Sunday, 30 June 2013

Stunt Man

Today Danny Alexander has been on the air decrying the EU Referendum Bill, introduced as a Private Member's Bill by James Wharton, as 'a parliamentary stunt'. Unsurprisingly then he and all the other Lib Dem MPs will not be in Parliament next week for the vote for it, just like Ed Miliband has told MPs. Their non attendance on such a crucial national matter is a political stunt to not recognise the motion itself is so large that I'm surprised they haven't paid for advertising space in all the major newspapers.

David Cameron is accused of being a stuntman. He may have had a small job in PR before but I doubt people believe a debate on Europe is a stunt.

Both Labour and Lib Dems are effectively saying that the EU debate itself is not legitimate, of no interest to them and therefore nobody should have a say on it. By taking the risk of not turning up they themselves have taken the idea of democracy and in front of everyone said how awful it is as they don't want the British people to have vote on the issue.

Labour and Liberal Democrats don't show a lot of care for democracy.

Why is that though, because anyone who speaks to people realises this is a big issue of the time? There are only two conclusions that can be drawn really. First is they think the people of this country are stupid. We, the great masses of the people, cannot decide on how our country should be governed. This is a very risky strategy for Labour if they want to win a majority from a public that is mostly eurosceptic. For the Lib Dems too there are problems because the rejection of their ideas of 'liberalism' and 'social democracy' will dwindle into obscurity along with the party.

Danny Alexander is seemingly shocked that the people have the right to decide what happens in the country.

Secondly they don't believe the arguments for staying in the EU are ones that people benefit from, they're only in it for themselves. Self interest from personal benefit and their ideas of a collective Europe and a bigger state so that they are in charge is more important than democracy and actually better lives for people. No wonder Lib and Lab MEPs did not back the budget cut to the EU until very recently. It would be easier to see why they don't back any democratic changes to the country that actually gives people more power. The idea of power over people seems to be a big feature of Left wing politics and this is yet again paraded out.

The biggest move to get noticed by the other two parties on the position of Europe is seemingly the lack of democracy and debate on the issue. They want to send out a bizarre message of power away from people and have put it in lights and get lots of dancing girls to parade around it. To me this seems to be a bigger stunt, but one that is peculiar in telling voters they have no right in deciding what goes on in the country.

The Biggest stunt is surely demanding a referendum on Europe and then not doing so when in power.

Friday, 28 June 2013

Let's Get Fracking!!

Yesterday came probably the best news the country has seen this year, if not this decade or even millennium. The government have announced that they will begin to start fracking. Huzzah, finally!

The Lib Dem opposition to drilling for shale gas has lasted a long time. There has been 3 surveys ordered by the government of the Bowland Shale Basin, the geological name for the North now, because the Liberal Democrats think this goes completely against their green message. They are quite happy for a large proportion of the country to live in fuel poverty whilst they pretend they are doing something to save the environment.

Reason number 12 to vote Lib Dem they want us all to live in fuel poverty.

But importantly every time those surveys have been conducted the gas companies have found hundreds of years more of supply. In fact the Bowland Shale Basin has 1,330 trillion cubic feet of gas which is the largest deposit so far fully measured. Sad times to be a Lib Dem, great times to be a human being (except Seb, my house mate, who I have on good authority is a person).

Map of the Bowland Shale Basin, there are other areas not yet fully surveyed in the UK.

So what does this mean? Well for the North it is a god send as they have had very few successful enterprises since the end of the industrial revolution. The post war industry of the UK was falling apart and not fit for any purpose. Shale gas will surely mean an economic recovery with thousands of jobs from Yorkshire to Cheshire. On that base too follows all the service industries and manufactures who benefit from an economic boom area.

There are also the wider implications that will help everyone. Bigger industry will make sure that our private sector is for the first time in many years larger than the state creating economic growth and increasing living standards. The big tax revenues from shale gas drilling will certainly ease the austerity drive we are having to go through and start paying off some of that debt, although this  doesn't mean we should slack now in cuts.

The Ancient people of Britain used shale to make bracelets because it is very workable. Little did they know that we can get economic success by finding gas between the rocks.

Of course this brilliant news won't stop the critics. You may have seen mad Americans in Pennsylvania lighting up their plumbing in the news and blaming it on shale gas. The thing is they could have done that 20 years ago as, according to the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal, as gas in water pipes have been 'a long standing public health issue in Pennsylvania' due to localised geology. Oh yes and such gases do not have any adverse health risks in quantities present.

Another person is trying to set fire their house in the Americas. 

Earthquakes too should not be a major problem the highest magnitude earthquake recorded because of shale gas was 2.3 on the Richter Scale. Yet thousands of these occur in the UK every year and are usually not even noticed. A light earthquake, one that is noticeable and could cause problems, occurs at 4.0 which is thousands of times greater than 2.3 because of the funny maths of Mr Richter and Mr Scale. We will not see some tsunami engulf Blackpool soon, nor should the tower and the pier come crashing to the ground.

