Friday, 17 April 2015

UKIP, 5,000,000 votes 1 MP - SNP with 1,000,000 votes 45 MPs. (Liquid Democracy)

there is going to be a revolution.


Not sure I need to add any thing on this blog post - the image says it all.

The figures are approximate from polls etc - but the underlying message is 100% clear - our democracy is broken. The UKIP vote will be about the size of the entire Scottish electorate! But that will still probably lead to UKIP getting one or two MP's while on one fifth of that vote SNP are expected to get over 40 MPs.

As long as voting is based on geographic regions having support focused in specific areas rather than spread will give an unfair advantage in getting representation. This will be true even with an alternative method of counting votes (like AV - which was rejected in a nation wide UK referendum a few years back).

Changing the way MPs are selected (moving away from or adding to the geographic element) has some merit - there used to be non-geographic constituencies so it is not a totally new idea.

However PR (proportional representation) is not a solution. PR means you are voting for a party - not a person - if your candidate is not elected your vote goes towards supporting the party - which basically means supporting the party leader. How would you feel if you voted for a decent local candidate who didn't get in then their party leader used your 'mandate' for some nonsense your candidate would have opposed tooth and claw?

I believe 'liquid democracy' is the way forwards (in one of its various forms) - you don't 'elect' a representative, you simply have the right to nominate a proxy for your vote in parliamentary divisions. Each 'MP' votes with the weight of the proxy's they have been given - you could give different people your proxy for different issues - so Farage on EU matters, someone else for devotion matters etc - and at the end of the day, if you really want, you can vote yourself, directly if you so wish.

But right now, if this result comes to pass and one million (rabidly pro EU and anti English) Scots get to decide the government of the UK, while many times that number of UKIP supporters get almost no representation at all there is going to be a revolution.

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Minimum Wage, Living Wage = Maximum Wage.

A skilled job requires a skilled worker - and in highly skilled jobs, the more skilful a worker the better or faster they can do the job. An unskilled job generally just requires an average persons labour.

A worker in a skilled job can negotiate their pay according to the unique level of skill they bring to the job, and so how well/fast it is completed.

A worker in an unskilled job generally just has to be there, anyone will do, they are a commodity to fill a slot.

Skilled jobs are paid according to the skill of the specific worker, unskilled jobs are paid according to the minimum required to get someone to turn up.

In the past employers would pay unskilled (and low skilled) workers a fixed rate that would have been established in the specific 'trade' by tradition and negotiation - maybe even a rate of pay according to the individual, maybe based on circumstance, length of service etc.

However with the introduction of a national 'standard' for low pay (the minimum wage and the  living wage) this has all been swept aside - there is no reason for an employer to even think about (or negotiate) a rate - they can simply cite minimum (or living) wage and there is an end to it.

Accordingly these have become the maximum wage for huge chunks of the working population - with no prospect of improvement, progress, development.

Minimum wage is bad enough - but Living wage takes this to a new level. People know minimum wage is a pretty poor deal - but they imagine living wage is a fair deal, and companies supporting it get feted for doing so. However, living wage has been set so a member of a childless couple gets far more than the 'need', but every other type of individual (single with or without children or in a couple with children) gets far less than the Living Wage foundation have *themselves* calculated the need.

Minimum wage can be campaingned against - everyone understands that! But Living Wage is just as bad, but it (bogus) reputation means opposing it gets you classed as a mean bastard!

Living Wage is newspeak to let employers rip off employees and get praised for doing so! Don't be fooled.

Friday, 13 March 2015

Living Wage - locking in poverty for all except half a childless couple.

Living Wage - Road to Hell, Paved with (aparantly) Good Intentions.

Living wage - a factual calculation of an indicative figure for an annual income requried by a person based on their family situation (single, part of a couple, with out kids, with 1 kid, 2, 3...) to have the minimum 'acceptible' quality of life.

You can argue over what the minumum acceptible quality of life is (from absolutely nothing, to palaces and riches) - or about whether certain family situations should be 'permitted', or how detailed/general the different groups should be, and even where the 'wage' should come from (who pays it) but the principle of a 'Living Wage' is fact, not opinion.

