Stop pretending that House building is the only solution to the Housing Crisis
  • Invest in water capture, desalinisation and storage technologies, where possible ensuring a crossover with green energy production
  • Introduce Packaging Tax to be applied to all disposable or non-recyclable packaging on a per-unit basis
  • Rescind decision on 3rd Runway at Heathrow until expansion will be at least carbon neutral in current terms
  • Legislate to make better use of existing transport systems and infrastructure prioritising improvement over new construction
  • Tax commuter journeys taken by car
  • Incentivise reduction of car-to-school journeys for children of secondary school age and where adequate and appropriate educational transport or public transport provision exists
  • Legislate to restrict or stop Planned Obsolescence consumerism
  • Subsidise network of community car sharing pools
  • Tax ownership of fossil fuel resources on an annual basis
  • Ban imports of all products not manufactured to UK environmental standards

23 – Planning

  • Dissolve Local Planning Committee structure and remove politicisation
  • Legislate to create Local Planning Courts
  • Create new Government Planning Investigation Unit with remit to investigate historic consent, overturn decisions not made in the Public Interest and given the right to seize land and property where corruption of any kind has been found or to instruct the immediate return of land or infrastructure to the previous state it was in before the Application(s) was/were made at the cost of the Applicant.
  • Reform Planning Policy to remove anchors for interpretation and focus decision making on real-life effects and locality
  • Create National Framework of Planning Policies to be adopted and tailored locally and left as stand-alone except in times of National Emergency or need

24 – Environment

  • All flood plain building and restructuring to be immediately banned
  • Revision of Flooding policy to include equal weighting being given to Fluvial and Pluvial flooding
  • Return to regular dredging and clearance of all river systems

25 – Housing

  • Tax all multiple home ownership at increasing levels per unit and/or depending upon size and unused capacity
  • Introduce staggered and increasing stamp duty upon all multiple house purchases
  • Regulate profit margin per new house for house builders
  • Introduce Tax breaks and incentives for unused room letting
  • All local authorities to prioritise local applicants for social housing

26 – Employment Rights

  • Step away from all EU derived Employment Legislation and end Working Time Directive
  • Regulate to ensure minimum hourly wage in line with agreed contractual hours, overtime rates (minimum 1 x 1.25 minimum wage for all zero hours contract workers) and holiday pay on per hour basis
  • Legislate to ensure that all gig-economy-type roles pay ‘employee’ on basis of zero hours contract AFTER realistic costs have been deducted, whether technically employed or self-employed

27 – Licensing (Gambling & Sale of Alcohol)

  • Gambling industry to have new system of governance mirroring alcohol licensing where ‘point of transaction’ must be managed by a responsible, appropriately qualified and upstanding person who will be held accountable for the safety of all customers on the basis of legally backed right to refuse
  • Internet and/or app gambling to be regulated to reflect the above or banned if the industry cannot present workable solutions to support gambling supervision on remote basis
  • System of Alcohol Taxation to be introduced to encourage use of Pubs, Restaurants and Social Clubs for drinking

28 – Health & the NHS

  • Top to bottom reform
  • Removal of unnecessary or created backroom management functions
  • Ban on consultancy buy-in for management purposes
  • Devolution of management to ward level
  • Supply purchasing to be returned to strategic, cross-NHS level
  • Dissolution of all remaining PFI Contracts
  • Social Care to be managed by NHS
  • Regulation of damages payouts to cover legal costs
  • Creation of Damages Court to filter spurious complaints
  • Legalisation of ‘Right to Die’ under 3x ‘unknown’ doctor sign-off system
  • Sex Industry to be legalised, Regulated and managed as a Public Health concern

29 – Science & Technology

  • UK First Policy
  • Regulate ownership to restrict foreign influence and call upon new technologies
  • Subsidise development of real technology
  • New public managed pharmaceutical development company
  • Incentivise scientific development, automation and artificial intelligence only to improve production, output and quality – not purely for financial purposes
  • Revise policy on foreign investment to ensure that Companies and Technologies critical to the UK remain in UK hands

