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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.

 

 

Being Boris alone was never going to be enough to get a deal with the EU where for anyone else there never was going to be one

October 1, 2019 2 comments

images-2We’ve been watching the malaise take hold and the chaos take over in Parliament now over a course of many months.

There have been innumerable opportunities for the Government, the Official Opposition and the current quasi-government-Remain-collective to go a different way.

But they have not.

When it came to Boris’ appointment as Prime Minister in late July, the reality is that events leading to that point gave him only a choice to go one of two ways.

Boris could have chosen to immediately take every step necessary to facilitate a General Election and use the opportunity not only to reengage but effectively re-enfranchise the Electorate with the world of politics as he did so. Or take the alternative pathway which was to choose to do what he has done.

Focusing on the UK position rather than engaging or seeking to proactively engage the EU in any way before a General Election was the only way that Boris had the chance to really stack the deck of cards in his favour when it came to taking everyone with him over a ‘no deal Brexit’.

Instead he seems to have chosen bluff, bluster and possibly blunder too as he, his Ministers and entourage have repeatedly preached passages from the unwritten rules of negotiation. They suggest that they are in control of a secret process that they are so on top of that they have been open enough to make everyone including the EU aware of.

The truth is they are and have been anything but.

Whether this play by Boris was deliberate or simply unintended at the start, the lack of care and consideration for the realities that underpinned the EU’s more realistic motives for insisting on the Backstop, have made everything he has done since July look like a very impetuous and self-serving choice.

The Backstop issue has and will always be resolvable. But it will only be complicated by any attempt to avoid the realities that underpin all the concerns that people have in Ireland about a return to a hard border alongside those for a future where the Province becomes tied into any system of governance where it no longer has any form of choice.

The deal that it has been indicated Boris is about to table to the EU and therefore also the Irish, is not one that demonstrates any kind of real choice.

It really doesn’t make best use of the opportunity to keep the border open. It simply relocates the physicality of customs checks that go with any hard border to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location – which is failing to look the issues in the eye and therefore nothing more than a politically expedient choice.

As I wrote at length on the 1st of August, the technology and therefore the opportunity exists to create a free-flowing open border.

Yes, there is hard work and real negotiation that would need to take place as well as smashing down many of the institutional shibboleths that would obstruct this kind of thinking and practicality from outside of the box as the natural choice.

It is only the lack of foresight, understanding, political will and basically the objections of individuals – like all of the MPs that we now have blocking Parliament – preventing it from being a real option that the EU might not immediately like or endorse, but would accept as a very practical solution once they know that there is no way back from the UK / EU divorce.

As we look back over the summer and as we head towards the 31st of October exit date for the UK to Leave the EU, it increasingly looks like history will tell us that Boris was just another Prime Minister who squandered the opportunity to lead us properly, simply because he took what seemed like the easy choices right at the pivotal moments when no matter how hard it was he could have simply chosen the alternative option which was to do the right thing for all of us and not just for him.

I hope to be wrong on this. But from where I view all of this now, it looks very much as if Boris believed he could achieve results where others had tried and failed, just because he is Boris. All as if the Marvel Universe is no longer fiction, and a Prime Minister with superpowers based in London is a reality that has come to pass.

 

To download the PDF version of my 1 August essay on a Border Solution please click Beating the Backstop

image thanks to telegraph.co.uk 

No Chancellor, it’s not hijacking Brexit when the People are taking back from you what we already own

MANDATE 1Two days out from the European Elections on Thursday and fear is back on the menu for those behind the Brexit crisis as they desperately attempt to regain some control.

Suggesting that ‘Populism’ is hijacking Brexit sadly says a lot more about the bubble that the politicians who have been running our Country are living in, rather than anything we should take as any form of appropriate or informed analysis about the ingredients that could be about to lead to a substantial Brexit Party win.

This approach has become a trademark gesture of those Politicians who still believe that the UK will continue to be ruled after Brexit by their exiting ‘Old Politics’ world.

