Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Ambush Predator tells us that neighbours in attendance of a house fire where a pregnant woman, her husband and three year old died were prevented from making a rescue effort by emergency services, here.

Letters From A Tory publishes the MP's Screwing The Tax Payer Awards 2009, here.

Subrosa says Jacqui Smith knows how to rub it in, here.

Curly has Bart Simpson's take on MP's expenses, here.

Ian Dale has the scoop that Caroline Flint, Minister For Europe has not read the Lisbon Treaty, here.

And, it was inevitable I guess, but the websites are up calling on "Hannan for Congress", as seen here.

Monday, March 30, 2009

My MP Claimed £145,182 In Expenses

I have just seen that my MP has claimed £23,057 in costs associated with staying away from home, despite her constituency office being just 33.1m from the Houses of Parliament. I can only assume that these costs relate to stays in Wales in her role as Shadow Secretary of State for Wales, I shall be writing a letter this week to ask more.

I also see that £91,658 is going on staffing costs, I think I will ask about that as well. I have already seen that the constituency office is only open between 9.30am and 2.30pm, so that unlikely to be stacked full of fulltime employees.

See how much your MP claimed in 2007/08 here.

Another year, another £85m

Seems Jacqui Smith has decided not to resign over the "Wankergate", or as I may start referring to it, "Masturgate" scandal.

I said yesterday that she should be sacked, not allowed to resign; but, maybe she should be sacked now seeing as it is clear that she would rather drag the dignity of her post through the mud rather than give up her £22,948 house top up payments, the £20,694 on her office and stationery, or the £92,587 that she is granted to pay for a staff, (£40,000 of which ends up in hubby Richards pocket).

All in all, Ms. Smith Claimed £145,331 in additional payments in the 2007/8 payments. A drop in the ocean of the combined £86.7m claimed in total (£55.3m are listed as "staffing costs"). But the £145,331 is on top of a salary of £141,866. (As per the stats published here, by Guido). She is still claiming on her house in Redditch while that lovely grace and favour house sits empty.

Journalists are just going to follow her and Brown around the G20 asking Gordon Brown if she is going to resign or if he is going to sack her. Jacqui Smith will never be allowed to get passed this and it is going to get in the way of her being taken seriously in the role of Home Secretary. I wonder if President Obama asked weigh in with an opinion? I guess Hilary will not be asked in case it opens up old wounds. Maybe Obama will give her a gift basket of DVD's her and Dicky to enjoy, that will save us taxpayers a few quid, and at least he knows the Smith family are movie fans.

Recipe For Disaster

I may be the last blog in the land to have this, but here is Jamie Oliveoil cooking up a pukka EU recipe.

Stuart Wheelers Expulsion

I am a little saddened by the events of the weekend, and I will explain why.

I am not a member of the Conservative Party, and I do not know Stuart Wheeler. The reason I am not a member of the Conservatives is because of their policy (or lack there of) on the EU. I want to join the Conservatives, and help make their arguments, but I feel the EU is the greatest danger to the UK's well being today. I have long seen membership of the Conservatives as a barrier to talk freely on this issue.

The way I see it, the EU is a straight-jacket, that locks the whole continent into an expensive long winded way of doing things. In doing this, we are endorsing protectionist practices that is slowly strangling Africa, that is slowly poisoning a once strong relationship with America, and is totally incompatible with us taking much more than a ceremonious lead in the Commonwealth. We are ignoring our history and hard earned lessons; we could have no better giude to our future than to look into our past.

The EU laws which are being passed affect every single person on this island, and yet they are devised by people who do not live here, and who were not elected by us; then ratified in a chamber where the UK represents less than 10% of the vote. This is how over 75% of the laws which govern us are devised. When we talk about what ilk's us, a path can usually be drawn back past Westminster, to Brussels.

Stuart Wheeler it seems is a bit of an attention seeker. But, when needed, he put his money up to help the Conservative Party, to which they owe him a great debt. I would imagine that when he put up £5m, he did so because he felt he was doing what he felt was right for him and for his country. I salute that, I suspect others do to.

Prior to this weekend, I suspect Mr Wheeler concluded that what was right for him and for the country was no longer funding or voting for the Conservatives in the EU elections, but by highlighting that the Conservatives are not an EU-Sceptic Party. They are usually unwilling to talk about the EU. The greatest thinkers and writers in the country today make sound compelling Conservative arguments against socialism, terrorism and statism, but mention the EU and they turn to trifle. Wheeler has not just handed UKIP a cheque, he has handed them an argument, and a mandate not to vote Conservative in the EU Elections.

