Electoral Reform – The New Cause

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on this blog but events of the last 24 hours have got me irked enough to take fingers to keyboard once again.

Now, I’m a man of advancing years but despite this, yesterday was the first time I had ever ventured into a Polling Station.

It was quite embarrassing really. I had to ask the attendants for instructions on what to do.

“You take these two forms and put an ‘X’ against the candidate you wish to vote for. The white one is for the General Election. The pink one is for the Local Election.”

OK. Got it. Pink: General. White: Local. Hang on…

So, I went over to the booth and… I wavered for a moment…

I’d been intending to vote UKIP all along but now it came to it, I had some doubts in my mind. Would a vote for UKIP be a vote for Labour because I’d be taking votes away from the Tories?

I’m not a big fan of the Conservatives but they are more broadly aligned with my political beliefs than Labour and the thought of Ed the Red in charge for five years made me shudder.

But then I thought, “Sod it.” and I crossed the UKIP box on both papers.

A vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP. If that leads to Red Ed then so be it. In a perverse way, that might not be such a bad thing. Let Labour run riot for another five years and completely screw up the country once again just like they’ve always done when put in charge. Maybe a bit of short term pain might be worth it if it removes any chance of my own children ever voting for the party that meant they spend their entire working lives paying off Labour’s debts (they’re already probably going to be doing this but hey ho).

I have no love for Tories or Labour so let them fight it out. I’ve voted for the party I believe in most at this point. My job was done. My conscience was clear.

Just after 10pm, I watched the TV and saw that the exit polls had UKIP on ONE seat with Conservatives looking likely to win by some margin (a margin which was to extend to the point of a majority as the night went on so I could breathe a slight sigh of relief… my one vote hadn’t put Red Ed in after all).

But then as the exit poll was confirmed this morning as being remarkably accurate, I couldn’t quite understand the figures I was seeing.

Conservatives – 331 Seats – 36.9% of the vote (11,334,920 votes)

Labour – 232 Seats – 30.4% of the vote (9,347,326 votes)

SNP – 56 Seats – 4.7% of the vote (1,454,436 votes)

Lib Dems – 8 seats – 7.9% of the vote (2,415,888 votes)

UKIP – 1 Seat – 12.6% of the vote (3,881,129 votes)

If this was a new country and we asked a group of boffins to come up with a Democratic Electoral System and we ran some scenarios though the computer and it came up with the above, the conversation would probably go something like this:-

“Guys… thank you for all your hard work on this. We know you’ve put a lot of time and effort into this system but… well… frankly… it’s shit. Back to the drawing board, I’m afraid.”

Quite frankly, if we’re trying to “sell” democracy to the rest of the world then this makes for an embarrassing advertisement.

Some 46,425,386 people were eligible to vote in this election and 66.1% turned out. I make that around 30,687,180 people. Almost four million of those voted UKIP.

I’m convinced that there would have been some people who, like me, found themselves wavering over the UKIP box but plumped for the Conservative box because they knew the system was shit and that their vote for UKIP might well be “wasted” so I’m convinced that under a fairer electoral system, the UKIP vote might well have been even larger.

But even ignoring these hypotheticals, surely anyone with half a brain, a grain of common-sense and a desire to see fairness in action can see that the following doesn’t add up:-

A party gets 37% of the vote and wins the election with an overall majority of 331 seats.

A party gets a third of that winning party’s vote and gets one seat.

One third the vote, roughly 0.3% of the seats.

UKIP started out with the sole aim of getting us out of the dreaded EU.

It has, perhaps inadvertently, become the champion of an entirely different cause.

The case for Electoral Reform has never been stronger. UKIP and it’s 4 million supporters have been shafted by this election.

At least 4 million people are going to be represented by ONE MP for the next five years so if that’s possible, why do we need 650 of the buggers?

This is supposed to be a GENERAL Election. It is to decide who represents the entire country, not a constituency.

Let us have a representation which is proportional to the votes received.

Out of politeness we can still call Cameron the Puppet and Merkels the Master but one step at a time.

