Print Story The fourth way.
By Breaker (Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:48:22 AM EST) (all tags)
The Truth and Justice party's commitment to you.

In which Breaker seeks to fix this broken society that endless meddling by the current crop of fools we are unfortunate to call our government.

Law and Order.
  • Decriminalise all currently illegal drugs, and release all prisoners held for possession only offences
  • Have local police sheriffs elected every 3 years
  • (e) Introduce treadmills in jails; for every 5 days on the treadmill inmates get a day off their sentence.  Hook the treadmills to electricity generators.  Not compulsory however.
  • Have sentences for crimes which attract a custodial period of 10 or more years be served in specially created Armed Forces units, at the convicts discretion.  Once trained, the convict serves half the original sentence, or a third if in active duty.
  • Targets to be dropped. 
  • Statistics to be published still (eg number of each type of operations, death rate, MRSA infections, budgets etc).
  • Surgeon General to be elected in each locality; 3 year cycle no limit on re-elections
Foreign Policy
  • State in private to the US government when UK forces are to be pulled out from iRaq, by Christmas 2009 at the very latest.  Not a massive PR announcement in advance to give armed militias in iRaq an excuse to increase activity.
  • Abandon Trident.  Create a new government funded body to make a UKian nuclear deterrent.  And under no circumstance are we to sell it to anyone.
  • Referendum on the EU treaty
  • All immigrants from the EU to register on entry and exit
  • Merkel to be slapped once, backhanded across the face.  Sarkozy too.
  • Withold all EU funding and activity until the accounts are actually signed off.
  • (e) Cessation of all foreign aid, diverting it to pay off our government debt.
  • All proceeds from council house sales to stay with the council.  All revenue raised must be ploughed into building more council housing or maintaining existing structures
  • Rescind final salary pensions for civil servants
  • Rescind taxation on pension funds
  • Abolish the tax credits system
  • Raise the income tax allowance to 15K.  Having a job even on minimum wage should earn you far more than batching out 4 kids and relying on the dole.
  • Reintroduce a married / civil partnership persons tax allowance
  • Review every quango in existence in UKia and merge or cull those with similar remits
  • All current NuLabia MPs to be placed in stocks and paraded through every city centre to be pelted with rotten fruit
  • Make membership of the Labour party illegal.  Truth and Justice Party - tough on New Labour, tough on the causes of New Labour.
  • Brown to have the word "Liar" tattooed across his forehead in 30 point Gothic Bold.  Blair to be publicly whipped by the winner of a new reality TV programme.
  • Election manifestos must have a "commitments" section, which are legally binding if the party proposing them is elected.
  • All contracts with private firms to be renegotiated.  By people who actually know how to negotiate, and I'm not just talking about the private firms.
  • All companies doing work for the government must have a decent apprenticeship scheme in place
  • Exams to be returned to academic bodies, far from government influence
  • No more PFI deals.  Confiscation of current PFI built assets.
  • No more closure of Royal Mail post offices.  Northern Rock branches to open PO counters.
  • Renationalise rail services
  • Reduce fuel duty until oil returns to under 100USD / barrel
  • (e) Scrap ID cards.  retain DNA database but destroy all current records of anyone not convicted of a violent offence. The data may not be passed to any other agency (governmental or corporate) bar police and government security services.
  • (e) Remove 42 day detention with no trial
  • (e from anonimouse) Establish commission to look at and improve rights of non-resident parents
  • (e) School leavers exam at age 16 - can't read, write or do sums? You can't leave school until you pass this exam.
What have I missed?

Update [2008-7-30 9:22:42 by Breaker]: - new points added after original posting start (e), as do edited
< Into the depths | Finalization of the grand design. >
The fourth way. | 95 comments (95 topical, 0 hidden)
Health by anonimouse (4.00 / 1) #1 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:00:36 AM EST
Establish commission to look at and improve rights of non-resident parents (you'll note I did not use the word Father there). Suggest adoption of Swedish parenting law where much greater presumption of equality to stop those F4J chappies perching in uncomfortable places (they're a bunch of crazy nutters but they do have a point)

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Excellent point. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:36:19 AM EST
Stolen and added it with a credit to you.

Any more?

