Wednesday, 29 December 2010

FPTP plus:

It is time I believe to sue for an honourable peace between those of us in favour of FPTP and those who seek a new electoral system and as we hold still the majority of the nation it is on are central principles that the new peace shall be formed.

Thus FPTP plus is still a system based on the sacrosanct principle of the ideal of one member on vote and the ideal of electing one representative for each constituency. We do not seek nor will we impose any percentile targets or entry requirements upon are system and nor shall we allow the ideal of choosing a candidate be tarnished or devalued.

Therefore I have formed a system that encapsulates these principles held so dear by the FPTP but also take some of the better ideals of AV (the idea of preferences and the idea that a wider base of votes should be calculated in the choice of representative).

Under FTPT plus there would thus be only one candidate chosen and this candidate would represent his constituency solely. The candidate however would be elected on the basis of a new system. The elector would be able to list all candidates in order of preference (as under AV) but they would also be able to vote one counter vote (a vote which would be taken away from the candidate chosen). The preferences would then be additionally turned into votes, 1st preferences would count as one vote, second preferences and a half of a vote and 3rd preferences a third of a vote and so on and so on.

The winning candidate would be the candidate who won the basis of all votes and anti-votes cast had a simple numerical majority over his opposing candidates. In this way all votes would count, even those who vote against the winning candidate and reduce his majority and also preferences would be treated fairly. I doubt there is any voter whose positive or negative vote would not be counted at least once.

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

In favour of firsts

Now many of you know that I am supporting the No to AV campaign and though I have issues with the slow start and slight odd attitude of the No to AV campaign. My main issue is the campaign seems solely defensive nature. I myself have been guilty of criticising AV without defending FPTP. Well this is an error I intend to put right; so why vote for FPTP.

Arguments for FPTP:

The First one is simple – given that are voting system is based on the ideal that each constituency should have just one representative, it stand to reason that the voter is required to vote just once. In short FPTP encapsulates the ideal of voting for a single candidate.

Second: FPTP seeks to find a majority based solely on votes cast; it does not insist on some pre-determined percentile majority or some percentile level one must achieve, it seeks merely to find the candidate who can command the most votes.

Thirdly: FPTP ensures that each voter has but one vote, this is of course linked to the first point, however, some other systems allow multiple votes depending on the array of preferences and inferences of the voters but under FPTP everyone is guarantee one vote and a vote of equal weight and importance.

Fourthly: FPTP ensures only parties that can represent large swaths of the population will enjoy support, ensuring that more extreme parties are side lined, without having to resort to undemocratic percentile thresholds or other PR related anti extremist measures. In short FPTP ensures naturally decent governance where PR is forced to utilise extremely questionable mechanisms to ensure the same.

Fifthly: Linked once again to the first point, is that FPTP is inseparable form the ideal of one member one seat – unlike preferences or PR systems FPTP is also used when wishing to elect single members for a single seat. This entrances the MP solely within his area; he cannot hope to be elected bar ensuring that they maintain a majority of votes.

Sixth: FPTP by ensuring popular parties are formed it ensures that long term stable governances are found, while allowing radicle change to take place. FPTP systems ensure longer terms of party power (decades rather than years) but still if this power is misused for the people to alter their votes and radicle switch to another popular party and set of policies.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Referendum facts:

I happen to find voting systems to be of interest and I do indeed have a favoured voting system but this piece is not for me it is for people who have vaguely heard of the coming referendum and are curious or confused about what AV or FPTP is and what it has to do with them.

First what is the current voting system used in the UK:

The system used in the UK general elections is called First Passed The Post aka FPTP; under this system the united Kingdom is separated into electoral areas called constituencies (to find yours you can go to ( . Under FPTP each constituency is represented in parliament and served by one MP (Member of Parliament).

Under FPTP when electing the MP for your constituency; you are ask to place a single vote next to the candidate (person standing for election) of your choice. You can only vote once and this vote is counted by electoral officials on voting night and the candidate with the most votes is elected to be the MP representing that constituency.

Once a MP is elected he is supposed to represent his whole constituency regardless of their personal party affiliations and to assist their constituents regardless of their party affiliation. To find your MP you can go to (

What is the proposed new voting system?

The proposed new system is called Alternative vote: The alternative vote system is still based on the ideal of one representative per constituency but instead of casting one vote you are asked to number the candidates in order of preference (starting at one). You do not have to mark a preference against every candidate but can for all if you wish.

These votes are called preferences, so the candidate you number one is referred as your first preference, the one you put two next to is your second preference and so on. Unlike FPTP there is no numerical majority, instead AV seeks to establish a percentile majority. In layman’s language this means that in order for a candidate to be chosen they require more than a majority of votes (as compared to other candidates) they require over fifty per-cent of the votes cast.

Therefore if there were 10,000 votes and candidate A got 5,001 first preference votes he would be elected, however, if candidate A got 5,000 and candidate B got 4,000 and candidate C got 1,000 no single candidate would have the fifty per-cent required to get elected and this is where the second (and lower) preferences kick in.

Under AV the lowest candidate (the candidate with the least 1st preference votes) would be eliminated and the second preference of those who voted for the eliminate candidate as their first preference would be counted (They would in reality be treated as if they were first preference votes), there other preferences would also be transferred to candidates accordingly. This processes, lowest candidate eliminated, votes re-distributed until one candidate got the fifty per-cent majority required.

This may sound very complex, however, from the voters perspective all that is required is that you list candidates in the order you would chose them to be your candidate all the rest will be taken care of care of the electoral officials and after all of this voting takes place we are still left with a single MP for an single constituency

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Unspoken truths

There is something deeply wrong with the conservative party, something which we have as an organisation has sometimes ignored and fart too often indulged. This issue is at best worded as a server lack of mercy and as worse spiteful cruelty. Burke sums it up best for me by saying “men in velvet carriages should not complain about the rain”. What dose Velvet carriages and rain have to do with the conservative party and its cruelty.

Part of the issue at stake here is that the conservative is staffed by the upper ecilon of society, who are sadly too keen to lecture the poor on what they should do. They act as are Burkina man; they ride around in a Velvet carriage complaining bitterly about the rain. The second issue is that whilst the party knows the value of pragmatism it is unable to articulate it without being attacked for being the “nasty party” and if you attack well minded people enough, if you insult and pillory people enough they have a habit of becoming that which you attack them for.

This is not a letter of resignation from the party I love I is a letter of an honest conservative. A conservative who believe we are best when we are pragmatic but never when we are cruel or when we adopt are carriage view of the world.

Any reader of this blog will hopefully understand that I seek to combine hard choices with mercy and a better country. I believe that people in high unemployment areas should be helped to move for their own future good and the good of the nation but I do not believe we should starve them out or expect them simply to up an move because it is what we in are carriages would do.

So I hope this is taken in this vain. Short term unemployment due to cuts that support new business start up’s or increases in businesses activity are an acceptable price. Unemployment is never , however, a worthy price in order simply to cut taxes without an increase in the job rates. If and I mean if we are forced to make this terrible choice we must not crow about it or moralise about paper rounds or rag to riches fables or to treat the unemployed as criminals. We are to act mercifully, constructively and understand the terrible pain we are asking people to pay not to benefit them but to benefit the business that we know will eventually, yes eventually, benefit them.

It is pragmatism alone we must serve and we must promote the knowledge that we are building a better economy and that all this personal suffering is not good or righteous but necessary for the long term health of our economy and a far better option than drowning in a sea of pointless state funded jobs, driving away business and indebting future generations. So yes dear reader unemployment is a cost worth paying but braying about this terrible cost is terrible and inhuman and yes only business can save us but we must temper are pragmatism always with mercy.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Political dreams

Sometime politics is about insane predictions; regarding hopelessly unlikely events all of which turn out to be wrong. So I entitle this piece political dreams, it is about what could be rather then what will be. If you want a prediction then the AV debate will be lost and the two parties will keep fighting over the same centralist voters and the fringe parties will feaster and agitating from the side lines. Milliband will limp on until labour narrowly loses to a bastardised version of the coalition that itself will limp on in one form or another for at least another government.

However there is another world a dream political world a world where the old order of are political systems fatally weakened by the emergence of the labour party finally implodes to be replaced with a four party system. This is predicated on the implosion of the lib-dems. I have no animosity toward the lib-dems indeed their very existence is a product of the death (though long drawn out) of the old British political system.

The lib-dems where the first party which actively sought the centre of British politics and which in a lesser extent sought an ideology free politics (compared with the moribund politics of Foot and Thatcher the last of the ideological greats) and they nearly slayed the monster of British politics by slaying the labour party but for reason, well beyond me, they failed and in that moments died as a force. Instead of being a centralist party they became a highly principled localised party – they became the proto future of our political system.

It was instead labour who became the party without ideology, it was they who crossed the centralist Rubicon, renouncing almost utterly there ideological base and instead adopting the “what works” is policy approach, the sadly forgotten but still dominant third way. The conservative eventually followed creating a new centralist homogeny. This is the exact reason why opposition has become pure opposition because there is no longer a principled position to adopt in neither opposition nor any real arguments apart from timing and statistics.

