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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.

Still not voting…

November 27, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019

At the beginning of the Month, I wrote ‘No, I will not vote in an Election where there isn’t an option for change. Why would I?

With three weeks gone and two more to go until the Election on Thursday 12th December, I have to say that I feel very much the same.

It’s not that there hasn’t been any change. There has.

But the change that has happened has been peripheral or aesthetic at best.

The good that might come from the adjustments within the political landscape that have taken place within this Campaign will not have come about not by design or intention, but rather by default.

With 15 days to go, the biggest issue on everyone’s mind today, is the Interview that Jeremy Corbyn gave to Andrew Neil last night. It followed a day where Labour’s choreographed plan for a day focused on their ‘ambitious Race and Faith Manifesto’ was utterly destroyed by the article written by the Chief Rabbi Ephraim Mirvis and published in yesterday’s Times, explaining exactly why people should redirect their vote.

The Interview itself simply evolved a terrible day into a complete nightmare for the Labour Leader as he effectively refused to apologise for the anti-Semitism within the Labour Party and what the Party has done in response.

The Tories are riding high. And with the latest polls now suggesting that the gap between the Conservatives and Labour is closing, the fall out from this debacle is almost certain to ensure that the polling will quickly start to go the other way.

Or at least that is until Boris sits in front of AF Neil himself whenever that might be agreed and then be.

The big problem is that the Conservatives are riding a wave that doesn’t have defining Public Policy as its root cause.

Labour’s downward trajectory and overkill with its great electoral giveaway of 2019 aside, the biggest boon to Boris Johnson’s position has been the decision from Nigel Farage to remove so many of the Brexit Party’s Candidates from competing against Tory Candidates in Seats where the Conservatives won in the 2017 Campaign.

On the face of it, Farage did this to avoid the risk of Jeremy Corbyn walking into No10.

Yet his hybrid approach of standing Brexit Party Candidates pretty much everywhere else does have the distinctive whiff of the whole effort the Brexit Party is making being not about Brexit itself, but about gaining at least a foothold of control.

The lie itself is given by Farage’s suggestion during the Press Conference at the time that Boris had done enough with the pledges he had made about Brexit in the video that had been released the day before.

To some, it will come as little surprise that recent days have brought stories to the fore, that Farage has no plans to go anywhere. That his next mission will be to rebrand the Brexit Party and transform it into a political vehicle that will drive political reform.

The problem for Farage with this is that apart from the reality he has to now face that as a figurehead and leader he is no longer likely to be trusted, any Party that can be identified as being about nothing else other than Leaving the EU itself is likely to be as divisive as Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats have been by rejecting the need to find a pathway that will bring all sides together and committing themselves to cancel Brexit and promise that under their influence the UK will categorically Remain.

To its credit, the Brexit Party has demonstrated that it is possible to bring people, politicians and pubic figures from all political backgrounds together to work as one.

But the ‘Contract’ that they have published instead of a manifesto for this General Election tells us that the leadership of the Party is still thinking about politics in exactly the same way as the leadership of all of the other Political Parties who have contributed to the political crisis that we are experiencing and not least of all the Brexit Divide.

We now look two weeks ahead to an Election Result where Boris is still likely one-way-or-another to be our PM.

But being PM with a majority that is likely to lead to a clean, no deal Brexit by default within 12 months is a lot different to the situation that Boris will face if he is returned as Prime Minister with similar numbers of MPs in Parliament to what we have experienced since 2017 – where the majority present is most likely to still be pushing for further delays, obfuscation and what they will only accept as being a very open form of Remain.

The chaos that follows any of the scenarios that appear to be likely and unfolding from this vantage point in time will not improve things. It is likely to only make things a whole lot worse.

Whilst I and many others would like to see reason for hope that any of the Political Parties we have today and running in this Election could become the catalyst for wide-ranging change, once we have brought everyone back together again by really getting Brexit done, I’m afraid that paying lip service to the change that the UK desperately now needs simply isn’t enough for me to vote for any Candidate or Political Party that is involved.

