Is the PM trying to hoodwink the electorate?

  EU       Is the PM trying to ‘hoodwink’ the electorate?

The Prime Minister David Cameron is to “get tough on immigration”. That, at least, is his claim. In reality, net immigration is at 318,000, of which a significant proportion derive from the free movement of EU workers.

The problem for the government is that in order to reach the PM’s promise of lowering immigration to the “tens of thousands”, they may need to somehow limit the number of EU citizens migrating to the UK. To do that, there will need to be a change to the free movement of workers rules that are central to the EU Treaty. Continue reading

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A quote worth thinking about …

Jones

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Please sign the petition …

rights

The government wants to meddle with our human rights. Sign the petition to save the Human Rights Act: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/human-rights-petition

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One ‘United Kingdom’…

From left, the Union Jack, St George's Cross and the Saltire fly at Adderstone, England, Monday, Sept. 8, 2014. The British government plans to offer Scotland more financial autonomy in the coming days as polls predict a very close vote in the September 18 on Scottish independence. (AP Photo/Scott Heppell)A major problem for the Labour Party is the split evident between Scotland and England/Wales. Indeed, in the General Election it was clear that the anti-austerity message of the SNP had appeal to the more left leaning Scottish electorate. At the same time, the electorate of England and Wales were evidently more prepared to accept a government that wanted to utilise austerity as a means of tackling the deficit.

Such an inconsistency created no problems for the Conservatives. The electorate of Scotland had turned its back on them decades ago. For the Labour Party, however, it was a major problem due to the rise of an SNP that could promise the earth – while knowing that they could never have enough seats to establish a Westminster government. In effect, the SNP could promise anything, and then blame others if they could not deliver.

A major problem for the Labour Party was its election banner of ‘One Nation’. Indeed, that description was also used by David Cameron in his ‘we won’ speech after the 2015 General Election.

To my mind therein lies the problem. We are not one nation. We are four nations of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Instead of an aim of one nation. our political leaders should be striving for an acceptance of ‘four nations’ in one ‘United Kingdom’.

By taking such a constitutional approach, the Labour Party could/should accede autonomy to the Scottish Labour Party. Indeed, they could accept the freedom of the SLP to establish an entirely distinct political programme that responds to the more left leaning demands of the people of the Scottish Nation.  Obviously, the national parties of Labour would need to unite under the banner of a ‘United Kingdom’ for the purposes of government in the House of Commons. In a sense, that would mean the different nation divisions of the Labour Party would then need to operate as a grand coalition of national labour interests.

Over the next few months the Labour Party will be looking within itself, as it seeks to find and unite behind a new leader. In my view, before they start such a process, they should look at changing the constitution of their party to one that recognises the independence of the different nations that make up the ‘United Kingdom’.  By taking such an approach, each division of the Labour Party could produce policies and a political message that is tailored to address the differing political demands of the electorate that live in each of the four nations.

Labour needs to move from a ‘One Nation’ party, to a coalition style party that fully accepts the autonomy of the four nations of the ‘United Kingdom’.

Also published in GBP GBP.

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A voting lottery …

ballotWith opinion polls suggesting that the General Election is too close to call, there is a real possibility that the election could be decided by the Russell Brand’s of this world. Indeed, people failing to vote could help determine whether David Cameron or Ed Milliband will get into Number 10.

Davis Winnick MP called for voting in elections to be made a “civic duty’. He introduced a bill before the House of Commons and argued that: “The right to vote is the most fundamental tenet of democracy and yet millions do not exercise it.”

In Australia, where a similar law exists, 93% of the public voted in the last General Election. This compares to just 65% in the UK – when 16 million registered voters did not vote.

Personally, I do not favour making it illegal to fail to vote. I would give everyone who votes five lottery tickets – with a chance to win a million pounds. Such an approach would encourage voting.

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The EU and freedom of movement …

European-Union_240-animated-flag-gifsOver recent years a number of my wider family have migrated to other EU Countries. I have relatives now living in Spain and Portugal. I also have friends and former work mates living in France and Spain.

These relatives and friends have taken advantage of the EU free market and migration rules that encourage the free movement of capital, goods, and people. Continue reading

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Great British Politics

GBPGreat British Politics is a very interesting politics blog.  It’s aim is to provide contemporary political debate, offering space to writers of all political colours. Accordingly, the GBP blog invites readers to peruse its articles.

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The PM should focus on the ‘fat cats’ …

obeseThe Prime Minister, David Cameron, has hit the headlines with arguments that sickness benefit should be stopped for obese people. He should be careful about such an approach because it could end up with himself or government ministers being brought before Tribunals and/or the European Court of Justice on the grounds of obesity/disability discrimination. Indeed, many obese people are now classed as suffering from a form of disability. Discrimination on the grounds of disability is both unlawful and immoral. Instead of focusing on the obese, the PM would be better employing the tax inspectors to focus on the ‘fat cats‘ who have been funding political parties – while avoiding taxation.  

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650 shades of grey …

greyWith opinion polls indicating a Labour general election victory, but without an overall majority, there is a feeling that there is a lot to play for over the next 100 days. To me, the House of Commons seems to be made up of 650 shades of grey. Yes, we have the odd Boris who wears a flamboyant jacket – but underneath he is still wearing the grey colour of austerity.

What Labour needs is for Ed Miliband to remind people that Labour is red and not grey. He needs to pick up the Greek mantle. Ed Miliband needs to capture the imagination of the voters. He needs to make clear that there is an alternative to austerity. We have had austerity for the past six years and the public want to hear of an alternative. The Conservatives are promising to give us the austerity of massive cuts in public services. They have an economic plan that will see a funding of public services that takes us back to the 1930’s.

Labour needs to spell out a program that will mean better health care, that will mean a redistribution of wealth. That the extremely wealthy, under Labour, will be expected to pay more in tax. That education provision will improve. That fracking drilling will stop – i.e. until all environmental concerns are resolved. Ed Miliband needs to shine bright red and give people hope. He needs to talk about socialism.

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I am no Charlie …

free,jpgLike millions of people I deplore the terrorist attacks on Charlie Hebdo. There can be no justification for such violence. That being said, I am no Charlie. I do not accept that freedom of expression is absolute. Indeed, it is my view that freedom of expression is a fallacy – a myth. Society accepts that expression can and should be limited – the arguments are about where the boundaries should be drawn.

In the United Kingdom, for example, we have the Public Order Act 1986 which makes it an offence to use threatening/abusive/insulting words or behaviour or displaying written material with intent/likely to stir up racial hatred. This restriction on freedom of expression is considered necessary to ensure public order, with any prosecutions needing the consent of the Attorney General.  Continue reading

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