Sunday, March 29, 2009

Jury Team Profile - Andrew Armes

Another respondent from Jury Team has sent in some their answers. Below are the responses from Andrew Armes who is running in the East of England.

Andrew's full Jury Team profile can be viewed here.

If you would like to vote for Andrew, text ANDARM01 to 86837 (25p + Standard rate)

As with other respondents I have shortened some of the True/False answers, but indicated where I have done this. I invite Andrew to add to his responses in the comments field.

Feel free to leave questions and/or comments in the comments field, or if you would like to ask them direct, you can find details on Andrew's Jury Team Profile.

Please answer True or False to these statements:
1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK.
DEPENDS [response shortened]

2. The EU is the future of Continental Europe; the UK should be less resistant to this and more willing to be engaged with EU partners.

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.

5. Countries like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
DEPENDS [response shortened]

10. The UK Parliament should be sovereign. No laws made by the EU should be above the law making decisions of the UK Parliament.

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
DEPENDS [response shortened]

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU.

20. The UK should be allowed a referendum whether it accepts the EU Lisbon Constitutional Treaty before it comes into force.

21. I am prepared to give up some small freedoms so that the UK and/or the EU governments can better protect us from terrorists.

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
FALSE [response shortened]

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged.

In no more than 200 words for each question, please tell us about the following:

Q. If you are elected to the EU Parliament, by what method and frequency will your expenses be made public?
Every month they will be available via website/internet

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Not for public office

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Yes (which includes a blog) and a social networking site that anyone can join if they are interested

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
Optima, Watford Observer, Croxley News, The RSA Journal, The Guardian, The Times

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
Because Jury Team are enabling individuals like me to try and bring some truly independent thinking into politics. At the moment I am yet to come across a political party that can clearly articulate to me “why” they make any of the decisions they do at a deep enough level to have shown consideration to all the implications of those decisions. Growth for growth’s sake is not a good enough reason to strive for it.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Beyond the practicalities of setting up an office and logistical team to help communicate with and hear from those I represent in a skilful way, I would discover and evaluate the systemic nature of the EP, how decisions really get made and who are the true power brokers and individuals of influence. I would also introduce opportunities for other MEPs to come together and discuss, explore and create plans by which to increase the level of consciousness in decision making in the EP. I would also create similar effective groups in the region I represent (East of England). This will ensure accountability is taken both from within the population and from government and that there truly is a two way flow of consciousness that leads to meaningful and insightful decisions being made. Hopefully, this increase in consciousness at all levels may lead to new ways of thinking to overcoming the dilemmas we face at a local, regional, national and global level.

Q. And, as you have been good enough to answer the above, in no more than 1,000 of your own words, tell us why we should vote for you.
Many politicians, thought leaders, business gurus, intellectuals and academics believe they know what is right and what is wrong, and how best to deal with the dilemmas that society faces, whether it be local issues or more global events. The problem with this is that feeling that you are “right” essentially closes the mind to all the possibilities. Being right means you exclude other points of view, it means you become exclusive.

The dilemmas we face are in my mind products of our past thinking and behaviour. If we truly want a different future then we need to believe that a different type of thinking and behaviour is required, otherwise we end up simply repeating the same mistakes. I appreciate that new thinking and behaviour can be quite scary, because it means we have to change, and one thing we all like is when things are predictable and stay the same. Therefore, thinking we know the answers, is once again just repeating the same old thinking and behaviour.

If we can be brave enough to explore new ways of thinking, and learn to recognise and be free from our fear of change, then we might actually realise solutions to the dilemmas we face, that currently we are unable to see or understand because we think with the same old beliefs.

People should vote for me, as I would set up flexible mechanisms to explore a higher level of consciousness, or awareness, or insight (whatever terminology you would care to use), where we could free ourselves of our fears, be supported in trying new things for ourselves, and create action plans for the future based on our ability to see more clearly. I have experience of creating and facilitating these types of mechanisms, bringing people together to raise their personal levels of insight – helping them to become aware of those things that hold them back from seeing and thinking more clearly. I am skilled at helping others become aware of the expectations that drive their behaviour, against where they are truly acting with integrity to themselves.

Bringing this type of discipline to decision making, (helping the policy makers to see more clearly), is something I would both develop and campaign tirelessly for. Currently this is what I commit most of my time to. If we jump straight to “action” based on our current levels of understanding and insight, we will more than likely simply delay, paint over, or continue to make the same mistakes of previous generations.

I hope that now is a time, where many others are questioning the nature of our political, economic and social systems where there is more willingness to explore a different type of thinking and a different future. Developing the supportive conditions for ALL people to understand what they really want, what they really need in life, and why they think and behave in the way they do is critical if we really want to see a different future. I believe I have the passion, experience, and knowledge to help create these supportive conditions, transforming decision making to bring more meaning into all our lives.

I also happen to believe that this process leads to a much more inclusive society, one with less inequality, and a deep interconnectedness that has been lacking from current and previous approaches. A vote for me is a vote for a truly different way, and a proven method for delivering a new level of thinking.


robertr123 said...

Not liking your answers Andrew - 16questions out of 25 not answered with "True" or "False" - a proper politician if ever there was one, which is exactly why I would urge no votes for you in this contest. Your answers reek of pro-European dictatorship and the eradication of self-rule in the UK, so get yourself to Europe and represent them because you dont, and never will, represent me.

Andrew said...

Hi robertr123,
Thanks for the feedback. I found it difficult to get across my beliefs in one word answers to what (I felt) are not black and white issues, although I sense they are to you. So I take your point on board - I certainly wouldn't want people to think I was coming across all political. This is my first experience of running for public office and you have helped me learn a valuable lesson - thank you.

Silver said...

Its about time there was a real alternative from the shades of grey that plague the current choices in politics. When people like me look at a political party and do not like what they see you can turn your head left or right and be left with choices that do not reflect any real change or how I feel. All too often political parties take their mandate and use it to make uninformed decisions which ignore people's views. As far as the EU issue goes, there can be many pros and cons with such a system and how it is implemented. I understand the "depends" responses, but in order to receive greater support - you may need to outline exactly what you are for and against in relation to some high profile and common issues. Good luck to you