It’s Enough To Put You Off Your Lunch

Neville (Trougher) Padgett

Neville (Trougher) Padgett

An email received from the excellent Taxpayers’ Alliance this morning tells the tale of Sunderland councillor, Neville Padgett and his expenses bill.

Now, councillors are, generally-speaking, decent folk who want to make a bit of a difference in their neighbourhood. They aren’t really paid for doing the job but they do receive a basic allowance of £8,369 in recognition of the costs they incur whilst performing the role.

I don’t have much of a problem with that if the difference they make is of greater value.

However, it seems that some councillors are claiming for expenses over and above this basic allowance and Neville Padgett really does take the biscuit (and, evidently, the Fois Gras, too) on this score.

Last year he claimed a further £11,000 for travel and meals.

His travel costs made up the bulk of this but his meals came to a whopping £4,000 for ‘just’ 274 meals which is more than all the other councillors combined.

What the hell is he eating? I make that almost £15 a throw.

When we’re talking national debts in terms of the trillions and budget deficits in terms of hundreds of billions, sums in the low thousands can easily be allowed to pass with barely a twitch of an eyebrow but this is a symptom of what is all so very wrong with the public sector.

Ostensibly they are there to serve the public but the reality is that they only serve themselves.

And in the case of the shameless Neville Padgett – 274 times.

The UK: No Place for the Exceptional

An Odious Oik. And a misguided young man in a T-Shirt.

An Odious Oik.
And a misguided young man in a T-Shirt.

They’re at it again.

Labour has announced plans to raise the top rate of income tax to 50%.

Boris Johnson has urged George Osborne to cut the top rate from its current 45% to 40% and “open up some blue water between Tories and Labour”.

Those against raising the rate to 50% say that it will discourage businesses from starting up in this country, will lead to businesses leaving the country and, as a result, lead to job losses and fewer jobs being made available.

The old Laffer Curve thingy suggests that this will, in turn, lead to the taxman actually receiving less in revenues.

I do tend to agree with all of the above.

As usual though, the argument has now become, “40% or 50%?”. Such rates of taxation are slipped in as though the only decision we need make is which one we would like the most talented and exceptional amongst us to be hit with.

No one steps up to say, “Why should there even be a higher rate of tax?”.

Remove the higher rate of tax altogether and watch how many people want to set up business in this country.

Watch how many of the brightest minds in the world want to come to the UK and avail us of their ingenuity.

Here in the UK we have a national debt and a budget deficit.

That debt is there because governments have been spending more than they’ve been receiving. The deficit is there because they continue to make the same mistake.

Rather than attempt to punish the exceptional in order to pay for the mistakes of governments, governments should be looking at those mistakes and taking steps to correct them.

Amongst other things, this means spending less. It really isn’t rocket science.

The Grand Plan Gathers Pace

There have been many people down the years who have warned against a “One World: One Government” type scenario. Usually, these people are termed, at best, “scaremongerers” but more often than not something along the lines of, “crackpot conspiracy theorist nutters”.

I must admit that I am not particularly bothered about the possibility of a One World Government type setup. It isn’t so much the government per se, it’s the type of government.

I can actually think of several reasons why a One World Government thing would make a lot of sense.

Some idiot chucking chemical weapons around somewhere? No longer would we need a crisis summit between the world leaders, each trying to protect their own interests, we’d just call the police and they go round and sort the offender out. Sorted.

The problem is that the direction all of this is heading in is towards a more Collectivist type setup and a One World, One Big Communist Dictatorship doesn’t appeal too greatly.

There’s a lot on the various blogs this morning about EU Commissioner Viviane Reding’s visit to London next month in order to remind us that the goal of the EU is to create the United States of Europe.

Looking around the world, we can see other examples of nations being lumped together into so-called “Trading Agreements” but it will only be a matter of time before they too become “United States of Wherever”.

Having created five or so “Unions”, the next logical step will be to unite them – One World Government.

There are, of course, several nations out there which are a little behind the times (around 4-500 years or so) and the west has been doing its best to bring those up to speed in recent years by attempting to usurp their despotic leaders and replace them with a democracy more in tune with western nations.