30 – The Monarchy

  • Immediate scaling down to preclude ‘shirt tail’ and no longer relevant Royals
  • Remove any obstacle to prosecution under all UK Laws for any Member of the Royal Family, whether perceived or otherwise.
  • Further Royal Palaces to be given over to Public use as museums and tourist attractions
  • Crown Properties to be returned fully to Public hands with no income paid to Members of the Royal Family from profits

31 – Voluntary Sector, Charities & Charitable Giving

  • Review of Charities and fundraising to remove unnecessary and unhelpful duplication of services
  • Create a centralised charity giving system or personal account, possibly managed by HMRC where money is deducted at source and then allocated according to the choice of the individual with gift aid automatically added

 

The list above is not exhaustive by any means. There is plenty more.

If you would like to download the pdf version of this Blog, please click here: Makeshift Manifesto PDF: Makeshift Manifesto PDF2

Adam’s Book for Kindle ‘How to get Elected – doing politics the right way’ can be purchased and downloaded now from Amazon by clicking HERE.

 

 

Q. Why are the Polls changing? – A. Because nothing else in politics is

December 3, 2019 Leave a comment

Nine days to go until the first December General Election in nearly a Century, and nobody can be sure how the votes on a week this Thursday will actually land.

You can’t say that the Political Parties haven’t tried.

Stop Brexit. Free Broadband. 20,000 new Police Officers. 33% reduction in Rail Fares. Get Brexit Done.

These are all one-liners that have quickly stuck in the mind.

The problem with all of these sound bites and carefully constructed calls to action is that they are being and have been created by a whole System and the Political Parties within it that continue to be all about the very same things as they for too long have already been.

Winning power. Keeping power. Stopping anyone else from gaining the power that they want.

With the closed political system that we currently have in this Country preventing any form of meaningful change, what we once knew as tribalism has now gone pretty much right out of the window.

People are thinking about politics and the details like never before.

The trouble for our Politicians is that normal, everyday People have never looked closely at what politicians are now doing and what they have done – in no small part because of the intransigence of MPs over Brexit that has forced them to do so.

People now understand that there is nothing about any of this – the Tories thinking its all about getting anything through that will pass for Brexit, Labour believing that its all about how much they can spend, the Liberal Democrats calculating that its about being brazen enough to openly admit that Democracy is dead – that actually makes real sense.

They have concluded that we as a Nation are trapped with the Politicians that we have got.

It appears that there is no mechanism or way to bring about that meaningful change that most rational People now know the UK needs.

Meanwhile the political classes are still treating us all like its business as usual.

Politicians believe that nobody outside of Westminster is truly aware of what they are doing.

Yet no matter what we are told the politicians achieve or plan to do, we somehow People end up going to bed every night looking at life in this County and feeling that nothing has changed and that everything remains exactly the same.

Anyone who studies all of this closely and brings to it an open mind will see and surely conclude that there is very little to be hopeful about, no matter who gets Elected in the General Election this time.

Labour will bring chaos to this Country, even as a minority government at the head of a coalition.

A coalition headed by Boris Johnson will pretty much ensure that the stalemate that we have had for over two years in Parliament will be back and ever present on the benches at Westminster with government unable to function as it has been all over again.

And if the Toris should win their long-coveted majority, Boris may well be able to stand up at the end of January and shout at us that he has delivered Brexit.

But when the dust settles and he realises that he has hamstrung himself into yet another trap of the EUs making, we could well find ourselves with the clean, no-deal Brexit that we should always have been given within 12 months. But it will come without Leadership able to address all the challenges, difficulties, knock-on effects and issues that will blow up in their faces overnight as a result.

For too long, politicians have been behaving as if politics – and therefore making decisions that impact everyone – is something very simple and can be carried out on the hop.

We no longer have titans or big beasts in politics.