Having said that, Living Wage is oriented to 'earnings' - so excludes in-work benefits etc - I'd rather see a 'Living Income' so the division between benefits and earnings is more transparent. I would especailly like this as in-work benefits are often related to income - so vary one and the other vairies too.

The Living Wage Foundation are the good/bad guys here... they are a charity that have claimed the 'Living Wage' mantle - they calculate a figure and then get grants from government to promote it and income from employers who want their acreditiation.

The Living Wage Foundation calculation arrives at two figures - one for London and one for the rest of the UK.

To arrive at the figure, figures are calculated for various different family situations (which obviously vary hugely - in 2014 from £5.70 for a member of a couple, £8.30 for a single, through a whole range up to £21.10 for a single parent with three chidlren) these indivdiual figures are weighted and averaged (in 2014 to £9.20) and then it is adjusted so acredited employers aren't asked for to pay too much of an increase - in 2014 the adjusted figure was £7.95 (a reduction of £1.35).

As you can see the final published 'Living Wage' is insufficient for every class of family member except a member of a childless couple. However despite this, the 'acredition' will give employers  a solid excuse to pay this low figure, and indeed to boast about it.

So

Selling indulgnces like the medieval roman catholic church.

Monday, 16 February 2015

Bikes use more road space than cars when moving...

Ok...

Got into tweet exchange with some loony^H^H^H^H^H misguided cyclists over insurance, licencing etc... Got to the usual 'bikes take less space so cause less congestion bit with the usual image...



However this image has always annoyed me as it shows *parked* vehicles, not moving ones. If you are designing a car park, fine, but for road planning it it nonsensical.

So the figures... (from first reliableish looking google search result in each case).

An urban cyclist rides at 10mph, a bike is approximately 6' long, and needs about 13' to brake from 10mph (thinking distance assumed to be the same car/bike so ignored) - and minimum recommended cycle path width is 5' (1.5m) - so at 10mph a bike (carrying a single person) uses 5' by 19' of road space. About 1.5m by 6m

A small car is about 5' wide and 13' long, at 10mph it needs 4' of breaking distance (thinking distance ignored again as same as for bike, so cancel out). So at 10mph a small car (regardless 1-4 occupants and luggage) uses 5' by 17' of road space. About 1.5m by 5m.

So to travel safely a bike uses over 1sqM of road more than a car (whether the car is carrying 1 or 4 people!).

In addition a car can reliably and consistently go at a particular speed - right up to the speed limit (or other safe speed) so meaning no passing is required. Whereas a bikes speed depends on the fitness/strength/recovery of the cyclist - so closing up/passing may be frequently needed - causing confusion, stress and conflict.

And if a cars are travelling faster, then they are (of course) using the space they occupy for less time... So at 10mph a bike and solo driver may be on par, but in most other circumstance, the car uses less road space than a bike - a quarter with 4 passengers, and half for each additional 10mph of speed.

So there you go - bikes need smaller parking areas, but use generally use more road space to get you there later and unfit to do anything once you arrive!

**Edit** to put some linkable data in - the highway code breaking distances starts at 20mph, but going with that... And giving the bike figure the benefit of the doubt that it does include thinking distance.

Highway Code (UK government body): The breaking distance for a car at 20mph is 12m/40'
The CycleScheme (a pro-cycling group): The breaking distance for a bike at 20mhp is 18m/60'

(Notwithstanding the fact cars have anti-lock breaks, are regularly MOT tested and are driven by trained/licensed drivers who are required to be alert/sober etc.Whereas a bike has what ever brakes it happens to have, in whatever condition they happen to be in and may be ridden by absolutely anyone).


Saturday, 10 January 2015

A series of tweets on Islam.

@pperrin: OK, got it: 'What is a Muslim': A Muslim is someone who endeavours to love Mohammed more than their parents, themselves, than life itself.

@pperrin: Having established what a Muslim is, the question is whether trying to love Mohammed more than anything is either sensible or desirable.

