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Political Alternative

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Going back to the politics,  I've been doing a lot of thinking about the problems, economic and otherwise that are afflicting the UK at the present time, and the biggest and least acknowledged obstacle to improving life for the majority, is the class system.  This hierarchy of privilige is what is stifling the entire country and stopping any real progression both socially and economically.  So in order to get the UK moving, real action is needed and the place to start is the House of Lords.  

The class system needs dismantling and it needs dismantling from the top down, so, the first thing i would do is, get rid of the House of Lords and replace it with a House of Representatives.  That is, an upper chamber that is truly representative of all the groups that make up society, not just the political cronies and privileged who occupy it now.  
 

Firstly, every county would have one representative and the 20 largest cities one representative as well.  London, being the capital would have two, one from North London and one from South London. One of the criteria for representing your city or county would be that you would have to be permanently resident there.  Next, I would have a representative for the top 10 religious groups, ethnic minorities, charities, unions and a couple of representatives from business, farming and the industrial sector.  There should also be a representative from the NHS and the armed forces. Then, there would be past Prime Ministers and one representative from all the political parties with seats in the House of Commons.  I would also give a seat to the monarch and their immediate heir because although i completely disagree with the whole business of monarchy, i would still leave that decision to the people in a referendum.  I also feel that as the Head of State, they should be entitled to a say, all voting in the Upper Chamber would of course be by secret ballot.

So that's the starting point, none of these ideas are set in stone as yet but it starts the debate.  I would also get rid of all the titles handed out by the Queen, it only gives people delusions of grandeur and promotes division is society.  The Queen, if she was still there, could hand out medals or something instead.

I would also introduce fair employment legislation to Britain, we have it here in N, Ireland because of all the problems in the past/present, and it was news to me that it didn't exist in the rest of the Uk, so that would be one of the first steps to creating a more meritocratic society and it would help to break up the 'old boy networks' that discriminate against the working classes and deprive them of opportunities to advance.

So that's the starting point for my political alternative, comments as usual are always welcome.

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Weddin

Future Ideas - Part One

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 17:31

Following on from the last posting, I touched on the failure of the global capitalist system and the present economic situation and I would like to go back to that subject and expand on some things.  

Firstly, the present situation is not going to improve greatly in the near future, basically for the reasons I stated before, that being the failure of the present capitalist model which governments won’t or can’t admit to.  

There are many things wrong with the system and these problems go hand in hand with our political structure.  The way government is organised is out of date, and the two main parties are still trying to govern with agendas that were relevant to the past but bear no relevance to the world we live in now.  We have the Conservatives on one hand who are traditionally (and still) the party of the upper classes and the rich. On the other, we have Labour struggling to re-define itself in light of the New (Tory) Labour legacy of Tony Blair, and weighted with the historical legacy of the welfare state. 

Going forward, whoever can really define the middle road between public and private sector, in a way that works for everyone, will have the next election sewn up.  This is where the Lib-Dems have failed and it should be where they are leading the way.  Government should be the referee between public and private, it should ensure that workers are paid and treated fairly but not to the point where private enterprise is stifled.  It’s role should be one of balance. 

So, going forward, here a few suggestions to improve and revitalise politics and the economy.  Firstly, the whole political system needs reform.  The House of Lords has to go, the class system is the biggest obstacle to creating a society that works for everyone, and as long as it is maintained by government, then the division between rich and poor is going to grow wider until it leads to revolution.  This might have happened in Britain after WW2 but the creation of better employment practices and the welfare state by Labour, probably stopped it.   

Next, I think the day of party politics is over, the two main parties come from perspectives that are out-of-date.  The Conservatives want to dismantle the welfare state but historically it is because of how the private sector did business and exploited it’s workers, that lead to the creation of unions and the Labour Party.  So the Conservatives are a retrograde party, always trying to turn the clock back and skewing everything in favour of private business, to the detriment of the ordinary working person. 

Labour are the creation of the working classes, although you would hard pushed to find many working-class on the Labour front bench these days. They are traditionally the supporters of the public sector and are often portrayed as the enemy of business and the private sector. 

