Just because I’m paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you.

slaverySo the government want to track your every move and do what they feel like whenever they feel like it…. but people don’t want that.

So people move to eg. Tor networks, for various reasons – Not all illegal and plenty not even immoral.

So they claim it’s used by paedos as an excuse to track/attack.

But now they’ve sniffed power they want more – Just like banning electronic cigarettes for no reason except they are a little bit like smoking which they’d banned, they want to ban anything that they feel “depicts rape”.
So plenty of films/TV would then be unapproved art and could put you in jail.

They won’t stop until everything is illegal – Big ill-defined, catch-all laws which mean that if they take a disliking to you then you’re screwed and even if you consider yourself law-abiding then you’ll struggle to work out if you actually are!

So maybe you’ll complain that it’s against your human rights – but they want us to leave the ECHR because of the other bogeymen, the terrorists.

So you’ll be put in jail where you can’t vote them out for their stupid lawmaking for the same reason as above – Losing this power makes Cameron “sick to the stomach”

Many times you hear reports like the age consent thing on the weekend or drugs laws etc. where studies and experience show that changing things could change people’s lives for the better. But they are dismissed out of hand just because they sound a bit risky and may upset a few mothers. Yet they come out with many more outrageous things like the above which haven’t even been thought out more than a headline.

Why just because we want to vote for someone who has put at least some thought into how to economically govern with a bit of logic do we have to put up with them being shrill, over-emotional and stupid when it comes to liberty?

And if you don’t like it, you hate children – and that’s bad, apparently

I guess whoever you vote for, the government gets in.

November 18, 2013 at 19:48 1 comment

Phone security

whoops… wrong blog

April 23, 2013 at 17:51 Leave a comment

Manefesto For London

Well I hope you’ve just all gone and voted.

Here’s what I would have said if I were a candidate… but I wasn’t.

tbh … I just started making notes on things that if a party picked up on them might get my vote at a General Election
Now as one of these is independence for London, I guess you could call this my policies if I were to become mayor (Although some are still UK national ideas.) So now the voting’s over it’s the perfect time to be just too late.

Some of these are probably worthy of the Loony party but I publish for my own posterity.

anyways, here it is….Draft 1

Votes for all (18+ still) even if in jail
It may be unpleasant giving law-breakers a vote, but to get the best results from a system, all inputs have to be counted.  If a government decides to make illegal a trait of the opposition party voters it can cling to power.

Plus there’s no right to hold someone who isn’t part of your system. Outlaw them or deport them, fine – but to hold someone  against their will is different. If they can vote then it isn’t against their will (as much, in a way)
Judges should be able to take this away in extreme cases as part of the punishment when someone’s taken the liberty of others eg. Murder.

Voting on a continual basis rather than just every 5 years
Voting can be done  electronically in booths in places like libraries or in a mobile voting van that tours the country on a monthly basis.
Postal voting only in exceptional circumstances.
A candidate who is in the lead for 7 consecutive days or any 22 in 30 days is the MP. (current MP stays in case of a tie)
If a party has a majority of MPs for 2 continuous months and at least 4 in the past 7 months then they will form the government.
Each person’s vote lasts for a year but can be changed at any time.

Stability can only be created though hyper-de-stability!

Online voting should be considered but care must be taken that it is private and not coerced so a technical solution required here.

A non-compulsory question can be asked before the vote change is submitted as to why they chose that vote.
A dropdown of policies can be selected from (or Other…)–
When one is selected a sentence regarding that policy can be shown from all parties/candidates to try and counter extremist lies in the press/unions etc.
This information can then also be used like a non-binding referendum on issues.
A general election and other elections would still be held every few years as normal.
Voting for these would be moved to Fridays.
This allows people who are going away for the weekend to  vote in the morning, or those returning home for the weekend to vote Friday night.
It also means the markets don’t open the day after and also the council buildings used to vote/count have time to clear up.

London should be devolved and leave the EU
Houses of parliament & palaces would have to be English/British still so London can swap those for the London borough of Brighton.

New marriages to last 15 years maximum upon which time it can be renewed.
Religious people can still be married in the eyes of their god for life, but in the eyes of the state it should be time limited with No restrictions on genders.

