Sunday, 31 May 2015

Bored of Carswell spin - #UKIP are about straight talking - spit it out Douglas.

Douglas Carswell seems to be a principled man - however he does not seem to be a plain speaking man.

After various interviews (usually in interviews behind paywalls, not open to your average UKIP supporter) I am still not clear what he is saying.

I find this really bloody annoying as *plain speaking* has been the hallmark of UKIP under Nigel Farage's leadership.

So I want Douglas Carswell to make plain his views on a few issues...

Firstly:-

1) Should the UK have border controls?
2) Should the UK have the ability to refuse entry to non UK citizens for any reason the UK sees fit?
3) Should the UK have the ability/right to use an individuals medical history when assessing whether to admit them or not?

Secondly (assuming all answer to the above are 'yes', so Carswell still in UKIP):-

4) Would you automatically excluded net 'takers' from entering the UK?

And I want *plain speaking* answers - I will happily interview him to get these plain speaking answers if necessary.

Douglas Carswell need to put up or shut up and leave UKIP.

How Times Change - "Alleged" and "Convicted" vs "Fact" and "Actuality" - this is tyranny.

Politicians, lawyers and judges now use the force of law to try to lead the public - this is tyranny.
Had a twitter exchange about Chad Evans - the footballer who was convicted of rape having had sex with an apparently willing partner who was later deemed to have been too drunk to have given meaningful consent.

Someone tweeted that Chad should not be allowed to return to football as it would make a rapist a role model. I wittily replied asking why would he not be a good role model showing rapists that there are better things to be doing? Like making a fortune as a pro-footballer. After all many ex-cons are held up as examples to other potential cons...

Anyway, a response came back saying that Chad was not a rapist.

It is clear that in the court of public opinion the jury is still out on this one, so I replied qualifying my use of the word "rapist" as someone convicted of rape.

Then the odd thing struck me that inspired this post... not so long ago saying someone was a "convicted" felon gave the accusation/claim more weight, it was intended too separate an accusation from a proven fact. However, now "convicted" is being used to give an accusation/claim less weight it is intended to separate fact from legal judgement.

Abuse of law by clever lawyers and politicians is destroying the credibility of our system - the law should follow considered popular opinion, that is what it is there to enforce - that is what a jury is intended to represent. However politicians, lawyers and judges now use the force of law to try to lead the public - this is tyranny.

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

BBC and other MSM 'admit' their coverage has been biased against #UKIP

Interesting coverage of a Conservative councillor for his comments on social media. Interesting because this kind of coverage (especially on the BBC) has been almost entirely reserved for UKIP members, candidates etc. Every UKIP instance was pounced on, every other party had a free ride.

But now, suddenly, I see a national and local BBC news story on TV about a Conservative - Bob Frost here are the web links.

Dover councillor Bob Frost suspended over Big Issue tweet
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-32886774

The media have dug up even more on him now...

Tory councillor, 49, suspended after calling rioters 'jungle bunnies' on Facebook
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2027390/Tory-councillor-Bob-Frost-suspended-racist-Facebook-jungle-bunnies-riots-remarks.html

The only reason for this to get such a high profile now is so the BBC and MSM can use this as 'evidence' that they aren't bias against UKIP. So admitting that up to now they have been.

Sorry guys, too late. There was clear bias up to the election, anything you now mention in court that you didn't mention at the time doesn't count.

For what its worth - I don't have any problem with calling black rioters 'jungle bunnies', nor white rioters 'white trash' - but pejorative comments on all black people or all white people based on their skin colour - that is out of order...

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Two Red Lines - whether we are in *or* out of the EU.

If the UK liberates itself from the EU, there are many options open to the UK.

Other treaty arrangements with the EU include 'EEA' (European Economic Area') and  'EFTA' (European Free Trade Area). I have a little knowledge of what these other treaty arrangements cover, and some of the bits I do know, I don't like - I dislike them enough that they are no more acceptable than full EU membership.

...provides for the free movement of persons... adopting almost all the relevant EU legislation other than laws regarding agriculture and fisheries.
Except for Switzerland, the EFTA members are also members of the European Economic Area (EEA)
Further Switserland (the only non EEA member) is also part the EU single market (meaning EU rules apply to all products/services even if produced and sold internally) and a signatory of the Schengen Agreement allowing undocumented movement of people between members (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schengen_Agreement)

My Red-Lines include:-

1) UK Border Control
No entry to the UK for foreign nationals unless they have first been given specific permission. And certainly no entry for work or settlement without further qualification.

2) Domestic production/trade to be regulated only by UK domestic law, with no input from external, foreign authorities.
The UK will decide or itself it is wants to limit the power of vaccum cleaners, or sell products in metric or imperial measures etc.

Neither EFTA nor EEA pass either of these tests, so neither is an acceptable alternate should we leave the EU.