Politicians and MPs come through a carefully calibrated Party system that removes free thinking and the people with any useful life experience or beneficial understanding of the depth of problems that a complex society such as ours has and the solutions that it really needs.

Candidates are lined up in the tick boxes at elections with Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Brexit Party, SNP, Green or Plaid Cymru printed by their name. But they are all now inevitably cast in a very similar image and that is why things will keep on ending up the same.

So when there are problems that this Country needs to face – like solving the Brexit Divide – and the moment when real leadership is needed to come to the fore, we now have a distinct absence of anything or anyone who can garner the level of respect from everyone and across the board, simply because they know and are prepared to do what is necessary to get the right result for everyone and are not just obsessed with what other people think or how they look.

It is important for us all now to understand that when the wheels fall off all of the issues that these self-serving and incompetent politicians have created, and the problems that many of us can now see developing become real – as it is now becoming almost certain that they will dothe solutions and answers will not come from within this political system or anything that closely resembles it in its current form.

This election was a golden opportunity for any or all of the existing political parties to go a different way, to do politics differently and they could have done so without it necessarily being in another form.

Instead, they have put their own futures forward as their only real cause and we all now wait for the 12th of December, wondering what will happen in the days and months beyond.

Until there is a real choice at any election, the polls will always be fluid and the result itself will never feel right.

And for now, the reality will be that the decision for many voters on the day of an election or when they put their tick in the box won’t based on what they see as being anything like a real opportunity, but simply about taking a punt on what they see as being the best of a very bad bunch.

The rot in politics that it seems cannot be removed is why everything feels, looks like and is steadily now going wrong.

The log jam that is all that Party Politics in this Country has become is not what the principle of democracy was created for.

Corbyn had a bad day yesterday. But the truth will be no friend to the Conservatives as a result

November 8, 2019 Leave a comment

1b1adc77-5377-4d68-a64f-9ec227c66d16Wow. What a day that was.

Within the space of less than 24 hours, Tom Watson, the Deputy Leader of the Labour Party stood down, The Jewish Chronicle outs its view of the Labour Party under Corbyn on its front page and Ian Watson, a Labour Minister under Gordon Brown interviews on National Television stating that the current Labour Leader isn’t fit to rule and that People should vote for Boris Johnson instead.

But what difference will it all really make?

The answer the Conservatives will not want to hear is probably not a lot.

During normal times, an individual of Jeremy Corbyn’s nature, background and ideals would not be Leader of the Opposition, let alone be less than 5 weeks away from the possibility of being UK Prime Minister and walking straight into No10.

But the times we live in are far from normal. And the reality that disillusioned Labour MPs may well have nominated and voted Corbyn into the Labour Leadership in 2015 for little more than a laugh will make no difference in the hindsight of history.

Indeed, we will surely look back on the Electorate’s 6-week interview and assessment of Marxism as an applicant for the job of driving the direction of the next government in the final months of 2019 as just being a sign of the times.

The politicians we have today bear a significant amount of the responsibility for the rise and presence of what we call fake news.

In fact, we have been on the receiving end of decades of spin. And whilst the Establishment continually tries to make us believe that fake news is only the preserve of those outside the mainstream, of extremists and of the Russians or perhaps the Chinese, the past three years since the European Referendum has been a master class from Politicians and the mainstream media in this Country of how to push nothing but opinion – and have it passed off successfully as being the truth.

Fake news now flows through every media channel to the point where for a growing number of people no difference actually exists between falsehood and truth.

For many, reality in politics has become all about what resonates best, what makes sense or what suits or most closely fits the listeners experience and view of the world.

Then there are the young, who inexperienced in the dark ways of the world and therefore idealist by nature, don’t look beyond the instant hit that comes from a sound bite or a picture that is painted with impractical idealism and represents what they sincerely believe can be achieved and is therefore what they would like to see.

They don’t consider the detail.

They don’t have any idea what delivering these ideas and manifesting them in reality would actually involve.