People would have to work harder at the time of renewal to make the other not walk away thereby not taking it for granted.
As divorce is expensive and horrible it would be more likely that they would just stay together if not long left to avoid this when they may have sought to break up. And perhaps things would be resolved by the time of the renewal.
This would mean less broken homes for kids at least up to their teenage years.

Those with Civil partnerships now can get a free conversion to marriage before the time limitation comes in, then anyone on lifetime marriages can chose to stay as they are or move over.

Civil partnerships can then be for 2+ people who want to officially recognise committed friendships.

Although it could be recognised in the tax system, care must be taken with partnerships of 4 or more that it’s not a loophole or taxbreak for a cult. On the cult point, restrictions would have to be placed on people  “joining in” half way through, except perhaps at the renewal point.

University fees: They can charge what they like.
Loans from gov’t limited to £10k/year for fees. 10% of all Graduates (not just entrants) on each course must have got a free place for the course to be accredited… this can be averaged over many years so circumstances are excepted (eg. If there’s only 5 on the course & someone dies halfway through)

Scrap income tax.. it’s just wrong.
Whilst it’s in place there’s always too much talk about who pays what percent and it ends up feeling like a punishment for doing well.
eg. Someone paying a million pounds in tax can be vilified as it’s a percent lower ratio than someone who pays just £1000 – That can’t be right.
Put VAT up to compensate, retaining (& perhaps expanding a little) the current exemptions and implement a luxury goods tax for things like very expensive cars & jewellery.

This may have to be done over a long period of time, but can start by doing a first ditching employers NI, then setting a flat rate of income tax which is reduced every year as VAT increases.

VAT is avoidable by purchasing exempt goods or not getting so many luxuries, whereas income tax is only avoidable by earning less which isn’t good for anyone.

Also allow local gov’t (I guess the boroughs if we’re talking London) to have the option of implementing a sales tax or they can choose to keep council tax which can vary on occupancy if they like too…or a mix of both, it’s up to them.

Other taxes should be mostly retained by the department that raised them.
eg. Car/Fuel tax goes to the DFT, Stamp duty to Housing, Smoking duty to health, Alcohol duty to both health and police etc.
There’s going to be some crossover so Inter-department payments would need to be set up in many cases but at least people can see where the money goes. There would also need to be a certain % which goes to national spending like defence.
At the moment we have a “big pot” system which is ‘From each [department] by ability, to each by need’ … this is never a good idea for efficiency.

Motoring & travel:
NSL should be 70mph on A roads, 80 on Dual carriageway and 95 on Motorways with some unlimited sections to stop it becoming a target.
Fines should be given for not making progress or lane hogging… if you think it’s OK to drive at 40mph on an dry motorway then you should get the train.

If cars had a camera (not forced, you buy your own camera but gov’t devises the connection standards) other drivers can be recorded by drivers who can then push a button for “good” or “bad” .. enough people mark you bad then the footage is reviewed and perhaps penalty sent, taking into consideration the “good” points too. Consideration should be taken than this would mean most drivers would be marked bad and so the fines should be about £10 with just 1 point on the licence (with 100=ban, not 12).  If you register your email address & bank this can be automated (for a discount) where you can declare online who was driving and review all footage.
This is obviously a huge privacy risk and so should not be considered.

“Boris island” airport to be built as a multi-use port for Air (planes and airships), Sea and a mix of both (hovercraft/ekranoplane). The train will be a high speed mobile terminal from central London with baggage check-in and security done on board.

Maglev monorail to be built round the M25. Crossrail should carry vehicles. Electrified rail to Wales (think this is happening now), electric commuter planes between other UK cities.  (probably have to invent these first… some kind of modified airship might do it – or constantly moving airships that have little electric planes to shuttle to the ground)

HS2 should be either scrapped unless it can be made inspirational in some way to modern, and not just victorian, eyes.

Data Freedom
“Protecting” data (incl. art forms such as music/films) from the public with copyright is theft from society. Therefore any data should be freely copyable for personal use.
For any commercial use, then copyright is good, but should be restricted to 10-20 years depending on what it is.

People should be able to monetise their works so this includes rights to spin-off items.