There is no time for real renegotiation with the EU - so what was the plan - to trust a promise?

The public cannot be asked to vote on a promise that would have to be honoured by all UK governments, all EU commissions and all governments of all EU member states (and the populations of those member states if they require their own referenda), even if those governments/commissions etc change between the promise being made and it being delivered!

To genuinely change the UK's relationship with the EU there must be treaty changes (scrapping most if not all of the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution).

Any 'change' that doesn't require treaty change can be reversed (or 'reinterpreted') by the EU commission at any time.

However there is no way that any serious treaty change could be made in the time that David Camerons's Conservatives have allowed.

A treaty change requires the unanimous consent of all EU members - and some of the members require their own referenda on treaty changes(!).

So, in truth, all that Cameron can offer will be a *promise* of change - and the UK public will go into a referendum voting on whether they really understand what has been promised (how often has a politician said one thing, done the opposite and claimed they didn't 'lie' the public just misunderstood?) and even if they do believe they understand, voting on whether they believe it will ever be delivered (by the UK government, the EU commission and all EU member governments).

For the referendum to be meaningful the treaty changes must be in place, the UK must have its 'new relationship' already in place, and then the public vote on 'in/out'.

The public cannot be asked to vote on a promise that would have to be honoured by all UK governments, all EU commissions and all governments of all EU member states (and the populations of those member states if they require their own referenda), even if those governments/commissions etc change between the promise being made and it being delivered.


Aid, Schmaid... But freely given charity - now you are talking!

It is wrong to tax people to finance foreign aid - people are already free to give should they so wish.

I was having a look at the latest figures I could find for charitable giving and found this:-
https://www.cafonline.org/about-us/publications/2015-publications/uk-giving-2014.aspx

In 2014...

70% of UK adults gave money at least once during the year. 44% gave money to charity in an average month. In this period 55% of donations were of cash, 30% direct debit, 15% online and 11% by 'text'.

A total of £10.6 billion was freely given in this way.

In 2014, the UK government ring fenced £12 billion of our taxes for foreign aid (equivalent to the 0.7% of UK GNI (Gross National Income)) (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-31928078).

As you can see these two figures are not hugely out of line - it shows that UK charities are quite capable of handling these sums of money - and to do so without the coercion the state uses to collect taxes to throw around in this way.

Should the government want to be in control of such money, the state could set up its own charity for aid - allowing taxpayers to choose whether (or how much) they support the governments programme as against a genuine charity, or even giving directly to the people they may seek to help.

It is wrong to tax people to finance foreign aid - people are already free to give should they so wish.

Monday, 25 May 2015

#EURef what does #EUIn and #EUOut actually mean?

There is no option to stay in the EU as it is today - The EU is on the fast track to become a singe country. In/Out is a choice to dissolving the UK and becoming a small part of that country, or leaving the EU and the UK continuing as one of the words top 10 independent nations.

The UK is to have an in/out referendum on its EU membership.

These options will be presented as staying in meaning staying as we are vs leaving and undergoing some significant changes.

However this is not the case. What people must be made aware of is where the EU is already heading since the Lisbon Treaty/Constitution was signed. This treaty passed huge powers from EU member states to the government of the EU - the unelected government of the EU - the EU Commission.

The Lisbon treaty has already legally transferred these powers, but they are so wide ranging it will take many years for the EU commission to have all the institutions, systems and people in place to actually take these powers on...

The EU as it stands is already destined to change immensely, change as set out in the Lisbon treaty. The EU is to effectively be a single country with a single government, single army, navy and air force A few changes have been made, a few are being made, but many, many more are planned, agreed and signed up to.

There is no option to stay in the EU as it is today - The EU is on the fast track to become a singe country. In/Out is a choice to dissolving the UK and becoming a small part of that country, or leaving the EU and the UK continuing as one of the words top 10 independent nations.

Time is Money? Wrong way round mate, truth is 'Money is Time'

The most important thing in life is.... life itself. Without it, you are nothing, you are not even you, you simply 'are not'.

There are three things you do with your life - Work, Rest and Play:

Rest: Living - Time spend doing the unavoidable essentials for maintaining animal life - you have to sleep, you have to obtain food and water, you have to eat, and you have to relieve yourself afterwards. Rest is the time spent on the non optional elements of existence, time out from making free choices.

Play: Leisure - Time available to do as you please, within the resources available to you.

Work: Labour - Time you choose to spend to increase the value of your play time - either its duration or its value by increasing the resources available to you during that play time.

That is time covered but, I hear you cry, 'what about money?'. Money (wealth) is the way you exchange your time with other people and their time/resources.

The purpose of this exchange is to maximise the value (to you) of your play time. Money/wealth itself has no manifest, physical, practical purpose other than to increase the value of your play time - paying other people for their resources/work time, so you don't have to do the work yourself, so you can play for longer or play better (more agreeably or enjoyably) with the additional resources.

