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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 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.

 

 

Are you wondering how GOOD politicians would behave differently to the shower of shite we have now?

April 18, 2019 Leave a comment

Get Elected 13Nobody is talking about what really needs to change at the baseline of British Politics.

Amazing as it may seem with all the chat about new political parties such as Change UK and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party being tipped to clean up at the never-should-have-been-held European Elections on 23rd May, there is simply no discussion underway about what it will actually take to put things right and to correct everything that is going wrong.

Worse still. By falling into the trap of thinking that change is as simple as electing one party that says its all about change or another party only dedicated to delivering on the Leave Vote over Europe, we may together blunder into electing yet a load more politicians who might look different, speak different and maybe even behave different, but will actually do everything just the same.

Things will not change in politics until we think differently about politics and make sure that the people we elect to represent are thinking about politics just the same.

That’s going to take work.

Whilst we needed the change that’s coming to have taken place 3 years or more ago, it hasn’t, because the very reason that the change is needed has continued to get in the way.

Yes we need a quick result.

But when there aren’t quick options available that actually work in the way that we need them too, the battle is won in each and every step that we take to make, become and live the change and not just about what we perceive to be a fleeting result.

If you’d really like to see, know and understand what it will take to get British Politics in the right place, with the right politicians doing the right things for ALL of the People that they represent, I would like to invite you to read my e-book ‘How to Get Elected’.

How to Get Elected is not just a guide for those considering running in elections wherever they might be across the UK. It is a basic code of practice. A guideline and framework for anyone who wants to be a good public representative for other people, with pointers to what to do, consider, how to behave and how to go about getting things done.

It’s available to read in the form of a click-through Website which you can access without charge at anytime HERE.

How to Get Elected is also available as a Kindle Book on Amazon and will be FREE to download over Easter Weekend by following the link HERE.

Please enjoy my book, leave a review on Amazon and don’t be afraid to let me know what you think.

Best wishes to you, whatever your natural affiliation or view,

Adam

 

Party Politics is the means, not the end and until the emphasis is correctly restored, we will all suffer the result

February 7, 2019 Leave a comment

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The most extraordinary thing about these extraordinary times, is that they feel so extraordinarily normal.

Watching the Brexit crisis unfold has become a daily routine so embedded, that it feels like it will never end. And much of the responsibility for that impression falls squarely at the feet of the Politicians who are running the Country as part of the Government, and collectively as the bigger part of our 650 Elected MPs.

It doesn’t matter whether you Voted Leave or Remain in the Referendum. Labour, Lib Dem, SNP of Conservative in the 2017 General Election. The commonality that we all share within this incredible mess, is the feeling that what our Elected Representatives are doing simply isn’t right, and that we should all be able to expect a whole lot more.

Our political landscape has now become so unpredictable, we could never get odds on what tomorrow might bring.

For those of us looking more closely at what is unfolding and where we go from here, there is genuine concern, not only about what will unfold with control over Brexit now so clearly absent. But what happens when a clear direction does manifest and we have a better idea of what the coming months and possibly years might then have in store.

The reason for this is that the problem with the leadership that we now have in the form of Mrs. May is not one that is restricted only to her presence.

The problem is now an insipid trait amongst many of our MPs and Politicians. One that does not provide great confidence when considering how we now move beyond Brexit, potentially via a period of crisis, and then go on to address the many issues which are collectively causing all of us and the communities that with both live and work in, significant pain.

We have been burdened with the class of Politicians that we have, not by accident. But because en masse, the majority are the standard product of the Party Political system in the UK. A system that now exists only to further its own ends, rather than those of the People its candidates are elected to represent.

This is not to say that our sitting MPs are not capable, intelligent people.

But the system that exists has now been in place for so long that it has evolved to recruit and promote politicians in each Political Party’s own image.

MPs are delegates of the Party. They are not the Representatives of the People or the Constituencies from which they have been Elected that they should be. And the grand plan of the Political Parties is that they should only ever be on message and that they present that message as directed, effectively, without deviation and in a standard form. This is why media interviews with MPs look very automated, unnatural and are a damning indictment of what UK Politics has become.

People recruited to conform, rarely have the initiative, confidence and wherewithal to represent others. They do not have the drive to lead, innovate or adapt to the changeable nature that is the requirement of a Government which can be both responsive and responsible, that considers cause, effect, consequences and the impact of everything that they do – as any Government that is going to lead the UK forward positively and confidently must now do.