Fitness/Recreational Drugs:
Should be legal but strictly controlled with usage licences.
Educational courses should be run (at a cost to the licensee) to explain the full consequences of taking them with first aid information etc.
Different licences for different types of substances.
People can then be permitted to purchase a set maximum amount (heavily taxed) from specially licensed premises (such as a chemists)
An electronic card (like oyster) can contain the list of recent purchases to keep track of the maximum but also show what has been bought in case of medical problems.

Compulsory Health “MOT” type test
Catching things earlier and before they spread would save money and lives in the long run. Results published online – we’d be more careful of eating too much fat if our cholesterol level is public and could see if any potential partner has an STI.
Mental health also checked but a certain level of privacy would be needed on the listed results for this – perhaps just levels of certain traits.

More Nuclear power stations & Fracking.
Less wind farms but more wave and geothemal. More smart meters (at home and in industry) that can change the price as demand/supply with automated plugs that can turn things on/off automatically based on the current price.
More subsidy into fusion power.

Assistance (planning, standards etc) given to help create a network of battery swapping stations for vehicles, with a standard format battery system.
Perhaps even just built into roads at traffic lights,  fully automated. Registered users would just need to drive over it and stop & push a button in their vehicle.
Within a few seconds they’d have a newly charged battery installed and be billed automatically.
Batteries would be rented… A partnership of battery owning companies would be created so anyone can use any station and not just the ones of their rental firm. Each battery would be tagged so everyone knows who has who’s battery at any time. They then have the choice of paying the differences between them or taking/giving them back.
These can then be recharged when the price of power is low and can help filter out the variable nature of renewable energy which often produces excess power when it isn’t needed. The current idea of plugging in cars would just make this worse if more fast charging is used.
London taxis should be the first to implement this – Electric power is ideal for them (slow top speed but lots of stop/starting) There’s enough of them to make the scheme viable and enough traffic lights to install swapping stations (these are integrated into the traffic light controller to ensure they are on red until the change is completed)
This should improve air quality so money from not paying the pollution fine to the EU can help pay for this.

BBC – We should keep the licence fee, but disassociate it from normal tax.  Make the BBC officially independent of government, although still under the crown and still obliged to consider Gov’t requests.
Local & National directors and Trust members are voted on by the fee payers (one fee, one vote).

World Service would stay (or move back to!) in the foreign office and be adequately funded.

Minimum wage should be abolished.
It’s a barrier to work and creates wage inertia to those on it.

Each Local authority should publish their own living wage, which it would be expected their staff to get at least this much.

Benefits aren’t lost until this living wage is reached, this way if people answer “no” in the JSA office to “Have you done any work paid or unpaid this week?” the reply should be “why not?”. (do they ask this anymore? – I’m thinking of the old “sitcom” Bread)

The exception for this is immigrants – The borders should be free to anyone from friendly countries, as long as they can provide for themselves so minimum wage set for non-nationals would be about £14ph.

 

ENDS.

May 3, 2012 at 21:12 1 comment

They bring it on themselves

It may look a little dodgy this fox/werrity business which could have been avoided by being transparent in the first place – if Werrity had published what he does on his website perhaps no-one would have noticed and it’s hard to call it a problem if he’s been open.

But it’s a relatively small story – in the big scheme of things it makes little difference at all.

The problem is the papers need to attack on something but the politicians are so risk averse that they don’t do anything which is either daring or actually life changing as if it were to succeed could cause a lot more  problems.

Take the dodgy policy of windmills for generating power. They have a nice visual reminder that they are “doing something” to us all even when we are in the free countryside but they don’t do much.
Now imagine they invested the same money in nuclear fusion and it came up trumps so gave dirt cheap energy for all.
We’d get permanent traffic jams of electric cars – people being lazy and working less, getting drunk all the time and making high demands of luxury.

Well, that might be a pessimistic way of seeing it, but even so – these are good problems to be called up on.
Better to be daring, do well and have problems of prosperity … people problems of the type that you’d go in to politics to solve rather than some heat magazine celebrity type “problem” which doesn’t get anyone anywhere.