A resource is anything that exists. A resource may occur naturally, or it may be made by the hand of man. You may obtain a resource by spending time finding it, making it, exchanging for it or stealing it. The cost of a resource is the time it takes you to obtain it, the value of a resource is whatever it ultimately adds to the value (to you) of your play time.

So the value of money/wealth is it enabling you to call on other mens labour - to pay other people so as to increase the duration/value of your own leisure/play time.

So money is time - it represents a mans time spent labouring that you might use to increase your leisure.

Sunday, 24 May 2015

Who is to 'head' (whatever that means) the EU out campaign?

Here is one article on it:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/eu-referendum-lynton-crosby-is-tory-eurosceptics-choice-to-secure-british-exit-10272160.html

Douglas Carswell suggested James Dyson...

Err, remember the lunatic EU law cutting vacuum cleaner power to 1,600w? James Dyson wants to leave the EU because he thinks that limit is too *high* he wanted it cut to 700w (I wonder what power his devices use eh?).

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/news/11075490/James-Dyson-suggests-leaving-the-EU-over-vacuum-cleaners.html

James Dyson is exactly the kind of person that EU-Lovers say the EU *protects* us from - and they are right partly right! The EU are bad, but there are worse things! However there are far, far better things too!!

After we leave the EU, there is no point in letting a different set of authoritarian loons (like Dyson) get near the levers of power! Like the tragedy of Eire/Southern Ireland when they got independence from the UK, then spent a generation under the repressive authoritarian DeValera and Catholic Church, and once DeValera was finally out of the way they joined the EU!

UK must leave the EU for *more* liberty, not less as Dyson wants.

What was Carswell thinking when he suggesting this monster to lead the 'out' campaign?

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Why do some business want UK in the EU, others out?

The EU promise was that standardisation (the single market) would make selling everywhere in the EU would be as easy as selling to your neighbour. However what the EU standardisation has done is made selling to your neighbour as complicated as exporting to the other side of the world.

There are three types of business to consider regarding the UK leaving the EU:-

1) UK only businesses
2) EU only businesses
3) International businesses

Unlike continental Europe, the UK has a long history of small business and industry - the French even held us in contempt for it, calling us 'a nation of shop keepers' and meaning it as an insult. Like the USA with its numerous 'Mom and Pop' businesses acting as a cheap and easy 'nursery' for small business and startups generating income for the owners, and maybe leading to development into a much larger business.

UK only businesses have to apply full EU red tape to all their transactions - even if selling a product/service to the person next door to them. Small businesses and service companies are hugely impacted by this, business that should be simple requires huge, inappropriate administration, jumping through EU hoops in the name of 'standardisation' or 'the single market'. To start any business in the EU, you have to act like an international company from day one.

Outside the EU all the EU red tape could be scrapped, saving time and money for businesses and consumers/customers - freeing up resources to develop and expand at a sensible rate and simplifying the creation of new business in the UK, creating jobs and opportunities here.

EU only businesses - businesses that aren't purely domestic, so work in several EU countries but not outside the EU. Like domestic businesses, these companies have to comply with the full gamut of EU regulation, to trade with the EU they will have to continue to do so, so for these companies leaving the EU will not benefit them regarding administration. However as they have already jumped through the hoops to do EU trade, they have made an investment that other, new companies may not be able to -  so the EU over regulation acts as barrier to entry for competition, in this way they benefit from continued EU membership.

Outside the EU they would still need to comply with EU red-tape to trade with the EU,  so that offers no benefit, but to leave would allow UK only business to compete with them without the disadvantage of EU regulations, they may consider this undesirable.

International businesses that trade in the EU and elsewhere are already used to dealing with different regulatory compliance, to them it will make little practical difference whether one particular country is in or out of the EU. The UK's membership (or otherwise) of the EU may make a difference to them in other ways, but that will be purely pragmatic for the individual company.

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Is your employer going to leave the UK if UK leaves the EU? Well, lucky you, you orphans!

Companies leaving the UK after Brindependence provide a fantastic opportunity for their UK workers and management to found new UK companies.

If you work for a company that is threatening to leave an independent UK, start writing your business plan and organising your management buyout now!

I am not a fan of state intervention, but in a transition like this there could be advantages in our transition government providing assistance for these orphaned businesses to keep them on their feet through the transfer while they get re-established as new UK companies.

There will be companies that don't make it, there will be screw ups, there will be fraud! and this all needs to be minimised (if it can't be eradicated). But it is an opportunity not to be missed.

Any transition support must come to an end, it can't be allowed to run indefinitely creating a hodge podge of virtually nationalised businesses, and state assistance can't be allowed to damage genuine private businesses. But this is detail.

Welcome to the New UK.