[ Parent ]
School Leavers Amendments by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #94 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:01:25 AM EST
a) "Smartarse" clause: "School leavers" exam may be taken at any age.
b) "School of life" clause: "reduced schooling" prior to the school leavers examination granted to anyone demonstrating they are earning a legitimate taxable income in excess of three times the national average, and providing that they can show that a substantial proportion of that income is invested.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Hmmm by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #95 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:09:04 AM EST
I shall await TE's new policy manifesto if I were you!

[ Parent ]
Consider this by anonimouse (2.00 / 0) #96 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 05:11:36 AM EST
...proposals from a think tank for consideration to be included in the next manifesto.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
[ Parent ]
Heh by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #97 Mon Aug 18, 2008 at 06:06:14 AM EST
I'm not too sure that's a good idea after recent think tank output!

[ Parent ]
Breaker for PM by anonimouse (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:02:42 AM EST
I'm just not sure in some cases where you're joking. if at all.

Flaw in cunning plan; leaving Iraq date will almost certainly leak.

Girls come and go but a mortgage is for 25 years -- JtL
Aside from the obvious, which ones? by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #10 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:37:15 AM EST
There are one or two frivolities in there, yes.  But some other points that I am fully behind.

[ Parent ]
One more thing for Foreign Policy: by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:09:19 AM EST
Invite the US President over for hot dogs and the Vice President for a bird shoot. When they land, have them immediately arrested for war crimes and crimes against humanity and sent in chains to the Hague for a speedy trial.

well, by garlic (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:45:54 AM EST
it'd be a good way to get us out of iraq. Attacking the UK / EU may be tough though.

[ Parent ]
Why on Earth would we attack the EU? by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:56:11 AM EST
I, for one, would welcome our liberators from the King Dubya administration with flowers and chocolates.

[ Parent ]
Anyone who arrests a sitting VP or president by garlic (2.00 / 0) #46 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 08:32:27 AM EST
overseas will very quickly have aircraft carriers sitting off their coast, no matter the president. That's just how it works. Bush is a bad president, but the EU still can't arrest him.

[ Parent ]
Well of course we'd do that! by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #48 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 08:42:30 AM EST
We'd want to make sure they're properly detained and quickly transported to trial. And of course that they wouldn't get away.

[ Parent ]
If you get them both by wumpus (4.00 / 1) #60 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02:33:11 PM EST
I don't see why President Pelosi would have a problem with that. You might have to hint a few places you are requesting urban renewal.


[ Parent ]
The cardinal rule of War by kwsNI (4.00 / 3) #26 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:10:09 AM EST
Besides never starting a land war in Asia... 

It's only a war crime if you lose. 

[ Parent ]
So we'll be out of iRaq before 01/20/09 by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #28 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:19:02 AM EST
with peace and happiness across the Middle East? I. Don't. Think. So.

[ Parent ]
Treadmill policy seems rather stingy by herbert (4.00 / 1) #4 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:15:19 AM EST
120 hours to take 24 hours off your sentence.  If you work 40 hour weeks treadmilling for 51 weeks of a year, you only earn 17 days (and you've probably fucked your joints).  Do you at least get paid for the electricity you sell to the grid?

Sarkozy/Merkel: will you be appointing a Government Slapper?

Nuclear deterrent: can it be a Doomsday Device?

True enough by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #11 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:38:18 AM EST
That was a harsh deal before; changed it now.

There will be two Appointed Slappers of the Realm, one male and one female.  To be decided by a raffle.

[ Parent ]
Treadmill by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:50:53 AM EST
should be cycles. Order of magnitude more efficient and easier on the joints leading to longer "engine life".
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
A good point by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:56:27 AM EST
Although I am in two minds on this one; if a prisoner is getting fitter they'll be harder to catch if they reoffend once released.  But with the prospect of minor joint damage, it should even things out.


[ Parent ]
Perhaps by ad hoc (4.00 / 3) #31 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:26:01 AM EST
but if the damage is sustained while a subject of the state, isn't the state responsible for remediation? That could get expensive with joint replacement, &c. Joint damage from running isn't always minor.

Another benefit to our sex-obsessed cultures: fit the bikes with ill-fitting seats causing nerve and vascular damage down below. Much easier for the state to deny responsibility for that.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Machiavelian. by Breaker (4.00 / 2) #37 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:56:47 AM EST
I like it.

When can you start as Minister for Prisons?