October 14, 2011 at 07:07 Leave a comment

I predict a riot

Unfortunately I did, back in Feb 2009 in this rather depressing sounding post:

HERE

OK, well I did think it would be the plague that comes with the olympics that would be a catalyst but it was at that point that I had decided it was too late to turn things around to avoid it.

…and it was over a year later which we got the coalition who haven’t exactly been bold of late. The disconnect people feel with the control of the lives seems as wide as ever. At least they stopped the ever increasing inhumane policies of labour of the time – Who now appear to be encouraging discontent by going on about cutting too fast then doing exactly that to important services in the local councils they control, and some like livingstone going out of his way to do interviews that blame it on the cuts.

Let’s just hope that’s the end of it now – I expect these particular scuffles have peaked, but if the government doesn’t find some self confidence soon (in a libertarian not authoritarian way ) and stop u-turning when small mobs complain about good policy then I expect the riots will be back

August 9, 2011 at 08:08 2 comments

Voicemail listening AKA “Phone Hacking”

The media are under attack – by themselves!

Apart from the deleting of certain messages, I’m not sure anyone cares that much about the listening to voicemails – more people cared about the custard pie than the rest of the story.

..but the media feel threatened  so are showing that they still do set the agenda even in these internety days. By using ambiguous terms like Phone Hacking and going OTT by saying people are “victims” of it as if they’d been stabbed they’ve been able to keep this going for weeks and get parliament involved.

I’d say most people accept that surveillance by a multitude of private media companies was actually a good thing.
Sure it may have gone too far and they listened to too many people’s messages and so that’s why they got the slap in 2006 – fair enough.

The alternatives are either let things go on which shouldn’t or that people should know about, or nationalise it and leave all the spying to government – who then aren’t watched themselves.

Imagine it was real hacking and they’d got into private CCTV cameras.  There’d be outrage and they’d stop – But then crimes would go on and the people would shout “Do something”. So in RIPA style, the government could come along and demand they get a feed from all the cameras whenever they want.

So instead of papers just telling others of wrongdoing we have expensive and scary big brother style snooping by people who can arrest/fine you.

Really, it’s a bit of a non-story – a leftie distraction from their failing Euro. Which is why they are calling for Cameron’s blood even though there’s no logical reason for that, but they let Brown lie to parliament and Milliband to have a dodgy advisor still in place.

Cameron & government has shown to be weak by going along with it and extending parliament and even cutting short a foreign visit – this isn’t a national crisis.

oh.. and I’ve seen “hackgate” used a couple of times now – I sincerely hope that is with high irony on both parts of the word.

And yeah I get that it’s silly that I’m moaning about the media setting the agenda but then talking about it myself.

July 20, 2011 at 08:29 Leave a comment

Why doesn’t the EU want us to have AV?

Well I’m voting Yes to AV, after all I’m pretty sure I invented it on this blog at some point (it was just coincidence that someone else had invented before me!)

Latest post from Conservatives on AV: here

WHY YOU SHOULD VOTE ‘NO’ TO AV
AV is unfair: With our current system, everyone gets one vote. But under AV, supporters of extreme parties like the BNP would be more likely to get their votes counted more times, meaning their votes are worth more than yours.
AV is unclear: Under AV, the candidate who finishes third can be declared the winner thanks to an unclear, complicated voting process. It’s like someone coming third in a running race winning the gold medal.
AV is unpopular: Just three countries in the world – Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Australia – use AV, compared to almost half the world’s electors who use our current system.
AV is expensive: Calculating the results is a long, complicated process, which could cost the taxpayer millions.

Here’s my response to that.

AV is unfair, FPTP is unfair, life is Unfair: With our current system, everyone gets one vote. With AV everyone gets one vote.
AV is clear: Under AV, the best candidate who could finish third under FPTP can be declared the winner thanks to an clear, uncomplicated voting process. It’s like winning a match but losing on aggregate.
AV is unpopular: Britain is unique and its parliament the envy of the world, we should choose the system that is right and make it popular around the world.
AV is expensive: Democracy is expensive but as AV and FPTP are similar in cost I don’t think it’s relevant here.

On any logical basis for either stats or science, a test which from the same source can produce a much more accurate and informative result without affecting the source too much, for such a small additional energy cost has got to be right.

