Friday, 20 August 2010

Simon Hughes & the lib-dems in exile

I still recall the talk of the bastard coalition between the liberal democrats and the labour party, a coalition supported by the rump of both parties and by the late leaders of the liberal democrats. Indeed had labour bothered to prepare for coalition why may have had this bastard coalition even now.

History did not go this way. Instead, out of practical political need and in the interest of the country we so love. It was the Conservative party that prepared and sought to form a full coalition, something the electoral maths did not necessitate.
On the other hand the lib-dems, after some bear face lying and whoring themselves around to see if they could get there preferred partner (labour) to make any moves towards coalition they settled unhappily with the Conservative party. Now this was indeed facilitated by the two leaders being in true coalition and I still believe Mr Clegg to be honest in his coalition with us. His party on the other hand is a different story.

We now come to Simon Hughes deputy leader of the lib-dems aka either the voice of the left or in my view the liberal party in exiles leader. Now the lib-dems argue that they are a democratic party and all Mr Hughes is doing is voicing the views of a section of his party, similar to what David Davis or John Redwood is doing in the conservative party.

There is a slight difference, however, neither Mr Davis or Mr. Redwood hold official party positions, there power within the party is that of a popular backbencher. Mr Hughes is the deputy leader and has in my view become the exile party leader. The party leader in exile for all those liberal democrats unhappy with the coalition and its polices. Polices I will remind my liberal democrat reader there party agreed to and continues to support. As you can see there is already a separation in the party between the lib-dem ministers and the lib-dem party in exile lead by Mr. Hughes.

The lib dems have actual another part of the party in exile Olly Grender, she as the unofficial voice of the party / chief distiancer from the coalition. She spins the line that the lib-dems are the minority voice within the coalition and thus have limited influences (and that is normal in coalitions). This line is very clever. Unlike Mr Hughes she distances the party in exile from the coalition but without attacking it. It is also false; lib-dem influence in the coalition is massive compared to their seats.

Look at the new internationalist foreign policy or the focus on welfare reform (lead oddly by Ian Duncan smith) all the constitutional reform and pro liberty reforms and of course the trident and general military polices. Indeed in the depths of this coalition I fail to found any real Troy polices beyond the defect reduction, housing and the arts hardly key policy areas.

So here we have the twin anti coalition position held by the lib-dems we have the deputy lib-dem leader leading a defacto party in exile arguing that his exiled party should be free to vote as they wish (as if they’d not enter coalition at all) and we have the poor victim routine as embody by Olly Grender. Together they have effectively created a full party in power and influencing the coalition but free from actually facing the consequence of their action.

Thursday, 5 August 2010

British constitution

By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law;
That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;
Both these are quote from the bill of rights which along with the act of secession (an even more anti catholic piece of writing) where the first attempts of a legislature imposing limits on a monarch via the force of law.
It was no a constitution. Indeed at the time this was written the very idea of a constitution was unheard of. It was not until the 17th century that legal theorist and liberal theorist started to discuss the institutional apparatus of democracy and what we would now call human rights.
Now there is no single defintio0n of what is or is not a constitution but I was always taught that a constitution did certain things. 1 it formalised the rule of the political game i.e. it informed how votes should be held and who did what in office and even who did what in the legislature 2 it defragmented power, the idea that power must be dispersed within a democracy is at the heart of liberal theory and thus at the heart of the idea of what a constitution should do 3 It lays out the right and responsibilities of the citizens to the state, indeed the idea of a constitution was based on the idea of a formal contract between the monarch or state on their people.
The acts which form the basis of the British constitution do none of this, or in the case of the bill of succession does this (if allows people legal freedom) but in such a comical outmoded and biased that it is worse than irrelevant. I am not arguing that these bills our not important they our proto constitutions, the first tentative steps toward what we’d regard as a constitution but they represent one body (parliament) accreting some rights over another (monarchy).

Wednesday, 4 August 2010

Housing policy

We are desperately short of housing in our nation and we are even shorter of environmental housing. Punitive instructions and regulation concerning energy conservation and chatter about eco design has led to a few houses being built and cavities filled at the cost of our energy bills.
As climate changes and energy shadow ministers I am not technically concerned with increasing home building but it would be short-sighted and irresponsible of me to ignore the real need for more homes and more energy efficient homes.
So I would remove all regulation concerning energy efficiency from home builders and councils and abolish council tax on houses under the average house value (this would alter as house values changed). I would replace it on a tax for the energy consumption and ratting of any house; the worse the energy efficiency the higher the tax.
There would be means tested state loans to pay for people to insulated and improve the energy efficiency of their house and of course people could build energy production unit and sell power to the grid (without the need for planning permission). People would pay less tax the more energy efficient their homes where and of course property developers could charge more for more energy efficient homes.
The actual level of tax would be for councils to decided as they would be accountable to the government for meting there areas energy efficiency level. Councils could offset inefficient council house stock with green power production or visa versa

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

My energy policy

As well all know oil is running out and so will coal and all other fossilised or petrified sources of fuel. Using a limited and dwindling resource for the basis of any society, yet alone one so rapacious for energy as ours is indefensibly short sighted.

I am no scientist and I do not pretend to know if man is heating up the globe or not but if the world in naturally heating up anyway. It strikes me as a prudent move not to use the above mentioned materials which also, quite unhelpfully, also produce chemicals that at best do not hinder these warming processes.

So these two very strong arguments combined have led me to this policy. The state will allow councils to sell there electricity to the national grid, it will tax very heavily any use of none renewable fuels but this is the extent of our involvement. Councils will be free to opt for whatever means of power generation they then deem is sensible and the voters will in the end approve or reject it.

In addition to this we will suggest that council’s source there new energy mechanism locally and fund through loans and tax breaks to any renewable energy technological company with a tax on the consumption of none renewable fuel sources and foreign lorries which do not incur this tax as they filled up outside of the UK.

I will have further discussions with my shadow cabinet colleges on further radical proposals.