Where will the young right-leaning EU-sceptic conservatives go now?

Since Mr Cameron spliced his leadership campaign with EU-Sceptic overtures, he has remained very tight lipped on the EU. He should be commended for bringing the Conservatives out of the EPP, but he took his time in doing so. What is the new grouping going to stand for? As far as I can tell the new group will not be for the UK exiting the EU, but for internal reforms of the EU. Mr Cameron clearly therefore see's the UK and his own future as an EU member state. I do not. His pledge on a referendum on The Lisbon treaty seems to be rooted in the knowledge that he will not be PM in time to stop it being enforced. Despite the plea's from the grass-roots to shore up and strengthen that pledge, the party leadership remains united in silence.

It pains me as I want to see this dismal and unhinged labour Party ejected for a very long time, but I cannot personally give the Conservatives my vote in the EU elections, though I will on certain matters argue their case. This weekend, through Mr Wheelers actions, the Conservative Party can no longer cling to even the ambiguous notion that they are the anti-EU party. They have not just ejected a principle donor, they have ejected the notion that with them in power the UK will ever leave the EU.

So, I am also pledging not to vote for the Conservatives at the EU elections, even though I wish I could give Daniel Hannan my vote. Daniel Hannan and Doug Carswell have presented an exceptionally compelling case in their book, The Plan that the way in which we are governed can be changed. I know from comments on this blog and others that they are fighting a good fight and winning the argument. But they do not represent the current direction of the Conservative Party, instead they represent what many of us would like that direction to be. I would not actually be voting for Daniel, but for a Party which does not represent my views. To those who say I am helping split the Tory vote, tough. You can not consistently be wrong and silent on such a major point and expect not to lose support.

Part of their argument is that the parties should hold primaries to allow constituents to select and run for their local positions. I wholeheartedly agree, as I did with most of the book; which is why I have wanted to highlight the Jury Team cause, and I will continue to try to help in their cause by writing about them. If you too dislike who your chosen party stands in your area then I urge you to try having a hand in the selection, by looking at who is running in your area for Jury Team and voting in the primary. The main parties will not let you have a say in who they run. In doing so, you might just find someone who represents your views and values better than the party you would normally vote for.

I started this blog because I wanted to do something positive and because I wanted my voice heard. I have stood next to many people and had many rational conversations about how things should be and how they can be different. But those argument which seem so simple to me, seldom find representation at the top of Government. I wanted to put my voice into the mix and see if I couldn't nudge the Conservatives and likely Conservative voters towards a more open and direct style of democracy. Grand and sometimes noble aims are seldom met in a short time and in the first effort. The notion seems distant and unreachable today, but that does not mean it will not happen in the future.

If I was in the proverbial doorway looking in, I am now stood outside in the rain. It will be harder to be heard, but I will just have to make myself louder and more visible.

It might turn out that the biggest winner will not be UKIP but Gordon Brown. I suspect the fight between UKIP and the Conservatives is about to heat up. If UKIP and Tories focus their efforts on the same pool of voters, it may just be that some of those will dessert both; a pox on both their houses.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Recommended Reading

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Roger Helmer MEP says the G20 protesters should stop protesting Capitalism, and start protesting against the CAP, here.

James Forsyth says Governments can recover from rage, but not ridicule, here.

Iain Dale reveals his hidden UKIP agenda, here.

Pete Moore is looking to the Queen to dissolve Parliament, here.

Tom Harris says the Conservatives are not united on the decision to leave the EPP, here.

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.
WE SHOULD REMAIN OPEN MINDED

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

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
NOT NECESSARILY

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

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

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

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
NOT NECESSARILY

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.
NOT NECESSARILY

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
NOT NECESSARILY

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.
WHO CAN TELL

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

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament
NOT NECESSARILY

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
PROBABLY NOT

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

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

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

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

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.
FALSE

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

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
NOT NECESSARILY

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.
SOMETIMES YOU JUST HAVE TO SUSPEND YOUR DISBELIEF AND HAVE FUN :-D

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 http://www.sixthpatriarch.co.uk/ (which includes a blog) and http://whyworldwide.ning.com/ 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.