[ Parent ]
Is Thursday too soon? by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #65 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:38:21 PM EST
I'll have a desk ready. by Breaker (3.00 / 1) #68 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 01:22:28 AM EST
Would you like to choose your assistant or shall I?

[ Parent ]
Join the Army or go to Jail by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #5 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:26:00 AM EST
That's been part of a US Army marching song for generations. It's pretty widely practiced, too, here in USia. Guys get nailed for various offenses and offer to enlist, prosecutor drops all charges pending successfully making it through basic.

If the victims are amenable it can even be done for some violent offenses.

Now this isn't an official policy, but it happens frequently.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

What better way to make restitution to society by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:47:40 AM EST
Than to offer to defend it with your own life? 

And as an additional bonus to society, there's a good chance that once they've served their enlistment, they'll have a trade for civvy street or the option of signing up to the "real" army.

[ Parent ]
They do sign up to the real Army by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #22 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:58:04 AM EST
Or Marines, etc.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Alternatively we have major problems by theboz (4.00 / 3) #33 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:28:41 AM EST
We have gangs (MS-13, neo-nazis, etc) that use the military for urban warfare training.  This is a major problem, although you don't hear much about it because it could be perceived as unpatriotic to report on.  According to an FBI report:
The report, Gang Activity in the U.S. Armed Forces Increasing, dated January 12, states that members of nearly every major street gang have been identified on both domestic and international military installations. Members of nearly every major street gang, including the Bloods, Crips, Black Disciples, Gangster Disciples, Hells Angels, Latin Kings, The 18th Street Gang, Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), Mexican Mafia, Nortenos, Surenos, Vice Lords, and various white supremacist groups, have been documented on military installations.

If you put felons in the military by default, you will exacerbate this problem, at least if it exists in the U.K. as it does in the U.S.

We also have problems in the U.K. where various factions of the military have been taken over by religious nuts, such as the U.S. Air Force, but I don't see that being as much of a problem in the U.K.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n

[ Parent ]
Yes Minister Thread by cam (4.00 / 1) #42 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:52:15 AM EST
I only know about trident and quango from Yes Minister. IIRC one of Jim Hackets policies for national service was scuttled because someone in the cabinet got fed the line of 'military trained hooligans' being on the street.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
One of the three best shows ever made. by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #66 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:38:50 PM EST
Have you seen by Phage (2.00 / 0) #74 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 02:52:56 AM EST
No, I have not by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #75 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 03:13:19 AM EST
Netflix doesn't seem to have it either
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
It's superb by Phage (2.00 / 0) #77 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 05:44:04 AM EST
Highly recommended. Yes Minister upgraded for the 21st C

[ Parent ]
Awesome by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #80 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:51:59 AM EST
I want to see it.

My top three are:

1 Yes, Minister (and Yes, Prime Minister)
2 Fawlty Towers (a bit dated nowadays, but the writing and timing were second to none)
3 The Games (from AUland)
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Surely you cannot be claiming by Herring (2.00 / 0) #62 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:36:42 PM EST
that Breaker hasn't thought this through properly? Heretic!

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
Tut. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #69 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 01:23:30 AM EST
I must've spent at least six minutes thinking this through.

By comparison, this makes me a policy giant by comparison to the so called "professionals".

[ Parent ]
just a random thought by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #63 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 03:47:01 PM EST
If there are hundreds of members of these gangs, wouldn't some of them end up in the military just by chance? The real question is are they disproportionately joining the military?

[ Parent ]
How can it be by chance? There is no draft by theboz (2.00 / 0) #73 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 02:43:24 AM EST
They join mostly 1) to sell drugs, 2) to get training in urban warfare, or 3) because they had to in order to get out of jail.  The first two are pretty bad, in my opinion.
- - - - -
That's what I always say about you, boz, you have a good memory for random facts about pussy. -- joh3n
[ Parent ]
maybe chance is the wrong word by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #83 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:36:20 AM EST
But I'd think in any group of people (redheads, Detroit Red Wings fans, Hell's Angels) a certain number will join the army.

Admittedly I don't know much about the situation, but if it's just a handful of people I'd chalk it up to coincidence instead of a concerted effort to infiltrate etc.