Monday, 18 May 2015

Mid Staffs - Excess Deaths - was it 400-1200 or 'maybe' 1 ?

The decrying of the HSMR figures seems to amount to a defence of 'whether or not there were excess deaths you can't prove it'.

Exchanged some tweets this morning - twitter is fun, you don't know if you are talking to a rabid loon or a sensible, rational bod. So need to test and decide in the first few tweets or risk wasting time and effort! And there are far more loons than rational bods...

Anyway I provoked, referring to the 'Mid Staffs Murders', and this was posted back...

(nicely prepared, part of someone's power point presentation...)

Denying the figures could be used to support the claim of excess deaths, but with this image


Conceding that the quality of care was appaling (sic).

This eventually led to a link to this blog (https://skwalker1964.wordpress.com/2013/02/26/the-real-mid-staffs-story-one-excess-death-if-that/).

Now the essence of the story on that blog is that the 'excess deaths' figure was based on MSNHS (Mid Staffs NHS trust)'s HSMR (Hospital Standardised Mortality Ratio).

So, for the reported admissions to the hospital for various conditions, the number of reported deaths was higher than for similar admissions in other hospitals - these being the '400-1200 excess deaths'.

The blog then sets out various reasons that it claims lead to the comparison being invalid, and so supporting the statement in the picture show above.

I have issues with some of the arguments, but that notwithstanding...

As a taxpayer funding all of this I have some questions - the main one is 'were there excess deaths'?

If there were excess deaths, why is it that the measure used (according the official report) not capturing that fact?

But if not (and this report suggests there is no evidence that there were - and assuming you accept this report as more reliable than the HSMR reports it now decries) how could an acknowledged appalling level of care have persisted without threatening lives, would the appalling level of care have persisted to this day without the 'excess deaths' story - indeed does it persist to this day?

How can anyone be sure that other hospitals aren't also currently offering 'appalling levels of care'? as this case seems to have only been picked up by chance.

If these HSMR figures are of no use - why are they being collected, how much is this costing the taxpayer when it serves no useful purpose?

If these HSMR figures are of no use, then what purpose were they meant to serve? And what is being done to implement something that does serve that purpose - assuming it is needed at all.

What is clear is that the NHS has undoubtedly failed the public here, and it was only picked up by chance - there is no question of that. Whether the hospital passes the buck to up or it has been passed down is academic to that discussion. We know for certain that the NHS can freely fail the public, and it go unnoticed.

The decrying of the HSMR figures seems to amount to a defence of 'whether or not there were excess deaths you can't prove it'.


Saturday, 16 May 2015

Oh dear - 3rd letter to my MP already! ECHR, Magna Carta and Tyranny! Yes, really!

I have just sent this to my MP via the excellent http://www.writetothem.com site run by MySociety.org

Dear...,

I write again, on another subject - I apologise for so many letters, I try to keep them concise, but there are many issues with the new government.

I was horrified at the prime ministers statement “For too long, we have been a passively tolerant society, saying to our citizens: as long as you obey the law, we will leave you alone.".

The essense of Magna Carta is that people will not be interefed with unless they have broken the law - the 800th aniversary of the signing of Magna Carta is currently being celebrated, an aniversary David Cameron has made some play on - but here shows he has not the slightest idea what the document means.

Furhter, while attacking the hard won and long standing principles of Magna Carta, his government are furhter weakening the publics protection from an oppressive the state by proposing to exit the ECHR before any replacement has been agreed.

The ECHR, like Magna Carta primarily exists to protect the public from the excess of the state/government - it can never be right that such constitutional protections can be removed by that state/government without overwhelming, direct and specific agreement of the people (an item among many others in a general election manifesto meets none of these requirements).

The ECHR has many faults in its interpretation and enforcement, but not in the broad principles it sets out.

To remove they principles of ECHR and Magna Carta without overwhelming, direct and specific consent from the public is a tyranical act - I trust this will not happen.

Regards

Treaty change or no Treaty change ? That is a question. No change, no referendum!

David Cameron has been careful not to set any red-lines for his negotiations on the UK's EU membership. Personally, I suspect this is so he can spin whatever he gets offered (if anything) as a success.

However, another question that has now been raised is whether the changes he claims to get will actually involve any treaty change at all.

Treaty change requires unanimous agreement of all EU members - not only is this unlikely, but it is unthinkable that it could happen in the time setout by Cameron.

If there is no treaty change, then nothing has really changed... if anything is agreed it will be informal and reversible at the whim of the EU commission.

A third-way has been suggested, which involves the EU agreeing now and then passing laws retrospectively applying the treaty changes(!). However this fails on several levels all by itself. Firstly the UK referendum would be on a "promise" of change... given all the broken promises before we actually go this referendum only a fool would trust Cameron and the EU now. Secondly, it has been suggested that this method would avoid other members having to have referenda etc on the changes... As if this is a *good* thing! If the EU considers trying to bypass its other members democratic processes in this negotiation, what does that say about how they will treat the UK's democratic process in future?