As for eyesores. Wind turbines are probably worse and devalue a person's house a lot more. There is no open quarry just the odd shed and a tall pylon like structure, which are all over the countryside.

A shale gas drill and all the trappings that follow it. Notably this takes up a lot less space than a wind turbine. 

Let's get fracking!!

Thursday, 27 June 2013

Your MP

What is your MP Steve Barclay up to you may wonder, people of Wisbech? Well quite a lot recently have a look at his newsletter. The file can be read here.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Spend, Spend, Spend

Today was, as you should know, the spending review for 2015/2016. Theoretically this doesn't really need to happen mostly because it is timetabling cuts during the next Parliament, but this is a very politically savy move by the Chancellor to show a plan of action to the Great British public and put Labour on the spot. 59% of the public believe cuts are necessary (up 3 % since the Coalition came to power) but more importantly only 27% of the public think austerity is wrong (down 7% since the Coalition came in). This puts Labour in a tight spot because they can longer credibly say to the public that they will increase spending. The thing the Government is bending the truth a bit on making cuts.

Osborne is being shown up by the Labour Party of the past. I would point out though that the Labour Party at this moment would come no where near to what Healey cut in his time. 

In real terms government expenditure, despite the cuts, is projected to be slightly higher in 2015 than it was in 2011. The broad cut message apart from in 2010 is that in real terms we have stayed very much the same and even went up slightly this year compared to last. But how can this be? It is true that we are cutting lots off government departments, some like Communities and Local Government is going to have over 1/3rd taken off their budget.

We are making real cuts to budgets but overall government spending is going up this year.

So what has gone wrong? Well put simply we haven't seen the growth expected by George Osborne in 2010 and thus tax revenues have been down. Thus to keep our economy going Jeffrey Gideon the Chancellor has decided we need to stimulate the economy to make sure we don't lose the tiny percentage of growth we have at the moment. Because our economy, like somebody dependant on drugs, is so addicted to state spending if we were to start to fix it there would be serious downers experienced, which are politically unpalatable according to the Chancellor.

However the growth problem and lack of revenue can be fixed by lowering tax. At a lower level more people are willing to pay and the economy grows creating even more revenue. In the medium term this will get things going again although we would have to cut a lot more at this moment. Overall however, when comparing it over the 20 or more years it will take if noting changes, we wouldn't have to cut so much because debts and deficits are being paid off more by tax income and less by cuts. Short sharp shock treatment that produces confidence by giving people more money in their pocket.

When we cut the 50p tax rate to 45p the government brought in much more revenue than we did when it was higher. 

The thing is, the public actually think we are cutting way more than is actually going on. 39% of people, a lot higher if we discount the 18% who have no idea about this in the polling data, think we are cutting too far and too fast implying that the Government is cutting spending by several percentage points each year at least. Essentially we are taking a big political hit for no real gain. The debt, which is actually the main issue is increasing too much, there is too little growth and government is still the biggest part of the economy. The deficit is borrowing for borrowings sake an important but nonetheless a side symptom of our problem. What the Government has done so far is good, but it could do better.

There is however one piece of good news. The last budget had some very tactical tax cuts. There is a new feeling of slight optimism. It will not be as great as giving people more money to spend but somehow words such as aspiration and growth mentioned very often have inspired enough confidence to possibly start some sort of private sector led growth in the country. 

The words 'aspiration nation' may just save the UK economy.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013

#ThingsElliottSays Alternative Queen's Speech

Considering how everyone is doing it now I thought I'd have a go at writing #ThingsElliottSays Queen Speech for 2013. I haven't put down many economic Bills because as any chap should know this is done mostly during the Budget. Some Bills are a bit of fun. Comment below on what you think of them or any ideas I may have missed out.  

'My Lords, please be seated.'

Vince Cable (Ban) Bill- Ban Vince Cable from holding an office of state due to poor quality of management and doing nothing worth mentioning.

Business Department (Axe) Bill- Get rid of the department of Business, Innovation and Skills and share all duties between Education and the Treasury.

Energy and Fracking Bill- Permission to start fracking in Great Britain and cut of subsidies to renewable energy power sources.

Academies Plus Bill- Re-introduction of selective education based on merit into academy schools.

Boundary Change (Liberal Democrat) Bill- Bans Liberal Democrat MPs from voting on changes to boundaries in United Kingdom.

Great Gordon Brown Repeal Bill- Bill to bring back the 10p tax rate (sorry for copying Robert Halfon)

Direct Democracy and Right of Recall Bill- Bill to bring about yearly referenda on topics that have been highly petitioned to parliament. The Bill will also provide for a right of recall if 25% of constituents sign a petition calling for a by-election.

Great Repeal Bill (New Labour)- Bill to repeal many of the laws brought about by the last Labour Government in the name of counter terrorism.