[ Parent ]
Jail vs Military by duxup (2.00 / 0) #98 Tue Aug 19, 2008 at 09:40:21 AM EST
Last I heard that hasn't been done for anything serious quite a while.  Military branches complained they had enough problems with their own people and didn't need more dorks to deal with and would reject anyone facing something serious.
[ Parent ]
Electing police etc. by gpig (4.00 / 3) #6 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:30:03 AM EST
is a politicisation of a public service, which I'm not in favour of. I think some mechanism to eject these people from their seats by popular petition when they've really fucked up would be fine, however.

Your other American policy (fight or go to jail) is de facto conscription, and is inhumane.
(,   ,') -- eep

But you vote the sheriff in. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:45:36 AM EST
No confidence petitions are harder to administrate.

Conscription: you missed the rider on the end of the bulletpoint there I think; at the convicts discretion.  Meaning if they want a shorter sentence then they're off to the army; if not then it's off to Dartmoor.

[ Parent ]
Ok by gpig (4.00 / 1) #18 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:49:53 AM EST
Re sheriff, how do you avoid these people becoming political?

Re convict, prison is sufficiently grim most sane people will take half time in the military, which to me makes it a type of conscription*. This practice is also the reason that the British Army is much better (in terms of quality of personnel) than the American one.

* Though I admit they might not at the moment, while there is a war on.
(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
How exactly would they be politicised? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:01:01 AM EST
At the end of the day they get their budgets from the local council.  But if they're concentrating on pet political policing and not getting the job done, they're out.

"Conscription is a general term for involuntary labor demanded by some established authority."
These are volunteers - no one is forcing them to join the army.
Notice I also said they would be in their own divisions, not part of the regular army which may dilute a battalion.

[ Parent ]
If they're elected by gpig (4.00 / 1) #32 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:27:11 AM EST
they will align with political parties, to get those parties' voters to vote for them. How would you avoid this?
(,   ,') -- eep
[ Parent ]
But by actions by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #38 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:02:42 AM EST
How can you do "socialist" or "capitalist" policing?

Your streets are either safe at night or they are not.

[ Parent ]
We elect sherrifs here. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #47 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 08:35:42 AM EST
and judges. It sucks. Sheriff's campaign on being tougher on crime than the next guy. Judges will campaign as part of a political party.

[ Parent ]
Re conscription by gpig (4.00 / 1) #35 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:32:33 AM EST
Just going to have to agree to disagree on that one.

I don't think putting criminals in that situation is right, either for them (putting them in a situation where they might feel forced to join up) or for anyone else (after all you're putting a gun in the hands of a convicted criminal). Would you allow them to serve half their sentence on the police, or as a prison warder?
(,   ,') -- eep

[ Parent ]
It is not conscription though. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:04:35 AM EST
It is offering people a chance to make restitution to society by other means.

Nope, they get hard service in front line battalions with the ever present option of being killed.  That is why they have the option to just go to jail, and that is why the sentence is reduced.

[ Parent ]
Ah, штрафбат by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #53 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 10:45:11 AM EST
Worked for Stalin. And Dirlewanger was also a great success in Warsaw, I've heard. Release a bunch of petty criminals in an environment of martial law, and you're not exactly going to get nation building.
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
[ Parent ]
10+ tariff and by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #54 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 11:26:45 AM EST
You call that petty crime?

[ Parent ]
Soon by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #55 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 11:47:05 AM EST
With the conservatives (mine at least, don't careknow about Cameron) clamouring for ever stricter sentences, we'll have people thrown 10 years in jail for stealing bikes any day now.

Another point - soldiering is a skilled profession these days. What do you think professional soldiers would think of having criminal grunts foisted on them, having to rely on them saving their lives in a crisis situation, having to trust them not to nick their stuff?
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.

[ Parent ]
Good point by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #70 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 01:26:04 AM EST
And I'm sure there's a few more thought crimes left out there untouched we can tenuously associate with terrorism, to bump up the sentences.

You misread what I'm saying about having a jailbird military unit.  They are held separate; on active duty they will be sent to the front line in advance of the rest of the professional army.

[ Parent ]
actually I think it did work for Stalin by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #64 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:09:59 PM EST
Unthinkably high casualty rates of people he didn't like, and I think they proved useful militarily...