The negotiation time table has already failed, the negotiation is worthless, there can be no referendum with out a new relationship to have the referendum on - as *that* is what was promised. I think the referendum may be off...

#UKIP have won the promise of an #EU Referendum - battle lines are being drawn.

Consider politicians.

Politicians are very powerful people - the closer to government they are the more powerful they are - remember the government are responsible for half of everything spent in the UK - the states spending power is equivalent to the total spending power of every person in the UK. UK is still one of the top economies in the world, and the prime minister directly controls the spending of half of all the wealth we produces.

I think everyone has now seen that regardless of the reason a person enters politics, once someone is a politician with future income tied to outcomes their perspective will almost certainly change, and it will change to benefit themselves first and foremost.

It is human nature to consider your situation 'normal' and 'average' and set about improving it - then, having improved it and briefly felt pleased starting to feel that you new situation is again just 'normal' and 'average' and set about improving it again - than having improved it again and briefly feeling pleased starting the whole loop over again and again and if unchecked rapidly looping through to become a Robert Mugabe, Idi Amin - or other bit shot convinced that it is all well deserved and hard earned, but that there are still improvements to be made. 

Where does this bring us?  It brings us to consider the self interest of politicians, the most powerful class of people in our country today.

Some politicians position and very existence is irrevocably tied to a particular position - for instance Nigel Farage, leader of UKIP, he is the politician of an Independent UK free of the EU, this defines him as a politician and in the publics mind defines him as a person.

However in recent decades, newer politicians have released themselves from such a self limiting burdens. Consider Tony Blair - it was often said the he could have originally joined the Labour or the Conservative party, I think not only is that true, but his policies and actions could all have been done just as well as a conservative or labour politician. Aside from the practical considerations of keeping the confidence of his party (which ever one he chose) there was nothing about Tony Blair that wasn't so flexible it could be changed.

Looking at the younger MP's in parliament today, apart from rhetorical key phrases there is little to separate those from different parties.

What is this blog actually about you may be asking yourself. It is about where politicians, those most powerful of people, will be standing on the EU referendum debate.

The UK leaving the EU, or 'Brindependence' (a positive tag rather than the negative 'Brexit') will shake up UK politics hugely - 'the times they'll be a changin'. Change will almost certainly be bad for those currently at the top - there is only one direction they can go - but those at the top have huge power over those below them and all the way to the bottom - they have the power of half the entire UK economy. How many politicians would support something that was bad for them personally? The last one to obviously do that was Mark Reckless - his sacrifice helped cement David Camerons promise of an EU referendum - however it was a clear sacrifice, of Mark's security as an MP and a sacrifice of a voice for Brindependence in parliament. The problem with sacrifice is that your numbers get depleted, while your opponents numbers remain.

I suspect most MPs will be standing where ever they think their own, short(ish) term. personal interest lie - and that is a huge amount of power that the 'in' campaign will be wielding...

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Cameron and the BBC reveal their tactics to keep the UK in the EU... revisited

In a previous blog post I suggested that the Conservative/BBC strategy to keep the UK in the EU was focused on avoiding/burying the 'in out' aspect for as long as possible and then presenting the referendum as if were a question of whether the negotiations could have been better or not (rather than whether the result was good or not!).

I have also suggested that the 'phoney proxy issue' would be immigration - pretending that limiting access to benefits would be the same as limiting people coming to the UK in the first pace. However, I have just heard a podcast by Jon Gaunt (http://www.jongaunt.co.uk podcast 43, 17:00) where he thought the spin would be the Human Rights Act - and make a withdrawal from that to be presented as if it was the question for the in/out referendum...

The EU have bottomless pockets - all of *our* pockets! Their resources are virtually unlimited and they will stop at nothing to keep the UK's wealth in the EU for them to use as they please. Meanwhile we anti EU'ers just have ourselves!

We have to ensure that people see the real issue (in/out, sovereign/slave) and not get diverted onto a minor issue that the EU have chosen to let Cameron present as a 'win'.

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Cameron and the BBC reveal their tactics to keep the UK in the EU...

Just been watching BBC's Newnight with Evan Davies pretending to cover the EU in/out referendum issue.

The setup was so obvious its hard to know where to begin, but I'll run through it...

They had three guest to give a (supposedly) 'balanced' view one was an EUphile MEP from the EUphile Green party, one was an EUphile 'right on' UK business owner, one was a sopping wet Consevative who backs David Camerons Conservative 'try to renegotiate then stay in regardless' policy.

So no 'better off out' or UKIP kind of coverage at all.

They pretended to discuss the issue, but really only covered 'what is up for renegotiation, and how will you use this to trick the UK public into voting to say in?'.