In the meantime, much of the west attempts to slow down the widening of the gap between these backwards nations and ourselves by thwarting our own progress by introducing madcap theories about global warming which hinders our ability to progress by making energy usage expensive and the use of certain natural resources illegal.

We also have “free movement of peoples” within the EU and this type of thing will continue apace. With people of different races and nationalities scattered all over the world and engaging in reproductive activities, such things as “race” and “nationality” will become irrelevant as we all become one, big homogenised people.

People are less likely to fight for the preservation of a country’s culture and values when they’ve only lived there for a week.

It’s all about getting the nations more “in sync” with one another so that, when the times comes for the plan to reach it’s ultimate aim, it can proceed with the minimum of fuss.

The Grand Plan was set in motion long ago and now the picture is starting to take shape.

People need to remember and assert now more than ever that we are individual men and women and sovereign beings in our own right.

Everything Has A Shelf Life

Ever since I was a little boy, I’ve been interested in dinosaurs. Somewhere in the house, I still have a dinosaur book, given to me on my 8th birthday by my dad.

Like the creatures it describes, it was looking a bit weathered and worn the last time I saw it but it’s knocking about somewhere – probably, like the creatures it describes, within the strata of accumulated debris.

This Earth has been around for many billions of years and we’re constantly digging things up that came before us.

During their lifetimes, they would have been regarded, had such concepts been available to such observers, as “invincible”. They were here to stay.


They all died.

I look around at the world today and I can’t help but feeling that human-kind is reaching something of a watershed moment.

No, it probably won’t spell the end of us as a species – Mother Nature will determine when it is time for us to go and there won’t be a thing we can do about it when she does.

What we’re seeing right now is a state of affairs where humans aren’t being given the conditions necessary to live as humans because other humans have taken it upon themselves to set rules which allow and require humans to act in ways which are not in accordance with our nature.

The problem is that nature always wins.

We’re constantly being told what we can and cannot do and something, somewhere in our nature prickles with resentment at these dictats.

We’re constantly being told what we can and cannot think  and something, somewhere in our nature prickles with resentment at these dictats.

We’re constantly being told what we can and cannot say… etc.

At this moment in time, there seems to be nothing more laughable (if it were actually funny) than those people who tell us that we’re responsible for “global warming”.

Just the other day, a ship’s crew had to be rescued from the ice they were there to show no longer existed.

Today, we’re seeing record low temperatures (for the time of year) in certain parts of the world.

I’ve said before that I believe that all of this stuff is just nature being nature. The world warms up, the world cools down. It’s all natural cycles.

One of these cycles will wipe us out as surely as it did the dinosaurs all those years ago.

In the meantime, we’re here to live life to the full. Mother Nature will tell us when the party’s over and then she will begin the rebuilding.

In the meantime, can we please dispense with those people who would tell us how NOT to live our lives?

Put into Earthly context, our lives are but a blink of the eye. None of us really matters all that much when our lives are over and, in time, we’ll just be another pile of bones excavated by a team of archaeologists of the future… if such exists.

Everything has a shelf life but why do some people seem to make it their mission in life to ensure that we all spend ours sitting on a shelf?

And Some People Want Them To Run Everything

Well, another Christmas has come and gone and attention now turns to the New Year.

Or it would except I’m constantly tripping over reminders that we’ve just had a Christmas in the form of cardboard boxes and a few empty bottles of wine.

Like most other households in the UK, we have the rainbow of bins along the side of our house and, I believe, the brown one (bottles, cans and tins) should have been emptied yesterday (Thursday) but, with that being Boxing Day, it has had to be postponed until tomorrow (Saturday).

Not such a great problem.

The black one and the blue one (general household rubbish and paper respectively) won’t be emptied until next Friday, though.

And that is a bit of a problem. As I’ve already said, cardboard boxes are in abundance at this time of year and so is paper. General household rubbish seems to accumulate at a far more rapid rate, too.

The goose carcass in there which will be around ten days old by the time the black bin is emptied should be particularly interesting for a) anyone who is doing a scientific experiment b) rats c) foxes by then.