[ Parent ]
I agree by TurboThy (2.00 / 0) #67 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 12:49:17 AM EST
Served his purpose. Dirlewanger, on the other hand, was so out of line even the other SS units complained.
Sommerhus til salg, første række til Kattegat.
[ Parent ]
you know it's bad when... -nt- by clover kicker (2.00 / 0) #84 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:38:29 AM EST

[ Parent ]
IAWTP by ad hoc (4.00 / 2) #30 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:22:17 AM EST
Likewise, judges should not be elected. Otherwise you end up with situations like Elian Gonzales.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
IIRC Mississippi by cam (4.00 / 1) #43 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:54:19 AM EST
appoints judges but they face re-election periodically. I dont think politicising the judicature is a good idea but after reading several books on the Au High Court and US Supreme Court they are exceptionally political institutions anyway. The pretence of apolitical judges is good though.

Freedom, liberty, equity and an Australian Republic

[ Parent ]
That's unavoidable by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #50 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 09:00:39 AM EST
Every institution is political by its very nature. But even if the Supremes are a political bunch, they somewhere, somehow find a judicial basis for their decision.

With Elian Gonzales, it was pandering, pure and simple and had no basis whatever in law or anything other than the judge wanted to be reelected. In fact her actions were counter to international (and national) law.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.

[ Parent ]
Suggested correction by gpig (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:33:23 AM EST
Scrap DNA database and destroy all current records

change to

Scrap DNA database and destroy all current records of anyone not convicted of a violent offence

I think there is a use for it ....
(,   ,') -- eep

I fear misuse of the data by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #12 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:42:33 AM EST
They've already flogged it off to private companies as is.

So how about:
Retain DNA database but destroy all current records of anyone not convicted of a violent offence.  The data may not be passed to any other governmental agency bar police and security services.

That do ya?

[ Parent ]
Yeah that's what I meant by gpig (4.00 / 1) #15 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:46:45 AM EST
just lazy cut / paste / typing.
(,   ,') -- eep
[ Parent ]
What are "current" records? by ad hoc (4.00 / 1) #34 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:30:09 AM EST
The UK takes DNA data by hulver (4.00 / 1) #36 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:38:43 AM EST
If you are arrested for practically any crime.

They keep those samples forever. Even if any charges are dropped or if you are found not guilty in court.
Cheese is not a hat. - clock

[ Parent ]
I've heard that by ad hoc (2.00 / 0) #49 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 08:57:17 AM EST
I was just wondering what "current" meant in this context. It sounds like "current" means everything, past, present and future.
The three things that make a diamond also make a waffle.
[ Parent ]
Requesting permission to start USian branch... by Mouser (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:35:50 AM EST
The Truth and Justice party would be a perfect idea in these parts, the only challenge would be that NO sitting politicians would be able to uphold the standards.

We're struggling like that over here too. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 04:48:52 AM EST
Bunch of careerist opportunists, left and right.

[ Parent ]
Two comments by Merekat (4.00 / 2) #24 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:04:36 AM EST
On elected sheriffs, I can think of areas that would happily elect the biggest gangster they have and party joyfully as they are now free to shoot each other in the streets.

And on having EU immigrants register and de-register, I quite like the idea that everyone registers and de-registers to an area, regardless of nationality. It makes service planning and provisioning easier.

You have a breathtaking level of idealism, worthy of any Marxist socialist, just in a different direction.

That'd be fair enough. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:12:19 AM EST
There's only a limited number of gangsters they can shoot before they run out.

I need a snappier name for this political stance; my surname won't take an appended -ism very well. 

What is unworkable in the above?  Obviously there are one or two foibles above which I'm not serious about, but the rest works. 

[ Parent ]
Also by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:08:14 AM EST
Spineless capitulation.

Further suggestions: by komet (4.00 / 1) #29 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 05:22:05 AM EST
Government IT contracts to be awarded to people who fucking know what they're doing.

Detention centres (with free classes provided) for people who deliberately spell badly.

Immediate withdrawal of license as well as public naming & shaming for crap drivers.

Shops and restaurants to be banned from selling anything to fatties. All members of the public required, by law, to shout abuse at lard arses.

Blanket ban on teachers dancing at parties.

Popularly elected State Bubba to rape convicted paedophiles, rapists and murderers up the arse, on live TV, with sponsorships going towards social housing.

<ni> komet: You are functionally illiterate as regards trashy erotica.

Top suggestions by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:05:44 AM EST
You're in!

[ Parent ]
And some more by Vulch (4.00 / 1) #41 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 06:30:29 AM EST

School leavers exam: Not entitled to dole or other benefits until it's passed.