No, we don’t get the Brexit we Voted for if the Brexit Party steps aside. It’s up to Boris to compromise and then we can all win – not just him

November 9, 2019 Leave a comment

Farage

One of the most difficult aspects of the UK’s relationship with the EU to communicate to anyone, is the insidious nature of the way the EU and it’s supporters manipulate people into supporting their cause – most often with tools that seem to have absolutely no link or anything to do with the EU.

Right now there is a significant narrative taking shape in this Election Campaign that comes in different forms but has the same aim: Removing the Brexit Party from the choice before we put our Vote in the Ballot Box.

In today’s Daily Mail, a campaign is underway to influence the decision of the Brexit Party by targeting individual Candidates to step aside and do the right thing. The right thing in this case being to prevent Corbyn from reaching No10 on the basis that this can only happen if the Brexit Party splits the Vote.

Whilst nobody who understands the true reality of what is likely to follow an outright Labour Election Victory, wants Corbyn to win, suggesting that the Brexit Party is the only thing that can make this happen would sound very sensible indeed, were it not the case that removing the Brexit Party from its position of influence right now will all but guarantee that the UK is set to Remain in the EU.

Boris’ deal is not Brexit. It’s Brino. Even if it looks to many as if it’s the right thing.

And whilst it is absolutely true that the Brexit Party might not win any Parliamentary Seats during this Election, those who focus and indulge their fear of a Corbyn Government – which is agreeably very real – are completely missing the point:

Boris is under NO obligation to see his deal through, now that a General Election has been called.

Boris can do the right thing without people who have been committed to UK Sovereignty and Independence for thirty years or more being required by political-fly-by-nights to step aside.

For real Brexiteers to step aside now and in this manner would in effect help the Remain Establishment to achieve that which is against democracy and actually wrong and certainly not the real Brexit that the British Electorate Voted for in 2016.

To expect Nigel Farage to step aside now without Boris’ commitment to a clean, no deal Brexit is to misunderstand the real objectives of the Anti-EU Movement, it’s history and the commitment that has underpinned it right from the start.

The media likes to portray Robert Kilroy-Silk as the ‘father of Brexit’. But this sweeps aside the existence of many others who have quietly worked over many years to keep the truth that underpins the ‘European Project’ in full and open view.

Today the Anti-EU Movement is most widely manifested as the Brexit Party. Before the EU Referendum it was UKIP. Until the period around the Maastricht Treaty it was the Anti-Federalist League.

Kilroy-Silk was prevalent in only one of them – UKIP. Farage has been around during the time of all three.

Before Farage there was UKIP and AFL Founder Professor Alan Sked. And before him there were many Groups and prominent individuals who had kept the debate over what really is genuinely best for the UK alive right from the time that the whole sorry tragedy and sell-out to our European Neighbours began.

To them, in terms of what we risk by remaining tied to the diktats of the EU, the Corbyn threat is pretty much a side show – yes a very scary one – but a side show nonetheless.

Boris’ commitment to anything meaningful appears to be increasingly wafer thin.

And what is clear from all that he has done during his time as PM is that he will do and say whatever is necessary to ensure that he alone – that Boris wins.

Boris’ most successful act to date has been to convince so many that what will become Remain is actually an immediate Brexit.

But it’s not and now it is he, not Farage who faces the real choice:

Drop the deal and do what’s best for us all by compromising and working with Brexiteers one and all. Or stick to the plan where only Boris can be right and somehow we all end up being wronged.

Be under no illusion that if things stay as they are; if the Brexit Party runs against Conservatives and Corbyn or a coalition led by him wins, it won’t be Farage’s responsibility for it happening. Not one bit.

Of the two different Party Leaders, Farage is the one who is being true to the same principles and goals now, just as he always has been.

It’s Boris who today has the real and potentially defining choice.

Drop the deal, form an Electoral Pact with the Brexit Party and unite Brexiteers behimd only one genuine choice.

