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What would be your ideal party policies?

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py_megapixel

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A slight spin-off from my readings of this thread, with a lot of the members of this forum saying none of the parties are aligned with their views at the moment. Honestly, I'm inclined to agree.

So, let's phrase the question a different way. What, in an ideal world, would you vote for?

You don't have to provide an exhaustive list, and indeed I won't here, but here are a few policies that I would like to see a party commit to. Note that I've written these without reading the latest manifestos of current parties, so it's possible that some of these are already committed to, but I don't think anyone commits to all of them.
  • Adjustment of tax law to tax larger businesses more, possibly in combination with incentives for more ethical business practices, as well as closure of the various loopholes that allow companies such as Amazon to avoid tax.
    In particular, additional tax on warehouse space - something which large online businesses largely have, and small ones largely don't.

  • Development of proper London-style integrated public transport systems for every major urban area in the country, along with increasingly pushing "active transport" (walking/cycling). This needs to come with incentives for people to get not only onto bikes, buses and trains, but out of cars. If that means taking space away from traffic then so be it.
    Note that I don't mean every city needs an Underground etc. - but I do mean that the modes of transport that already exist need to be combined into an integrated, centrally coordinated system which is easy to use.
    As an appendix to this, every central city area needs a Congestion Charge zone


  • Ending the ludicrous habit of freezing fuel duty below inflation. The chancellor always likes to rather smugly boast about how much it has saved motorists, but that's not in my opinion a good thing. Quite aside from it being a textbook example of a policy which works to benefit the wealthier members of society (who can afford to keep a car running), it dissuades the use of more environmentally friendly modes by forcing fuel prices for private vehicles down.

  • Abandon the Heathrow expansion program. Enough said.

  • Reform of the schooling system. I am not an expert in this area, but what I do know is that the current system does a rather appalling job at certain things. For example, proper foreign language teaching from a much younger age than currently should certainly be part of it.

  • Similarly, the examination system needs a major re-think, with exams re-written to test knowledge on the actual subject written on the front, rather than testing how well students have been taught to the test, and the current baffling system of multiple competing examination boards should be abolished. Possibly change should be even more radical than this - it's no secret how stressful runs of dozens of pivotal exams all at once is for students. (Possibly modular assessment throughout the course? As I say I'm no expert, but I definitely feel that something needs to change)
 
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DynamicSpirit

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Interesting question. I see your answers focus a lot on transport - and I agree with a lot of those points. But trying to put an overall perspective on the wider World. I think what I'd ideally be looking for is:

Environment: Absolute commitment to protecting the environment, getting down to zero CO2 emissions, protecting biodiversity, etc. as the number one priority (which obviously implies much more investment in public transport etc. as a small part of that goal)

International: Full Thatcher-style commitment to defending liberal democracy both in the UK and around the World. This should include taking a strong and ethical attitude to human rights abuses wherever they occur, a willingness to stand up forcefully to the threats China and Russia currently pose, and firm support/increased spending for defence and our military. And this should all come primarily from an internationalist perspective that says all people of any nationality are important, not from an 'our-country-first-and-screw-everyone-else' perspective.

Economy: Accepting that capitalism and the market economy is the way to prosperity (and being willing to argue for the benefits of capitalism) while at the same time demanding that companies behave ethically, and seeking to change laws and run the economy so as to ensure that private enterprise, while being encouraged, also has a strong incentive to act ethically and protect the environment.

Democracy: Reforming our democracy to ensure it works properly. As a minimum, this should include bringing in PR for all elections, guaranteeing independence of the judiciary, possible devolution, and recognising the right of people to have accurate information - and therefore working to clamp down on fake and misleading news (including changing the law so that individuals and organisations who deliberately push out fake or demonstrably misleading news can be prosecuted). Strongly defend freedom of the Press and the need for an independent media while also demanding that media organisations have high standards of accuracy.

Culture: Protecting the UK's heritage and being willing to be proud of UK culture while not denigrating any other cultures. Being willing to confront racism and stand up for the principle of all people being treated equally, but without going in for the excesses and intolerance of much of BLM/Woke culture.

Personal Responsibility: Defending the welfare state and ensuring that the vulnerable are always helped where necessary, but at the same time promoting awareness that people are responsible for their own actions. In other words, don't fall into the Tory/right-wing trap of ignoring people in need, but also don't fall into the Labour/left trap of assuming that nothing is ever the individual's fault and the Government always has to rescue everyone from everything.

Education: Should also be a priority. Being stupid or uneducated is really not cool, and not anything to be proud of, and the Government should be doing everything it can to encourage people to become better educated (both from the POV of training for better jobs and from the POV of social improvement)

Crime: A high commitment to cutting crime, including vastly increased support for the police.