Age of responsibility: Parents liable for all actions of children under the age of criminal responsibility, unless said child is already registered with social services and both parents have "I'm a crap parent" tatooed across their forehead.

Fixed ages for assorted things scrapped and replaced with inspection by jury. eg criminal responsibility mentioned above, "The little sod knows exactly what he's doing" or "yup, you can handle your beer".

[ Parent ]
School leavers exam by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #44 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 07:40:18 AM EST
The idea was they stay in school until they pass the exam, so as such they have no recourse to welfare.

I like your parental responsibility bit.  But how do you deal with absentee fathers with delinquent children?  Can they be liable for the child's misdemeanor without being part of the childs upbringing?

Age of responsibility - in two minds over this; good idea on paper but convictions could be overturned on the "are they aware of what they did" judgement.

[ Parent ]
Paid to stay at school by Vulch (2.00 / 0) #45 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 08:19:47 AM EST

Can't remember if it's a trial or has gone further, but there's been a scheme to pay kids to stay on at school...

Absentee fathers: Unless they've got a restraining order or a signed affidavit saying the unprotected sex was subject to other means of contraception it's their choice to bugger off and try and avoid their duties.

Age of responsibility: Hence the jury, decisions are final.

And while I'm here... Army instead of prison: Pu them in engineering battalions instead of combat. They get the basic training and discipline but get to do things like digging for survivors after earthquakes and building stuff instead of learning how to use weapons. If they get caught looting in a disaster zone the original sentence gets added back on.

[ Parent ]
I'm sorry, but I pay enough tax as it is by Herring (4.00 / 1) #51 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 10:12:13 AM EST
Your proposals would cost me far too much.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

Specifically, which ones? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #52 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 10:16:04 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Specifically by Herring (2.00 / 0) #57 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 02:09:48 PM EST
I can't see any that would save any tax money. For instance, civil service pensions are unfunded so you would have to honour the ones the people have already signed up to (if you want to rob my dad of the £12K PA he gets for 35 years of paying into the teachers pension fund then I will burn your house down myself with you in it) so that will save nothing in the next 10-15 years.

The so-called tax on pension funds has netted sod-all in the last 5 years anyhow - because it was just removal of tax relief on dividend payments and nobody pays dividends.

You treadmills thing ... for fucks sake, I don't know where you think you are going to get the extra prison officers to run this from - especially as there's not DB pension and the pay is shit.

Stuff that will cost the exchequer (taxpayer) a shedload:
Fuel duty. Oil will never fall below $100 a barrel - or rather the USD will never climb that high.
Renationalising rail: OK this can be done within the terms of the current franchises but will take a decade or so and many court battles with shareholders.
Abolishing the tax credits system: Well this will mean that a shedload more people are better off not working, rising levels of crime etc.
Leaving the EU: We'd be fucked trade-wise

I don't know how drunk you were when you wrote this, but it must've been much more drunk than I am now - and that's a lot.

I leave it to R. Mutt to dig up the facts as per usual.

You can't inspire people with facts
- Small Gods

[ Parent ]
You're not looking hard enough by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #71 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 01:44:53 AM EST
Unfunded pensions have got to go.  This'll be an enormous saving over time, or an enormous liability.  Freeze the pension schemes now; you only get out what you've put in.

Tax on pension funds netted ~£5billion in the first year.  And as such the quality of the pensions that firms  now offer has degraded as a result, once the dividends dried up as they were no longer as attractive a method.  So, short term cash grab by robber Brown, unsurprisingly the pension firms re-jigged the way they run their books and we all get screwed.  Repeal the taxation and things might improve.

Treadmills - fair enough.

Fuel duty - consider the macroeconomics of this - as fuel prices keep rising it'll place a pressure on many businesses to remain competitive.  And if it hits a tipping point and many UKian firms go to the wall, then you've robbed Peter and killed Paul.

Rail - last I read the actual ownership of the rail lines is by the now useless Railtrack Plc.  Yes there will be shareholder wrangling but nothing insurmountable if each contract is allowed to expire and then the state takes over.  No muss no fuss.

Tax credits - re-read that again.  Raise the income tax allowance to 15K.  The idea being the low paid keep all the money they earn and do not have to go begging cap in hand to the government to claw some back (minus handling fee, natch).  Now, the £15K figure I pulled out of my arse and is open to debate where it is placed at the optimal level, but the idea here is that having a job even on minimum wage should earn you far more than getting state handouts.

