People often ask me what I am politically as if trying to pigeon hole me, am I a Conservative, a Liberal, a Socialist, a Communist, a Fascist or a Republican? Do I vote Labour? Conservative? Lib Dem? Green? No one ever asks me about UKIP. As I get older my positions on issues change, at 18 I would have done away with all benefits, now having lived on Jobseekers Allowance I would say that more money should be spent on benefits. Less than three years ago I would have said the government should stop giving aid to foreign countries, now I think the government should be giving more and doing more for developing countries and nations that are ravaged by wars. I don’t think this makes me a hypocrite, I just think that it shows that the older you get the more your perspective changes and the more you see and experience helps you to form opinions…does this make me a pragmatist?
People also ask who my biggest political influences are I often reply glibly with Malcolm Tucker (from the BBC’s The Thick Of It and In The Loop) and Niccollo Machiavelli. But its true, Malcolm Tucker for his no nonsense, no prisoners attitude and bullish demeanour and how once he decides on a course of action that is it. Machiavelli is a personal hero of mine as he worked his way to become a major player in international diplomacy; and then lost everything and even after imprisonment after a coup he manages to climb to the top again and is recognised as the foremost political operator in European History, whose treatise is still used today. My third biggest influence, politically speaking, is the author Christopher Buckley (the genius behind Thank You For Smoking, Boomsday and Supreme Courtship). Mr Buckley’s work has shown me that the whole business of politics is a massive joke, it was his book Thank You For Smoking (and subsequent film) that led to my brief career as a lobbyist.
So now that you know a little bit more about my influences, I’d like to share with you some policies that at the moment I would want to see enacted, some are pretty right wing and some are pretty left wing, none have been costed and some would be unpopular but this is my manifesto:
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs:
The continuation of farm subsidies, relaxation on the import of foreign fish, meat, poultry and game, and incentive programmes of tax breaks for farms that contribute towards biofuel research. 0% tax rate for all food farmed for domestic sale.
Culture, Media and Sport:
I would put in place an increase in spending on the BBC, simplified grants process for sport clubs and the arts.
Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland:
I would introduce a reserved powers model of government for Wales, Tax varying powers for Wales and Northern Ireland and unlimited borrowing powers for the Scottish Parliament.
It would be my governments goal to see the renationalisation of public transport, the building of a motorway from North Wales to South Wales (Wrexham to Cardiff), and also a massive investment to be made in rail connectivity throughout Britain, as well as a new Thames Estuary airport.
Energy and Climate Change:
If elected I would scrap plans for Hinckley C nuclear power plant as it is a dangerous threat from cyber terrorism, and would not use local labour due to the skills shortage currently facing Britain and would eventually cost massively in nuclear decommissioning. As prices are index linked it would not be of any use to the public. In order to combat carbon emissions new legislation banning the production of petrol/ diesel cars would be introduce to come into effect from 2021, and production of electric cars would take precedence (thanks to Tesla’s making public of patents there is no excuse for British car manufacturers to not be making strides in this field) with all government vehicles becoming electric by 2019 including the military.
I would maintain commitment to refugees from Syria and make offers of citizenship to non EU immigrants who have been living and working in the UK for five years or more. I would commit to ground troops in Syria and Iraq rather than air strikes, and am committed to the TTIP. I would also reduce foreign aid to India (the country has the fourth largest economy in the world and its own space program) and maintain diplomatic ties with China, and commit £17 billion for the rebuilding of Iraq and Syria’s infrastructure after the ISIS threat has been resolved (to be administered by Britain not provisional governments as a counter measure to further extremist groups gaining a foothold in the region)
I advocate a re-examination of the national curriculum in England and Wales, the introduction of merit based grading rather than regular testing . And would like maintenance grants to remain and tuition fees in England and Wales to be capped at £1000 per year.
Communities and Local Government:
I want to see the abolition of community councils in Wales (and equivalent layer of local government in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland)
It would be my aim for a pound for pound matched funding on infrastructure development for countries where military action is deployed, I would maintain the commitment to NATO and match the monetary commitment to NATO for use on cyber defence. I would advocate the maintenance of the Trident Nuclear Program and like to see an index linked pension for all service personal and a thorough modernisation of all military vehicles.
My goal is for a cessation of the so called tampon tax, a reduction of alcohol duty by 2% and a freeze in council tax, I would also enact a reduction in VAT to 15% to increase spending by the public and a reduction of Corporation Tax to 5% in order to increase investment from foreign businesses.
If it were in my power there would be a cap on the number of members of the House Of Lords taking a party whip, an examination into additional members of the National Assembly for Wales and The Northern Ireland Assembly, there would also be further referendums on directly elected mayors and borrowing powers for city regions.
I would implement daily checks on women with post term pregnancies, earlier screenings for cervical cancer, reduction of managers in the NHS, and would keep in place the nursing bursary for trainee nurses.
Work And Pensions:
If elected I would put in place an increase in the amount paid in carers allowance (to still be paid even if person being cared for is in respite care), and I would also fight for a higher rate of statutory maternity pay.
Business, Innovation, Skills and Trade:
I would like to see a repeal of the trade union bill, grants for sciences and technological development and a start up program in which the government will invest money in businesses in return for a minority share of your business.
I would put in place a cap of fees for employment tribunals to be set at £1000, to be paid by losing side, where not covered ty by trade unions. Legal aid will be become available for employment matters. It would be my goal to decriminalise possession of all illegal narcotics and completely legalise the sale and distribution of marijuana (Taxed using a similar system to tobacco based products).
Science and Technology:
It would be a major part of any government of mine to give grants for innovations in green energy and medical research and the applications of such, as well as giving further grants and funding to be made available in new areas of transport and audio visual equipment.
So there you have it: my manifesto for change, and whilst I doubt this post will win me a general election, it may give you an insight into what I would like the government to at least talk about. And whilst you may disagree with all, some or many of the points of this post, just remember that’s the beauty of a democracy where people can express different views and want different things and still under it all be decent chaps. So thank you for reading My Manifesto and remember that there is usually more that unites us than divides us and the most common factor I’ve often found is that at the end of the day sometimes it’s just best to have a drink and get on with things. VIVA LA COGNAC