That’s yer public sector for you, though. Supposed to be run to satisfy “need”, they always tend to be at their worst when need is at its greatest.

Compare this to the private sector over Christmas.

The shops in town have been staying open until 10pm and our local Asda (not normally a 24 hour store) stayed open for 72 consecutive hours in the run-up to Christmas Day.

Christmas Day was made all the better because we were able to go to the local pub for a couple of pints while the goose was cooking because they opened from 11am – 3pm (the staff were paid double rate, I was informed by the barman serving me).

You see, in the private sector, when demand is at its greatest, they work harder and longer.

Oh, of course, they don’t do this out of the goodness of their hearts. It’s because they know that they will make more money.

They make more money. We get goods and services at times when we want and need them the most. We all win. It’s brilliant.

Meanwhile, back in the public-sector-land, we’ll be fighting off vermin well into the New Year because anti-capitalism all works so very well.

An Educational Evening

Last night, I went to a “Parents Information Evening” at the school our sons go to.

This one was for our youngest who has just entered Secondary School this September just gone.

Several of the teachers stood before the gathered hundreds of parents and gave their own 5-10 minute speech about things to do with our respective children’s education during Year 7.

99% of it was all very good and made a lot of sense but, towards the end, the “Deputy Head of Inclusion” came on and gave her speech.

I must admit that I was a bit confused about the “Of Inclusion” part of her title. We’d already heard from the headmistress and her deputy head so what was this “Deputy Head of Inclusion” all about?

I dunno but she probably earns fifty grand a year for doing it so it must be important.

She was talking about reading books and how we, as parents should encourage our children to read books. Good stuff.

She also said that, as kids get older it becomes “less cool” to talk to their parents about what they’re doing in school and they certainly don’t want to read books with their parents and probably don’t want to read books their parents recommend and will tend to seek out books in the genres they enjoy reading and that all of this is good. I agree – I’d rather my son read any book than no book at all.

She then gave us a few tips on how we can “get involved” with what our kids are reading.

Her first was to read the same book as our child is reading so that we can discuss the book.

Excellent idea.

She then said that we should encourage our kids to read the news and take an active interest in current events so that we can also discuss those.

Excellent idea.

But this is where it all broke down a bit.

“So”, she said, “You can get your child to read articles on the BBC website or in The Guardian and discuss them”.


With the internet being what it is these days, there must be thousands of sources of news around the world but let us agree that there are perhaps ten or so “reliable” sources of news which are particularly relevant to us here in the UK.

Of all the choices, why explicitly mention the BBC and The Guardian?

If I wanted my child to have a completely warped view of the world, I would choose those two above all the rest. Those two stick out like a pair of sore thumbs in the world of news providers.

So, tomorrow, I’ll be sending my son in with a copy of The Telegraph, Atlas Shrugged and a few print-outs from the Biased BBC website with the instructions to ask this teacher if she would like to discuss them – with his father if she needs any further education.

I’m pretty sure that I mentioned the word “indoctrination” with regard to education in this country in a previous article.

If I fail to send my kid to school one day without sufficient reason, I am liable to be fined £50 per day missed. It’s written right there in the school rules.

So, my choice seems to be to have my child’s brain turned into leftist mush for the next five years or stump up £50 a day to spare him.

It was indeed an informative evening.

Courtesy of Dan Hannan

Saw this on Dan Hannan’s blog over at The Telegraph the other day…



I think Mr Hannan sums up most of what is wrong with it quite succinctly.

There’s nothing wrong with learning about other cultures and religions and, of course, it all works both ways. Children from other cultures who now find themselves living in the UK will, presumably, be required to learn a bit more about the culture they now find themselves in.

The compulsory/bullying aspect of all this (the threat that a child will have a Racial Discrimination label attached to them for the rest of their school career) is what is so… what’s the word I’m looking for here? Annoying? Alarming? Scary?

I don’t know… what word best describes the feeling you get when you want to take an enormous hammer to everything and smash it to smithereens?

The lunatics really have taken over the asylum.