Devolution Bill- Bill to stop all devolution of powers to the Scottish Parliament and Welsh Assembly.

Local Government Bill- Abolition of 3 tier local government and split powers between Parish/Town and County Councils. County Councils would also receive greater powers from central government.

First Past The Post Bill- Law to make sure that all elections conducting in the United Kingdom for any level of government and public offices use first past the post.

European Union (Leave) Bill- Bill to leave the European Union.

Freedom (Smoking and Fox Hunting) Bill- Bill to reintroduce smoking on any properties owned privately and fox hunting in the countryside.

Lords Reform Bill- Creation of a sub chamber to the House of Lords on Parliament Green so that all peers can fit inside the House.  

I Think the Queen was very pleased with my speech, she is smiling after reading it. But what do you think?

Weekly Poll Lowdown

Well it's a majority decision, and although a lot of you are quite happy to turf out Julian Assange now, most people would rather he stay in the Ecuadorian embassy. 18 of you chaps voted so it gives a very healthy mix for debate.

Should we enact the Diplomatic and Consular Premises Act 1987 and arrest Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian embassy?

Yes, get Assange out so he can stand for trial. 

No, don't cause a diplomatic upset. 

The Julian Assange business is now getting to the point where it has joined the top table of ridiculous stories throughout the ages. Assange refuses to come out in case he is put on trial in the US for spying although he is going to Sweden on charges of rape and Sweden is one of those countries where human rights goes so far that it seems unlikely that his fears will come about. There is also a cost implication, the Met says that it has cost £3 million to guard the Ecuadorian Embassy to stop mad people trying to storm the embassy to rescue Assange.

Julian Assange giving a speech from the embassies balcony.

So why not just seize Assange? The Ecuadorians belong to that group of South American countries that, as a people and government, hate the West. This is despite America giving very important military help to Ecuador to tackle drug trafficking. Like Zimbabwe, Ecuador seems content to blame all its problems on the colonialists despite the fact they gained independence near to 200 years ago. A good example of this is when a leaked cable from the US ambassador said that the President was doing little to tackle police corruption and the natural response was thus to throw the ambassador out of the country.

The only fear I have over expelling Assange is the knock on effect on other countries like Brazil. Brazil doesn't buy into this imperial mantra very much because it is trying to make itself into a successfully developed country. However like Argentina over the Falklands some South American countries can seemingly stir them all up into great imperial hatred where the Western powers are responsible for all their problems. The fear is it this message sends out a negative images to these countries. However, I think this is a small fear especially considering how when Argentina did this and tried to ban Falkland Island's ships from docking in South American ports after a few days the rest of the continent decided not to do it. 

The President of Ecuador at a karaoke night actually giving an anti American Speech recently.

Vote in the New Poll on the sidebar.

Sunday, 23 June 2013

Alternative Queen's Speech

There are some people who are well known rebels, although this is not necessarily a bad thing. Chris Chope, Peter Bone, Philip Hollobone and David Nuttall have produced a alternative Queen's Speech with all the things they would like to see in it. This alternative lists of Bills was done by Philip Hollobone sleeping outside the Office for four nights so he got there as soon as it opened, which shows dedication to trying to produce a list of legislation that will never be enacted.

The Duke of Edinburgh looking very cross at the sea of politicians.

Anyway what do I think of these individual Bills. Green means the bill is a good idea, Orange is one I don't know enough about or need more details on and Red is a bill that is a bad idea. Comments will also be in [].

1) Face Coverings (Prohibition) - Bill to prohibit the wearing of certain face coverings; and for connected purposes. [This is essentially ban the Burka which I do not agree with. People should have the right to wear whatever they want and it is the choice of women to wear them ultimately. The repression of women is often cited as a reason to ban them which is a really non starter really because a Burka is really a symbol. The only way we can foster a sharing of liberal ideas where we all live together to have a real sharing of beliefs, customs and a genuinely richer life. We do not want some faux attempt at this either where cultures live completly seperate from each other in the same city]

2) National Service - Bill to provide a system of national service for young persons; and for connected purposes. [Not a very good idea. National Service wasn't as rosy as is made out and crime went up very significantly because we were training petty criminals to kill people.]

3) European Communities Act 1972 (Repeal) - Bill to repeal the European Communities Act 1972 and related legislation; and for connected purposes. [You know what I think about Europe so this is a big yes.]

4) Young Offenders (Parental Responsibility) - Bill to make provision for the parents of young offenders to be legally responsible for their actions. [Perhaps this is needed for unruly children as we do have a problem, as we have always had its not just a recent thing, of gangs of children. I wouldn't like such an act to make the child less responsible than the adult though.]

5) Foreign National Offenders (Exclusion from the United Kingdom) - Bill to make provision to exclude from the United Kingdom foreign nationals found guilty of a criminal offence committed in the United Kingdom. [If people are not British they should not expect to continually reside here if they cause a crime.]