Jury Team Profile - Lyn Tofari

Here is the responses to my questions from Lyn Tofari who is running in the South East

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

If would like to vote for Lyn in the Primary, text LYNTOF01 to 86837 (25p + Standard Rate)

Lyn is free to add any additional comments in the comments section, and feel free to leave your comments and questions there too. If you would prefer to contact Lyn direct, her details are on her 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.
False

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.
False

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

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

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

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

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
Not always

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
Referendum, please

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU.
False

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.
False

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

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

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
False

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

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?
The most sensible way would be use a dedicated account for any expenses incurred. I already have a landline from my District Council days and would use a Pay As You Go mobile phone. I would publish my expenses in spreadsheet form on my website on a monthly basis.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Yes, in 2003 I was elected to South Bucks District Council as an Independent, where I was a member of the Licensing Committee, Environment Policy Advisory Group and the Community, Safety & leisure PAG.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Under construction

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines?
Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?Not any particular writer/publication. Often catch up with news via internet or radio.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I have never been keen on the idea of being ‘whipped’, especially if the constituents take an opposing view to a Party view. People before Party

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Get totally up to speed on the Lisbon Treaty and I would set up systems for constituents to contact me with issues of concern to them.

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.
Once I take on a project I become totally committed and where my knowledge is lacking I endeavour to speedily remedy the situation. If solutions are not readily available I look for ways to bring about a satisfactory outcome for the constituency.

Jury Team Profile - Roger Whitfield

Here are the responses from Jury Team Candidate Roger Whitfield who is running in the South West. Roger's full Jury Team profile can be viewed here.

If you like what Roger has to say, you can vote for him by texting ROGWHI01 to 86837 (25p + Standard Rate)

Roger, like many of the respondents has elaborated a bot on the True/False answers, to allow for like for like comparison I have shortened again and shown where I have done so. Again this is not intended to misrepresent Roger, and he is free to elaborate further on any points in the comments field. If you would like to ask questions for Roger you can leave them in the comments, or contact him direct via the details on his 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.
False

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.
True, [response shortened]

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions.
False, [response shortened]

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
False, [response shortened]

5. Counties like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
False, [response shortened]

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
False. [response shortened]

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories.
False, [response shortened]

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

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

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

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

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years.
False. [response shortened]

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

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

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command.
False. [response shortened]

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses. True. [response shortened]

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
False, [response shortened]

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU.
False, [response shortened]

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

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.
True, [response shortened]

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

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law. False. [response shortened]

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.
False. I like the Eurovision Song contest, it is more than just entertainment, it is an expression of our individuality but the voting system definitely shows up each countries individual bias.

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?
I propose to publish on my website all expense claims and wages, only with real transparency can we be sure that no abuse is taking place. Ultimately I would like to see a central database of wages and expenses, updated monthly, and published on a single website.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Yes, I have previously served 4 years as a councillor in Portishead, and stood on two occasions for election to North Somerset Council.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?

Yes, www.rogerwhitfield.co.uk

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I do not prefer any single paper; I normally catch up with the headlines on the TV or radio and obtain more in depth news online.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I have previously been a member of the Labour Party. I have become disillusioned with the entire party political system; I can see no way that change will ever come from inside any of the main parties. We need people who can make judgements based on common sense in the interests of the public; unfortunately the party system and the use of the party whip stifles democracy.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Campaign for full transparency and regular publication of expenses, wages and pension arrangements, the people have the right to know exactly how much money their politicians are costing them. I will set an example by ensuring that all of my wages, expenses and pension arrangements are published monthly on my website.

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.
I have lived and worked in the UK all of my life, I have been involved in community groups and projects as well as local politics. I have worked as an employee, a manager and a director and have a solid business background; I believe that people from the business world have a lot to bring to politics, particularly in the area of professionalism and accountability.

My experience has kept me in touch with “normal” people, why would we want to elect a career politician who has never had to deal with the harsh realities of life that affect the rest of us, instead our representatives should be people who have had real life experience.

In addition I also represent the Small to Medium Enterprise owner; I have seen firsthand the effects that Government and EU policies have had on SME’s. I will ensure that SME’s have a voice, I know that these business owners are the lifeblood of our economy, yet they are underrepresented because they are too busy working, and complying with regulation to have their voices heard.

The European Parliament is, whether we like it or not, important to all of us and our future; we are a part of an organisation that can deliver stability and economic benefits to all of us; currently it is failing to deliver. In business when you see something is broken you fix it. I want people to see that the EU we joined is broken and needs fixing, it will never be fixed by career politicians as they are the ones that broke it in the first place, it must be fixed by normal people with passion, vision, experience and above all common sense.

I want people to vote for me because I will deliver real benefits for Businesses, Employment and Economic growth, and above all I will do this in a calm and professional manner.