This move to the centre has further annoyed the loyalist on both sides of the great binary opposition of British politics; the labour party loyalist is disgusted with the slow demise of their brother unions and the party’s lack of any action on workers’ rights. Monetarist within the conservative party are angered by the lack of pro-business tax breaks and the governments pursuit of the third sectors marksed in the big society program and the one nation conservative dislike the harshness of the cuts programs and the raving anti-immigration rhetoric of the party (whilst the small nation Tories loath the lack of action).

There are other divisions with the conservative party but this is not a piece about the tribes of the party nor the labour party the point is these division exist and could cause the formation of four distinct group all thanks to the demise of the lib-dems. In this dream world the lib-dems implode along their own internal divisions, the SDLP wing joining the centralist wings of the labour party, there orange wings joining the reformed one nation centralist wing of the conservative party and in accepting these fragmented wings of the now deceased third party, they alienate their own grass roots.

Those in the david davies camp the raving monetarist / small Englanders would be unable to stage a coup against the centralist in their own party due to the new orange book support and would thus flounce off either joining with UKIP or forming a successor to UKIP representing the harder right of the conservative party and also, no doubt, devoted to the ideals of Thatcher. They would form a respectable nationalist party, flirting and mingling with the racial radically party (whatever name it take) but never officially doing business with it.
The centralist would have a similar blocking effect for the hopes of the (am I mean this sincerely) socialist wing of the labour party forcing them along with the radical anti-establishment movement within what was the lib-dems wither to merge with or co-opt the green party. This njew party would be a party which will vacillate between authoritarianism and ultra-liberalism and representing the harder left and anti-establishment wing of the great divide.

Of course the two party system now freed of the more radical aspects of their memberships would form two gigantic catchall right of centre – left of centre parties, who struggle over the middle ground and wage unrelenting war trying to capture the ideal of the big society from each other and waging a phoney war of more bitter, pantomime esk oppositional politics and the dominance of centralism and the professional politicians.

Under the pressure of a four party system FPTP would eventually disappear, thanks due to house of Lords reform ending the stigma of voting reform and the inequalities of FPTP trying to incorporate these four power blocks. The old two party system would finally end, along with it fatally injured again by lords reforms and the birth of the four party system would the executive dominance of the legislature and Britain would enter the age of a multiparty professional politics.

Friday, 10 December 2010


In my excellent blog: I attempt to outline the mechanism I would have chosen to better link loan repayments to university leavers prospects, something the simple raise in tuition fee has failed to do. Indeed, given the difficulty with passing this particular bill one would have thought the coalition would have been more imaginative and less willing to offer poor student upfront concessions, rather than poor leavers these concessions.

The coalition can save the situation and it can do this by listening to the labour party (I know dear reader a kind word for are opposition in exile). During the debate, some labour MP’s suggested, what is a very good idea; that along with higher fees; universities enter into a formal and legally binding contract with their students laying out teaching hours, seminar hours and specialist hours for different courses (I.E. lab time for science students) as well as library opening hours and computer numbers. Cheaper course could offer virtual, discounted, teaching time or merely less of it.

We would set up a body to enforce these contracts, allowing student whose universities fail to meet there contractual obligations to obtain discounts or refunds, rather than penalties for the universities. Indeed, we could explode the three year monopoly which universities currently have by empowering university students to move university at the end of each academic year. Indeed private businesses could head hunt the best students for the best universities (to improve their own league table position) and relocate disaffected students for a small fee of course.

There is a further change we could make to how universities are regulated & funded. Universities should be encouraged to seek businesses sponsorship for each course by this I mean a business pay money and lend their name to courses in which they are involved in and which offer the skills the business require. Any wise student would seek these courses as they would clearly offer particle work focused skills in the future employment they seek.

I know people will write this blog of as the marketization of education or recognising the marketization of education but this is to expected when we try to grant higher education accesses to all and to fifty per cent of our population but regardless of the rights and wrongs of marketization the NUS opposition to it has injured students power and will continue to do so until we recognise that a market exist and we must empower students to use it to their benefit.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Parallel worlds

I am a man who revels in the ridiculous and grandiose and I am often wrong and misinformed, I am often confused and confusing but I am sometimes, very infrequently right and this maybe one of those times.

Thursday night the coalition will vote on the tuition bill, a bill that has become they symbol of mandate for this government. The symbol of mandate is a bill or action whose passing or failure symbolise the authority or legitimacy of the government. Under heath it was the trade union bill and under Mrs T it was of course the coal miners, under major it was the mastic treaty and under Toney Blair it was the war in Iraq. Now the odd things about these symbols of mandates is that a government can lose them but limp on, evening winning them (as Mr Blair did) but they can win a pyric victory having to use opposition votes.

We are now faced in my view with a symbolic mandate bill, the tuition fee bill; this bill no longer represents the debate concerning tuition fees. It represents the whole coalition government, the whole question of the legitimacy of the coalition program and the strength of public and parliamentary opposition to the cuts. Now the government would not fall if this bill does not passes but its strength and ability to pass further harder legislation will evaporate with it.

I know this sounds farcical but these pieces of legislation become a marker for the strength of will of the government and the opposition, only one can dominate. Either a government is strong enough to pass the bills it wants or it cannot. If the government is defeated, then the message goes out to unhappy lib-dems and unhappy Tories that the government is dying and does not have the will or the ability to keep them in line and is ripe for attack and betrayal. Indeed it sends out the message, leave now and you might keep your seat or `stay and die with us

Now what pray tell does this have to do with parallel worlds, well one of course, the future of the government and the effectiveness is directly linked to the successes or failure of symbolic mandate. There must logically be a world in which heath managed to muzzle the trade unions and did not go down in history as a giant failure.

On a pragmatic note if this coalition fails I can only foresee a time of political instability, if the coalition limps on injured with its mandate daily evaporating until either its own internal enmity destroys it or it losses the election. A new either minority or small majority labour government will regain control and itself limp on unable to reconcile its leader to the public and square the economic circle they have drawn in opposition until either the lib-dems implode and are consumed by the two major parties or a new nasty party Tory party take power and “fixes” the economy.

This coalition is unique; if it succeeded it will mean no more will coalitions (outside of world wars) be seen as foreign oddities, it would fatally weaken the FPTP propaganda that PR voting system lead to coalitions and thus weak governance and it would prove that you do not require a dominate executive in order for good governance something of a revelation to British politics. The more interesting question is what will it do to the idea of the new centre.

New labour proved that the idea of a centre left government was possible if somewhat internally a tad mentally unstable and the successes or failure of the coalition will prove or disprove if a similar centre right government is also possible. I have no idea about the future shape of politics maybe in the future but if a right of centre collation last it will have established that collation can work and can make hard decisions and that a centre right government can make these decisions whilst promoting equality or limiting the harm.

Thursday, 2 December 2010


We live in a state run along bureaucratic lines; this is short for impersonal, distant but professional and fair administration of all state provided services to all members of that state. It is underpinned by the ideals of the rule of law and equality before this law for all and it serves the whim of centralised states. I am tempted to say it also goes hand in hand with democracy but this is not true there are democracies or semi democracies where clientalisum is rife and dictatorships which were bureaucracies indeed draw their power from the perversion of this system.

There are two other forms of social organisations; the first is the cult of the personality or charismatic organisations, and clientalisum a system of organising the state not on neutral, impersonal grounds but on the basis of personal relationships and yes even corruption. Of course those who exist within a client relationship would not see the paying of monies in return for preference not as corruption but merely the way things are done, merely a sign of respect and acceptance of the cost of getting things done.

For some bizarre reason bureaucratic expect all nations, even those who lie beyond the sea of civilised bureaucratic norms, to follow these laws in all their dealings with them. Even more bizarrely bureaucratic societies expect members of bureaucratic society trying to operate in the cliental world to stick to bureaucratic norms. This of course does not happen, businesses men are only business men because they are quick to adapt to different cultural norms and different business environments and thus when face with the need to pay monies to secure deals they will. We should not expect business people to act as cultural ambassadors or moral imperialist spreading the word of anti-corruption across the globe.

I refuse to get into an discussion of morality, paying monies to secure a deal occurs in Britain and whilst I welcome the fact its influence is limited in the sphere of the state, I refuse to label a perfectly functional societal set up as immoral merely because it is alien to the way of life of the state I happen to live in. I also refuse to sacrifice or hamper the business merely because they dear to operate outside the great bastion of bureaucracy or when they do they dear act in accordance with local norms.