6) Asylum Seekers (Return to Nearest Safe Country) - Bill to facilitate the transfer of asylum seekers to the safe country nearest their country of origin. [I don't really have anything against asylum seekers so long as they are just not misusing their status. I think there are probably needs to be some quickening of the determination of status (reform of the useless border agency helps).]

7) Prisoners (Completion of Custodial Sentences) - Bill to require prisoners to serve in prison the full custodial sentence handed down by the court. [I very much agree with this. Ken Clarke may talk about it costing more for a prisoner per year in jail than someone going to Eton. But if it's all the same I'd rather have these maniacs locked up. It may teach them more of a lesson too.]

8) Fishing Grounds and Territorial Waters (Repatriation) - Bill to make provision for the Government to designate certain fishing grounds and territorial waters as sovereign territory of the United Kingdom outside the control of the Common Fisheries Policy. [This is essentially reintroducing the Merchant Fishing Act which is not necessarily a bad idea. Nationalisation of land (or sea) does create a more sustainable use of land like in a National Park. I think considering Norway and other countries back onto our seas as well, so to be fair there have to be some joint sovereignty.]

9) School Governing Bodies (Adverse Weather Conditions) - Bill to require school governing bodies and headteachers to make provision to keep schools open in adverse weather conditions. [This is a good idea but really needs to stem from health and safety reform where we concentrate more on industrial health and safety. Instead, because it is easy, officials concentrate on public property rather than saving people's lives from being killed in construction.]

10) Capital Punishment - Bill to allow for capital punishment for certain offences. [I do not agree that teh state should kill people.]

11) Government Departments (Amalgamation of Scotland Office, Wales Office and Northern Ireland Office) - Bill to make provision for the amalgamation of the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Offices. [Good idea, saves a lot of money.]

12) Residential Roads (Adoption by Local Highways Authority) - Bill to require the handover of residential roads built by developers to local highways authorities within certain time periods; and for connected purposes. [There are some roads nearby me that have yet to be adopted although building on them finished before I was born. So this a good idea.]

13) Equality and Diversity (Reform) - Bill to prohibit the use of affirmative and positive action in recruitment and appointment processes; to amend the Equality Act 2010 to remove the special provision for political parties in relation to the selection of candidates; and for connected purposes. [I'm no great fan of positive discrimination. People want to be valued on their merits not just because they tick a civil servants box. Also positive discrimination leads to the worst people doing a job, it's no wonder our public services are not in the best shape.]

14) Sentencing Escalator - Bill to provide that a criminal reconvicted for an offence on a second or further occasion receives a longer sentence than for the first such offence. [This is a very good idea so long as there is some common sense for example it would not be reasonable for a 50 year sentence to then be increased on the crime of littering.]

15) Leasehold Reform (Amendment) - Bill to amend the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 in relation to the permitted signatories of notices; and for connected purposes. [I'm no expert on this so will leave it out.]

16) BBC Licence Fee (Civil Debt) - Bill to make provision to decriminalise the non-payment of the BBC licence fee. [A good idea. Harriet Harperson recently said that any media company in the UK should not own over 15% of the market. Whilst she was aiming this at Rupert Murdoch, who own less than 10%, the BBC owns 43% of media in the UK. But on another point, why should we get the police to enforce debts?]

17) Smoking (Private Members’ Clubs) - Bill to make provision to allow smoking in a separate ventilated room in a private members’ club if a majority of the members of the club so decide. [I don't mind smoking on private property, it's a case of property rights and no one should ban that.]

18) Margaret Thatcher Day - Bill to make provision that the annual Bank Holiday Monday in late August be known as Margaret Thatcher Day. [Very good idea]

19) Department of Energy and Climate Change (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the abolition of the Department of Energy and Climate Change and for its functions to be absorbed into the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. [I don't agree with this. Energy is very crucial especially now when renewable sources that cost the earth . I would much prefer getting rid of the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills and splitting the responsibilities between Education and the Treasury.]

20) Married Couples (Tax Allowance) - Bill to make provision for a tax allowance for married couples. [Any tax cut is good in my book.]

21) Foreign Aid Ring-Fencing (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for foreign aid and development not to be linked to a specific percentage of Gross National Income, but to be set yearly, by Parliament, in relation to need. [The silly target put forward by the UN is arbitrary and is not bringing down the deficit.]

22) Charitable Status for Religious Institutions - Bill to make provision for a presumption that religious institutions meet the public benefit test for charitable status. [Let people worship what they want, even if it is bordering on madness to everyone else. So long as they do no harm don't put unnecessary blocks on them.]

23) Same Sex Marriage (Referendum) - Bill to make provision for a referendum on whether same sex marriage should be allowed. [I think we need more referenda in this country, so if an issue like this came up again then I would agree. But considering we have already gone through this process this is pointless and silly.]