They certainly don’t anticipate or understand the consequences of what they might be calling for and the pain that waving a magic policy wand in isolation will almost certainly cause.

But then why should young people be expected to know and understand any of this when the narrative from politicians other than those like Corbyn tell them that Conservatives and those like them look on young people as being of little value, that they have nothing to bring to the party, and that they should shut up and do whatever they are told.

Against this backdrop, the narrative that Corbyn peddles is intoxicating to many of the People in this Country who are already politically disenfranchised and to an even greater proportion of the young.

The truth of what Jeremy Corbyn is, what he represents and what he might soon have the power to inflict upon us all is someone else’s news, someone else’s truth.

It has no currency to those who have no reason to trust the Establishment. Especially when the solution that Corbyn is selling offers an instant high with absolutely none of the disadvantages or responsibilities that following out-of-touch old people, boomersgammon or the elite would involve.

So whilst the Tories might be looking at the papers and the news feeds today and thinking that this Election Campaign is quickly becoming little more than a slam-dunk, they should perhaps take a step back and consider the fact that they have helped to create the environment in the UK today. A place where People right across the Electoral spectrum will be weighing up the pros and cons of all the Political Parties and all the Candidates without anything like the normal rationality that Conservative Politicians assume will always be involved.

The funny thing is that the outcome of this Election is most likely to materialise simply by default.

Nothing that any of these politicians are saying or doing stands out as being any different  to what We have heard in the past or is encouraging voters – whether young or old – to vote in any way differently to what it would, in the circumstances, be logical to expect.

If Boris Johnson and the Tories really want the truth to matter in the future elections that they might still be able to fight, they need to start talking to, interacting with and considering everyone beyond their own kind differently.

But first and before they do that, they should really take a good hard look at themselves.

 

Labour’s plan to impose yet more regulations on business that prioritise wages and employee conditions will help nobody – least of all the employees themselves

October 31, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019aOne of the most regular topics that people bring up when we discuss politics is an inherent disbelief in the attraction of Jeremy Corbyn and his Labour Party for many younger people and others who seem to have become intoxicated by the socialist cause.

Sadly, calling people names or making a joke of their beliefs – however much you might question those beliefs yourself – doesn’t actually settle the issue. In fact it can be highly counterproductive and end up doing a lot of damage to your own cause.

Socialism is attractive to younger and idealistic people because everything it stands for is idealistic.

Young people are idealistic by nature, simply because the practicalities of life and reality have not yet got in the way.

There are also many adults who have also been hurt and felt pain from trying to live and make their way in a horrible world that offers very simple and obvious answers to what are actually very complex problems when they are looking around for someone to blame.

Labour and Jeremy Corbyn as their leader have, are and will continue – either by design or through ignorance of the practicalities of the world – to sell solutions to the problems we face that sound very attractive to those looking for the world to be the place that it should be, rather than accepting the world as the place that it actually is.

Idealism, by its nature, doesn’t deal with consequence.

Idealism is an easy tool for cynical politicians to use in their bid to secure power.

Idealism I’m politics peddles the myth that you can simply create perfect outcomes through legislation, whilst overlooking the real outcomes that are guaranteed to come from all the changes that would or will be involved.

One of the policy areas in which Labour have already began playing fast and loose with truth and reality in this General Election campaign, has been with their continuation of their attack on wage levels and zero hours contracts. All without any recognition of what the impact of their idealistic assault on wages would actually involve.

Let me be clear here before I continue. There is no doubt that people in the lowest paid jobs should earn enough – after the tax and contributions that each of us should fairly make – to feed, cloth and home themselves, transport themselves to wherever life requires that they need to be, and that they should be able to do all of this without having to go into any form of debt.

But that is not the result that we will experience from Labour playing politics in this way.

Yes. In this context, a promise to push up wages to a level that appears to reflect a living wage sounds like a great policy – particularly if you are one of the millions of employees currently on about £8 an hour, thinking about what an extra £2 an hour spread out over a week or month in your pay packet would involve.