The only question of importance to me is weather the state should be complicit in such activity in order to secure international activities. I.e. would it be acceptable for the British state to pay bribes to those countries willing to accept them, in the knowledge that those competing nations are also paying bribes and to this I would answer a solid no. British business or individuals paying monies to gain personal advantage is one thing but the state doing so poisons the state, those civil servants become contaminated with the ideal that money can be exchanged for services. Corruption cannot be allowed to infiltrate that state at any cost; the state must act in this occurrence, better than its people. Now this may mean we will not be able to host various events but this is a small cost compared to the cost of corruption within the state.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Christian pride

Let use first be honest, the history of the Christian church is not a wonderful or blameless history. Indeed the history of the Christian church is far too full of blood and violence to make the church worthy of redemption. Indeed only the perfect example of costless redemption of Christ can possible save the church which corrupted man has vainly tried to erect in his name.

Let us secondly explain what the church is and is not. The church is not the embodiment of Christ, it is not the house of God and it is not the sole path to God. The church is a collection of people who should (though shamefully not always) believe in God. These people join together to worship God and to better do Gods work and in order to physically build the kingdom of God on earth.

The trouble is of course that the church has for far too long pretended that it is somehow divine and that everything it does is thusly divine. It is not, indeed often it is as far removed from anything remotely divine that it is a sick joke. The church has far too often submitted a knee to the state or the market, it has too often chosen the world of man over the kingdom of God and it has too often believed its own divine propaganda.

Despite all of this, however, in its various incarnations it has always tried to build the kingdom of God and provided care for those who have filled the ranks of the oppressed. It has tried to live by the gospels and spread the moral and spiritual code found within. It has tried to guide people to Christ and to a life with Christ. It has tried to improve their lives and guide people to improve their own lives.

I often say the church has housed the homeless, and saved the fallen but it has also guided the guideless and love the unlovable but it has also comforted the grieving, dying. Indeed the Christian church and its members have extend the hand and sprit of Christ across the world and across the ages and we have done this for no greater purpose then as an act of praise. We should stand back from are world with a sense of glee that it has been are theology which set the slaves free, brought forth universal health and entrenched mercy at the heart of the ideals of the government.

As Christian we must never paper over the sins of the historic church nor delude ourselves that everything we do is Godly but nor should we allow are atheist brother paint every Christian as akin to the evil of the historic church. We should celebrate the moral laws given to us by Jesus and be proud of the good news that Christ redeemed us all, regardless of faith, merely because he loved us and above all love the imperfect, often week church.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Legalise it!

If we are to treat Britain PLC as a business then we should see what Britain could do to increase its income. One of the most obvious ways to increase its income is to licence more activities and by this I mean legalising the sale of non-conventional and the provision of sexual services both activities to be taxed and taxed heavily and also provided solely under local licence the licence money going to the locality, in exactly the same way that pornography and alcohol are currently sold today.

Now I can hear the screams about the damage and harm that Heroin and crack cocaine do and harm and damage people they indeed do, of course outlawing them does not ameliorate this harm, indeed some would argue their illegality increases them harm, regardless of this it seems to quite clear that making them illegal has not effectively reduced there availability nor the harm they do and as evidence I point to the army of heroin and crack addicts which roams are streets daily.

This piece is not about the harm or otherwise of licencing new activities; it is about the government thinking of ways to increase its income. Let us take sexual services, licencing these particular activities will; no doubt increase the flow of sex slaves into the UK and probably increase the interlinked human trafficking and any increase in the levels of protects and living standards of those providing these service will no doubt be dwarfed by those who will suffer in the even darker and seedier corners of this nation this licencing will create.

We cannot look upon licencing as anything more than an income generating rouse and of course a way of reducing the cost of preventing accesses to the drugs and the services. In the past the forbidding and policing of these activates has been seen as the moral duty of the state and that is what it has remained, an empty moral statement declaring certain things to be moral and thus legally unacceptable and normally I would be all for upholding these rather empty moral statements but this is a different time.

I have no idea of the tax revenue or the income from licencing will bring in but I know that we spend over 3 billion on policing against them and I think from this we could expect at least a billion in additional revenue, adding to fewer cuts and also at last Britain could stop waste huge sums of money prevent activities already taking place free from tax and outside of the state’s sphere.

Dyslexic equality:

I am no expert on what is and is not considered a “learning disability”, all I am is a dyslexic person, now I am told I am also dyscaculate and dyspraxic and no doubts several more dis’s. What this really means is by no fault of my own, I suffer with problems with literacy, numeracy, remembering things. I of course lick my people with these issues deal with them the best I can and I do quite well but I still do not understand why are struggle to cope is not assisted but in fact made worse by the state, employers and society at large. In short I cannot understand why we are treated so unequally.

Let us take one of the main issue we face in are claims for equality the term “learning disabilities”. First let me make this clear only the most server dyslexics have any claim to being truly mentally disabled. I am not for one second comparing dyslexic with demtia or to people with very low mental ages. So, I do understand why the term “learning disability came about”.

My point is, however, that calling it a learning disability allows are future employees to pretend as if we are cured once education is ended. Indeed it allows are educators to delude themselves that are condition is curable via nothing more than additional learning and for a large section of the dyslexic population (the lesser end of the scale) this may in fact be true but for the moderate to server section this is nothing more than a sick joke.

Are second claim for equality is equality before the state: Given the fact that dyslexics suffer with issues regarding maths and English I am at a loss why the state is forever increasing the concentration upon them. Indeed all this talk of using them to evaluate schools or even think of make there achievement part of a grater GCSE replacement. I am at to a total loss why it is legal for universities and employers to make these GCSE’s compulsory for employment or entry. To out this in perspective making English and maths compulsory is like saying to wheelchair bound man that running is a required ability to go to university or gain employment.

In addition to equality before the state is the free provision of equipment, now most dyslexics receive free computers at university (strangely regardless of the severity of their condition) yet employers can freely deny dyslexics accesses to computers and poor dyslexics are not entitled to claim free equipment which is essential for dealing with their disability. I am not asking for free computers for all dyslexics just for moderate – sever dyslexics based upon means testing. This may seem an extravagant request but for a dyslexic a computer is as essential as any other piece of medical equipment is for those coping with physical disabilities.

Are third claim is equality before employers; No employer should dismiss any CV or another employee application procedure they choose to use due to English or grammatical errors as this is a debase and cowardly way of discriminating against dyslexics and not such mechanism would be tolerated with regards to other disabled candidates. Also, as with all disabled employers they should be more aware of are additional needs and respectful of are pride and abilities to manage our own conditions.

So let us start at first principles: Dyslexics and are ilk are disabled, are disability affects us for are entire life, computer technology has greatly ameliorated the negative effects of this condition but neither cured nor wholly removed the negative effects of dyslexia, we deserve to be treated equally and finally policy must be formed with dyslexic need kept in mind.

Friday, 19 November 2010

No to AV

It is wholly unnecessary to write this piece, even without a single leaflet, the anti AV conglomeration have won the battle. AV, which has never been popular nor chosen as government policy by force of electorate; is now deathly tied to the 2nd party of the collation, who have managed the distinguished achievement of being even less well received then their own voting reforms.

I believe, however in also wining the intellectual argument; which we have left behind due to the ease of actual victory. Let us first look at the weaknesses of AV the first and most disturbing is its corrosive effect on the meaning of “voting for”.

Whatever the sins of FPTP it is concretely based on the idea of actively voting for something or some one, I mean by this in FPTP one is forced to make a choice for a single candidate or idea. AV on the other hand no one actually votes for a candidate they merely register vague sympathy for them. In FPTP everyone has a single vote that they give wholly to there chosen option but in AV you are allowed to diminish your choice among many thus eroding the very idea of choosing or voting for anything.

The second issue is it fatally attacks the ideal of one man one vote: I will not labour how many lives have been lost and how many bones broke to achieve the democratic ideal that within the democratic sphere and in particular in the voting booth all men have the right for a vote and each man has the same number of votes and that is one. Under AV those who vote for smaller parties (as the votes are redistributed upward) are allowed to votes at least twice and in some cases several times. Now those who support AV will say those who vote for the winning party (once) have the enjoyment of seeing that party returned on the basis of there one vote but it can not be compensation for those who vote for smaller parties have tow or three votes to your one.

Another crime for which it is guilty is it drives votes toward the least disliked. Think of the labour leadership election, it was not the most popular or the most controversial; it was the least offensive to both sides. They where not selected by first or even second preference votes but by fourth and fifth, they were elected by the “there okay I suppose” preference. As we know candidates follow and are pushed by electoral trends and if moving toward blandness and indecisiveness if the key to win on the great surge of “there okay I suppose” votes then this is exactly what they will do.

Added to this the fact that I very much doubt that AV will alter the electoral landscape, indeed I believe it will reinforce the dominance of the two party system. Let us use the Ed Balls seat as an example. Labour where only defeated by UKIP votes from the Tories, had AV been used those preferences would have transferred to the Tories. Indeed safe in the knowledge that a first preference vote for a smaller party is little more than a “I support them” vote there proliferation will increase and there 1str pref vote share will as well but the winners are the larger catch all parties which these used to harm

Thursday, 18 November 2010

An honest offer

The isle of Britain is a long forgotten and imperial term; yet it denotes something true in the heart of every loyal Brit. It denotes the true shape and nature of this nation; the true greater kingdom of the Isles, a true union of England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales a union of free peoples and free states united by a shared currency and a shared language and a shares history.