24) Wind Farm Subsidies (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the cessation of subsidies for the development of wind farms. [Good idea. I like the Governments new plans to cut down on wind turbines but the fact they are subsidised means that they do not work. No wonder energy bills are very high.]

25) Withdrawal from the European Convention of Human Rights and Removal of Alleged Terrorists - Bill to make provision for an application to the Council of Europe to withdraw from the European Convention of Human Rights and to deport alleged terrorists subject to approval by the British courts. [The ECHR has seemingly moved from human rights to civil rights which is not a very good idea for anybody. Thank God the Abu Qatada thing is being resolved soon but in the future we need to be able to get rid of dangerous people, when proven to be so, more easily.]

26) Romanian and Bulgarian Accession (Labour Restriction) - Bill to make provision for restrictions on the residence in the UK of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals to continue. [I'm actually a massive supporter of free migration. But the mass migration of late has been too much and led to problems in local government services. We cannot plan to meet demand.]

27) BBC Privatisation - Bill to make provision for the privatisation of the British Broadcasting Corporation by providing shares in the Corporation to all licence fee payers. [In a very hypothetical world you could say this would be the best thing in the world. I'm not so sure on the instance though, I'm almost tempted to put it in red.]

28) Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (Abolition) - Bill to make provision for the abolition of the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, and its responsibilities to be allocated to other Departments of State. [Sack Nick]

29) Prime Minister (Replacement) - Bill to make provision for the appointment of a Prime Minister in the event that a Prime Minister is temporarily or permanently incapacitated. [A humorous title but something that is probably needed. Cleggers has no democratic right to be in charge in an emergency.]

30) United Kingdom (Withdrawal from the European Union) - Bill to make provision for the Government to give notice under Article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union; and for connected purposes. [De ja vu, see 3]

31) Asylum (Time Limit) - Bill to require that asylum claims in the United Kingdom be lodged within three months of the claimant’s arrival in the United Kingdom; and that persons who have already entered the United Kingdom and wish to make an asylum claim must do so within three months of the passing of this Act. [This is a fair idea as those who genuinely need Asylum will do it as soon as possible. This will also minimize costs from prolonged stays by people who have no right to be here.]

32) Benefit Entitlement (Restriction) - Bill to make provision to restrict the entitlement of non-UK Citizens from the European Union and the European Economic Area to taxpayer-funded benefits. [I think this is a good idea especially for health tourists who are easily able to get a NHS number despite having no links to the country than being in it at the present moment.]

33) Illegal Immigrants (Criminal Sanctions) - Bill to make provision for criminal sanctions against those who have entered the UK illegally or who have remained in the UK without legal authority. [At first I thought this would be a bad idea because trespass to property is not a criminal offence. However, considering it is national property rather than someone's field I think it is a reasonable idea.]

34) Sexual Impropriety in Employment - Bill to require that claims by employees alleging sexual impropriety be limited to cases where the alleged misconduct is contrary to the criminal law and has been reported to the police. [I think if somebody wants to take a claim seriously they should report it to the police. But I am aware there is another huge argument that I know very little of in this case so will not have an opinion till I know more.]

35) Collection of Nationality Data - Bill to require the collection and publication of information relating to the nationality of those in receipt of benefits and of those to whom national insurance numbers are issued. [Not a big fan of collecting data on people for freedoms issues.]

36) Foreign Nationals (Access to Public Services) - Bill to restrict access by foreign nationals to United Kingdom public services for which no charge is made. [De ja vu again, see 32]

37) House of Lords (Maximum Membership) - Bill to provide for a maximum limit on the number of Peers entitled to vote in the House of Lords, and to provide for a moratorium on new appointments. [We do have a membership problem with the House of Lords but I think stopping all new appointments is a bit much.]

38) Control of Offshore Wind Turbines - Bill to restrict the height, number, location and subsidies of wind turbines situated offshore within 20 miles of the coast. [Why not just not build them if you don't like them?]

39) Employment Opportunities - Bill to introduce more freedom, flexibility and opportunity for those seeking employment in the public and private sectors; and for connected purposes. [relaxing employment regulations creates more jobs and actually leads to better attitudes from employers considering employees actually have a greater job market and thus more competition upon the employer.]

40) EU Membership (Audit of Costs and Benefits) - Bill to require an independent audit of the benefits and costs of UK membership of the European Union. [This is a good idea on paper but would be skewed by civil servants who actually cause massive problems for politicians because they like Europe as they get jobs out of it.]

There isn't many economic issues in these Bills, although what to you expect from a bunch of social conservatives. Also it is very repetitive, how many laws on a subject do people need? Maybe I should have a go at drafting a mini Queen's Speech. Stay tuned. 

Alternative Speech from the alternative Monarch.

Saturday, 22 June 2013

Moral Crusade

Hasn't everyone got a bit obsessed with tax avoidance at the moment. For some reason there is a moral crusade being launched by the Left and now David Cameron to crack down on people who are not doing anything wrong.