What this made absolutely crystal clear is that the Cameron/BBC agenda is to focus on the 'renegotiation' ensuring the question of 'leaving' is kept firmly smothered and silenced. The details of the 'renegotiation' will be covered in minute detail ensuring there is no time/space for any other consideration (consideration such as 'leaving') - this will last as long as possible, preferably right up to the dawn of the referendum.

Once the negotiations are complete and the plans for the referendum are underway, it will not be presented as an 'in/out' referendum but as a 'look what the EU have offered us, can we really walk away from them when they have tried so hard' referendum.

Fortunately with social media we, the plebs, have a back channel to discuss this without the filter/prism of the state/bbc interfering. Thank god for the internet.

It is pretty much day one of the campaign, and the enemies of the UK have shown their hand - we must use this to take the shirt off their back - we will only get one chance at this and can't risk failure.

EU referendum campaign...

There are *sales* campaigns, and there are *education* campaigns - they are very different thing.

Sales campaigns persuade people to 'buy' something based on being impressed by other people who are buying the product (celeb endorsement).

Education campaigns set out information clearly and verifiable - knowing that people will buy thing if it makes sense to do so.

Where there is a time limit, you will always end up with a tail of a sales campaign to hoover up the final undecided, uneducated - but where time is available, an education campaign will not only convince people irrevocably to one conclusion, but those people will become ambassadors for the cause too.

Traditionally the 'great and good' approach to the referendum campaign would select the 'big guns' on each side to lead the campaign - expecting to impress the plebs into deferring to the 'great and good' and following the side with the most impressive lineup, and voting as they are told.

However, this 'great and good' approach is half a century out of date.

Wide ranging media access today means the 'big guns' are already well known to the plebs, anyone who could be convinced by them probably already has been... They will add almost nothing to gaining votes for their 'side'.

The big guns are needed to be there in the background - but the real work of gaining new votes will be done by educating individuals who are perfectly capable of making a rational choice, but don't have the information available (and they *know* they don't have it) to make an educated/informed decision.

Yes, Farage, Hannan etc... they will be there on the out side. On the other side Cameron and other huge names/job-titles. The out campaign probably can't trump the people on the 'in' side - many very rich/famous people make a lot of money from the EU - its the mass of plebs, those who pay the price of our EU membership that need to be reached and educated - so they can ignore the 'pizazz' of the sales pitch by the rich, famous supporters of 'in' and vote in an informed way for their (and the countries) own best interest.

Need to get going - and not rely on the supposed 'great and good' to do the job for us... 

Smart Meter Madness. Ed Milibands £11bn mistake that the Coalition didn't stop - there is still time - just.

Not even sworn in and a second letter ready to go to my MP...

Dear <>,

Again, congratulations on your re-election.

I write again regarding a completely different issue - that of 'Smart Meters'.

While in office Labour launched a programme to roll out smart meters to provide real time monitoring of every houses energy consumption - the programme is hugely expensive, has little if any consumer demand, is already risky (risks that the technology is not ready for widespread deployment) and finally it is expected to be rendered completely redundant and ineffectual.

There are general comment on this £11bn project here:

http://order-order.com/2015/05/11/another-smart-meter-disaster

and an Institute of Directors report against the project here:

http://www.iod.com/influencing/press-office/press-releases/smart-meters-a-government-it-disaster-waiting-to-happen

Further, there is now a move to encourage homes to have local battery storage which is expected to receive heavy backing in the USA this year ( http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-32545081 ) so may well arrive here in the UK soon - if a home has local energy storage, all the smart meter will show is 'on' while the battery charges and 'off' for the entire period when they battery is being used. There will be no 'detailed' data for the 'smart meter' to capture - making the whole concept redundant before it is even rolled out.

It would seem a shame for a new Conservative government to start its term of office taking responsibility for not defusing an expensive IT disaster time bomb planted by the last Labour government.

Yours

Monday, 11 May 2015

Letter to my re-elected Conservative MP

Dear ,

Congratulations on your re-election.

I am pleased that the UK has a majority government with a manifesto commitment to an 'in/out' referendum on the UK's membership of EU by the end of 2017.

I understand that the option of staying 'in' will not mean staying in on the current terms of membership, but on a new basis which will be negotiated prior to the referendum.

I further understand one of the issues to be negotiated relates to the free movement of people within the EU, or migration. With particular concern regarding the pressure that increased numbers of people place on the UK's infrastructure, such as Schools, Housing, Health, Transport, Energy, Security etc. and the additional pressure on these things, and on communities, that comes from managing migrants with different languages, practices and cultures.

Regarding these additional numbers, I believe the negotiation being considered is not to limit numbers but to limit (maybe just for a period) the facilities, services and resources that migrants have access to when arriving in the UK.