@pperrin: A good proof of loving something more than life itself is to die for that thing... #Islam

@pperrin: A good proof of loving something more than anything is to do he worst possible thing in the name of that thing... #Islam

@pperrin: A good proof of loving something more than anything is to die having shown that you value nothing but that thing... #Islam

@pperrin: Loving something more than everything else is tantamount to not loving anything else - not even liking it - hating everything else. #islam

@pperrin: Loving a single thing above anything else and wanting to demonstrate it seems to lead directly to total evil in all but that thing. #islam

@pperrin: Christ taught that you should love everyone. Mohammed taught that all your love should be for him. #islam #christianity

@pperrin: Xtians tend to show love of love christ by loving everyone. Islamists often seem to show their love of Mohamed by killing everyone else.

@pperrin: What Jihadists do is 100% sensible and rational within the islamic 'primary directive' of showing they love mohammed above everything else.

@pperrin: So at best a Muslim will love Mohammed and be benign, at worst the will show they love Mohammed by destroying everything else. No upside(!)

@pperrin: I think that concludes my Islamic Scholarship until/unless significant new information arrives. Shudder. #islam

Wednesday, 7 January 2015

Extra long tweet...

Steve,

I wanted to say 'mate', but I don't want to risk being seen as patronising. I only know you from your tweets - one day one must have crossed my time line and whatever it contained, I decided to follow your tweets. I miss loads of tweets on my timeline, but still see some of yours, see conversations you are in - I retweet some of your tweets (to the 2000+ glorious loons who follow me for some reason!), I reply to some of your tweets.

I have no 'expectations' or 'demands' of anyone on twitter - you are just a tweeter I follow (I really try to follow as few as possible, so I can do them all justice!). Just from your tweets I thought you had a worthwhile cause, and I might be able to be a tiny bit of help, I don't really know you, or what you have been through, or how it has affected you - but (on blind faith) thought your message was worth supporting so tried to help spread it.

No doubt my retweets of your tweets have been retweeted - and other people have retweeted your tweets in the same way... but with out your original tweets none of that would exist.

I do loads of different stuff on twitter - much of it changes all the time - but if you hadn't tweeted on this CSA stuff, I probably wouldn't have tweeted much on it at all - and loads of other tweeters and retweeters would have missed it too.

I don't really know you - but as one bloke to another - I do believe in you, that you are making a difference, that you do matter.

Happy new year (mate)!

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

The means or production is now freely available, but now state regulation enslaves us instead.

Production generally requires three intrinsic, physical things 1) Labour(/Skills) and 2) Tools(/Machinery) 3) Raw Material.

To liberate the plebs from slavery Marx banged on about who owned 'the means of production', meaning tools/machinery - but this was at a time when machinery was expensive, exotic and rare.

Nowadays, if you have a viable commercial proposition you can raise the capital to buy the 'means of production' the tools/machines will probably be available off the shelf for next dey delivery... and if not a subcontractor with the equipment will be only too happy to enter into a contract to supply you.

No, the game has changed, what limits plebs is not the machinery, nor the skill and almost certainly not the raw material. What really keeps the plebs enslaved now is *state regulation*.

You can setup your machines and use your labour/skill to process raw material - simple, no private individual can stop you. But will the state allow you to? Are there patent/licencing/tax/duty/inspection/registration requirements that the state will use to stop you? Can you afford the arbitrary taxes the state imposes on you for seeking financial independence? Are you prepared for the state taxes/duty on the energy you use, the state taxes/NI on the price of the labour you use, the states enforcement of artificial 'intelectual property rights', the states restrictions/regulations on you advertising, storing, transporting and selling what you produce?

'Capitalism in a free market' worked - it brought equality to all men in so far as money doesn't care who owns it. If you can 'create' then you can convert you creativity/creations into money that is the same as the money used by everyone else.

However the game has changed - people who oppose such equality, who want an 'unfair advantage' that ensures they stay on top have twisted the playing field so the rules don't do what they are supposed to. And the tool they use to tilt the pitch is state regulation - they create arbitrary, illogical new rules to stifle the equality capitalism produces. Whether it is taxes, licences, regulation, monopoly or laws, the markets are not free they are perverted to ensure the rules designed for free markets (the rules of capitalism) now deliver the plebs, just as enslaved, to the children of the same rich, powerful masters who enslaved their forefathers.

We are no longer enslaved by lack of control over machinery, we are enslaved by lack of control over our political masters.