Every time we elect a new government, we are changing between these two opposing positions. This constant changing just keeps screwing everything up as they come in and out, every 4 years or so, with their ideas on the best way to run things and set about dismantling the work of the previous incumbents. (The exception to this was the New Labour government who carried on the Tory agenda).  This hits the state education system worse than other areas and probably accounts for how badly it performs in relation to the ‘public’ school system whose teaching and results remain consistent and which probably accounts for the upper class dominance in the echelons of power and state.  It’s a wonder, now when I think about it, why the Tories have never sought to privatise the government, and they don’t seem to mind being paid out of the public purse! 

Come to think of it, maybe we should privatise the government, at least then we would be able to sack those who don’t do the job they’re supposed to do instead of having to wait until the next general election. 

Realistically, what do we need to run the country?  A good accountant to manage and distribute taxes.  Then what???  Why do we need all these government ministers and politicians?  Wouldn’t we be better off employing people to run our services.  Wouldn’t it make more sense to have someone who has worked in education or health, and spent most of their life working their way up through the system to be the Minister for Health or Education.  Someone who actually has years of experience in the field and not some upper class twat who never did a day’s work in their life, and only got the job because they were ‘bessy’ mates with the PM through college.  

It would take the politics out of politics, and instead of general elections for political parties, we would have referendums on issues like going to war, or free health care.  Imagine if we’d had a referendum on the Iraqi war, do you think it would have happened?  There could be televised national debates on the issues, with those for and against putting their arguments, and then we could all go to the polls to decide what to do.  It would make us more responsible as citizens and more involved in the real issues that affect our lives.  

One of the main problems with politics today is that people outside of London feel cut off from the government, and feel that most politicians are out of touch with the reality of our lives.  So in order to remedy this, I think that most of the power should be taken out of Westminster and given to County Councils with each county having an elected Governor.  Issues could be brought up through councils (these should also be elected, and you would have to be resident in the county to stand for election).  It would be the job of the Governor to liase between the council and the offices of Ministers.  The main task would be to let the government know how much money is needed for roads, health, etc. and to ensure that it is distributed properly.  I also think that in order to prevent corruption, each county should have an independent Ombudsman to look into complaints and through them people could challenge any perceived unfairness or mismanagement.  Maybe we could pay the majority of our taxes to our County Councils instead of to the treasury too, so we have more control as to how our money is spent and it would benefit our own areas more. 

All vital services like energy, transport, police, education and health should remain under the control of Government but to allow for private enterprise to maintain and reduce some of the waste, there should be a 51% Government to 49% Private split in their provision.  I think all these services too should be managed by county councils with government overseeing from a distance.  

Going back to the economy and the global capitalist system, I also think it is time to start putting up a few trade barriers.  I really think there should be a ban on global corporations and if we can’t ban them, we should make them return 50% of their profits to the country they trade in, regardless of where they are based. 

The big global brands have sucked the life out of our local and small businesses and all their profits go out of the country.  I also think that a percentage of business profits should be shared among the people who work in the business.  This could be done directly but I think that the best way would be to do it would be with a profit tax which would be specifically for health, education and pensions.  Most people don’t mind paying their taxes if they are guaranteed that the money is used productively and they can see the benefits they get for them.  In order to be fair about it, it should be capped, so that small businesses don’t get crucified with taxation the moment they start making a profit. 

So, what do you think?  Comments, as usual, are welcome.

 

 

 

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Weddin

Elections and Votes

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Edited by Aideen Devine, Wednesday, 18 Aug 2021, 19:11

Looking at the results of the local elections in Britain, I have to say I find it very disappointing to see how low the turnout has been, although considering how democracy has been subverted for many years now, it’s hardly a surprise that people have lost faith in the political system.  I think this is due in part to the fact that there is no mechanism for appeal once a party has been elected, so the politicians can promise all sorts during the campaign trail, but once in office, they can do what ever they like which, of course, they have done and there is no one to stop them or make them follow through on the promises they made. 

 I also think we are still suffering the fall out from the Thatcher era.  Her attack on the unions, strongly backed by a right-wing media (I for one, am delighted that the past is finally catching up with Rupert Murdoch and his whole media dictatorship, having been railing against him for years) has left the working-classes without a way into politics or a strong voice that truly represents them. 