Moral Crusade being launched by the Left.

What's illegal about tax avoidance, absolutely nothing. People want to keep more of their money and stop the government taking it. It could be argued it is more moral to avoid tax than giving money to the government considering they waste so much and cause a lot of damage with it. But what is more important is that we let people make their own decisions in life, so long as they are not breaking any laws. To not do so is interference that deeply annoys people and leads to a less cohesive society. Imagine if we were doing this on whether people should buying and reading the Daily Mail, an activity involving money and one that a large proportion of people criticise. There would be great upset and that is wrong.

So why do we have this moral warfare? The rhetoric doesn't seem to be about reform of the tax law. Apart from George Osborne saying occasionally how the Treasury is trying to close some loopholes there isn't much said by the Left about rewriting tax law. Instead it is more immediate demands of cough up to lots of major companies and well known and important figures from comedians to politicians.

Nigel Farage has been accused of avoiding Tax through the Isle of Mann.

Maybe it's an attempt to punish those people who 'caused' the economic crisis. This idea is a ridiculous one though because of course the economic crisis was caused by a lack of taxation of businessmen and Nigel Farage. More tax causes a worse economy and its is government, which includes civil servants and ministers, getting involved rather than individuals and wealth creators that cause our economic woes. The fact is tax avoidance is done by a very large proportion of the population to some scale through accountants and tips from search engines. I don't see many people blaming the 99%, as the occupy movement always stresses, for the Great Recession.

Guardian tax diagram showing the 'sinners' who owe us money.

Perhaps then it's about actually paying off the debt. According to the Guardian who are experts on tax law (see video below) if we collected all the tax that was 'owed' to us by companies it would meet the amount the Government has cut in the country. The problem is, they forget where this money saved from the taxman is going, it funds peoples jobs and actually helps the economy. What would this money do in state hands? Well the state is a spender, it creates no money. Administration is loss making even on the basis of paying wages and the less said about Keynesian spending the better. The argument here, although sounder than others, is still full of holes that cannot be plugged.

So why is this really happening? It's just the Left hating those that create money and those who stand up for capitalism again. If we look at the Left view optimistically the wealth creators of this country can lose sight of the moral mission they must have to look after people and thus should focus on welfare and not jobs. If we look at it negatively the Left believe that anyone who makes any money is oppressing someone else and that everyone should give almost everything to the saintly state, seemingly the most common view of those most angry crusaders. Thus they will attack anyone they perceive to be doing something to make a profit and tax avoidance is the new way of showing this up whether it be by business or people who defend capitalism.

Capitalism Rocks! The Left will never understand money and the economy. 

I do worry about this idea of moral law, because it is no law at all. I wish Conservatives would show this up more, although recently David Cameron has pointed out Labour's own tax avoidance schemes to show hypocrisy.

Dave is not wearing a tie for tax purposes as it technically resides in the Bahamas.

Friday, 21 June 2013


Were you busy on Wednesday evening and couldn't listen to the Big Picture? Well don't worry the Podcast is now up. Listen to debate on the future of the Coalition, problems in the middle east and the EU/US trade deal. Also worth a listen is my hosting abilities. There were lines I slipped up on but the highlight must be the end fight over whether the Conservatives will win in 2015. Listen in here.

One Year Gone, Two More Years Left

Well that is one year gone at Nottingham University. I had a really great time with the NUCA chaps and the other political ventures. So let's sum up the major things of what went on.

My Room in Derby Hall is now empty, to be filled by another student next year.

The biggest thing that happened was of course the Port and Policies. I love the great and fun debate we have when and the highlight for me of this must be the 'Socialist Oppressors' and working class tone that I have taken to confuse the Left and defend the nation.

Me mid debate with very long sideburns.

The Dinners too have been great with NUCA. At Christmas we had a great feast where I was out eating and drinking for over 12 hours, a real great day. But more recently we have the end of year dinner with John Hayes which appeared on to Guido Fawkes.

Alex, Badger and  I caught after the Main Course at our excellent Christmas Dinner. 

But NUCA also took us out and about. We went to Brussels to eat lots of mussels and drinks lots of beer. Recently we turned up in London to meet Adam Afriyie, Mark Reckless and others. These were most enjoyable and the organisers in the committee deserve much thanks.

NUCA chaps with the great Emma McClarkin MEP.

There was also the CF events with the East Midlands Conference to meeting Jeremy Hunt earlier this Semester. The same time was crucial with the CF elections, I think the new exec has done a really good job so far and that they should carry on. Colonel Cooper seems to be taking CF on a very good path and hopefully he can help win a majority for 2015.

A wide mix of the CF people I have got to know or know better over this year. 

YBF, the great campaigning school, was also great fun. Having been to the December conference I had to go to their rally early in 2013. I really enjoyed all the speakers they mustered. Some like Douglas Carswell and Robert Halfon are people I think are some of the 'SAS' (to quote the great Halfon) of Westminster Politics. Thanks goes to Donal Blaney and the Team.