If this is correct, that numbers are not to be controlled, it seems to miss the issues that need to addressed - someone arriving in the UK cannot be left to sleep on the streets without shelter, food, medical care or schools for their children - once someone is in the UK, these are basic essentials that will have to be provided.

Can you assure me that the negotiations will not make the error of considering withholding access to such services as possible, let alone as equivalent to controlling access to the UK in the first place?

Yours

Paul Perrin

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Starting to think about how Scameron will ensure we stay in the EU...

Cameron has promised an EU in/out referendum by the end of 2017.

It has been made clear (cast iron not withstanding) that there will be a period to negotiation to come to a new 'settlement' for the UK in the EU (whatever 'settlement' means or entails...). Then the UK population will be given a referendum to either accept the new settlement or to 'leave' the EU (whatever 'leaving' means or entails...).

It has also been said (and I think this can only be taken one way) that this in/out referendum will take place before the end of 2017 - although it is still not clear who will be allowed to vote in this.

Nothing has been said about what the government will need to do in light of the referendum result - usually the EU would re-run any referendum that didn't give the result it wanted - so if the vote was 'out' what would happen? When would UK actually be out?

So even this far there is great doubt about what is actually meant...

But further - one of the EU presidents (there are three presidents, each of a different function) has already stepped in to tell Cameron to 'respect the EU rules on such things' - odd as no one knew there were any EU rules, and certainly didn't think the referendum was any business of the EU (http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/jan/23/david-cameron-eu-speech-referendum) so they are interfering already!

The big issue I can see is that treaty change in the EU takes years... there is absolutely no chance of Cameron getting the EU to change any treaty (needing agreement of *every* member) before the referendum - so all that could be offered at the referendum is a *promise* of changes... The promises will be empty, leaving total wiggleroom, so they can promise *anything*.

Remember a UK parliament *cannot* bind a future parliament - Cameron has said he is not going to serve another term so come 2020 anything not finalised can be abandoned(!).

Watch this space!

Saturday, 9 May 2015

An old idea revisited - every voter accurately represented in every vote in parliament.

Long ago I wrote a piece about an alternative idea for how the UK House of Commons could operate - so long ago I don't know where it is(!). It was pre-broadband, maybe even pre-uk-internet so could have been on CIX, an early bulletin board/conferencing system, anyhow here are the basics again.

Now I think it would be called a version of 'liquid democracy', but limited by the tech available at the time!

The aim was for every voter in the UK to be accurately represented in every vote in parliament.

--
Why do MP's have geographic constituencies? Why do all MP's have one vote in parliament? What if this changed?

How about, instead of you voting for an MP and ending up with an MP that your *neighbours* chose over yours - you could choose any MP and gave them your proxy vote? So your 'vote' (and so mandate) was always used in parliament and was always used as you wanted?

This would mean, in parliament, that each MP's vote would be weighted by the number of proxies they were wielding so not a simple division/head count - but not that complex... especially now with high tech to do a rapid count, but verifiable manually/transparently too.

So each MP could be representing different numbers of people, and voting with the power of their votes.

But what if your chosen proxy didn't accurately represent you on some particular issue? Well how about letting you change your proxy for any particular vote? High tech could make this very easy! Have an MP for 90% of issues you agree with them on - but switch where you disagree.

There would need to be some safe guards to stop 'block voting' which so often seems to deliver unrepresentative results - so maybe limit the maximum number of proxies an MP could hold - so the most powerful MP had no more than (say) 5 times the power of the least powerful? And at the other end, if an MP has too few proxies they would effectively have been 'sacked' as an MP! And their 'supporters' would have to choose from the remaining MP's or get more backing for their (wo)man.
--

This was the broad idea - I republish it now, cos  think electoral reform is coming and still think the principle of every voter being accurately represented in every vote is the gold standard for votes in any parliament.

Friday, 8 May 2015

Electoral Reform - don't let the old, failed 'Electoral Reform Society' and 'Unlock Democracy' anywhere near it!!

These organisations faffed around for years soaking up people time, money and effort providing jobs for the 'great and good' while doing nothing to advance their supposed cause of 'electoral reform'.

They had a chance to show what they were made of with the 'AV' referendum, a referendum won by the Liberal Democrats at a cost of the existence of that party! The Liberal Democrats sold out on everything they had and believed in just to get that referendum.

What did ERS and Unlock Democracy do? They hurriedly created an expensive, shambolic, hopeless campaign - a campaign that they should have created years before, and developed and refined - it should have been the sharpest of weapons ready to be rolled out. But no they had to make everything up on the fly because, in truth, they had just sat of their fat arses for years doing nothing other than collecting their salaries.

The anti-AV campaign didn't need to lift a finger - and despite being created specifically for the referendum didn't even have any 'catching up' to do, as the ERS/Unlock Democracy, despite being around for years, hadn't even crossed the *starting line* of promoting change!