To everyone out there who does not intend to vote, or who is considering voting the same way as last time, I say the EU does not have to be an embarrassment to us, we can put people into the system that will make a difference, but that process starts with you, don’t abstain and don’t vote for a party that aims to destroy the EU; instead send a signal out to the world by voting for an Independent, stand up and say that YOU want things to change.

Vote for Roger Whitfield YOUR Independent candidate.

Jury Team Profile - Austin Compson-Bradford

Here are the responses for Austin Compson-Bradford who is running in the Jury Team Primary in Scotland. The link to his Jury Team Profile is here.

As with some of the others, I have shortened some of Austins responses in the True/False section, but I have indicated where I have done this. This is not to misrepresent Austin, but to allow analysis between candidates on like for like responses. Austin is free to elaborate on any points in the comments field, and everyone else is free to ask questions there too.

If you like what you have read, you can vote for Austin by texting AUSCOM01 to 86837 (25p + usual mobile rate).

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.
A; False [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.
A; True [response shortened]

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

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states.
A; False [response shortened]

5. Counties like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU.
A; False [response shortened]

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty.
A; False [response shortened]

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

8. I believe the UK should be a part of a federal Europe, whether as the UK or as component nations or regions.
A: True [response shortened]

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible.
A; False

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

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative.
A; False [response shortened]

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

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

14. If the UK left the EU, it’s economy would never recover.
A; neither true or false [response shortened]

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

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

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses.
A; False [response shortened]

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong.
A: I hope not its our best chance of peace in Europe

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

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

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.
A: An area to be very careful in as until we know what freedoms

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence.
A; currently false [response shortened]

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.
A; False [response shortened]

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished.
A; Absolutely False [response shortened]

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

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?
A: All the MEPs claims should be current an active, a link should be make so that when you click on an MEPs a link can be made to the accounts department in Strasbourg and the accounts can be viewed at any tim, the same should be done for MPs

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
A; No

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
A; Currently No, but I am struggling with the technology at the moment

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
A; I read both the local papers and the times on Sunday, love a man with two dogs in the courier, Jason Allerdyce and Andrew Marr

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
A; I am very tired of the current system and when you look at our politicians, and the exorbitant claims, fraud etc. like Mandleson who may legally be innocent, but is morally corrupt and is just brought back into power again. Or ministers who claim for items they are not entitled, maybe within the rules, but it is not right. I want to honesty and openness in politics. Towing the party line when you know the people who elected you do not agree, like the invasion of Iraq, it strikes me the people where right and the parties wrong, or the banks I have heard many ordinary people speak that the situation of soft touch regulation was wrong. But the Partys did not listen and where has that got us, we need people who will listen!

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
A; Campaign for more democracy in the EU

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.
A; This is the most difficult of all, as I am not a politician. I have grown very disappointed in the current situation and heard Sir Paul speak on TV, then had a look on the Jury team wed site and no one had put there name down for Scotland, so I though I would get the ball rolling. There could well be much better people than me. My main asset is that I will listen to the votes and put there views forward

Wankergate

In response to this story in the Mail on Sunday, I would like to add my voice to those demanding that Jacqui Smith be sacked. Not allowed to resign, sacked.

The payment of expenses for her husband Richard Timney to be her Commons Assistant needs to be investigated, starting with checking how many times he has been to the Commons in the capacity of that role, and ending with deciphering who is actually submitting Jacqui Smith expenses and by what criteria items were and were not submitted. Any improper payments should be immediately paid back.

A successor Home Secretary will be able to immediately move into the vacant grace and favour home already being subsidised by the tax payer, which has been left empty while the Home Secretary lodges with her sister.

David Cameron would, in my opinion be well advised to conscript a liked backbencher to draw up proposals to be implemented with immediate effect of a Conservative government coming to power, those guidelines should be published immediately. David Davis, Doug Carswell, Bill Cash are all good names for such a task.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Is It Just Me?

Have we really not reached a point yet when the bailouts have been exposed as not effective? I am fed up of seeing my tax money go into saving failing companies and failed directors.

I would really like to see a line drawn on the sand. We should no longer be bailing out financial institutions for their failures. We should honour the £30,000 guarantees, but that is all. Lets at least say, in future no more.

At the moment, troubled financial institutions who are on the brink, possibly because of poor management, possibly not; they might as well roll the dice and take some big risks, there is no disincentive now against it, because what the hell, UK PLC will be there to bail out their customers.... No company directors have as yet been prosecuted for widespread financial mismanagement.