But what it doesn’t tell you about is what the impact would be on the businesses who employee people who cannot immediately push up their prices to accommodate what would probably be the cost of around at least £100 per week or £433 per month per individual employee.

Most of the businesses involved and impacted by thoughtless policies like these would not be the commercial leviathans that Labour would have us all think.

They are the small and medium sized enterprises run by the self employed, families and perhaps a few partners that form the back bone of UK commercial enterprises.

Businesses that don’t have the impossibly large profit margins that these ignorant politicians think exist within every privately owned company and would in their minds eye make the rise in employee costs very simple to absorb.

The fallout for the businesses which this policy roll-out would impact the most would be the loss of jobs, perhaps even the closure of those very same businesses – whilst pushing all the business they lose or are then unable to service to the very companies that Labour want to destroy with their hate in the first place.

These reckless policies are akin to little more than putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg whilst doing nothing about the cause of the fall.

Yes, we desperately need a Government that can see and respond to the hardship and pain that People are really facing.

But Labour and their socialist idealism aren’t it.

The response from Government needs to be both appropriate and meaningful.

Getting wages to a level where the poorest can be self-sufficient in every way is a much bigger problem than simply paying people more today and then sitting back and watching the usual suspects raise the price of everything in only weeks and months ahead to the point where the wage earner will quickly wonder what or rather who the wage rise was actually for.

The harsh reality and truth underpinning all of our Political Parties today is that none of them are equipped with the policies, philosophy, understanding, motivation or direction to know what having the responsibility of being in government is really there for.

Problems like these are influenced and effected by, and influence and effect many more. They cannot be addressed in isolation and good politicians will appreciate that dealing with any and all of them requires so much more.

These problems will not be solved by clinging to any of the political tribalism or philosophies of the past.

They will not be addressed by the left or by the right and they are certainly not the preserve of the political centre.

In fact, the kind of government that will address and solve all the problems like these is not even on offer in this General Election today.

Until we have top-to-bottom reform of the political system and everything that exists within it, the injustice in our society is simply set to remain.

Boris has one last chance to secure the Exit from the EU that the UK Voted for: Forget the bogus deal and campaign in the General Election for a clean Brexit

October 29, 2019 Leave a comment

With the shenanigans that have been taking place in Westminster now over many months, there is still a part of me – deep down – that questions whether even now, as Boris drops the WAB in a ‘last ditch attempt’ to secure a General Election in December – all of this is part of a very well thought out plan.

The question will probably settled once and for good by what happens next.

Whilst many are, nobody should be under any illusion that the WAB equates to or is the same thing as a proper Brexit, clean Brexit, no deal Brexit, or indeed the Brexit that the British People Voted for on 23rd June 2016.

It is not.

Yes, arguments can be made that the WAB provides a way out of the EU.

But ways out – when it comes to agreements of such magnitude like these, MUST be considered in the full context of what and more importantly who is actually involved.

They must not leave any outcome upon which people are depending to be left to the influence or at the whim of others at some future date.

Without the security of having the unhindered, unilateral ability to walk away from this so-called agreement with the EU at any time, this miss-mash of yet more passing the buck to someone else on another day to make it that other person’s problem is the fundamental basis upon which Boris’ deal has been laid.

It’s a dubious move that if genuine, represents all thats wrong with the way Government works in this Country and the way that politics has been used to play the electorate over recent decades. It led to Brexit itself, and with it what we are now experiencing as the destruction of our democracy.

If Boris continues with the WAB voluntarily once a General Election has been called, it is likely to be his downfall.

It will demonstrate his disdain for detail and the realities of British life whilst illustrating the EU-loving credentials of yet another Prime Minister for all to see.

Doing so will almost certainly mean that at best we have another hung Parliament after the Election, or at worst, there will be one led by a Marxist in power by Christmas.