Even now these lazy, useless bodies don't have a brain cell between them to produce anything worthwhile - they promote ancient, discredited methods of PR that have been rejected again and again and again.

If electoral reform is to be promoted, these organisations and their stupid, useless staff must not be allowed anywhere near!

Don't let them screw up again - just get them locked out and disbanded.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

Democracy Club - A Good Cause!

I got this in my email - they don't have a link to an online copy to circulate, so put it here! Do read and think about supporting them!

From: Democracy Club hello@democracyclub.org.uk
Date: 7 May 2015 17:54

Good evening,

We hope you’re settling in for a long and enjoyable (?) evening.

If you’re not following live - don’t worry, we’re updating YourNextMP.com live as we watch the results from the BBC. At any point in the evening - or tomorrow morning - check your constituency and see whether a winner has been announced.

If you are following live - we’ll see you on the twitter hashtag #YourNextMP and possibly#ElectionNightGames too.

Just under a year ago, we called a public meeting in the basement of a London university to ask what passionate non-partisan volunteers could do to make the 2015 election better. From all kinds of ideas, a small group settled on building a platform to crowdsource a list of candidates. Because everything starts with candidates. Every leaflet, every hustings, every tweet - is ultimately about or from a candidate.

With lots of help from brilliant volunteers and organisations, YourNextMP.com was born. And improved and iterated upon. And over the course of the campaign it has had over one million visitors, who read up on 4,000 candidates. But more importantly, the database was open - anyone could reuse or link it. And they did - from Voter Advice Applications (like Verto, VoteMatch and VoteForPolicies) - to campaigns for the NHS and RSPB - to huge media organisations like The Guardian. Together, we got better information to millions of voters.

To cap it off we helped reboot electionleaflets.org and built a hustings database - the first of its kind in the UK.

But there’s so much more we could do.

Next year sees assembly and parliamentary elections in Wales, Northern Ireland, London and Scotland, as well as London Mayoral election, local elections in England, and Police and Crime Commissioner elections. That’s a lot of democracy.

We would love to keep making our tools better - so that voters can be better informed across all these elections - but everything we’ve done so far has been through kindness of coders and volunteers. Sadly, this isn’t sustainable!

So if you think we should keep working together to make democracy better, now is the time to help build a sustainable future for Democracy Club.

Please click here to chip in £3/month to help sustain Democracy Club through the next elections and beyond.

Thank you again, for all your support, your help, your tweets, your leaflet uploads.

See you on twitter as the results come in…

Andy, Emily, James, Joe, Sym, Tim and all at Democracy Club

Farage Over the Years

Video:


Audio:

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

#UKIP detractors - got to laugh, they are always so wrong!

Dug this out from the defunct Daily Telegraph podcast - Lousie Mensch showing her 'predictive genius' (snork) along side Benedict Brogan and Tim Ross.

Love it - you just have to love the internet :)

BBC Bias against #UKIP - A comment on the last #BBC #R4Today before election day.

This morning listening to BBC Radio 4 today, I heard a UKIP based headline and was slightly optimistic.

A Conservative had left the Conservative party because he hated the Tory candidate - who had Tamil heritage. This ex-Conservative Had managed to join UKIP and become a UKIP candidate (oops).

This bloke was stewarding at an event that was part of Nigel Farage's (UKIP's leader) election campaign, being a high profile event the UKIP hating, EU, Labour, Socialist loving Daily Mirror had undercover reporters there looking for dirt - and on this occasion found some, with the long standing enemy of the Tory candidate spilling his bile and doing so while 'on duty' as a UKIP steward.

The ex-Conservatives rant against his long standing 'enemy' included emphasising how much he disliked the thought of the (racial minority) candidate ever becoming Prime Minister - by saying he felt so strongly he would 'personally put a bullet between [the tory candidates] eyes if he ever became Prime Minister'.

So why was I 'optimistic'? Because while the Daily Mirror headline was along the lines 'UKIP Candidate Threatens to Shoot Opponent', the BBC skipped the negative spin of pretending it was a 'threat'. The BBC headline was that the Candidate had 'said he would shoot...' which is more accurate and was unexpected from the Bias BBC.

However the order of coverage of the Election by Radio 4 Today was as follows (now, remember UKIP are officially a 'major party' along side LibLabCon)

1) UKIP suspend a Candidate
2) Labour Leader last day campaigning
3) Conservative Leader last day campaigning
4) Lib Dem Leader last day campaigning
5) SNP (a minor party - expecting only around 1 million votes)
6) UKIP's last day campaigning
7) Green party

See what they did there? Negative UKIP coverage, followed by all the other major parties, then off to Scotland for their minor party, before coming back to cover UKIP (the other major party) along side with the minor national parties.

Seems the BBC know they are in trouble, and judgement is coming, but even now can't bring themselves to offer fair/balanced coverage.