Saturday, 30 May 2009


a couple of posts i made to craig murrays blog comments:

Ireland should suffer whatever fate its people decide.

Elections won't get any better just by making local ones more important. The best idea seems to me to be taking a leaf out of the book of those Greek inventors of democracy: election by lot. People should be chosen at random, rather than the most dishonest, greedy and ambitious being rewarded. That would make councils truly representative, and I have more faith in the average man's integrity than that of some power-mad party functionary.

Written constitutions won't restrain tyranny any more than an unwritten one. The failure isn't in our laws, but our inclination to enforce them. No wall of paper will protect our freedoms.

There's no point in an elected upper house. If one house is elected, there's no point in another. If PR is bad for the lower house, it's no better for the upper. If we're to stay bicameral at all we should have an upper house made up of representatives of notforprofit corporate organisations (such as unions, royal colleges, building societies, co-ops, charities, that sort of thing), similar to the original Soviets or the idea put forward and then discarded by Ramsay MacDonald.

Single Transferable Voting, on the other hand, I could get behind. For parliament, that is, the Commons. Why every four years, though? Why not every year, thereby eliminating the tendency for pols to play to populism in election years, also fulfilling the only unmet demand of the People's Charter of 1848.

Local tax is a bad idea. Good if you're in a rich area keeping all your money in your area, bad if you're in a poor area reliant on redistributive taxation. Don't replace council tax with local income tax, replace it with a national income tax rise. Extend the NI threshold upwards, too. Put taxes up on petrol and down on diesel, while we're on the subject. Up on spirits, down on beer. Up on the rich, down on the poor (that 10% rate would be a good thing to bring back). Up on income, down on consumption.

Protection for the obviously falsely accused in the form of juries to decide on warrant issuing might not be a bad idea, either.

Natural monopolies should be renationalised, too. No point allowing a bunch of thieving gits to keep robbing the elderly with their profiteering gas bills and the tax payer with their train subsides (and the environment with their leaky water mains).

In the aftermath of his humiliating defeat at the polls after the war, Churchill limited the amount of money any individual could donate to his Tories. £500, I believe. This was to encourage his local constituency parties to go out on the streets and find new members and new donors rather than relying on a few rich people to prop them up.

Worked, too. In '51 he got back in.

As for the inequities of party politics, it may not be the ideal system but it is the least bad. A state with no formal parties simply becomes a state with one informal party, a one-non-party state like Jersey.

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