EU; again, re-read that.  I'm not proposing leaving the EU, just suspending our part in it until they get their house in order.  With the right way of handling this I would think many other EU nations would stand with us.

So, removing a third of the prison population overnight would not save money?  Dissolving quangos would not save money?  No money to be saved by binning ID cards, nor renegotiating privatised contracts?

[ Parent ]
EU by R343L (2.00 / 0) #76 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 05:34:54 AM EST
I'm not proposing leaving the EU, just suspending our part in it until they get their house in order.

I see (well, read) this kind of thing pretty frequently. Don't join or leave or be active in some organization till it sorts itself out.

But this is exactly the wrong way to think of these things. The EU is a federated, collective and, ideally, partially democratic organization. Collection organizations require their members to be active in fixing and improving things. You can't "step aside" and be part of it, not fairly anyway. And if members don't participate and try to improve things, how can it get its house in order? Why should the UK benefit from a "better" EU without helping better it?

The EU has the potential to become another United States in many ways (ways I think are good anyway). The UK shouldn't stand aside -- it should be using its talents and money and influence to make it into some great.

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Where to begin? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #79 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:45:57 AM EST
I'm not talking about a couple of minor accounting peccadilloes here to excuse UKia not paying into the EU.  But the fact of the matter is that the EU accounts have not been signed off in 13 years.

At present no national government wants to rock the boat and be the first to draw public attention to what's going on; and yet the accounts are still not signed off.

So, no national government has the bottle for it, concerned voters appear to get one reply then ignored (as far as I can tell);  what about the EU itself?  Well, it suspended its Chief Accounting Officer a couple of years back for refusing to sign off the EU's accounts.

In short, no one's taking them to task so the only way to make them actually do something is to hit them in the only place they care about - in the wallet.

You can find more info from Google.

[ Parent ]
hmmm by R343L (4.00 / 1) #82 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:27:16 AM EST
I wasn't aware of this particular problem (most of the complaints I read about the EU have either more to do with transparency in decision making or just feelings that some particular policy or activity is detrimental to $my-favorite-constituency). With that, sure, maybe some big member needs to withdraw. But I have to imagine the mere threat of it might get enough members on-board to actually dealing with it.

But members should I think be pushing for a more representative / democratic governing body for the EU -- these things are, in my opinion, less likely to occur with some form of fundamental accountability to actual citizenry. Accountability through whatever group is in power in their own nation (and then whatever persons actually are on councils at the EU Level) seems too remote to me to actually work: sure, your current government might do stupid things at the EU level, but you might not care enough about that to vote them out (perhaps they have otherwise good domestic policies).

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot

[ Parent ]
Sadly being an MEP is a ticket onto by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #85 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 07:53:31 AM EST
The largest gravy train in existence.  As yet, the MEPs have no real interest in making things accountable or transparent because that might run the risk of slowing down the gravy train.

Current governments are stuffed full of MPs who view becoming an MEP as their plan B if they fail to get re-elected to their national government.  And as such, they have a vested interest in making sure that the train of gravy remains bountiful, in case they need it sometime soon.

Unfortunately, the (UKian at least) population has a bit of a disconnect with the EU and lets it get on with things.  And in any case, the deck's stacked against the voter.  Instead of having one MEP represent me I have nine.  Yes, nine.  That's a major hurdle to direct accountability right there.

So in short, the EU political types and the national political types are incentivised to keep things going as they are, and it's harder for the populace to do a damned thing about it than it should.

I don't think that any of this is by accident.

[ Parent ]
And they aren't elected, right? by R343L (2.00 / 0) #87 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:05:51 AM EST
Or at least my understanding was that they tended to be appointed. There isn't, per se, anything wrong with be represented by multiple individuals but they need to not have entirely overlapping positions (e.g. bicameral legislatures).

"There will be time, there will be time / To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet." -- Eliot
[ Parent ]
Oh they're elected. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #89 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:11:51 AM EST
But instead of "we'll sort this out for you" it's a damned sight easier for them to squirm and blame the others. 

Partly because they have affiliations to national parties (Tory, Labour, UKIP, PES, EPP, LibDem, Green etc).  Too many other issues that these people claim to represent clouds the populace's view in voting.  Much harder to get a single issue that will put the wind up all of them.