Now this dream of greater union did briefly exist. Irish MP sat in Westminster and the greater unions military and economic might dominated to world but there was an elephant in the room, the anti catholic laws which dominated Britain and divided the two largest kingdoms of these Islands

All nations waged blood war on each other, from the various principalities of Germany to the city states of Italy. Some of these where religious in nature and some of them a result of nation building; the wars that divide the Islands of where both and have shamefully dominated these Islands history but they are a thing of the past. Indeed the lesser union, the UK, was born not out of these wars but through enlightened self interest and a recognition that we are all brothers of these Islands.

Now are prodigal brother Ireland is in terrible danger not just economic failure but of a irrevocable loss of sovereignty; for all the sins of union rule from Westminster (where Irish MPs held some sway) it is infinitely preferable to rule from at best Brussels, where Irelands voice is barely audible or worse still Frankfurt where the voice of Ireland is never heard above the self aggrandising voice of the German economic machine.

It is our duty to save are brother from the domination of distant foreign control, epically one so set against are national independence (by which I refer to both the French and Germans and there diplomatic arm the EU). It is are brotherly duty to save them from economic collapse and are debt to them to assist them regain there power and strength within the arms of the greater union.

What the lesser union can offer. Well firstly economic aid, as brother nations your debt is our debt and your people are people, secondly we will encourage are firms to move into your lands and allow your people to find jobs here, to return when time are better. Along with this the reintroduction of sterling would reduce your debts and new markets would open.

Along this of course your independence, you would join as a federal state (even retaining a catholic nature to your wholly independent federal constitution), your federal MP would sit in the new federal house and your standard MP elected would sit in the lower house, newly relocates to Liverpool to reflect the new grander union of the nations. You would retain your nationhood but freed from borders or import barriers with Britain. You could even remain a republic within the greater union.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Hand up not hand out

This phrase is the epitaph of the post war welfare state or it is supposed to be. As I discussed in my blog on the welfare state ( Beveridge himself did not want people to become dependent upon the state but merely be saved from the five giants.

Hayek reminds us that anyone depend upon the state (or indeed upon another) is not free but enslaved to his provider; an argument so strong and compelling that I have never doubted it and have sought to use it in life and policy.

It is not true, however, that no man would choose to live enslaved to the state. Indeed capitalist theory is predicated upon the concept that all men work in their own self-interest; alone. If it is in the direct interest of a man to become reliant on the state then that is what will occur. It is odd that when dealing with hand outs, we often forget about this central idea and except high ideas of duty and honour.

If we allow anyone to live of the state(and you be surprised how little man can life off) they will somehow managed to live of the state. We must always make the non-state route more attractive than the state rout. We must offer the much fabled hand up approach, rather than, the suffering approach (forcing people to do X via punitive sanctions).

If you ask me to flesh out what a hand up not a hand out look like I would say look at tuition fees, yes the much reviled tuition fees. A scheme where a person receives hand up in the form of additional education but are expected to re-pay until after education thus this is not a hand out. This scheme is ideal because it continues to make education free at the point of use but still ensures that the receivers of the benefit pay for what they have received.

The central ideas of the hand out are as follows. Firstly they must be free at the point of use, secondly they must be limited, either in the number of time you can apply or the length they can last, thirdly they must add to the person, either emotionally or mentally, fourthly the hand up should not be used to save the state money. lastly they must always be structured so it is never in anyone’s best interest to become reliant upon them but not so structured that it is not in there interest to use them.

It is too easy to think of the hand up as simply a cheaper or harsher version of the hand out or as a way of pretending to be assisting with people needs whilst doing very little. All too often the hand up not and hand out has been the epitaph not of the state centric model but of the entire concept of a caring state at all, this is why people have become cynical and bitter toward it.

I still believe in this concept. I still believe that state can and should offer and hand up to all its citizens, often funded by those more fortunate in this life but more often funded from those who have received the hand up. I believe if we embraced the ideals of a hand up not only would we improved the lot of our nation but also improve the competitiveness and flexibility of are citizens.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Remembrance day

Britain has been dominated by conservative though since the mess of the civil war, during the civil war town waged war against town, brother against brother and what did it achieve, nine years of dictatorship by a military junta and an extremist religious clique which ruthlessly imposed its will on the people of Britain. All of this suffering would have been justifiable had a new political paradigm been born from all this suffering but no the tyrants death marked a shift back toward the old order with the reinstatement of the monarchy and the rule of law.

I mention this as it was the mess of the civil war that left Britain’s constitution in the mess it has been in ever since and the civil war also ensured almost four hundred years of conservative instinct to dominate British politics.
This piece is not, however, a vitriolic spew about the various virtues of conservative though or a list of times it saved Britain from revolution, anarchy and disaster. This piece is about the greatest failing of conservative though, ever. It is about the unforgivable event and leadership surrounding the First World War.

There have of course been bloody wars, more wasteful war but the First World War must take the biscuit for the most insanely ruinous, badly run and utterly pointless war ever waged. This war marked a shift from conservative pragmatism to conservative nationalist ideology when Generals who put national lust before the eternal covenant.

The eternal covenant is the concept of a contract between the ruled and the ruler but it is also a contract between the past the present and the future and above all it is the history of the nation full of its traditions and norms and most important historical lesions.

One lesion is that no piece of land is worth a man’s life, in the grand narrative of history no one will recall the man who gave his life for four inches of some muddy French field, no one will recall his general for his great victory but more his bloody single mindedness and no country is made powerful exchanging one inch of ground for every life lost (a statistic the WW1 never even came close to emulating).

It was our failing in the promotion of duty and hour not to take a step back from the war to count the cost. It is not that war is not honourable and glorious it is just that the cost of war must be balanced by some value, some real gain. It is insane to think that lives where given away by British generals to gain no French ground.

Indeed if the generals had kept in mind the eternal covenant they may have stayed there hand and saved a few good British live and had the Germans throwing themselves against our lines rather than visa versa.

In the end it was WW1 that marked the end of conservative Britain (finally killed off by WW2). The elite had proven themselves to be susceptible to insane lust and dehumanised warfare which serve no purpose then to kill their own forces. The conservative high ideals of duty and honour were felled by mechanised war fair and the eternal covenant proven unable to protect the nation from a corrupt elite.

So what can we do, well brother was can wait, wait for the liberal lies and myths to bring this great nation to ruin, we can stay the grand hand of the progressives and temper there “good ideas” to save the poor British people from there insane lust and we must learn, learn what the eternal covenant means and why it is so important and remember the cost of forgetting it.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Welfare reform

I have been unemployed and I have claimed benefits:

For those who do not know my degree was in public policy; so I like almost every politics student studied the Beveridge report written by William Henry Beveridge, 1st Baron Beveridge. Now Beveridge sought to defeat five giant (Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness) rotting are nation from within. He had lived through periods of unemployment that make the coalition cuts seems meek and he’d seen people starve and made homeless by this unemployment, he and his generation knew that want and idleness where linked, inseparable from each other.

In Beverage’s welfare scheme all would be found work by the state thus removing the threat of idleness, even if this meant forcing them (though such humanist language would have been utterly alien to Beveridge). People made unemployed received after a period of six weeks a choice of three jobs which they were expected to choose, no, if buts or maybes and if there were no jobs Beveridge expected the state to create them.

There was no training (though apprenticeships where common placed) nor long term unemployed and those pensioned off sick where just that, physically incapable of any work. No one chose to be made unemployed because there was no long term benefit and no way to avoid doing work. Also a massive shortage of labour after WW2 assisted in Beveridges helped.

The trouble is, soon government realised that creating jobs was very expensive and lead to unproductive nationalised industries filled to the brim with badly trained unionised workers. They soon decided, instead of providing the guarantee jobs, they would merely supporting people with far cheaper benefits and some notional training and I do mean notional. In the long history of government training schemes very few stand out as useful or anything much more then cosmetic.

Like the pension bomb left over from the birth of the welfare state we are now facing, we are also facing the cost of the end of job creation and of enabling anyone to live a life on benefits. In short we are facing one of Beverage’s giants Idleness. IDS and Beveridge (for very different reasons) both loath idleness not only because it cost the state millions and creates a class of degenerates but because it’s a terrible and inexcusable waste of human life and I believe we need some IDS and some Beverage to defeat idleness.

IDS laudable policy is in short to unify all benefits into one and continue housing and child care benefits into working life, whilst reducing the benefits at the unemployed end or requiring more activity from those receiving it. He has quite reasonably abolished the cosmetic training schemes that the government did occasionally offer to the select few but has and I think tragically not reinstated a universal training program and this is where IDS could do with a little of Beveridges compassion (yes compassion my dear Tories and Beveridge flair for new ideas).