What is more, there is nothing wrong with our system of democracy.

It is the political parties and the politicians that currently inhabit it which makes it all appear wrong.

For they are incapable of looking inside of themselves to identify the causality of their problems. Instead always looking outwards to attribute blame and look for solutions by changing the political environment that surrounds them. Thereby overlooking the genuine answers to the questions behind everything that is happening for us. Making things progressively worse, whilst never actually addressing anything which is genuinely the cause of what is wrong.

Political Parties came into existence to facilitate the workings of like-minded representatives working within this democratic system.

They were a simple means of bringing politicians together in order to get things done. Not to create an autocracy or dictatorship run by Party Leaders, which is what the main Political Parties have now in many ways effectively become.

Nor were they designed to create a system where a local political group could make demands of their MP on the basis that the MP, once appointed by the Electorate then becomes only a delegate for them, sent to Westminster only to pursue their specific agenda, rather than those of all the People they were elected to attend on behalf of.

MPs, Councillors, Mayors and Police & Crime Commissioners are elected to represent EVERYONE in their Constituency.

No matter the size, demographic, politics or circumstances involved. The moment they surrender their principles, their workload, their ideas and the impartiality that democracy ultimately requires of them once in post, they are failing everyone for the sake of self-interest.

Party Politics is no longer just the means but the end in itself, and the majority of the Politicians who represent them are little more than a number, facilitating non-democracy, even if democracy is the name by which this travesty is still called.

We are now caught within a vicious cycle. We cannot get the change in politics we need because the leaders need to be replaced with people who think differently, but the people ready and in place to replace them fundamentally think the same way. So when the replacements become the leaders, they will still manage and lead things exactly the same.

 

Splitting the Conservative Party may soon be the only hope for Democracy in the UK

December 14, 2018 Leave a comment

The idea that a new political party will be the cure to all ills in politics is not a new one.

As I have written at length before, the way that the Electorate interacts with British Politics doesn’t lend itself well to what the Establishment portrays as outsiders. Unless that is there is an issue at work over which the Establishment does not have control.

We only need look to the rise and fall of UKIP and it’s inextricable link to the EU Referendum and then Brexit itself to understand what happens when the Establishment has dropped the ball – whether for good or bad.

For decades there has been an embedded form of monopoly in politics held between the Conservative and Labour Parties, with the Liberal Democrats and its previous forms being held up or utilised from their position which is mislabelled as being between.

Breaking open this racket has been all but impossible for what seem to be very simple, but nonetheless seemingly impossible challenges to answer. Many have tried. Some have had significant bank balances to enable them to do so. But even when UKIP gained around 4 Million votes in the last General Election, it was simply the case that there was no new parliamentary real estate for them to be found.

In as succinct terms as possible, there has existed an unwritten and assumed covenant between Electors and the Elected, which has benefitted this triumvirate mode.

The purpose and responsibility of being a representative of the people, both given and received at the ballot box was understood.

A reverence and trust for politicians has been the default standard for all politicians in the psyche of the Electorate.

That is unless there has been some big scandal, usually focused on the actions of an individual politician rather than the Party itself, and once removed, the default position would quickly be resumed.

All, that is, until the straw arrived that broke this heavily burdened camels back. A straw which came in the form of a decision being tossed back over to the Public, after which the Establishment simply assumed the status quo would be returned once more.

The problem with that decision, the decision for the UK to leave the EU had its genesis in the inference that this was a choice too big to be left to the delegated powers of our MP’s alone. For a decision with such implications, the Electorate itself would be trusted with the choice, and once that choice was made, their decision would be delivered and not returned – as that itself would bring into question what the very purpose of the Referendum had actually been for.

Overnight the lines of that once apparently straightforward interaction between the Public and Politicians was overturned. Instead of Voters who are typically Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat or of a mind to sit on the borders located in between, there has emerged a new understanding and assessment of our Political Masters which rather than being fluid between 3 or maybe even more possibilities, has now become a binary choice – only presented as being many others and not least of all, the direction of either Leave or of Remain.

But as with everything that relates to the human condition, it is far from being even that simple and the options which relate to those choices are now unlikely to ever be viewed by voters as being anything like the same.

That choice itself when it comes to appointing the representatives of the people, is now between electing Politicians who represent only themselves, and electing Politicians who represent us all.