Taxation: A recognition that all these policies that will give us a better society don't come cheap, and general taxation may have to rise to pay for them. That's not a bad thing - if it gives us a better society where people can flourish, it's a good thing.

My problem is of course when it comes to voting is that my list includes a mixture of things from all political parties.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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Traffic law enforcement, a no-brainer, need not cost anything

Not so much 'encouraging cycling and walking', rather discouraging powered travel
As a keen cyclist I certainly do NOT want more people cycling
Maybe 'more cycling and walking' shall be feasible in a few decades when there are proper cycleways, segregated footways etc
Not in my lifetime probably
 

Jamiescott1

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A complete comprehensive review and over hall of the uk tax system to make it far simpler and close all the loopholes.
 

Logan Carroll

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Abolish the BBC would be my biggest. It costs alot for the taxpayer for something that is dwarfed in quality by streaming and even private television. Every mediocre program is like a punch in the gut for anyone who’s favourite program has been shelved (The WW1 radio 4 drama Home Front was going to have a sequel set during WW2 but was turned down by the bbc)

It also brings me great happiness to think of the talentless hacks living out of the taxpayers pocket who would forever be out of a job.
 

DarloRich

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Abolish the BBC would be my biggest. It costs alot for the taxpayer for something that is dwarfed in quality by streaming and even private television. Every mediocre program is like a punch in the gut for anyone who’s favourite program has been shelved (The WW1 radio 4 drama Home Front was going to have a sequel set during WW2 but was turned down by the bbc)

It also brings me great happiness to think of the talentless hacks living out of the taxpayers pocket who would forever be out of a job.

I wonder if what you actually mean is ensure the media only reflect and reinforce my own prejudices and views thus making me feel comfortable and not challenged to consider if what i think is right is actually right. Perhaps we could replace it with Fox news then arm ourselves & march on parliament when we dont get our own way. I am sure Mr Murdoch and Viscount Rothermere are happy to know their campaigns work!
 

Logan Carroll

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I wonder if what you actually mean is ensure the media only reflect and reinforce my own prejudices and views thus making me feel comfortable and not challenged to consider if what i think is right is actually right. Perhaps we could replace it with Fox news then arm ourselves & march on parliament when we dont get our own way. I am sure Mr Murdoch and Viscount Rothermere are happy to know their campaigns work!
the program’s it produces are crap and the news arm is far from impartial. A public news agency could be a good idea to replace it though.
 

py_megapixel

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Abolish the BBC would be my biggest. It costs alot for the taxpayer for something that is dwarfed in quality by streaming and even private television. Every mediocre program is like a punch in the gut for anyone who’s favourite program has been shelved (The WW1 radio 4 drama Home Front was going to have a sequel set during WW2 but was turned down by the bbc)
I wonder if what you actually mean is ensure the media only reflect and reinforce my own prejudices and views thus making me feel comfortable. Perhaps we could replace it with Fox news.

I think BBC abolition comes with many questions around it. Here are a couple of examples:

  • How do we prevent British television and radio quality plummeting? The BBC isn't the best it could be, but it's not awful by any stretch. But I feel the BBC has the effect of being an 'anchor' - other channels that want to be taken seriously feel like they have to meet or exceed their standards. With the BBC gone, who fulfills that role?

    Just look at the US, where their public broadcaster isn't really much to speak of at all, and the standard of television journalism, in particular, is appalling, and their television services cost a hell of a lot more than the TV license does in Britain.

  • Who provides coverage of the Houses of Parliament? I would not be comfortable at all with that being abolished.

  • How do we ensure high quality provision of information online? The BBC has an important role in providing reliable education resources for school children, for example.

    Also, BBC.co.uk is the only mainstream news site that even attempts to be impartial (it sometimes fails, but I'd argue that those on the right say it's too far left and those on the left say it's too far right, so in reality it isn't systematically skewed) - this is vital, as we've seen over the past few years how horribly damaging the echo chamber effect online can be if people are only exposed to their own views.

It might need some kind of review - for example, I'd argue that the number of linear channels is becoming obsolete and they could probably have just News, a children's channel and a more mainstream channel on the TV, with the remainder of content, including parliament coverage being online. But complete abolition is not the answer in my opinion.
 

LSWR Cavalier

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The BBC is bloated, how many channels?? Even radio 4 that bastion of high or middle brow society is often intolerably defaced with background music. Been going downhill ever since I started listening to it
Certainly the licence fee could be reduced
 

DarloRich

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the program’s it produces are crap and the news arm is far from impartial
In your opinion. I suspect others may disagree, particularly those not influenced by other less partial media outlets. Personally, I find the BBC coverage fair, honest and impartial most often. In fact I would prefer if they didn't offer what I consider fruitloops equivalence and actually called out BS where they sniff it.