That they attempt to again soil and pour scorn upon the reality of a democratic uprising by casting out and blackening the names, identities and views of a majority of Voters is only going to fuel the growing hatred and contempt of the Public for this ‘we know what’s best for everyone’ and ‘me, me, me’ form of Politics. The outgoing order, where the majority of this political class consider themselves to rule by some twisted kind of divine right.

They forget that they relinquished the right to continue with their own selfish ideas and stupidity, when they tossed over the decision over Leaving the EU to the People. Yes, David Cameron might have driven it, but these are the self-same, self-serving, self-righteous Politicians that supported him then who have since and are now involved.

Whatever kind of spin these proponents of the ‘Old Politics’ use as their argument against the democratic choice of the People to Leave the EU, history tells us that when the results of other elections have suited them and their purposes, they have never had reason to question the legitimacy of our decision and the way that it was formulated and then made.

The European Referendum of 23rd June 2016 was based on a tried and tested binary question, legitimately agreed and endorsed by our Country’s Regulatory Processes. It was not loaded or misleading and it certainly was not a multiple choice list of ways we could Leave the EU like the one that our busted flush politicians have tried presenting in Parliament since, like Brexit presented in 50 different shades.

Just as we, the Public have to own our choices when we appoint a new Government, we are right and justified to expect the choice we made for a clean and proper Brexit to be honoured both materially and in spirit, and given time to demonstrate all that will be different BEFORE any attempts at a review of OUR DECISION is ever made.

The fact is that We the People made the choice to Leave the EU.

You, who We trusted and Elected to represent us as our Politicians have done nothing less than attempt to steal OUR BREXIT. You have done this for reasons no better than self-interest, your fear and therefore your unsuitability to continue in roles that have much loftier levels of responsibility and justifiable expectation than you were clearly ever cut out for.

We cannot hijack Brexit.

Because Brexit was never and will never be yours.

Brexit is the Will of the People.

Brexit is therefore ours.

And Brexit will be properly delivered by a new Government. Whether that Government is made up of existing Politicians who have put their hands up and are prepared to think differently, or by one driven by the populism that you hate. A Government that will without doubt have the qualities that most of you seem sadly to lack within this one. That’s the best of intentions towards the Electorate – irrespective of whether they may or may not have any flaws.

A Customs Union: Anything that looks so simple and involves the EU will always be too good to be true

Politics 5There have been and continue to be a great many striking things that the Brexit process and the Vote to Leave the EU have revealed about the way that our political system has and at this point continues to work.

Much of it, although hiding in plain sight for a very long time, has come as a surprise to many.

One that has caused frustration, distrust and indeed anger with the Establishment. With the politicians that form a great part of it, and with anyone who has been playing upon the unwitting and innocent ignorance on the part of many of us of how the political world has been working with its prioritisation firmly focused upon only the benefits for those involved.

We have been brought up, taught and indeed conditioned to trust the people that we elect to a point where we foolishly believed that we don’t need to worry what they are doing.

We trusted that other than at election time, there is simply no need for us to ever get involved in politics.

So it is completely understandable that at the point where Brexit has itself lifted the lid with all that is wrong with our broken politics, we now go in search of the most obvious solutions to get the matter quickly resolved.

Ours is a human response and one that is all too familiar. Because it isn’t just the Electorate that looks for the obvious and simple answers when there is a problem.

To do so is and has for too long also been the default setting for the majority of our MPs whenever there has been the hint of real work for them to do in Government.

This might all seem like a long route into a discussion about a Customs Union. But trying to make sense of this term – that even now is being banded about as what could be the common ground between all sides that gets the Brexit impasse resolved – when even the MPs who are being asked to legislate on Brexit don’t actually know or understand what really is involved, is not something that comes easy to any of us.

With a matter as serious and as potentially far reaching as the question over whether we get a Brexit that ctually delivers on the Referendum Result or doesn’t on the table, we have to be aware that a Customs Union and its implications may not even be the same in reality as what the MPs themselves are being trained on.

A Customs Union is certainly not the same thing as we are being told.

Yes, as ridiculous as it might sound, MPs are having to be trained on what a Customs Union with the EU actually is. And a big part of the problem is that for the many of us who don’t understand how government and legislation actually works, the concept of a Customs Union sounds very simple indeed.