#dropthedeal

image thanks to unknown

No Boris, you won’t need this dodgy deal with a majority in Parliament and it’s only if you drop it that you will get the majority in Parliament that you want

November 7, 2019 Leave a comment

41xgBLGbJtL._SY450_The Tories are already going backwards and it probably won’t be long before there are serious questions heading to CCHQ from Constituencies all over the Country demanding to know what reason the Election was really called for.

The story hiding in plain sight where all of the Political Parties and not least of all the Tories are concerned, is that none of them now have the capacity or substance to create blue water between themselves and any of the others within any policy area other than where Brexit is concerned.

Politics really is broken in this Country and that break has created a great divide.

It is only by delivering the Brexit that We, the British People democratically Voted for that any Party Leader and the Polticial Party they lead can begin the process of healing the split.

Boris deal and what he calls his oven ready Brexit definitely isn’t it.

The odd thing. The peculiar thing. Is that Boris only had any kind of reason to attempt a compromise over what Brexit looked like for as long as what we have been calling the Zombie Parliament was still sitting and preventing him from doing anything.

The General Election Campaign is now underway.

That disastrous, obstructive, un-democratic Parliament no longer exists.

So the reason Boris could previously then argue that he had – which was little more than compromise to appease Remainer MPs – no longer exists. That is unless of course Boris was always set on Remaining in the EU all along. Or that he is perhaps afraid that a majority in Parliament is not in any way achievable.

With a majority in Parliament, the UK can Leave as it always should have done and then create a post-Brexit relationship with the EU that will actually be good for the UK – rather than always in some way ending up as a subservient one.

That’s the deal that We really want.

Boris can only leap in the right direction, that of achieving this – if he drops this disastrous deal which isn’t Brexit.

Boris’ deal is a Trojan Horse arrangement that will end up with the result being BRINO and is as such fundamentally the same thing as Remain.

Now is the right time – in the early stages of this General Election Campaign – to make that change if he genuinely wants the Electorate to come on side.

And if Boris wants to secure the majority that he needs in Parliament this December – like any New Prime Minister seeking to secure a real legacy surely would – there is a fundamental need for him to unite all Brexiteers behind him.

To unite all Brexiteers, Boris will have no option but to bring the Brexit Party on side. He must create an Electoral Pact between the Brexit Party and the Conservative Party that really will get Brexit done.

Otherwise, come Friday 13th December, things will either begin to immediately become exponentially worse as another PM strolls into Downing Street and takes over. Or at very best they will simply Remain the same.

But you never know. Perhaps that was always the real aim of the Boris plan?

image thanks to unknown

Want to understand Farage’s position? Read Boris’ Agreement and consider all of it in its fullest context: It’s Remain

November 2, 2019 Leave a comment

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‘Let’s get Brexit done’ is the powerful call to action that Boris has used to label his deal with the EU. We should perhaps open it and see what’s really inside

Watching the reaction to Nigel Farage laying out his stall for an Electoral Pact with the Conservatives should be raising question marks for all Leave supporters at the very least.

Instead, the knee-jerk reaction has been to accuse the Brexit Party Leader of trying to wreck Brexit. The inherent suggestion being that he is now the best thing that ever happened for those who want to Remain.

Regrettably, Boris has succeeded where May failed.

The Prime Minister has come back from the EU with a highly dubious Agreement just the same.

The difference is that Boris has convinced the majority of the Conservative Party, along with many other Leavers. that his policy is genuinely to Leave the EU.

Regrettably, the reality is that the endgame and outcome of Boris deal is for the UK to Remain.

Love him or hate him, Nigel Farage is not new to this game. He is probably one of very few politicians who have read the new document fully and considered it completely in context. He will be only too well aware of the consequences that signing and implementing this Agreement will have in a range of policy areas – not least of all the continuance of the Union itself – which will be all but broken where Northern Ireland is concerned. The question over their departure not being an if, but a clear when – IF Boris succeeds in getting the implementation of his current plan through.

Sadly, I’m not convinced that Boris even knows or for that matter fully understands the implications of the policy that he is pursuing.