At the YBF Rally. Can you see me and Rob at the back?

I've been out helping the cause too campaigning in Wisbech for the County Elections, in Eastleigh with Maria Hutchings, and in Broxtowe with Anna Soubry MP. Here I got to meet some of the great Trent lot and other famous Nottingham Conservatives. This included James Spencer who I helped in his campaign to be a councillor in Wollaton West which he sadly lost. Some good news from this though is that now I am on the 2015 campaign team for Rowena Holland. People of Nottingham South vote for Rowena.

Photo Opportunity for Maria Hutchings with me Nadim, Tom and James.

Campaigning also occurred on Campus. I joined the Big Picture radio show so I can broadcast the Conservative ideology to the world and make sure even more people vote for us in 2015. I really enjoyed working with everyone on the team I wish best of luck for Jonnie, Louis and Joe and can't wait for the next year. 

Kind listener to the Big Picture texted this in once. However, I doubt I would make a very good PM although thanks for the confidence. 

I also campaigned for freedom of speech and keeping the SU on track against the Pro Choice motion that did not succeeded at the ballot box. Although the Women's Network are still struggling to get this motion passed I think the voice of the people condemned their plans of internal politics, time will tell though.

With a Lapsed Pro Choice policy, Nottingham Uni is that little bit freer from restrictions on freedom of speech.

Sadly though there was a great loss. Baroness Thatcher died in April and I was there to pay my respects to her. I never met Baroness Thatcher, despite this though she has great influence upon me politically. I was pleased that so many people turned up and that after the procession so many people spoke in celebration of her life at an event run by the Bow Group and Freedom Association.

A nice photo of me with a huge photo of Baroness Thatcher.

And of course this has been big too. #ThingsElliottSays is going from strength to strength. I really enjoy writing this, I can be very open about what I feel on where we are going and what we should do next as a party and a nation. But I have got some small success too. We are almost at 20,000 hits for this blog and now I am writing for the TAB.

But the number one political event during my University life was the people. I believe a lot in people, they keep the country together for one thing. But I have made some genuine friends and built upon others (sorry if this is too cliché but it is genuinely true). I have met so many people through conference, NUCA, campaigning and even this Blog. All I can say is bring on two more years of micro political goings on. 

Friends for a long time to come.

Thursday, 20 June 2013

Exclusive: Robert Halfon 'Government Policy toward middle east has failed'

Robert Halfon, who is "not ashamed to admit that I tend towards the neo-conservative view" and one of my favourite MPs, exclusively gave #ThingsElliottSays a statement on what he believes about Intervention and why 'Government policy toward the middle east has failed lamentably in recent years.'

Latest News only available on #ThingsElliottSays.

Rob Halfon believes that policy has been "inconsistent" where there has been "realpolitik, appeasing certain regimes, and on the other hand we said that dictators are evil and that we must take action against them." He said it is "intolerable" that we have backed states such as Saudi Arabia or Libya and have not used "muscular enlightenment" to bring "freedom, human rights, property rights, the rule of law, equality towards women, religious tolerance and rejection of terrorism" to Syria, Palestine and Iran etc. .

Robert Halfon says that the policy of "realpolitik has failed" as it "involves appeasing or collaborating with unsavoury regimes in order to achieve certain foreign policy objectives." He believes that by working with them financially countries like Saudi Arabia "are allowed to pour millions into our universities" resulting in "terrorism at home and abroad; Islamist extremism in our universities has increased; and we are no closer to a two-state solution in Israel and Palestine."

Rob Halfon believes that we have been cuddling up to dictators and autocrats too much.

Libya is another good example of this as under Gaddafi our own ambassador to Libya said he wanted "a closer and more productive relationship with the UK more than any other country" a statement he finds "astonishing." The results of this realpolitik were that "the previous Labour government met with at the most senior level ... with the Gaddafi regime" and thus there was "influence and acceptability."

We can't just use a B52 we have to use other tools and other strategies.

Robert Halfon admits that "you can't just democracy from a B52 bomber" (quoting John Kennedy). It is as much "about winning hearts and minds" than "just about military invasion." He also stressed that "democracy is not just about elections. If it is only about elections, we have the situation of 2006 in Gaza, where Hamas sent its militia on to the streets, attacking members of the more moderate Fatah party and throwing them off the rooftops."

To conclude Robert Halfon said that "Those who oppose freedom in the middle east, however are exactly like those who opposed the end of slavery ...  'yes, we want to end slavery but not yet', and the relapolitik of the middle east says 'Yes, they should have democracy and human rights for women, but not yet'."

Robert Halfon in the House of Commons.

Breaking News: #ThingsElliottSays Writes For The TAB

Well I'm happy to announce that I am now a columnist for the Nottingham TAB. I'll be adding my opinion to the happenings of Nottingham Uni SU, Nottingham Council and national politics that effects students. I'll be doing this bi-weekly and will probably get properly started next University year.