To be fair about it, if you were to look for the meaning of the customs union, you would easily find a brief, perhaps only paragraph long explanation.

One that would no doubt outline that it a Customs Union is a reciprocal relationship between the EU member Countries or Member ‘States’ that harmonises tariffs on goods travelling across or entering the ‘EU’ at any location – even if they then travel to another constituent Country.

By apparent necessity, it leaves the legislation covering each and all of these tariffs for the EU to set in Brussels. Their setting is not left as a matter for any individual Country to resolve.

A Customs Union is a key part of the process of removing geographical borders, so that physical checks between ‘internal’ EU traffic are not necessary. Bureaucracy then appears significantly reduced and it can be argued that there is free, unhindered movement of goods between so-called Member States.

It sounds great. In fact it sounds like a no brainer. This is why the concept Remains so popular.

A Customs Union sounds like the right thing to do until you start to consider the wider implications of being in one and think about its true reach and the real impact upon the UK of all that is actually involved.

But things get confused at this stage. Often deliberately. Because a Customs Union itself is in effect a necessary, if not symbiotically irremovably intrinsic part of a Single Market and a key part of the direction of travel for the supranational EU.

A customs union or its namesake was one of the early dominoes in the chain or history of events that led towards where EU law and legislation is located right now.

A Customs Union between the UK and EU cannot therefore stand alone without legislation that is at the very least equivalent to that which already exists within the ‘known’ EU framework. Even if words and the legislation created say otherwise.

No. It is vital to understand that just as a bark wouldn’t come from a duck and a quack wouldn’t come from a dog, being in a customs union with the EU means that we are and still will be Members of the EU.

The UK cannot and will not be able to legislate as an Independent Sovereign State within a Customs Union.

Ultimately, any form of Brexit that includes even the most simple form of Customs Union machinery or legislation is and will be the act of Remaining within the EU. Even if what our MPs – who may actually believe what they are saying – tell us otherwise.

I would like to be able to say that the reality that underpins all of this is also simple to understand. But it is not.

In fact, we have to go right back to the travesty that was the first European Referendum to even begin trying to unravel the direction of travel in what we now know to be the EU.

That was when the ‘Common Market’.or what our parents and grandparents thought and supported to be a simple trading relationship – not massively unlike the explanation of a Customs Union that I have outlined above – on a journey to become the single market and with it the progressive harmonization of laws which go way beyond simple trade.

This resulted in growing mistrust, many questions and above all the decision to Leave the EU. A result that has only appeared to be so near or close to balance, because many still have no apparent reason to question all that is involved.

The term ‘progressive’ is one that has been adopted for a certain style of politics that Remainers often use and one that encapsulates how the EU operates too.

But the political use of ‘progressive’ as a term is actually a misnomer. One that is used to manipulate people into thinking that they are being offered a type of politics and legislature where the only direction of travel in policy is always forward and therefore will only ever have positive impacts for us all.

It all works a little like building a house. Once the house is built, you then decorate. Once it has been decorated you install the equipment. Once the equipment has been installed, you bring in the furniture. Then you move in with your family and to keep things as you perceive they should be, you lay down a few rules.

In this same vein, the ‘Common Market’ or trade agreement led to the Customs Union that then created a shared marketplace or ‘Single Market’. To make sure that the playing field of this ‘Single Market’ was level, it was deemed essential to ensure that all goods are manufactured to the same standards and the same rules. To make sure there is no way for an industry or sector in one member state to gain an unfair advantage in any other way, this meant that the tentacles of legislation then had to reach out to areas like employment law and the European Working Time Directive.

Before you know it, the EU is rewriting the laws that underpin just about every part of life, ultimately creating social problems and changing the very way that we identify as a culture.

And the EU keeps legislation moving progressively to make the rules the same for everyone across 28 very different Countries without fear of consequence because the ideas underpinning this new but nonetheless undemocratic way of doing politics through the de facto and unquestioned implementation of rules is not something that most people see coming.