What it doesn't do is pander or reinforce the crackpot views that seem to be valued by many over facts these days - Perhaps GB News will be more up your street when it starts. I bet they aren't as impartial as the BBC.
 

DynamicSpirit

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It also brings me great happiness to think of the talentless hacks living out of the taxpayers pocket who would forever be out of a job.

How lovely! It must be so nice to go to bed dreaming of how you can make other people permanently unemployed and generally ruin their lives. The World truly needs more kindness like this! :rolleyes:

(FWIW, I'm not sure who you mean by 'hacks' but since BBC staff and presenters etc. are paid from the license fee, not through any form of taxation, I'm not sure by what logic you think they're living out of the taxpayer's pocket)
 

Bevan Price

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Some good ideas mentioned above, so apologies if I duplicate some other suggestions. So, just a few thoughts. And I know I would never win an election.
1. Taxation. Replace VAT by a sales tax - but the level of tax for each item would be adjustable to reflect the damage that products might cause to the environment (in use, or during subsequent disposal.) VAT is a fiendishly complex system, and probably unnecessarily expensive to administer.
Everyone to have a "personal" income tax rate. There would be a basic income tax rate, but with reductions for those doing the most socially useful work (e.g. NHS, teachers, refuse disposal, etc., etc.) There might even be a "greed surcharge" for some who get excessive bonuses.
Try and find ways of stopping tax avoidance / evasion, e.g. "export tax" on funds transferred overseas, with higher penalties for evaders. Replace council taxes by a contribution to local funds from income tax.

2. Crime & Punishment. Stricter treatment of serious criminals; change legal rules that sometimes assist criminals to escape justice due to minor flaws in procedures. No death penalty, but sentence for murder to become mandatory 100 years in prison with no remission. More funding for police. Manufacture, sale & possession of weapons would be made more difficult - "totally banned" where feasible.

3. Education. I don't know the answer at present, but I am not convinced that a series of exams is the best way to determine skill & ability. Some of them seem to be more like glorified test of memory. Also we need to remember that there will always be some people are less skilled than others, and that comparing school performance solely by exam results is flawed.

4. Transport. Ideally, it would be nice to see public transport free at the point of travel -- and funded from general taxation. But unfortunately, I do not see that as afforadble in the foreseeable future. However, I would propose subsidising public transport fares to try and attract more people out of cars. I would not favour road pricing or congestion charges (they favour those who can most afford to pay). Instead, I would close most town/city centre car parks, and replace them by "out of town" park & ride schemes with free parking fees and good public transport into centres. I would also look at ways to reduce dominance of "heavy lorries" on freight transport.

5. Environment. I would extend nuclear power generation, including a relook at Thorium-powered plants. (potentially less toxic waste products than from Uranium power stations.) In addition to off-shore wave power, I would investigate if there were ways to make wave-power more practicable & affordable. Agree with stopping Airport expansion.

6. Media. I would try and devise a formula for the BBC to be funded from direct taxation rather than licence fees, but protected from future meddling by future administrations. The amount would be adequate to permit production of quality programmes, but insufficient to pay exhorbitant fees / salaries to "so-called celebrities" or administrators. I would try to stop other media outlets being controlled by overseas owners / companies. All media outlets would be subject to penalties if they allowed promotion of criminal activities. (Yes - I know it would be difficult to curb the likes of Twitbook, Gurgle, etc.)

7. International. Accept that we live in a small island. We no longer have a large empire, and accept that it is no longer our duty to take part in military adventures in countries overseas, no matter how much we might despise some regimes. Confine policy to expressing comments, and (within our financial ability) to assist in events such as famine, plague, etc.
 

XAM2175

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It costs alot for the taxpayer for something that is dwarfed in quality by streaming and even private television
since BBC staff and presenters etc. are paid from the license fee, not through any form of taxation, I'm not sure by what logic you think they're living out of the taxpayer's pocket
Perhaps Logan would instead prefer the Australian approach, where the ABC is funded directly by the government, or the German approach, where the ARD's license fee is mandatory for all households regardless of receiving capability?

However, I would propose subsidising public transport fares to try and attract more people out of cars.
I would expand this to "propose that public transport planning, funding, and regulation should be directed first and foremost at achieving social and environmental benefits."
 

DarloRich

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2. Crime & Punishment. Stricter treatment of serious criminals; change legal rules that sometimes assist criminals to escape justice due to minor flaws in procedures. No death penalty, but sentence for murder to become mandatory 100 years in prison with no remission. More funding for police. Manufacture, sale & possession of weapons would be made more difficult - "totally banned" where feasible.
This is quite naïve. I suspect you have little understanding of the "legal rules" that "allow" criminals to escape justice but have perhaps read about them in certain publications. Perhaps you could set out some examples here and explain why they are wrong and how you would change them. There are several articles by legal commentators you could seek out about this area for some help. You also need to acknowledge that those legal rules protect you from wrongful imprisonment and that changing them impacts on you just as much.