But the reality for all of us and for this Country as a whole, it that Boris’ deal is a sell out. And as the Prime Minister now has a clear choice to pursue a proper Brexit as part of his General Election Campaign – the situation for the UK couldn’t actually be a lot worse.

Easy as it may seem to cast Farage as the bad guy or the new pantomime villain of Brexit right now, the cold hard reality is he is the only cross-UK political leader in the Country today who is not not advocating a form of Remain.

The situation we are in has troubling echos the pre-Cameron EU Membership era.

The period of many years when the Establishment successfully convinced the majority of People that what we had with the EU was good when it was in fact very bad.

No irony should be spared on us that it was a time that was notorious for MPs and the people with power having no idea what was actually going on.

When we began to wake up to what our MPs were and were not doing in our name, Brexit was the result.

For much of that time, what governments did was conducted with little or no scrutiny from outside (or within). It was a time we still revered and trusted what politicians did. It’s the time when our respect and confidence in the system really began being abused.

So after all they have done. After the mess they have created. And after our Vote for Brexit – against the Establishment plan was won, we should not fall into the trap of being blindsided by the persuasive and charismatic caricature of everything that is wrong with British Politics. Boris is just the same.

He is selling a tin with ‘let’s get Brexit done’ written seductively on the label, whilst the contents are very different inside.

Yes we are tired. Yes we are angry. Yes we want this whole saga to be over so we can have what feels like normal life in this Country resume once more.

But we should stop for a moment and remember the only thing that has actually changed here are the words coming out of Westminster.

These are exactly the same people who have been in charge all along. They and their kind caused all the problems before.

It is in their interests, not yours, to have everyone believe that Boris is right and Nigel Farage has now got it all wrong.

 

image thanks to unknown

If Boris wants a legacy as a stand-out leader, now is the time to accept he cannot deliver a real Brexit alone

November 1, 2019 Leave a comment

GE2019dNigel Farage has publicly made his offer of an Electoral Pact with Boris Johnson’s Conservatives this morning, outlining an approach that makes all too clear the danger that now looms in December’s General Election from a split Leave Vote.

Sadly, many Conservatives have bought into the propaganda that Boris’ deal is actually Brexit in the most basic sense. That being the UK can walk away from the arrangement at any time without any consequence for the Union or any part of it being involved, or there being any form of political trade off or compromise required from people who will not do the right thing.

To be clear, they, we, the UK cannot walk away trouble-free from Boris deal at any time – once it is signed.

As such, Boris’ deal remains as good only as Theresa May’s. It is Brexit in name only.

The value in Boris’ deal – if there was any – was that because it is technically Remain, it won support in the Commons.

In this context alone, look at the re-admittance of the hard-Remain contingent on the Tory  benches in Parliament to calculate what Boris’ deal actually is.

But things have moved on. For better or worse, Boris now has a General Election at his feet and he is no longer obliged to continue pushing a deal of any kind.

This is the moment when he has the opportunity to create the clear blue water between the Conservatives and the other Parties in Parliament that he has always wanted.

But the political realignment that is underway in this Country also dictates that the way for the Conservatives to achieve this is not now and never will be in any way the same.

To be the leader and have the legacy of the leader that Boris wants to be and believe that he is, he now has two weeks to understand, accept and embrace the reality that to be that Prime Minister he has no choice but to lead in a very different way.

If the Brexit Party field Candidates in every Constituency – as Farage has confirmed this morning, the chances are that the Leave Vote will be split right across the Country and the very best that Boris can hope for will be the same as 2017 when the Conservatives were led by Mrs May.

If Boris wants to be remembered as the PM who delivered Brexit, he now has to work with others and lead a group who share the core objective of a clean, no-deal Brexit – so that the UK has complete control over everything that follows afterwards and there is no more EU-driven chicanery involved.

The majority that Boris wants in order to achieve things simply will not come from the Conservatives continuing to go it alone.

The British People want change desperately and the best way to begin that change is to change the way that this General Election is going to be done.

Please Boris, focus on the end result so that we all win. Don’t focus on winning over the means of getting there and end up with us all experiencing a massive loss.

 

 

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