The real and in all likelihood final opportunity – if Boris succeeds in securing the December General Election – will be for him to cut right through the middle of everything and go for the clean-break, no-deal Brexit that we had all hoped he had really arrived in No10 to deliver back in July.

By securing a General Election right now, without the bogus deal being agreed, Boris can win a General Election and secure the working majority that is needed in Parliament to deliver a meaningful Brexit.

But Boris will only win that General Election and secure the working majority that he needs by unequivocally making a real no deal Brexit his assured and only aim.

Boris must unite the Leave Vote if he is to prevent the Vote being split in far too many Constituencies for there to be any comfort for him involved.

To do this, Boris must ensure that every Constituency only has one identifiable Brexiteer Candidate on the Ballot Paper.

The process of doing so requires acknowledgement that the three demographic parts of the Leave constituency will always at best be split between the Conservatives and the Brexit Party – if the two separate entities are there as a choice on the day.

The heads will vote conservative.

The hearts will vote for the Brexit Party.

The floating Leavers in between, will vote on Election Day, for what they believe will at that point turn out to be the winning team.

It’s only be being united and working together that a General Election win for Brexit can readily be assured.

So Boris’ working ‘Brexit’ majority will be dependent upon other Brexit-orientated Parties agreeing a pact with him or otherwise simply stepping aside.

They are not going to do this if the WAB or anything that resembles it in the Conservative Manifesto is involved.

It’s time for some humility and real leadership from Boris and the recognition that it’s only a clean-break, no deal Brexit that will remove all the problems in the next Parliament that he is experiencing right now.

How he plays it now is purely down to his own personal choice. But it a game that could result in significant costs for us all.

 

 

Letwin behaves like a complete tool most of the time. But for all the wrong reasons he might just have thrown the right spanner into the Brexit works

October 20, 2019 1 comment

The Remain-collective-Opposition have had the monopoly on being the EU’s useful idiots for many months. That was until Boris cane back with a deal that may sound different to May’s version, but is a sell out just the same.

The glad handing emanating from Westminster over Boris’ apparent ‘achievement’ is very loud and has been coming at us from almost every direction.

With even the ERG Group on board, you will be forgiven for believing that Boris’ deal is – in Brexit terms – the real thing.

Boris’ deal isn’t Brexit.

Boris’ deal will not be Brexit.

It is now clear that Boris’ deal was never going to be Brexit.

And Boris’ deal is the straw that will finally break the camels back of democracy in this Country – that is if it should be put to a vote and it wins.

So as those who are not trying to short cut the requirements of the Brexit that the British People Voted for will know, we find ourselves in the rather strange position of being thankful that the Letwin Amendment has passed in Parliament on Saturday by 322 votes to 306.

Thankful becuase Remainers in their fervour to try and control Brexit so it can itself be stopped, may have taken the biggest step to stopping yet another so-called deal from going through that is Brexit in name only. One that is ironically no better, if not worse than Remain.

Most regrettably, Boris has now tied his true colours to the mast.

It is not what many of us had hoped.

Boris is not a genuine Leaver nor Brexiteer.

He does not adhere to the principles of democracy.

He is only looking for ways to shore up his own position and to secure the legacy that like May before him he now so desperately craves.

Boris is as bad as the rest of the MPs around him. He is not the agent of change and the herald of a new politics that we have been waiting for. Boris is the champion of the politics of old.

We do not know how things will progress or how events will unfold in the coming days and weeks ahead.

For however long we remain under the leadership of any of these selfish and self serving MPs, it would be better for us to stay at a Parliamentary standstill, rather than for either of these self-serving ‘sides’ to succeed in pushing through what will be a completely bogus Brexit deal – either way.

We will not have the Brexit that we voted for until we have a very different type and quality of politicians in power in this Country. We are now desperate for top-to-bottom reform.

Until we have it, it will surely be a good thing if any action that has will get us to the right place in the end takes place, even if the wrong reasons for the politicians doing so have been involved.