The race analogy used by Cameron is either insulting or very telling that he views politics as a tribal, everyone for themselves type affair. Which goes against what he said when trying to get a coalition. I wonder why he’s making himself look stupid and untrustworthy like this – given I would expect it would make little difference his and the Conservative party being elected (AV might improve it I would guess) then I can only assume it has something to do with the EU who seem to be the basis of everything counter intuitive or silly. I’ve just not worked out why yet.

So since doing stupid analogies appears to be the fashion,  I have a fish analogy which I’ll stretch to fit….

Suppose you have 100 various tropical fish but only 1 tank and you want to know how to salt the water

25 Like sea salt.
19 Like rock salt
21 Like a salt mix
35 Like no salt at all.

Under FPTP you’d put in no salt and most of your fish die – not ideal.

OK.. So we’re told FPTP is simple,  maybe for counting but not on the voters (which is the wrong way round seeing as the counters know how the system works and voters may not)  so I’ll take this into consideration…

Perhaps if the fish were smart they could second guess their tankmates and so considering some could handle other salts the voting may go:

12% Sea, 18% Rock, 39% Mix, 31% none
So FPTP has appeared to work (assuming they understand the complex way they have to vote to stay alive) and most of your fish survive.

But you own a pet shop that has 600 tanks and you only want to get one type of salt, or make up one mix.

The majority of tanks have voted for a mix so this doesn’t tell you much.  You either have to just do what you want and risk upsetting a lot of fish if you get it wrong,  or take a guess from the data you do have.

So you’d make a mix using mostly rock salt as this came second of those that wanted some salt and even though you were trying to do the right thing, you haven’t as Sea salt is the 2nd most popular.

Next time round, Sea salters are apathetic and stay home, Rock salters are enthused by nearly beating Mix splitting the salty vote all over the place and making None win again, killing most of the fish and causing the banking crash.

So let’s apply AV:

First round would come close to being their preferences.

25 Sea, 19 Rock, 21 Mix and 35 None.

Rock gets kicked out and 2nd choice is mix, Sea next and goes for Mix and we end up with the Mix winning- Only this time we can see that we’d prefer a mostly Sea salt mix both improving the system and meaning that chances are it will give a well fitting result next time too

Now obviously this isn’t perfect. It could turn out many of the No Salt lot and all of the Sea lot wouldn’t mind Rock salt so that would be  a better answer but this would mean counting everyone’s second vote in the second round and then reapplying this to decide who should have gone out in the first round – this would further simplify the voters job, moving the complexity onto counting which is fine as long as it’s open and obviously fair.
This probably would require computing power and therefore electronic voting machines. Chances are even if we keep FPTP we’d get these at some point but this is irrelevant to this referendum as the AV on offer can be done simply by moving piles around and just redistributing the losing candidates votes.

Perhaps this whole idea of governments being voted in every 5 years is outdated and we should all be able to vote on the internet whenever we feel like it to create a fluidly dynamic system – Of course there will be people that say it will cause unstable government as people would vote them out every time they do something unpopular but necessary but that’s just like saying the printing press should be banned and all learning should take place in church on Sunday… The public as a whole isn’t as stupid as they make out and realise that some unpopular things are actually good for the country and everyone in the long run – If there was an actual general election tomorrow, I’m sure we’d probably end up with a pretty similar result to what we have now rather than some huge labour landslide the polls suggest.  So after some initial violent swings as the system is introduced it will settle down.
The voting site can include a blog for the government to defend against the sensationalist media story of the day.
Perhaps it would be advantageous to only change the Prime Minister on a yearly basis for now though.
It might take the fun out of all the election, but then would mean the parties wouldn’t have to spend loads of time and money every 5 years making stuff up about how they are different to the others or how wonderful they are when that’s about as truthful and useful as judging someone based on just their CV/Interview.
It’s right that we should get to vote bad governments out and wrong that a PM gets to choose when to have an election, so this resolves this issue in a much more democratic way than having to wait 5 years.

OK, I appear to have rambled far from the issue in hand – Time for tea.

April 18, 2011 at 16:58 1 comment

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