 All the political parties are now populated by upper/middle class public school boys who have no idea how the other 95% of the population live.  That the front bench in the House of Commons is full of millionaires, speaks volumes about our so-called democracy.  Where is the voice of the working-classes in Parliament?  Even the so-called left wingers seem so egotistical and arrogant that they don’t really speak for ordinary people any more, with the exception of Dennis Skinner and, since Tony Benn retired, they are becoming thinner on the ground and there does not seem to be any new blood following in their steps.  Politics is now a career for the upper middle-classes and they work in the interests of one group, and one group only, their own. 

The whole class system too, is part of the problem.  The most obvious example of this is the House of Lords.  The whole idea of an unelected upper house based on class and privilege is so anachronistic in the 21st Century and completely subverts what is supposed to be a democracy.  Why should these people have this right?  It supports privilege for some and exclusion for most of the rest of us.  How can Britain even claim to be a democracy when this system remains in place.

 What is really needed is political reform, but how is that going to be achieved when it is in the interest of the ruling classes to maintain the status quo?  The truth is, is that those who now rule, are not the least bit interested in democracy but are only interested in self-promotion and self-protection for themselves and their own social class.  And I’m really going to p*ss off the middle-classes with this next statement because I believe that they too, are partly to blame for the situation. 

The class system is elitist and unfortunately too many aspire to be part of it.  I don’t believe in the middle-class, and if you think of yourself as middle-class then you are, in my eyes, a working-class snob.  What does it even really mean to be middle-class, other than you have more money and a bigger house (or should that be mortgage, another con, but a subject for another day) than someone who is called working-class.  Middle class is an illusion, you either work for a living or you don’t, and to divide people into class groups is nothing more than social apartheid, and is every bit as disingenuous and damaging, as the racial apartheid that existed in South Africa.

 So how do we resolve the political apathy that exists?  Well, firstly, I would like to say thank-you to all those who did turn out to vote, at least you made the effort.  To all those who didn’t vote or who haven’t voted for years, I challenge you.  If you are so disillusioned with the system and those self –serving politicians, then put yourself forward for election next time.  Go forward as an independent, and let’s start a campaign to fill Parliament with independents at the next General Election, because your vote IS your voice and if you don’t use it, even if it is to spoil it, then you shouldn’t even be allowed an opinion. 

 Politics affects every area of our lives, and almost seventy per cent of the people who were entitled to vote, didn’t even bother to turn out.  Now, what if those seventy per cent had turned out and voted for the most politically independent candidate on the ballot paper?  Or just for the fun of it, voted for anyone as long as they were not a candidate for any of the big three?  What kind of difference could that have made?  Because it isn’t just one vote, it amounts to millions when used collectively or not, as the case may be.  Opting out resolves nothing, if you want to change it, then you have to get in there and do something about it, otherwise things will just remain the same. 

 And when you do get in, remember why you are there.  Get rid of the House of Lords, and while you’re at it, do your best to dismantle the class system, and that means removing the Queen from Parliament.  The monarchy is an out-dated system and doesn’t really have a place in a truly democratic society.  I have nothing personally against the Queen, she seems like a really nice woman, she can still be Queen if that’s what people want, but an honour’s system that confers titles, again supports the social elitism of the class system and she doesn’t have any political power, so why is she even there?  I read in the paper today about a move to bring in changes to the Honour’s system by removing Empire from titles and instead give awards that are more reflective of the reality of life in Britain today.  Rather ironic that the Queen’s Lord Lieutenants are more in touch with the social reality of Britain, than our so-called Parliamentary democracy!!

 And remember too, that when elected, regardless of who has, or who has not voted for you, you have a moral obligation to govern in the best interests of all the people in the country, because the business of government, is the business of the people, and the business of the people, is the business of government.  This means, that government has a moral obligation to work in the best interests of the entire population and that the population too has a responsibility to be aware of what their government is doing, and to hold them accountable for it, and the only way we have of doing that at the present time IS WITH YOUR VOTE.  So please, use it!

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