Thanks goes to the TAB team for selecting me.

NUCA Westminster Trip

On Tuesday NUCA went on a trip to Westminster organised brilliantly by our 2012/2013 Vice-President, Luke, and Publicity Secretary, Jack. We had a great day seeing Conservative MPs and what is going on in Parliament. 

News at Ten, NUCA goes to Westminster. 

We arrived at Westminster around 10:50 to meet Chloe Smith MP. Chloe was known as the 'baby of the house' during the last parliament but now she has come of age with her obvious talent showing through. She was Economic Secretary to the Treasury and now is in the Cabinet Office, where she also has to work with Nick Clegg. Chloe emphasised on our visit the amount of waste that has been cut in the Cabinet Office. So far the Conservatives have cut £20 billion so that we can tackle our deficit problem.

Chloe Smith is a really lovely lady.

Next up was Adam Holloway MP, he is Luke's MP from Gravesham. Adam seemed very relaxed and gave us free reign to ask us questions. He took a keen interest in Jamie's tie and also my arm braces, to hold up my sleeves. I really enjoyed meeting Adam, he was really fun and told us some really good stories especially about his previous life as a journalist.  

Douglas Carswell came on afterwards. He spoke a lot about his plans of democratic reform from open primaries to the right of recall. I personally agree with Douglas Carswell, the people do know best and should get the final say. He pointed out to us that Parliament is not as steeped in tradition as we may think, our electoral system is not very old at all. For example, before 1918, if a backbench MP was selected to be a government minister he had to resign his seat and fight a by-election to get the people's approval.

Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless with the NUCA group.

Mark Reckless then came to speak to us and talked about the problems with a coalition government in general. I'm not a big coalition fan. If there was to be another hung parliament in 2015, although I believe the Conservatives can win, I do not think that either Labour or the Tories will want to do it again. Coalitions are a tainted brand and rightly so in my opinion. 

In the committee rooms tea was available. We should make a cut and stop using Twinings and have Yorkshire Tea instead.

After all this we went to lunch where we were joined by Colonel Cooper but more importantly our life President John Hayes. As I have said before, I like John Hayes and I told him that I was very pleased with the results he promised on wind turbines after the NUCA Dinner. It is good to see that the final decision on these turbines lies with local people and not some court, very much detached from the local people. John talked to us about his role as an MP in balancing his work in Downing Street and in South Holland and the Deepings, my next door constituency as it happens. We also engaged in a very philosophical debate about liberalism and conservatism and the right and left spectrum within the Conservative Party. For example Douglas Carswell who is very classical liberal is more right than David Cameron, although he is a definite One Nation Conservative.

John Hayes and NUCA outside the House.

During this time we spied many MPs. Ed Balls and Ed Miliband walked past us having a 'heated discussion', Labour has such cooperative front bench. MPs from Tim Faron, Dr Therese Coffey and John Redwood were also spotted when walking around Portcullis House and the Houses of Parliament. The Speaker was also playing Tennis on the lawn outside, so all in all we saw most of the important people in politics.

The chap in the white shirt is the Speaker.

After Lunch we met Adam Afriyie. Someone asked the obvious question on him standing for the leadership and Adam said that the closest he ever came to challenging David Cameron was saying once that if we lose in 2015 and David Cameron steps down he may try to become leader. Adam pointed out he is a Cameron loyalist, putting donations toward his own campaign to be leader. Other questions we asked him showed he has very good business experience and believes we should start a Conservative Reform. Reform of the modern Tory Party so that it emphasises more business and with other key issues of the day, but is not going backwards to where we opposed many socially liberal policies. Adam wants us all to cheer whenever we hear a company making profits as it means that more jobs will be created and people will be better off. The mood at the moment is more of the left where profit equals oppression, which is very far from the truth.

No wonder Conservatives complain Cameron is too left wing, the only papers we could find in Parliament are left leaning. 

Last but not least was Robert Halfon who gave a good speech on Neo-Conservativism. Robert has stuck his neck out and said that we should not shun intervention and bring freedom to those who are oppressed by tyrannical regimes. He says we have adopted a semi-appeasement stance at the moment and this should not continue. Rob believes that intervention works and pointed to Kurdistan in Iraq, where Sadam killed thousands of his own people with chemical weapons in a genocide. But now Kurdistan is a fairly peaceful region, there hasn't been a suicide attack in the area for many years. Intervention does not necessarily mean sending in the tanks however. In Syria Robert believes that we should have created safe zones for innocent civilians and wishes to put greater emphasis on international aid to winning hearts and minds. Thanks goes to ex-NUCA lady Emily Burditt for helping to get Robert to speak to us. 

Group photo with the Great Robert Halfon MP

Our Trip to Westminster was great and I really enjoyed it. The speakers were very good and showed how many talented individuals we have as MPs.