[ Parent ]
WHAT?! by Dr Thrustgood (2.00 / 0) #56 Wed Jul 30, 2008 at 01:03:54 PM EST
1) Sheriff elections. People are stupid; this has been proven with Boris Johnson getting in, and Labour only now getting a drumming. "I'll cure knife crime" == cushy job for two years. "[copper talking honestly about sorting out internal structure mess which /should/ result in crime drops]" == out on his ear.

2) You want to give further training to potentially violent offenders?

3) Most of this is fine, but I don't trust the electorate. Benevolent dictatorship (a.k.a. ME) is the only way forward.

Hmm by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #72 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 01:46:47 AM EST
  1. 3 years should be enough to show improvement.
  2. And then put them in dangerous situations, yes.  And also give them structure, the possibility of either a career as a professional soldier or a trade.
  3. We'll have to settle this with roshambeau!

[ Parent ]
Registering EU visitors by priestess (4.00 / 1) #78 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:45:01 AM EST
I don't really grok what it's supposed to achieve, and it'd certainly be illegal under the current EU laws so you'd have to change them first.

Sounds like a pretty rubbishy totalitatian idea to me anyway. Certainly if the reciprocal law was introduced and I had to sign in when I visited Amsterdam and out when I left I'd find that pretty annoying. To gain what? A list of people who are all clearly the law-abiding types anyway since they've agreed to your petty list-making rule?

The whole point of the EU is that you'd not an immigrant if you move from one bit of it to another. Freedom of movement is the most important part of the EU IMHO and if you ditch that we might as well quit altogether.

RE: Pardoning Drug Possession convicts. Why not pardon dealers too? Their only crime is equivilent to a tobacconist or a barman.

Otherwise not too awful a manefesto I guess.

Chat to the virtual me...

Registering by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #81 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 06:55:17 AM EST
For those staying longer than (say) 3 months, so that adequate provisioning in local services can be made.  No good every 4 year census suddenly noticing you've an additional 500,000 people in the borough and no extra funding / space to ensure there's enough services.

So, it's not to prevent anyone moving here; it's more so that if they do, the local services get a better heads up and can provide better coverage for everyone.

Re: drugs - I believe the charges are "possession of illegal substance" and "possession of illegal substance with intent to supply" which I took as equivalent for the purposes of the pardon.

[ Parent ]
Hummm by priestess (2.00 / 0) #86 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:01:57 AM EST
If you want council services, don't you already have to tell 'em  who you are? I mean when you register a kid at a school you don't do that anonymously. If you're having litter collected it's coz you're living at an address and there's a register of those already.

Merekat's right, if you want a register for that purpose it's not just for migrants, everyone's gotta be on it.

Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
No joined up thinking at councils though. by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #88 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:07:41 AM EST
For example, despite registering for council tax and filing the correct change of ownership forms, the council still addressed the freehold service charge to the former owner...

And yeah, merekat was right.

[ Parent ]
Heh by priestess (2.00 / 0) #90 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 08:58:40 AM EST
Indeed. I suspect they'd mail the list to Direct Mail companies and then lose it on the train, not in fact use it for planning at all ;)

Chat to the virtual me...

[ Parent ]
That's another thing that has me riled up. by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #91 Thu Jul 31, 2008 at 09:41:33 AM EST
Sale of DVLA data and now sale of DNA data to 3rd parties.

Most people accept that the state has to keep some data on them - but part of that contract is surely that the government keeps it safe and doesn't sell it.

[ Parent ]
First major disagreement by nebbish (2.00 / 0) #92 Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 12:58:12 AM EST
For me is on foreign aid. I verge on thinking that foreign policy should be the only criteria I vote on anyway, because I am comfortable and well off and don't have to worry about wars or food, which can't really be said for the rest of the world. I'd hate to see people starve just so I can be even better off than I am.

I'm sure there'll be more to come, but I want to read it over properly. There's some interesting stuff here.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Let's get our own house in order first, eh? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #93 Fri Aug 01, 2008 at 07:35:40 AM EST
Aid to Africa's overrated and why exactly are we giving aid to India?

Would you give a fiver to a beggar if you were ten grand overdrawn at the bank?

Don't get me wrong; aid saves lives.  But if our outward aid could be redirected to our own children below the poverty line, wouldn't that be better?

[ Parent ]
The fourth way. | 95 comments (95 topical, 0 hidden)