Discretionary powers

"Drop that can, or we'll shoot!"

As I once read in a law book while in court, the Police have “discretionary powers”. What this means in practice is that they can operate according to a hidden agenda. They pick and choose which laws they’re prepared to enforce. This means that if any crimes are committed against you and you call the Police, then they probably won’t do anything about it, but if you’re just walking down the road on the way to or back from a night out, then you could easily experience Police harassment. If you’re walking down the road with a can of alcohol, you’ll be seriously harassed as a menace to society!

What I think we need to do is abolish the Police and replace them with several different organisations, each with responsibility for a different area of the law.

Street drinking

Can of cider

Street drinking is an important civil right! The fact that it first came in for attack under a Thatcher government more or less proves this. It’s also a Lib Dem as well as a Participatory Economics or Parecon principle that people can do more or less what they like, so long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. Abolish Designated Public Place Orders! If someone is walking down the road while drinking alcohol from a can, then that doesn’t harm anyone else. Anything that may happen at the same time as this which does cause harm is covered by other laws. That’s all I’ve done, but now I’ve been criminalised for it. It sounds like “thought crime” to me. I say abolish all anti street drinking laws immediately!

Immigration cap

Passport officer

What are your special skills?

I for one am certainly glad to hear that there will be an immigration cap imposed in the near future! This wasn’t Lib Dem policy before the election, but policies such as this are subject to change. All credit where it’s due!

The simple facts are as follows. In recent years, Britain has been flooded with immigrants from outside the EU, a lot of them illegal. It seems that almost any illegal immigrant can turn up here, then quickly get a job and a home. This is due to the important fact that EMPLOYERS NOT WORKERS DECIDE WHETHER WORKERS CAN WORK OR NOT! Employers prefer to hire people who they think are the easiest to push around or bully. According to their way of thinking, this means illegal immigrants, as well as eastern or central Europeans from the countries which joined the EU in 2004,  as well as Romania and Bulgaria, who joined in 2007. In 2004, for the first time ever in EU/EC/EEC history citizens from new member states were allowed to work elsewhere in the EU, unless certain member states banned them from doing so. This was banned in Germany, but not in Britain. What happened after that was a flood of Poles looking for and getting jobs in Britain. Meanwhile, millions of Britons were left to rot on JSA, or sickness benefits, after withdrawing from the job market to escape harassment.

I think the cap on non EU immigration has been set at about 24,000 for the near future. Even so, I can’t help wondering where these 24,000 job vacancies are supposed to come from.

To paraphrase a certain Russian illegal immigrant I once met “Oi, oi, Moscow! I want job. I need it to improve my Russian. When do I start?”

Unconstitutional?

The Constitution

Sometimes you’ll hear people talking about certain practices being constitutional or unconstitutional. This isn’t actually true. Britain has no constitution. Some people say it’s a unwritten constitution. If it’s not written down, then nobody knows what it says, therefore it doesn’t exist!

A constitution provides a rough framework of things that governments can and can’t do. Certain laws can be specifically prevented from being enacted, due to them being unconstitutional, while other laws which  may somehow have got through, could be later repealed as unconstitutional.

Britain has no constitution, just a collection of laws and habits or practices. The Prime Minister chooses the election date as the best date to re elect their government, although this used to be decided by the whole cabinet, but after World War I, there were lots of new MP’s who didn’t remember how the election date was decided. I don’t think there’s any reason for elections to be held on Thursdays either. That would be another matter for the Constitution, if we had one.

The lack of a constitution, has resulted in a lot of deprivation of civil rights or civil liberties. Although lots of these will soon be restored, we should never have been able to lose them in the first place.

Which laws to abolish

Scales of Justice

I’ll try to make a comprehensive list of laws to abolish and put them here. Please come back and consult this list of laws, to see if any more have been added.

  • The Jobseekers’ Act 1995 (reinstate the Social Security Act 1976)
  • The Conservation Areas Act 1990
  • Criminal Justice and Police Act of 2001 (one of the acts banning street drinking)

  • The Electricity Act 1989, The Railways Act 1993 (and all other privatisation acts)

How to bring in Proportional Representation quickly

Ballot box

Obviously, there are ways of doing this. There’s absolutely no need to have a long drawn out process of redrawing parliamentary  constituencies to achieve it. The coalition government has already agreed to PR for the House of Lords. Not only that, but boundary changes have always been made to favour the party in power. The current constituency boundaries favour the Labour Party, but before new Labour came to power they favoured the Conservatives. There are currently 650 constituencies, and I think this number last increased for the 1987 election. Now, the Conservatives want to redraw the boundaries in their favour, with a few Lib Dem seats somehow protected, by being exempt from boundary changes, or changing in such a way to keep them fairly safe Lib Dem seats.

The problem is that Conservative support is mainly in rural areas, while Labour support is mainly in urban areas, and Lib Dem support is more evenly distributed. Support for other parties, such as the Greens, is even more evenly distributed, while parties such as the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP), Plaid Cymru (PC), and the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) are confined to Scotland and Wales. The distribution pattern for Conservative and Labour voters mainly follows the population distribution set up in the 19th and early 20th centuries, when lots of people moved from the  countryside to become poorly paid industrial workers in the cities. I don’t know why this still applies, though, because work patterns and types of work have changed, people have kept moving round a lot, and the Labour Party no longer supports the workers or even the corrupt trade unions with their highly paid leaders who look out for themselves. It’s only our broken first past the post electoral system which helps maintain this situation.

At the European Parliamentary elections, various parties were elected to represent Britain under a Proportional Representation electoral system. This means that large constituencies, as well as an electoral system are already in place. Using this system, we could have Proportional Representation in place for General Elections immediately! People wouldn’t have their own local MP anymore, but that could be sorted out later. This is much better than millions of people being left to die or being turned into slave labourers under Jobseekers’ Allowance (JSA)!

Another alternative would be to adopt the German system at least temporarily, but probably without the 5% hurdle before a party gets any seats. It’s a mixture of proportional representation and first past the post. It works using local constituencies as well as the Länder or federal states. In place of the Länder we could use the European Parliamentary constituencies. People vote for a local MP as well as a party list. They choose which MP, which party list and these don’t both have to be for the same party. Without redrawing local constituency boundaries, this would mean temporarily doubling the number of MPs to 1,300. That could be a good thing, though. Can you imagine the chaos this would cause in the House of Commons, with MPs struggling to get a seat on the benches, begging other MPs to sit on their lap, etc. I think this would persuade them to sort out the electoral system ASAP! 🙂

The coalition agreement

Nick and Dave

I’m very, very disappointed by the coalition agreement between the Lib Dems and the Conservatives! As a long standing Lib Dem voter I feel betrayed. As everyone knows, Lib Dem policy ever since the party was formed, as well as the policy of the former Alliance of the Liberals and the Social Democratic Party (SDP) was “If there’s a hung parliament, we’ll insist on Proportional Representation as the price of our support”. Another specific policy, in place since the party conference of 2005 or 2006 is the abolition of Jobseekers’ Allowance with its benefit sanctions. This was compared to the Poor Law 1834, which brought in the Workhouse, where people needing welfare had to do hard labour in return for bed and board. This was supposed to prove they really needed the bed and board, as well as to harass them into going out and getting a non existent job. Some people actually died in the Workhouse, the same as I think has happened with JSA, although of course, this has been covered up by the previous new Labour government.  It also flies in the face of the Lib Dem principle “people don’t have to do anything they don’t want to, so long as they’re not harming anyone else”. I feel this is so bad, it should be counted as electoral fraud by the Lib Dems. Let’s have 55 by elections now! 😦