We certainly don’t understand there has actually been a change when it has arrived in our lives under the auspices of something completely different and much less insipid than the very dangerous truth and reality behind it.

The reality is that we are having our identity stolen by the back door and this process has been facilitated by MPs who should know better.

They don’t because they are ignorant of the truth.

They are only interested in their own glory, rather than having to think through the implications of their actions.

They avoid and therefore neglect a process that we once trusted them to undertake automatically. Because that’s what responsibility to the Electorate actually involves.

It is no use saying that the alternative of the UK becoming again fully Independent as a Nation State will be easier than being a member of and rule taker from the EU because it isn’t.

However, it also doesn’t make it right. Nor does it mean that it will deliver the right things for the UK.

The truth is that there is very little being said by even the Leave side of the debate about the true cost of remaining within the EU and being in any way tied and obligated to it. Never mind the price that we as a Country have already paid.

In fact, the whole Brexit and EU Referendum debate has, is, and looks like it will continue to be very short on facts, whilst remaining subject to the knee-jerk and quick-win approach that has already created so much of the pain that has already been involved.

If the arguments were to be thought out, translated and then effectively made without bias or self-interest, there is no doubt that the argument in favour of the compromises required for continued membership and indeed a relationship of the kind being sold by Theresa May and many on the Labour side of Parliament would not actually be seen as compromise anymore.

It would be seen as being worse than the subjugation to a Foreign power that we have been on the end of for far too long. Subjugation that the Vote to Leave the EU on 23rd June 2016 stated clearly to our MPs had already gone too far and MUST be stopped.

Yet at the same time, no detailed and comprehensive case for Leave has been made.

Without it, the anger and frustration which is now going to drive and fuel a clean Brexit, possibly outside of any form of reasoned control, will not lay the foundations of what an Independent and fully Sovereign UK will then look like.

It will certainly not begin to provide the basis upon which we can then build a genuine and dynamically balanced working relationship with our neighbours in the EU. The solution, result and aim that we must all work for after Brexit has been properly delivered, if the differences that now exist between us in the form of Leave vs Remain are ever to be satisfactorily resolved.

 

80 Days until Brexit: 80 random things we know that many of our MPs clearly don’t

January 8, 2019 Leave a comment

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As we hear the rumblings of yet another one of Theresa May’s Brexit Backslides coming to us in the form of a threat to delay the implementation of Article 50, it is perhaps time to reflect on some of the things us Voters should be able to reasonably expect to exist within the field of our MP’s understanding.

With 80 Days until when Brexit is supposed to be, here are 80 random things to help you focus on what is, what has been and yes, what could be!

