Manefesto For London

May 3, 2012 at 21:12 1 comment

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.

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