The dividing line is democracy itself.

Not party lines or any kind of political philosophy.

This is about the choice of our elected representatives being to work unquestionably for others, or working for oneself and the accumulation of position, status and wealth for personal gain plus more.

This dichotomy is not false. Politicians can only have one master. It’s the Electorate or their own ideas, party and dreams.

The insidious nature of this dynamic crosses across all of our Political Parties, but it is within the Conservative Party where the divide between the two principles has now become so very clear, that the change that many of us for so long have been advocating, may have finally found the right place and time to actually gain traction and the process of creating a new electable party which puts voters first in every sense and can command a majority wherever it runs, can finally begin.

No, I don’t for one minute think that the Tory Party will split whilst they seem to be in power, simply because until it is set in stone that the Party can no longer win anything in its current form, there remains a chance, albeit a very slim one, that sanity is restored and comes in the form of those who vote only for themselves recognising the change in the Electoral terrain and what its true purpose is for.

But when the point comes that the Conservative Party in May’s image hits the buffers – which if the current chaos and uncertainty continue it inevitably soon will, there will come a point where all the Conservative MP’s who make up the subsequent wreckage will have the opportunity to return true democracy to the UK once more.

May’s idea of an honest Brexit: This is my truth, accept it as yours

November 25, 2018 Leave a comment

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Action speaks louder than words is an expression that many of our politicians would do well to remember before they embark upon yet another round of telling us what they intend us to believe.

Regrettably, even at the very top of British politics, the principle that saying will be seen and therefore accepted as doing is still alive and kicking. It is a big part of Theresa May’s survival campaign.

When I wrote the guidebook for aspiring politicians How to get Elected demonstrating what it is that good politicians need to actually do, it was this very disconnect between what the Prime Minister thinks and what she does that I had in mind as illustrative of everything that a good, responsible politician at any level of Government should never do.

At some superficial level, the Prime Minister clearly understands the basics that voters need. She can talk up the principles and ethics involved verbatim. But she has absolutely no idea that saying and then doing are two completely different things.

Put in the perspective of Brexit, there is simply nothing about what is genuinely best for the British People or our Business Community reflected in the content of Theresa May’s Withdrawal Agreement.

It is therefore clear that our future is currently in the hands of people who are either completely incompetent or are deliberately selling out their own Country. They simply have no interest in what the consequences of their actions will actually mean.

Over recent days, listening to Theresa May tell us all over and over again that she has our best interests at heart, with the clear inference that those opposed to her do not, simply gives the lie to her whole dangerous and fabricated reality.

A reality that has no resemblance to the messages that she keeps giving us.

A reality which is much worse than a sell-out that makes our existing relationship with the EU resemble the middle ground between her truth on Brexit and what we as a Country actually Voted for.

A looking glass reality that is not even located at any point in between.

The danger is that this whole false reality is being accepted by people who still mistakenly and innocently believe that a politician leading our country would always do what’s best for us and certainly would never sell us out.

As people in Northern Ireland, our coastal fishing communities and now even Gibraltar have already began to realise, nothing could be further from the truth.

But by the time everyone wakes up – with the absence of anywhere near enough MP’s in Parliament capable of thinking for anybody but themselves – this act of shear foolishness will have written us a defining path that is going to create unavoidable pain for us all.

Yes, even a Corbyn government is now increasingly likely. And whilst May’s version of conservatism is now terminally broken, on a respirator and fumbling along on borrowed time, every day that she remains in office with this travesty continuing to unfold, makes the likelihood that the Conservative Party itself will be irretrievably wrecked on the rocks that this all talk and no action prime minister has created, will like her departure be inevitable too.

People don’t build their realities upon what they hear. It’s what they see, feel and know about the world as they experience it which makes everything true.

May and those around her simply don’t get this.

It’s why we have Brexit in the first place.

It’s why May’s reality is so warped and out of touch, is taking us in completely the wrong direction and yet again only reflects the wishes and aims of the Establishment few.

The defining truth for any leader and political party to be genuinely successful is that they delivers on what they say. Not that it tells us what we want to hear and then without doing the things they are telling us, nonetheless expect us to believe that it’s true.

The fairy tale fantasy Theresa May is writing to appease a Foreign power is destined to go so far wrong and beyond her control that even the tinkering around the edges that some senior Tories are attempting will do little if anything to deny.