I am talking about a new training state a state that pursues even as a secondary aim the eradication of unemployment through force and assistance and real hand up not a hand out state. Yes Reader a new post-war consensus where we and the private sector work together and achieve the utilisation of all our human labour.
So what am I suggesting, well first thing first that we continue with all IDS welfare reforms even compulsory working , indeed I would add to the long term unemployed (over three years), we add those who managed to gain but quickly loose more than three jobs in a run. I also believe that we must make work pay for all and dam the oddities and inequalities this causes and I believe in tying housing benefit into it, as I am sure Beveridge would be incensed at the idea of a state subsidised house for life.

What I and I believe Beveridge would add is a universal training scheme, open not to a select few but to everyone unemployed. This universal service would tie together apprenticeships (increased by offering tax concession to participating businesses and even future NI cuts for apprentice recruitment. It would combine OU course (already free to the unemployed) with upfront free course of the candidates choice (both to be paid back after employment regardless of the subsequent wage but based upon it, so it never make work uneconomic) as well with local voluntary agencies looking for placements (and anyone on this would be freed of the need of register for six months) and compulsory CV & interview skills as soon as your sign on.

Combine this with NI cuts for any firm taking on the unemployed and tax cuts to all firms offering substantive training and of course intensive job assistance from private or public bodies (replacing the lame duck job centres) and crushing and punitive actions taken against those who reject all the help now offered to them and I really believe even Beveridge himself would see we are not just attacking want but also idleness. I know this is not perfect and I am sure some will suffer but they suffer now, they suffer from idleness and of being thrown upon the scrap heap and I want to liberate them with a true merciful and conservative hand up not a hand out.

Friday, 5 November 2010

A critique of tea party ideals

Dear reader as you may know I am a devout right wing Christian; exactly the bread and butter of the tea movement in the US. Yet to the shock of many I oppose the tea party and to explain this I am writing a series of blogs which outline my critique and objection to this popularist pseudo movement.

Below are the key ideals which are the basis of the tea party movement and I intend to look at each in a British perspective and to critique them as being vague and incoherent and lacking depth. Throughout I will remind the reader of the duty of conservative to the eternal conversant and social stability .

Fiscal responsibility

“Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honours and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of his or her own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject it's citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty. (Tea party)

I will spare my informed reader from a lecture on the self-obvious, that higher taxes have utterly no bearing on liberty, unless one wishes to argue that the Scandinavian countries are dictatorships or that the lands of Europe are markedly less free then the US we can dispose of this fig leaf of an argument.
Tax in Europe is no new creation, indeed tax probably descend from the earliest civilisations and is certainly mentioned and accepted in the bible (even Jesus paid tax Matthew 22:15-22) and even though there have probably been thousands of battles over tax only the US declared a totally new nation due to minor levels of tax. We must see the tea parties rejection of tax as a by-product of American history.

Anti-tax movements on the other hand play little if no role in are own nation building story. Indeed often the right to vote has been tied to paying tax or owning property. It may seem odd but for most of Britain’s history paying tax has been a status symbol. Tax occasionally been used positively to prevent madmen enjoying the fruits of their labour freely, if we think of the gin levels or the duty on gambling all of these curtailed socially corrosive crazes and established a safer and more coherent society.

In the end dear reader ask yourself this if you were forced to pay for your medical aid, forced to pay for your rubbish collection and parks and education would you in any meaningful way been freer or lived in a freer society? In ancillary to this question, how much is this extra freedom worth? How many homeless and sick people is it worth to be able to enjoy ten % extra freedom?

Constitutionally limited government

“Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states' rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law”

I loved this bit of the tea parties manifesto, I loved it doubly when British politics student or ex-student faithful and without any real thought support a constitutionally limited federal government as opposed the unconstitutional sovereignty of the queen in Parliament leading a singular unified nation which has been the British model of government since the act on the union.

Imperfect, eccentric and often panicked stricken though are post-civil war politics maybe it has been one thing, free of tyrants, free of plebiscites and free above all of self-aggrandising, her today and gone tomorrow leaders and parties. Are leaders have trod carful not out of deference to some document construed by long since dead men but out of regard for the eternal covenant with the British people and a distaste of both radicalism and fossilisation.

One of the reason the British political elite has withstood for so long is they understand though sometimes unelected they serve at are whim, we agree not to follow every popular, romantic but inevitably flawed and deluded revolutionary leader and they promise to rain in there lust and ego. It is not perfect dear reader, nothing of the world of man is perfect but it has worked and has managed massive democratic and social change without the need for revolution or anarchy.

I also quickly wish to point out that supporting unabridged personal liberty and the rule of law is a paradoxical position as is the idea of a government by the people (all of whom are alive) and supporting a constitution (written by people long since dead). I also question the ability of people four hundred years to know the absolute will of people long since dead and doubly question how democratic it is to enforce the living to bow a knee to the laws of the long since dead.

Free market:

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do (tea party)

Beyond the fact that I very much doubt the capitalist impulses of the puritanical founding fathers we must remind ourselves of something very important. Conservative e cannot be pro an unabridged market and nor can Christians (1 Timothy 6:10-11).

Indeed we British need no lecture on the pursuit of a free economy, are economic history is not marred by protectionist policies and are companies are not protected from foreign by outs, unlike the US. Indeed if a list of the most free of free markets where drawn up I would glad bet that Britain would out score the US and when the Tea party talk of free trade they mean only internally.

Let us return, however to the tea party and their belief that economic freedom is equivalent of liberty. So let us test this theory, let us lock up Sahara Palin in the deepest, darkest cell in Christendom and slowly fill it with the fruits of her labour and see how free she fails to be. The freedom to en joy the fruits of ones labours is one possible because we have a stable society and that dear reader does not spring forth naturally, it requires time and often money. So taking some of your fruits in order for you to enjoy them in the future is not a lessening of your liberty but a guarantor.

Of course having your fruits wholly consumed either by your peers or the state is being brought to the state of slavery to them by them and wholly unacceptable. It is a balance, some of our labour we owe not totally and must balance this with are own need to keep and use the fruits of are labour as we will.

In will say just briefly why supporting the market wholly is conservative; firstly the market is a fetish of man, well money is. Man in pursuit of money which is part of the market would willing undermine and corrupt any institution and forsake and step upon any of his fellows. Not only does the pursuit of money thus damages are society it also damages those institutions which is corrupts and which are not fiscally orientated.

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

What makes angle weep and devils rejoice

I read this line in my university days and it have stuck with me ever since. The answer is of course truth and as a Christian I believe it is a sin to bear false witness / lie and I remember that Jesus is truth (John 14:6) and to deny or forsake the truth is to deny or forsake him.

What does this have to do with living life as a Christian? Well I was recently made redundant and was forced to undergo the horror of interviews. I am told not once but a million times that interviews are a game where the literal and absolute truth is sacrifices to vague semi-lies and half-truths and where imperfect human natures is transmuted into perfect humans and corporate machines.

So as I filled out application forms, wrote my CV and even attended interviews I stuck rigidly to the facts, I refused to fudged the truth or e forsake it . I refused to exaggerate my abilities at the cost of the principles of truthfulness and yes modesty which are part of my Christian faith. Whenever aksed a question I always answered frankly and honestly, continuing my theme of honesty and my belief that an honest answer deserves and honest question.

All the time I knew that others, probably less qualified then I where, let us be kind, stretching the truth. Also I carried on honestly letting jobs I could have perfectly managed passing by because I lacked one required aspect of them and refused to lie about it. All the time losing out on opportunities I would have loved in the name of truth and thus in the name of the saviour.

I was even told that I should realise that this processes is a competition and an unfair one and that I should not be so strict about the truth but I stood firm, I reminded them that the truth does not alter ever and that as Christians we must sometimes (and for me personally often) be willing to sacrifice what we want in order to live a good and decent life, a life in keeping with Christ.
In the end without lying I managed to land a job, not my ideal job and one which was lower paid then my last one but the Job I believe God intended for me, a honest job for an honest man.

Tuesday, 2 November 2010


In every social system there are those at the top and those on the bottom indeed the “managing or politicisation” of these two groups has been a motivating factor behind political thinking since Marx .

Until recently, in the history of politics or social policy, there was very little concern for the group below even those on the bottom the so called lumpon proletariat, the very lowest of the low. They have always existed, always self-medicated first with cheap booze and then with opium the state has vacuolated between content acceptance and criminalisation and often both.

Often the state or the police has been happy to allow them to wallow in the dark places of society, happy to let them rot in the unseen places of our society; happy as long as they don’t cause a fuss and they are out of the way. They were explained away as lazy or drunk or stoned, there exclusion was justified because they were undeserving of our help, or beyond it and thus without a glance we disappear them.
There are those of course who see these invisibles often the religious among us. They sustain this displaced mass with soup and too infrequently salvation. They struggle in vain to clean and house these damaged souls, they swim against a tide of indifference, suspicion and often bile to look after those we have blinded ourselves too.