BTW people can and are already locked away for a full life sentence

As for weapons I suspect you mean knifes and guns. I have a knife block full of deadly weapons in sight. How are we going to ban that? I need to cut up meat and veg!

EDIT - I don't suggest the criminal justice system is perfect. It isn't. But changes need to be sensible and not based on what people read in the Sun or Mail or other AND that the system needs much more money just to operate let alone improve!

Also I am VERY happy to lock people away but we need to acknowledge the cost and provide a chance of improvement/education to deliver better behaviour on release. The harshness of the regime has little baring on return of prisoners. Education and chances to get out of crime do.
 
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Bevan Price

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This is quite naïve. I suspect you have little understanding of the "legal rules" that "allow" criminals to escape justice but have perhaps read about them in certain publications. Perhaps you could set out some examples here and explain why they are wrong and how you would change them. There are several articles by legal commentators you could seek out about this area for some help. You also need to acknowledge that those legal rules protect you from wrongful imprisonment and that changing them impacts on you just as much.

BTW people can and are already locked away for a full life sentence

As for weapons I suspect you mean knifes and guns. I have a knife block full of deadly weapons in sight. How are we going to ban that? I need to cut up meat and veg!

EDIT - I don't suggest the criminal justice system is perfect. It isn't. But changes need to be sensible and not based on what people read in the Sun or Mail or other AND that the system needs much more money just to operate let alone improve!

Also I am VERY happy to lock people away but we need to acknowledge the cost and provide a chance of improvement/education to deliver better behaviour on release. The harshness of the regime has little baring on return of prisoners. Education and chances to get out of crime do.
I was thinking of cases where people "get off" because, for example, someone makes a mistake in giving the legal caution when someone is arrested. And even worse, when convicted foreign criminals escape deportation by presuading some court that it would "violate their human rights".

And I am aware that "whole life" sentences exist, but they are all too rare in my opinion. The victims of murder do not get released because they have "self-improved" - they have gone forever, and their relatives are left with sorrow forever.

Yes - for weapons I mainly meant guns, but also some types of explosives, and also for types of knife designed more for "weapon use" than for use in kitchen / households.
 

DarloRich

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I was thinking of cases where people "get off" because, for example, someone makes a mistake in giving the legal caution when someone is arrested. And even worse, when convicted foreign criminals escape deportation by presuading some court that it would "violate their human rights".

And I am aware that "whole life" sentences exist, but they are all too rare in my opinion. The victims of murder do not get released because they have "self-improved" - they have gone forever, and their relatives are left with sorrow forever.

I expected this kind of answer frankly. It is straight out of the daily mail. It will be legal aid next! I think you need to read around the subject a bit. The situation is not as black and white as the media would like you to believe. There are several chapters in a recent book by the secret barrister you might find helpful. Your local library should have one if you don't want to buy it.

You do also understand that most murders are committed by people known to the victim often their partner and often caused by a crime of passion. You are most likely to be involved in a murder by coming home early and finding your wife or husband in bed with another, snapping and killing one or both. 100 years in prison with no chance of parole. Don't think so. What you actually mean is 100 years in prison for juicy murders that the tabloid press whip up a frenzy about.

Just to be clear: you are happy to take away your and my protections under the human rights act (which i am sure you have read and understood) because the low quality media tell you some people cant get deported due to human rights? Do you know how many cases this applies to each year? Could you give some examples? Also you are happy that decent chaps like you, when mistakenly before the court, should not benefit from a protection that you are arrested and charged correctly. Perhaps you could confirm that if you find yourself in that situation you wouldn't agree with your lawyers suggestion to use such a tactic to see you released. I would but I assume you would instruct your lawyers to move to trial and risk your 100 years in prison instead.

Btw do you happen to know how many cases collapse every year because of fancy lawyers twisting these rules to get wrong uns off?

Btw 2 could you give examples where people haven't been deported and show, with reference to the judgement, why you disagree with the judge? I mean you wouldn't be basing your view on what you read in the paper would you?

The justice system needs change in lots of places but you and others are being led to not only accept a reduction in your rights but actively ask for more! The question is why you are happy to be duped.
 
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GusB

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Everyone to have a "personal" income tax rate. There would be a basic income tax rate, but with reductions for those doing the most socially useful work (e.g. NHS, teachers, refuse disposal, etc., etc.) There might even be a "greed surcharge" for some who get excessive bonuses.
Absolutely not. I'd rather the people who did these jobs were properly remunerated for the work that they do rather than having preferential tax rates. How do you define whose job is the most "socially useful"?
 
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