  1. Brexit was never supposed to happen (in so far as the Establishment is concerned)
  2. The EU doesn’t negotiate
  3. MPs do not know why we Voted for Brexit
  4. There are no big beasts in Parliament
  5. The Conservative Party has two parts
  6. MPs do not understand why we Voted for Brexit
  7. Theresa May is no leader
  8. MPs do not value the opinion of the People who appointed them
  9. Self interest is the underlying basis of any argument for Remain
  10. The underlying malaise in British Politics was uncovered by Brexit
  11. The Conservative Cabinet all put their own ambition before doing what is right
  12. Fear is the preferred method of manipulation from an Establishment that has lost control
  13. The Labour Party prize power over responsibility
  14. MPs don’t know the history of the EU
  15. Theresa May would be happy to commit us to a permanent and inescapable ‘relationship’ with the EU
  16. By leaving the EU, we will not be at risk of having to adopt the Euro
  17. As a non Member, the UK will not be tied to the EU’s Human Rights Regulation
  18. MP’s do not understand that change is inevitable
  19. By discontinuing our Membership of the EU, we will not be required to commit to the EU’s Military Programme
  20. As a stand alone Country we will be able to manage and protect our Fish stocks
  21. MP’s do not have confidence in the Country they were Elected to Represent
  22. Brexit is about the return of balance, fairness and community
  23. Remain obsessed MP’s project their own behaviour on to those they disagree with
  24. MP’s do not agree with the principle of democracy
  25. Away from the bureaucracy of the EU, we will be free to reduce or remove the red tape that means only large abattoirs are viable
  26. After a full and proper Brexit, we will not be subject to the jurisdiction of the EU Courts
  27. MPs see the Referendum Result as being open to interpretation
  28. After Brexit Day, the UK can have its own rules which serve our own marketplace best
  29. MPs are obsessed with the idea that you have to have a plan for everything
  30. After we depart, our Fishermen will not be restricted by quotas whilst watching other EU Fishermen fishing off our Shores
  31. MPs are out of touch with their constituents
  32. The SNP’s idea of Independence from the UK would be to then surrender and become absorbed within a the Foreign Power which is the EU
  33. Nobody actually thinks a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic is necessary
  34. Theresa May has and always will be a Remainer
  35. Jeremy Corbyn is no leader
  36. MPs and the Media give disproportionate value to noise
  37. The Brexit process was flawed from the beginning as it was launched from the position of being a member, rather than standing alone
  38. Back to being an independent Country in its own right, we can have our own Passports once we have left the EU
  39. We have a severe lack of morality and ethics in Parliament
  40. MPs covet the job but not the responsibility
  41. Government begins fighting the next election campaign the day after the last one was held
  42. You cant make plans for the unplannable
  43. MPs focus on addressing the effects of problems and not the cause
  44. The City & Financial Sector will have greater opportunities away from EU Control, once we are no longer obligated to follow their rules
  45. MPs don’t understand the history of the EU
  46. Theresa May values the opinion of Foreign Leaders more than she does her own Cabinet
  47. The EU needs a relationship with the UK, more than the UK needs a relationship with the EU
  48. MPs believe they can win any argument by asking the same question again and again until the get the answer that they want
  49. The Establishment holds the Electorate in contempt
  50. MPs do not communicate with constituents without a reason to do so
  51. The EU is committed to further integration and ultimately a United States of Europe
  52. The EU is a bureaucracy
  53. There is nothing democratic about the EU
  54. MEPs have no power within the EU
  55. We have adopted the Rules of a Foreign Power within just about every part of British Life without the Public being genuinely aware of what our Politicians had signed us up to
  56. The World outside the EU is much bigger and functions much better
  57. The Politicians of the day sold out our natural allies as the price of joining the Common Market – the forerunner of the EU
  58. The Conservative Party exists within a shrinking bubble
  59. Membership organisations like the CBI have their own agendas which are self interest wrapped up in another form
  60. Most British People are proud of who they are and the Country that they come from and want the noisy minority to stop aggressively victimising them for doing so.
  61. MPs no longer understand the meaning of loyalty
  62. Once we leave the EU, Freedom of Movement will no longer exist
  63. UK Taxpayers will no longer have to subsidise low-paid EU Nationals once we have left
  64. Once we have left the EU UK will have full control over ALL legislation
  65. Once we leave the EU, we will have control over our Fishing Rights
  66. Outside of the EU, our Farmers will no longer be disadvantaged by CAP
  67. As a non EU member, our Farmers will be unrestricted
  68. Once we have left the EU and the Common Agricultural Policy Farmers will not be dependent on Subsidies
  69. We can stop live animal exports once we have left the EU
  70. Ouside of EU derived legislation, our businesses no longer need to be tied to the EU’s working time directive
  71. MP’s find it easier to call people names or disqualify them in some way than countering legitimate arguments
  72. After Brexit, we can set out own Pollution Standards
  73. Following Brexit, the UK will have its own Borders again
  74. After 29th March 2019, the UK will be able to negotiate our own International Trade Deals
  75. After Brexit, we will be able to change and adopt our own Taxation systems
  76. Outside the scope of the EU, we will be able to prioritise British Companies and Production
  77. Outside of the reach of the EU’s bureaucratic machine, we can evolve Driving Standards & License Requirements to meet the needs of the UK Supply Chain
  78. After a real Brexit, we will not be paying money into the EU
  79. MPs are generally scared of the EU
  80. Once we have left the EU all decisions can be made democratically

And there’s certainly a whole lot more…

 

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