We have a power though a power to house the homeless and treat the addicts. The UK had an almost zero homeless rate until Thatcher and I say as a conservative that one homeless person is one person too many.

So what is the solution well first build more treatment centre and homeless centres (take the money from the international development budget). Free drug and homeless treatment from the quagmire of human rights laws and ideology, replacing it with the first principle of solving the issue forever and no person left behind. Most importantly of all we must make rehousing the homeless and rehabilitating the drug addict top priorities.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

No mean no!

I oppose forcing people to vote. As much as we politicos believe everyone is a s fascinated and obsessed by politics as we are they are not. If people have no view of whom they want as a candidate then they have the right not to be forced to choose, people have the right to hold no particular view and thus not vote. Indeed the right to hold no particular view is essentially the British position on most things and often terribly sensible one.

So we have those who hold a view about candidates and are willing to expresses those views at the ballot are empowered to do so and those who hold not views are respected. Unfortunately those left out in the cold are those who seek no representation, those whose views have no candidate or who have no truck with the dominate politics . In short those who seek to vote but seek to return no candidate at all.

You can debate differing electoral systems all day but there is something they all lack and that is the ability to reject all candidates and enjoy a representative free world. Now those who agree as I do that people should be able to register a none of the above view argue that if there is majority in favour of no candidate there must be a new election (with the same candidate or a wholly new set of ones I assume).
I do not accept this view, it is my view that if a majority of people choose to vote for none of the above they should not be forced to vote and vote until some candidate is chosen. No they should have exactly what they have voted for, no candidate. So instead of having a MP with their resulting surgery and voting on their behalf they would have nothing and the monies spent on the MPs wage redistributed among the representless population.

This is not to punish them, indeed this entire proposal is to treat voting adult like adults. If they seek no representative then that is exactly what they should receive, enjoying both the ups and the downs of their democratically chosen choice. If we are serious about empowering and democratising people and systems then the right to opt out must be part of the new approach.

Saturday, 30 October 2010

Yorkshire as a federal state

Before I start I wish to apologise, I once was very much, anti-federalist in my ill-advised youth. I misunderstood what the call for independence meant. I could see my beloved union (UK) being dissolved into separate nations. I could see the UK being neutered first by the defection of Scotland, wales and Northern Ireland, followed by Yorkshire and England ending up just as the rump of the south east (with London enjoying the status of a city state).

So I think it would assist your movement to clarify what independence means and what being a federal state means. Federal states are largely apart of modern European nation forming, they are a result of German / Italian and even USA unification. They are a result of small nations tied by tradition and language forming into larger nations they are not a result of larger nations slowly dissolving.

Here is my first issue with current federal state structure; they have level upon level upon level of representation and bureaucracy. They start with the medieval parish governance aka parish councils and then there are towns with their majors and often town based administration and above them the larger councils and above them the federal fiefdoms and above them the nation and now above them, like a great yoke, the EU and sitting as deity to all that is bureaucracy sits the UN.

My second issue is the form of the federal state, which areas should be unified together to form these new federal state? Unlike Germany or Italy, Britain though formed of some nations; lacks areas which would naturally form into an easy system of federal areas. This is less true of the northern region and even lesser true of Yorkshire a notable exception. The south east on the other hand holds no such strong identities and would care little for a new federal area.

I mention this second issue as one the failings of the new labour constitutional / devolution reforms was its attempts to impose federal areas for which a senses of history and cultural identity did not exist and they were of course opposed and eventually removed completely. So an important step towards any regional independence must be a national conversation regarding the total complete federalisation of Great Britain. Either all of Britain must be a federal state or none should be.

As long as the federal states do not have national voting rights (as they do in the US) they do not even have to even be evenly sized, they just need reflect the wishes and cultural uniqueness of the populace. Indeed this ideal would greatly assist Yorkshire independence as the sole purpose of federal areas would be to interpret legislation within a particular cultural setting and of course drive economic funding and bring democracy to their people. Also this would prevent the farce that was the south east region used by the EU which was designed solely for population’s considerations.

The idea of culturally determined federal areas (I would prefer not to use the word state) is not the only unique idea an independent Yorkshire nation could forged ahead with. Another is the removal rather than the addition of bureaucracy. It seems to me that Yorkshire is perfect for a little experiment in the true devolution of power.

Firstly the end of the town hall politics as we know it, in this model the newly federated Yorkshire would abolish all local councils and replace the elected councillors with one town specific mayor and smaller villages could elect a single parish councillor, empowered to take charge of local policing a local budget and even limit control of other areas of polices. Above these would still be the newly formed Yorkshire federal legislature and the UK government but no more duplication with town mayors and councils as town mayors again represent a particular cultural identity and need instead of councils based on random population distribution.

This would remove one level of bureaucracy instead of merely adding level upon level and of course strengthens local accountability and local values and identity. As for the shape and form of the federal body, that should be an issue for the locality rather than enforced nationally. Again beyond external policy (military and foreign policy) the exact power distribution between the differing federal areas should be decided by the people of the differing federal areas and even be allowed to differ between towns and villages.
So what I hope that any new structure of British politics can achieve uniqueness, less central dominance and a new focus on the cultural and economic difference behind the calls for federalisation and above all if not a decrease in bureaucracy certainly not an increase in bureaucracy.

Hureai Kippu

Many eons ago I read a book on anarchist theory and anarchist economic theory. Without boring my beloved readers the entire model was the exchanging of time between people, all time being equal. I mention this because the government recent big idea reminded me of this economics of time.

Now if you are a regular reader of my blog (bless you, and get a job!) you will know I am a cynical man. I have always believed that if we wish more people to volunteer or indeed is we wish to staff the big society we needed to create some incentive for volunteering (and oddly enough a non-monetary solution).

Now I know nothing about Japanese politics and I could find no English article discussing Hureai Kippu so I cannot base my comments upon the original policies successes or failure so I will have to base it upon theory. Firstly there is a uniquely British aspect to this idea. Britain has post-education tuitions fees; in short Britain has and will have a sizable per-portion of its population that owes the government vast sums for these fees.

It seems relevantly simple to me to arrange a big society exchange in which often unemployed or ill experienced ex-students can participate in community voluntary schemes in return for deductions in there student loans. Added to ex-students we can add people seeking to pay off their parking / driving fines or even minor criminals fines.

Now this is not the whole solution there are of course others who have no loans or fines and so would choose some other incentive or at least non-monetary reward. Maybe those who volunteer with no loans could earn the time of those re-paying their and apply it to their own voluntary community schemes
In addition to the speeders and ex-students there is another group of a person whom rewarded voluntary work could reach and that is the unemployed. I am sure there some reading this blog who will simply say they should be forced to undertake voluntary work (a punishment we reserve for criminals).

Not only do I believe forcing innocent people to work is deeply questionable but it also places a very heavy burden of enforcement and monitoring onto the voluntary organisations that they are supposed to be assisting.

No dear reader even the unemployed should be incentivised to volunteer, of course the training and value of voluntary work must be communicated to the unemployed, indeed one of the calls that the big society needs to answer is making it easier and more rewarding for the unemployed to get involved. Added to these minor benefits for the unemployed maybe subsidies for a course of their choice or the right to go on holiday or vouchers for school clothing and toys.

My point is that the best way to staff the big society is via existing volunteers and new semi-volunteers. We must enable people to choose from a range of reward, yes time for time is one of are tools but time or student fees or time for school uniform vouchers or gym membership is perfectly acceptable and in the end the salvation of the big society.

Friday, 29 October 2010

Housing policy:

I live in Reading and I often take the train into London, I have never in my four years of commuting ever had a seat regardless of the time I chose to embark, these trains are every half an hour in peek time and comprise very large trains.

I mention this to make a point people travel to London from Reading, people who are permanently employed in London and some who wage permitting would choose to live in London. They are forced instead of dwelling in London to wake up pay to stand on a crowded train and then on a packed underground train just to get to work.

Meanwhile some fictional family is living in 400+ a week accommodation not having to face the daily trek to work or suffer any crowded transportation and who pays for whom? It is the hard working, down at heal commuter that pays for the extreme rents charged, the very same rents that force the commute to undergo the drudgery of the daily commute, and this is supposedly fair and right?

Add into this a very important consideration, since when was it the job/duty of the state to ensure economic multiplicity in boroughs in the capital? Since when did economics multiplicity matter? Indeed until the birth of the modern state any concept of economic multiplicity would have been alien and people would have been forced at best to move if they lost their jobs.