For Brexit to really mean Brexit and for the actions of this Government to resemble what it tells us with words, the only option is the misnamed path of No Deal and for the UK to Leave the EU on 29th March 2019 on WTO Terms.

 

Dear Cheltenham, a Petition to stop the Borough’s ridiculous changes at Boots Corner is a great start. But if you really want to make the Council think again, start HERE

October 13, 2018 Leave a comment

 

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For me, one of the most challenging and frustrating experiences of being a Local Councillor, was talking to people I represented who had genuine grievances and reasons for stopping a poor policy from going ahead, who couldn’t understand why the Council wasn’t listening and basically didn’t care either.

Please believe me when I say that the only way to really have any chance of understanding what is wrong with Government and the Public Sector, is to experience it from within.

Even then, it is essential not be taken in by anyone who tells you that ‘this is just the way that things work’. It isn’t.

But most people who enter as Officers or newly elected Councillors with high ideals and aspirations for doing something good, simply accept everything that they are told and quickly become part of the problem too.

Over the Summer, talking to people whose lives have Cheltenham at their very centre, I again saw one of those massive issues coming into view. A completely unnecessary ‘created’ problem that makes sense to nobody who exists in the ‘real world’ outside of our own version of the Local Government system.

I’ve experienced the Boots Corner travesty first hand. I have had to make the same detours as you probably have done yourself and know that this whole project is benefiting nobody or nothing other than the ego’s of the people who dreamed this foolishness up.

I’ve already given my view on the whole thing here a couple of weeks ago. And whilst it is great to see Cheltenham’s MP Alex Chalk talking openly about how unwanted the Scheme is and a Change.org Petition now in place, we should all be under no illusion about how entrenched the mentality of those responsible for the Boots Corner fiasco is now likely to be.

If you want the Boots Corner plan overturned, the road reopened to all traffic and no more ridiculous schemes like this one to simply arrive without genuine consultation, there is only one thing that you can now really do.

You have to work to change the whole Council and replace them with people who have the same interest in what’s truly beneficial for the people in Cheltenham. That’s getting people elected as Councillors,  who put Cheltenham before themselves and any Political Party they might represent. People who have the same real-world view as you.

If one person is prepared to stand in the next Local Elections within each Cheltenham Borough Council Ward, take Party Politics out of the equation and then start working as a representative for something better for the People and Businesses of Cheltenham, we might all be surprised just how quickly the Campaign to overturn this stupidity will start to gain results.

Don’t be fooled by thinking that the Elections don’t matter in Cheltenham because they are a long way off. It doesn’t matter because it’s the cumulative effect of the work and effort talking to people, knocking on doors and getting real people engaged that will grow the very best fruit.

It is important that you or anyone prepared to do the work necessary to represent a Ward as a Councillor are committed enough to be ‘in it to win it’.

You must also be prepared to do everything that it will take to see this Campaign through until Boots Corner is fully reopened, normal traffic is flowing and the target result is achieved.

Being told that the Borough Council is prepared to change its mind will not be enough. Like politicians generally, Councils have a habit of quietly changing their mind as soon as any noise goes quiet.

To be sure of success, Boots Corner must be fully open before you can think about whether you then want to stop campaigning for what’s best for Cheltenham.

Being a Councillor or even taking on the responsibility of working to get elected as a Local Councillor isn’t for everyone. There’s a lot to think about before anyone can decide.

If you want to run a successful Campaign and then be a good Councillor too, it is essential that you know, understand and are fully committed to what you are getting yourself into.

I’m not making the suggestion lightly. I’ve been an Officer within a Local Authority, a Councillor and Senior Member of another.

I’m putting this on the table for people who live and run Businesses within the Boundary of Cheltenham Borough itself. Local people who are eligible to become a Candidate and are motivated to represent the real views of the people and businesses of this great Town.

What I can do to help you is offer you the benefit of my experience, through advice and suggestions.

I can provide you with direction and a guide to what you need to think about. An outline of the reality of what it takes to get elected and everything that you will find when you are successful – which you can be if you are ready to do all that it will take.

How to get Elected is available to read FREE on a guide-to-area Website, and a page-list-based Blogsite which is also FREE for you to use.

If you want to read How to get Elected on your Kindle, it is available from Amazon too.

 

 

 

 

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