If MPs pass this Trojan Horse of a deal, it’s going to cost us a lot more than a Referendum to get out of it once we all wake up

October 18, 2019 Leave a comment

article-2383977-0B66F6C300000578-983_310x466There is still a glimmer of hope that the ‘deal’ Boris has agreed with the EU was only a sprat to catch a mackerel. That it was only ever intended to be a device that would ultimately – by default – bring us to the no deal Brexit that the British People actually Voted for.

But with the big smiles and finger pointing covering the newspapers today – as if Boris now sees himself as latter day Kitchener, merely a century on – it must be said that the glimmer of hope is quickly diminishing with only 24 hours to the vote left in Parliament to go.

Whether its issue fatigue, fear, political expedience or simply an attempt to save their own necks and their jobs on the part of MPs, it looks increasingly like Boris might just get the majority necessary to take this Trojan Horse of a deal through, even if it is literally by just a couple of votes.

Whilst many commentators and members of the opinionati are playing up Boris’ result in negotiations with the EU and telling us that his deal is going to deliver Brexit – having gone a different way to May, the fact is that it isn’t any different in the sense that it still has the same fundamental flaws.

Boris’ deal will never allow the UK the trouble-free exit from the obligations to have agreements with the EU in place, without someone driven by their own agenda holding all the trump cards that are involved.

That in itself is travesty enough.

But there is more.

As I wrote on this Blog yesterday, there will be significant costs involved in the ‘UK’ Leaving this arrangement with the EU in the future. Costs that could extend well beyond anything that we would hope to imagine at this point – if it is passed into Law.

Whilst the self-serving politicians that we have today will hope that once ‘Brexit is done’, things will simply go back to being as they always seem to have been, with them and their kind continuing to run this Country without the political change and reform that we need, we are more likely to see the UK returning to the out-of-sight, out-of-mind process of ‘ever closer union’ with the EU, once the deal and transition process is complete.

I say this because they these politicians are not leaders. They will only ever continue to do anything and everything necessary to shore-up their position and make sure that they win the next vote.

Such pretenders shy away from real, hard decisions. The decisions that mean results and change for the better.

This shying away from responsibility can only mean one thing.

When we do have the political reform that is overdue and that many of us now know is coming to this Country, the miscreants who fill the benches in this Parliament today will have done nothing more this Saturday than to by-pass democracy and at the same time tie our future leaders hands.

The cost of Leaving this shoddy, hollow plan will almost certainly be the surrender of Northern Ireland, which this agreement effectively gifts to the EU and the Irish Republic, unless that is we continue to agree with all the things – now and in the future – that the EU wants – and we can be certain was always their plan.

But the cost could go further still.

With the EU still having just enough of a presence from the point that the dust from Boris Johnson’s deal settles, they will be able to continue drip drip dripping their very clever propaganda that the weak minded charlatans we have in Parliament today will pick up and chew like candy as they return to doing everything that Brexit stopped – the great UK silent giveaway.

We simply do not know what politicians who have shown they cannot be trusted will continue to giveaway behind closed doors.

That means that without the comfort of a relatively strait-forward exit device like Article 50 for this Country to use in future, the only way to reclaim UK Sovereignty and Independence – which is ours and in our hands to take back today – it could only then be regained by the UK fighting outside powers and yes, by going to war.

It is both beyond parody and very very sad indeed, that the people we have elected as politicians to represent us have reached the point where they are the best representatives that the EU ever had.

The only way to deliver Brexit was, is and will continue to be the way that the British People instructed Parliament and the Government to do so in 2016.

That was the democratic decision to Leave the EU without ties, obligations, both cleanly and without any form of Deal involved.

That option to Leave the EU remains on the table for at least the next 24 hours ahead. So we must hope that both the DUP and Remainers in Parliament stand firm.

Sometimes it is a most simple fact, that to get to the right place, we all have to take steps that at that point look very wrong.

 

image thanks to dailymail.co.uk 

 

 

 

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