In the end a cap on housing benefit is the only way to control the rent we pay to private landlords and thus accidentally subsidise the buy to let boom that has prevented so many hard working families form funding a permanent house and also to reduces the burden of housing people in expensive areas.
Yes people will have to move and yes moving is unpleasant and commuting is unpleasant but people who work have to do both of these things in order for the circumstances to meet there income and while I would never support a policy that made people homeless and I mean actually homeless but I do support a policy which makes housing more realistic

Saturday, 23 October 2010

Get on your bus

Blaenau Gwent in Wales at 14.8 per cent
City of Kingston upon Hull at 14.5 per cent
Sandwell in the West Midlands, at 14.2 per cent

These towns have the undignified distinction of being the three areas of highest unemployment in the UK. Almost a fifth of people are not employed and yet the unemployed remain imprisoned in these dead end towns. We can think of many reason, to be honest, the long term unemployed are not the most mobile of people, they often fear finding housing and even free, parental, childcare elsewhere and so they stay here, enabled by a permissive state and ensnared by the same permissive state.

People who deeply love their families and communities and houses and work often move vast distances in search of a better job or job opportunities, they often take their children out of school several times in order, in the end, to give them better life chances and a better things. They do all of this not for state funded rewards but the reward in the knowledge that their children will not have to struggle as they had done or that a better life lies ahead.

Now those whose homes are guaranteed by the state and who bread is provided similarly and who care nothing for their shameless consumption of limited state resources or the life chance of their own children have no reason to move from the above death traps, nor should be parents and will never be made to move but there are those, deserving poor, willing to seek brighter tomorrows if the state will just assist them.

If the state will guarantee them housing in their new location and easy to accesses subsidy for transportation for a short transitionary (and even interview) period and assist them in finding jobs in these new and oft alien location. Then those who were ensnared by the state shall be freed; they will happily move away from the dead towns into living towns, into new productive live and better life chances of their children.

This may lead to the above great towns above dying out but it will liberate the ensnared inheritance from there pointless, worthless and functionless grips. If we want people to look nationally for jobs and I see no reason why not then we must support them. We must house them, support them and always be there for them, for in return for a new life they have forsaken the familiar for us. In short we must guarantee this new world is better than the old.

Wednesday, 20 October 2010

Dear Mr. Cameron

In April this year I lost my jobs and despite living as long as I could off my savings I was eventually forced to request job seekers allowance. I want you to know I singed on in good faith, willing to be helped back into work. In fact I was willing to go back into any office based job.

I also want you to know I find your employees at the job centre to be useless, they refuse to accept dyslexia as a disability, they failed to sort out my national insurance numbers (an issue I solved on my own) they failed to even look at my CV. They gave no advice or guidance without being pushed and barely looked at the detailed record I kept of my job hunt, often asking question which a second glance to this list would have easily answered.

What, however, annoyed me most out of all this carelessness is that, though I had set myself a target of looking for five jobs, a day claimants only have to look for 3 a week! They treated me with no greater kindness or offered no greater assistance due to my clear commitment to finding work. In short no matter how hard you looked, you were treated the same, which is hardly fair.

I have now found myself a job, a 15,000 a year job. That is a wage decrease of £6,000 but I am still proud to have a job. I would still rather work for lower wages then stay of tax subsidised benefits for a second longer and there are many like me.
I understand the times ahead are going to be hard and I am thankful that my new employment has granted me a shield from the vacillations of state support and I am thankful my parent are kind enough to let me live with them and contribute to the net income of the house. Most of all, however, I am proud to be able to stand on my own two feet.

My message to you Mr. Cameron is simple. Unless unemployment explodes to stay the course, to remain faithful in our parties belief in private sector led recovery and in not indebting are future generations for our own gratification and I want you to know there are jobs out there for people willing to make concessions and even loose income. To remain steadfast in are belief that the British people will survive, survive though are families and are own hard work and survive to assist the state.

So when Mr. Cameron the opposition lampoon you and are party for serving vested interest or ideological cuts please remember me and the millions of hard working people who will carry on regardless, who will find new jobs and whose meagre incomes should not be taken by those unwilling to do as we would do. Whose wages should not go to support the idle or interest repayments to hostile governments forever in a day.

Mosque and Chapel

For those of you who are not Methodist, the Methodist church encourages its followers to use their skills and power to help the; community, church and Jesus. I have always felt a little like the little drummer boy in the hymn I had nothing to bring so I bring the only gift I have and that is honestly.

I live in Reading which is a multi-cultural town and recently a mosque has been completed, ironically near the local giant Tesco. There is a wonderful vista: the giant Tesco sign and the shining gold dome of the mosque and I am sadden and intimidated by this alien building so alien to me and so alien to my faith.
It is not as if this Mosque is the only non-Christian religious building there has been a Buddhist temple for many year and even a Hindu temple (based in an old Methodist church oddly enough) and I am sure there are more but these have adopted are architectural norms, these other faith one can ignore but the Mosque is not in tradition of British architecture religious or otherwise.

I am shocked by my shock. I lived in Leicester for three years a city with more than one traditional designed mosque. Indeed Leicester had a variety of non-western designed buildings including a Jan (Hindu) temple which was clad in Jan deity’s in white marble and none of this bothered me even a little.

So I came to conclude that one’s homes town is different, one’s home is different. Here we become insensibly sensitive to the alien architectural styling of a Mosque and unfortunately equate this alien design with an alien faith. Well I have known Muslims and they are no different from us, good people, striving to be good. Yes they are not identical to us nor are there architecture but we cannot hold them at fault for having a different religious or architectural tradition.

So dear reader be not ashamed at being taken aback and even a little irritated, we are merely meek and weak people trying to make are way in a world where the new or the alien makes us uncomfortable but soon enough the alien become the common, given enough time a Mosque is no more noticeable then church.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

On higher education

The biggest issue facing higher education is not actually, directly, financial. It is how to connect student education with student outcomes via there retrospective universities and course choices. This is a very complex way of saying something very simple. The funding any university receive should reflect the income of its ex-students.

I am very unhappy with the idea that the government should use the higher education system as some proxy for economic planning. I.e. funding only those courses which it perceives will be required far into the future. I am also unhappy with the current system where the whim of the student is the sole economic force in degree choices and there is utterly no connection between employability and course take up.

Therefore I suggest a new system: Allow universities to charge whatever they wish all of which must be totally funded by post-employment paid loans but base the funding the universities then receives on the money recouped by their ex-student on these loans. Ideally the universities would hold the loans (regulated by the government) themselves and directly survive at least in part from the income garnished from these loans.

Of course the government will provide the bases funding to all universities / technical institutes keeping the loan amounts within a reasonable level and also paying the entire loaned amounts of disabled and poorer students on their successful and only upon there successful graduation. It may even wish to guarantee payment of some per cent of some favoured courses loan.

Universities can always sell or partner with business in providing research or it can partner with government for the same purpose. Indeed universities would be wise to partner with business to link directly into their recruitment schemes and provided training to their employees and thus build an additional source of income and a possible avenue for their graduates. So whilst research would remain unaffected universities can offer more training and better integration with business.

The benefit of my system is it makes the university financially responsible for the courses it offers and also the quality and applicability of the teaching they offer and of course the student is finically responsible for their course via the loan. It also offers government some leeway to focus recourses on its favoured course and of course it will lead to better educated / trained post graduate students. It would also encourage a greater synergy between business and university and also pays for the research and development which university provides.

There is one further alteration we need, we need to stop saying all course are equal to students and start telling students the employability resulting from different courses at different universities. We must explain to them the financial implications and possibilities of university and teach them of the possible outcomes of their course choice or their lack of choice.

Sunday, 10 October 2010

Why are we hitting are core vote?

I am not and never will be against making people pay for their education, they received the education, they will benefit from it and they are improved by it. The important point is the word they. Not their parents or their neighbour or any other person connected via blood or via nationhood.

I say this because it is a myth that upfront tuition fees are paid for by student. I doubt any student (beyond mature) could afford tuition fees as they are paid up front and I doubt even more anymore students will be able to afford the larger ones.
So who pay the new increased tuition fees? Well of course because we now believe in social mobility as an absolute, the poor do not pay. The student, who comes from a family who dare earn above £21,00 and thus should or will have to pay his fee cannot realistically pay so that leaves the parents to pay and parents are expected to pay because it is there income which is used in the decision.

So asking okay off (you fees are only paid if you earn over £21,000) parents to pay £3,000 was bad enough but suddenly turning around and demanding £7,000 is nothing short of criminal. How many of us could suddenly find not just £7,000 but £21,000 to fund the education of our children? How fair is it to make hard working parents, who (yes) pay huge amounts of tax, pay an extra £21,00 to send their children to university?

We can all defend the imperfect alteration to child benefit, in the end, those who earn over £44,000 can suffer the loss and we can try to work out inequality in this reduction but can we defend asking hardworking and tax paying families for upfront payments in excesses of £21,000. Is this the reward for the hard work and faithful tax payment of are core vote? (The enterprising muddle classes).

Add into this another consideration, a child of a family with an income £21,000, who chooses to study manufacturing (an economic sector the government would give their first born to see resurrected) would be, or his parents would have to pay at least £21,000 in tuition fees. While a student born in poverty who undertakes a degree in media studies or foot wear design (actual cores at DMU) the state would pay the £21,000 for them. Again I ask is this fair?

