Slim Pickings Searching For Sensible Election Policies.
“The Tories will win handily – around 50 vote majority – not least because a majority now has conceded we are leaving the EU”
“a grotesquely over-taxed nation spending more than it can afford”
“initiate a study into how healthcare is provided in France, Germany”
“A list of tenets acceptable to us will be drawn up. Mosques will have to accept these, or be closed down”
It’s hard for some of us to take a general election seriously when none of the major parties comes close to offering sensible policies.
Now I realise that the real reason for the election is to strengthen the government’s hand in the Brexit negotiations, but given all the parties have taken the opportunity to offer complete programmes, before the campaign started I drew up a list of policies which I believe were required to turn the country into a halfway sensible direction.
Sad to say, I didn’t find much like-mindedness from the Tories, but almost none at all from Labour or the fringe lefty parties. UKIP comes closest to agreeing with me, but unfortunately it has lost its Libertarian streak in its drive to persuade Labour voters to come on down. UKIP is the only party to have a realistic and brave view on Islam.
Top of my list, as a user of Southern Rail, was trade union reform to stop the likes of the RMT and ASLEF exploiting weak laws to pursue their selfish aims at almost no cost to themselves. I still find it hard to believe that these rail unions have got away with making the lives of about 300,000 citizens in the South a misery for more than a year. What has the government done to show it understands the problem; absolutely nothing. This is surely a cowardly and shameful abdication of responsibility.
The RMT’s leverage is gained by its power to call short-term 24 and 48 hour strikes. This causes chaos, but costs union members very little. My proposal is to change the law. Any union going on strike would be considered to have broken its contract. A return to work would require a new contract to be agreed. This would stop short-term action. The unions and the Labour party would squeal; so much the better. This system works a treat in the U.S., by the way.
Labour wants more power for unions
Needless to say I searched the manifestos for some hint of union reform and found nothing, except a plan by the Labour Party to give unions more power!
We are a grotesquely over-taxed nation which spends much more than it can afford, and the Tory party has dropped its promise not to increase taxes any more. Labour not only isn’t going to come close to being elected, despite the fake opinion poll stories, but if it did, the levels of taxation required to fund its childish, free money-tree ideas don‘t bear thinking about.
I’d like to see a number of things happening on this front.
Accept that taxation has already gone way past its peak. We require a guarantee along the lines “read my lips; no new taxes”. The only way to bring the economy back to health is to cut spending. The low-hanging fruit here is of course the 3rd world aid budget. I agree that we should be generous in helping those not so fortunate as ourselves, but let’s wait until we have turned the budget around and give money that is ours not borrowed. Currently, this Cameron inspired grandstanding is entirely on the never-never. A chunk of this saved money would go to pay for social care. Somehow, we’ve allowed our politicians to use double-think in saying dementia is not a health problem like cancer so it’s alright to gouge the middle classes’ property investments.
I would dump HS2, and give the go-ahead for the extra runway at Heathrow. I would change the rail franchise system which has become a money making machine (another tax in other words) for the Treasury because of the massive fees it charges. That’s why rail fares are absurdly high. Back in the day, rail travel was as cheap as chips, but now it is much more expensive than using your car. That ridiculous situation has to be reversed and taking away the financial penalty from rail franchise owners would help achieve that.
State-controlled health care a money munching cul-de-sac
I would initiate a study into how healthcare is provided in France, Germany and Australia, where standards and outcomes are much higher. State-controlled health care always was a money munching cul-de-sac, but to replace this sacred cow requires a convincing case to be argued. Perhaps a hybrid system would be a start.
I would stop house-building in the South until the infrastructure is improved. The 3rd world system around the “A” 27 is a disgrace. Apologies for being so local, but we have suffered enough down here.
UKIP wants to ban the burqah and niqab, and says internment must be considered for the 20,000 or so Muslims believed to be on the “watch” list. Internment doesn’t go far enough because it would end up being imprisonment without trial for ever. Those fingered for internment should be offered the alternative of freedom, as long as it was somewhere else. More long-term, our Muslim fellow citizens have to step up to the plate and acknowledge their religion is often incompatible with our culture. A list of tenets acceptable to us will be drawn up. Mosques will have to accept these, or be closed down. If you want more detail on the possibilities, look at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy. This brave Muslim group has taken a stand, starting with the recognition that religion must be secondary to citizenship.
Vote for it or shut it
The House of Lords must be reformed. Either it will be voted in, or closed down. UKIP and the smaller parties want proportional representation to improve accountability, but I would instigate primary elections for the parties as in the U.S. This would open up the chance for new local candidates to emerge who weren’t necessarily long-term party members. My own local MP, Nick Herbert for example, has a life-long job because it is impossible for him to be prised out, or called to account for his actions.
It wouldn’t be “open” primaries either. That was David Carmon’s nutty idea which would simply generate the most bland, inoffensive people. When you think that all the candidates for high state office had to join either the Tory or Labour party in their teens, is it any surprise we are so badly government by such mediocre people? So open up the possibilities with party primaries please.
The child protection system is out of control and needs urgent reform. Many innocent parents have been locked up or parted from their children for no reason than the suspicions of social workers. Look at Christopher Booker’s reporting on this in the Telegraph. We should break the back of “historical” child abuse cases by reinstating a statute of limitations. Surely justice isn’t possible if a case is brought more than 10 years after it allegedly happened?
Stop “hate” crime
I think it was Tony Blair’s Labour government which thought up the ludicrous idea of “hate” crime. “Hate” may not be nice and you may be offended by it, but it is a thought not an action. Any hate crime initiated today will certainly just be an already existing crime given a self-righteous twist by the politically correct. Opinion is sacred, however offensive. The limit to free speech is a threat of violence which is beyond the pale, but that threat must be deliverable and serious. A short-tempered threat to “blow up the airport” shouldn’t trouble the police.
So how do the parties score on my wish list? Very poorly I’m afraid. UKIP comes closest, so it will get my vote. I concede that this is a bit of pose and cop-out because if Labour was close to winning in Arundel & South Downs, I would switch to the Conservatives sharpish.
The Tories will win handily – around 50 vote majority – not least because a majority of the nation now has conceded we are leaving the EU and all that remains is for a decent deal to be agreed. I’m confident that will be achieved because clearly both sides will benefit. The only worry for me is that the bureaucrats in Brussels, the ones whose careers depend on the E.U. thriving and becoming a single country one day, may hold the power. That is unlikely surely because the nation states still call the tune.