If the state wants to increase tuition fees they become an increased barrier to the enterprising class, that class which actually funds and operates the state and the economy. As I stated at the start I believe university should be paid for by the educated student and this after they have finished their study and began to earn their increased income. Let them service the debt incurred in receiving there education, let everyone attend university and pay for it themselves afterwards. Let us not punish the enterprising classes.

Monday, 27 September 2010


6Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6)

It very fashionable to doubt everything in this modern world, even we believers doubt that we hold onto some higher or grander truth or that there is a singular path to salvation Some even seem to believe that a really good atheist could by their own perfect goodness open to non believer the gates of heaven.
The argument runs like this, some Christian (regular attendees of church and even some ministers) have not been and are not and will not be good people. That some people who are not believers are better than these Christians and thus not only dose Christianity not hold monopoly of doing good but neither do we hold the right to truth.

This discussion is held in a greater narrative called post-modernism or relativism. The relativist says there are many faiths and unless you behave counter to the commands of Christ (and judge them) you must accept them as equally truthful or at least you must accept that your faith, your truths is merely one among a set of probably infinite set of faiths and truths.

These ideas erode faith and I mean faith. There is only one God and one way to him and that is through Jesus Christ. Yes other believe differently but people believe many silly things mere belief does not reality make. I could believe until I exploded that I was a six foot anodise with a personality that made women knees buckle but reality would not bend one inch to my delusions and those who seek God can believe until the end of days there is a path excluding Jesus but they will never find it because the truth is that Jesus is the path.

Now your ministers and reverent may speak against this they will say this is nothing but empty dogma, that I am nothing but an scared and confused believer running away from the “realities” of the post modern world (though how anyone can use realities and post modern in the same sentence is beyond me). I embrace them and there challenge and dear reader I tell you this I am fearful not of post-modernism. I have studied its poisonous and truth destroying creed, I see daily the effect of taking moral certainty and exchanging relativist morals (though moral they are not they are merely the temporal taste of man).

I will say something to those who think that are faith can exist in the world where certainty, faith and even rules are not immortal but temporal, a world where certainly is exchange for anarchy. It is they who are scared. They are the decedents of the church that denied the literal truth of Gods existence, which denies the historical truth of his miracles and now they turn and run from his laws and truth.
Look at what they give us. They give us a bible which we can no longer understand alone (we require commentary, historical lesions, a MA in linguistic philosophy and in post modernist ideals and of course ancient Greek). No we mere humans cannot understand the true message of the bible anymore they say. It is for these (largely post Christians), to lead us so we can fully understand the churches 2000 year old mistake that of actually believing in the bible and its universal application.

So what are we to do? When I say we I refer to you my dear reader who remains loyal to the singular greatest fruit of the protestant revolution, the revelation or rediscovery that the bible contains all we require for salvation and that anyone can follow this path, that anyone can meet Jesus and that even the most unlearned, darkest, most oppressed soul can know Jesus and the sole path to salvation through him.

So what are we to do? Those of us who remain to save are beloved and multiple churches (actually the Catholics are leading the charge, they long ago realise that relativism and doubt is incompatible with faith). Well my catholic brothers and sisters can remain loyal to their church teaching and to the pope who is relived not because of his past but because the forces of doubt know that he alone among church leaders will not buckle and bend to them but will stand alone is necessary against their poison.

Those of us in the protestant churches that challenge relativism and refuses to alter their message of sovereign truth need only to remain true in the knowledge that they are the decedents of the protestant revolution and of Jesus Gospel but also keep this article in mind, keep the scattering, diluting effect of relativism in mind and carry on the good fight.

Those of us (and I think this is more common in the Anglican community) whose churches are trying to embrace (or swallow) the relativist / post modern ideas? We must be prepared to fight against them, to even stand against are church leadership not only on a particle level but also on an intellectual level. We must cry out against the dangers of relativism and remain true even in internal exile to the single truth that salvation is found solely though Christ and no other.

Sunday, 26 September 2010


A technocracy is a state rule by a technocratic elite, the best example of a technocracy is the EU where the commission is a house of technocratic entrusted with the technical and diplomatic functions of the union. Technocrats are chosen (by other technocrats) not because they are popular or even democratic but because of their technical expertise. In the EU case this is mostly legal or industrial.
It is important here to differentiate the commission from the House of Lords or other second houses where some technocrats may sit. The House of Lords for all its floors does take once elected member into its body in order that they may serve a semi democratic purpose.

I say all of this merely to make a point we do not live in a technocracy but we are in danger of doing so. From Tony Blair onward both the labour party and the Tory party have elected technocrats as leaders (even the lib-dems did this with Clegg). Men who have no track record of party politics and who have served parliament as unelected technocratic supports to actual politicians.

The party serve the technocratic creed, they manage rather than lead, they talk instead of acting and above all the parties seek power rather than to serve some higher aim. Indeed there is something terrible technocratic about the middle ground as it hold no truck with extremes of passion or love for the complexity and peculiarity of the human species and seeks only dull inhuman stability.

This may seem like sour grapes. I have always voted against the technocratic rule of ex special advisors and I have always lost but it is a genuine concern that though we are not the EU commission yet are parliament is stocked up with technocracies aka professional politicians. People whose skill is electoral and nothing more.
I am reminded of Burke the age of duty, honour and glory have ended and the age of the beaucrarte, financier and professional has dawned. Weep now brothers for the age of belief of ideas of anything beyond statistical at arm’s length governance has come and the age of the speechmaker, rabble rousers and believers has passed.

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Freedom and liberty

Man may set aside laws which are important to him and these laws he may found pleasurable indeed these laws may come to define everything he loves or enjoys and be key to allowing him to be a free man in society. He is in deep trouble as are these highly regarded laws when he sees them as natural or inalienable for he then entrust their keeping not to the social from whence they come and in which they are regarded but to government as they are the keepers of all laws and as these laws are natural or inalienable cannot be altered.
Of course government being capricious and jealous seeks to ensnare man not in the social web but the web of the bureaucrat and administrator and so robs man of these highly regarded laws and replace them with rights and freedoms which are the rights of freedom the government deems to give him with no regard to the nature of man. Worse still via these new liberties and freedoms they try to shape man to their will and through him undermine the social and consume its power into itself.
Therefore bother loves those laws which grant you joy and freedom within the social and allow no body to keep them for they will turn them but keep them yourself, keep them in the social for it was here they come, it here they are valued and it is here they are safe from those who speak so much of their nature and inalienability in order to rob you of what man ins society has made and thus man in society is best able to keep

Saturday, 18 September 2010

Tea Party Patriots

Tea Party Patriots

Mission Statement and Core Values

Mission Statement

The impetuses for the Tea Party movement are excessive government spending and taxation. Our mission is to attract, educate, organize, and mobilize our fellow citizens to secure public policy consistent with our three core values of Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government and Free Markets.

Core Values

• Fiscal Responsibility

• Constitutionally Limited Government

• Free Markets

Fiscal Responsibility: Fiscal Responsibility by government honors and respects the freedom of the individual to spend the money that is the fruit of his or her own labor. A constitutionally limited government, designed to protect the blessings of liberty, must be fiscally responsible or it must subject it's citizenry to high levels of taxation that unjustly restrict the liberty our Constitution was designed to protect. The runaway deficit spending as we now see in Washington D.C. compels us to take action because we know that a heavy burden of national debt is a grave threat to our national sovereignty and the personal and economic liberty of future generations.

Constitutionally Limited Government: We, the members of The Tea Party Patriots, are inspired by our founding documents and regard the Constitution of the United States to be the supreme law of the land. We believe that it is possible to know the original intent of the government our founders set forth, and stand in support of that intent. Like the founders, we support states' rights for those powers not expressly stated in the Constitution. As the government is of the people, by the people and for the people, in all other matters we support the personal liberty of the individual, within the rule of law.

Free Markets: A free market is the economic consequence of personal liberty. The founders believed that personal and economic freedom were indivisible, as do we. Our current government's interference distorts the free market and inhibits the pursuit of individual and economic liberty. Therefore, we support a return to the free market principles on which this nation was founded and oppose government intervention into the operations of private business.

Our Philosophy

Tea Party Patriots as an organization believes in the Fiscal Responsibility, Constitutionally Limited Government, and Free Markets. Tea Party Patriots, Inc. is a non-partisan grassroots organization of individuals united by our core values derived from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States of America and the Bill Of Rights as explained in the Federalist Papers. We recognize and support the strength of grassroots organization powered by activism and civic responsibility at a local level. We hold that the United States is a republic conceived by its architects as a nation whose people were granted "unalienable rights" by our Creator. Chiefly among these are the rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." The Tea Party Patriots stand with our founders, as heirs to the republic, to claim our rights and duties which preserve their legacy and our own. We hold, as did the founders, that there exists an inherent benefit to our country when private property and prosperity are secured by natural law and the rights of the individual.