Where will it end?
Did you vote for the bailouts? no, me neither.

Recommended Reading

Back to the usual format...

Here is my latest recommended reading list.

Please note, I do not necessarily agree with these posts and articles, however I found them sufficiently interesting to warrant a recommendation:

Matthew Parris says Gordon Brown should do the honourable thing and resign, here.

David Vance addresses the National Audit Office's findings about UK contributions to the EU and an increase in "irregularities" across the EU, here.

Richard at EU Referendum talks about President Obama's proposed troop deployments to Afghanistan, here.

The All Seeing Eye talks about our willingness to accept surveillance as a means of feeling safe, and the abuse of counter terrorism laws, here.

Frasier Nelson noticed when the Chilean President slipped in a comment about saving during the good times to pay for the bad, here.

Finally, I had linked to and streamed this yesterday, but Fido made and posted a TractorStats montage, here.

Update: 14:37: Part 2 of the TractorStats Montage, here.

The Hannan Effect?

Perhaps this is the wrong name for this, but is what we saw this week the beginning of a wide backlash in some quarters of Western Society from the increasingly oppressive state structures we live within?

Lets informally take a look for a minute.

We have in the UK at the moment a structure which see's a man holding the Executive position and Royal Prerogative who was not elected to this position. He was not elected in a General Election, he did not even have an internal Labour Party election. He was elected by his constituents as as an MP, who was holding the role and continued to hold the role of Chancellor at the time.

In that election Labour published a manifesto which stated that the country would be consulted on the EU Constitution. By way of a name change, this Treaty was not put to a referendum, but secured passage through a tightly whipped, poorly debated few sessions of Parliament. The EU had the opportunity to open its institutions up to be Democratic, but it did not do this. Instead the new structures take away what little accountability there was by securing a wider legislative remit, by weakening the influence of member states, and by making this treaty self amending (thus no further consultation from member states on its size and actions is required).

The EU by admission makes about 75% of all laws (Though higher proportions have in the past been argued) yet these laws emanate from a commission where the UK has but one voice in 27, until recently that voice was the much mistrusted Peter Mandleson and is now held by Baroness Ashton.

The EU Commission is charged as the "Executive Branch" of the EU, it is also the body which proposes Legislation, implements decisions (usually its own decisions) and upholds the law on existing treaties.

The EU Parliament gets to vote on EU laws, it is made up of 785 MEP. It is the only elected part of the five structure EU. The UK has 78 MEPs all of whom are elected via Single Transferable Voting. This system means, that if you want to vote for say Daniel Hannan in the upcoming elections you can't, you can only indicate a preference for him or indicate Daniel within an order of preference on your ballot.

Once a candidate has secured sufficient votes, they stop counting for that candidate and transfer surplus and unused votes according to the stated preferences on the ballot. I may be in the minority here, but the requirement of a hare or droop quota in counting votes, rather than simply counting votes does not seem very transparent or representative to me. It might be why EU elections regularly see a low turn out across Europe. But those that are elected, represent less than 10% of the vote in the EU Parliament, and less than 10% of the argument.

Anyway I digress.

We have 75% of laws coming from a fairly undemocratic system in the EU.

We have an unelected, unmandated Prime Minister who is spending us in to debt deeper and faster than Winston Churchill (who had the small matter of World War 2 to tend to.)

We have a toothless, greedy Parliament, one house of which is largely appointed the rest inherited. The other half is elected, but most members upon election seek to please their Party Whip before their constituents.

The Party in Government is not willing to stand up to its leader, so has decided to play out its final year milking as much money for ill gotten houses and ridding us of yet more constitutional protections.

We have a state broadcaster, drip feeding us no dissenting conservative opinions, except those it can control and shout down. They purport to lead, and others have followed in the MSM by denying political debates from happening on TV and in our media.

Who makes the decisions and laws that effect us all every day? It is not you and me, there is now a political class that makes all decisions. It is only every interrupted by those who find a way to make themselves heard and who provide a message that instantly resonates. We have, in effect a democratic defecit.

So when Daniel Hannan was permitted the opportunity to stand up and given three minutes uninterrupted, despite all that is stacked up in its way, despite the continued attempts to silence, a majority, conservative, rational opinion was heard. And appreciated.

Looking at You Tube now this video has had 1,359,382 views in 3 days. He is somebody the BBC claims he is an unknown (despite having been invited on the Daily Politics a week earlier). The MSM has largely ignored it. It has only shown it (in the UK) when a prepared argument against Daniel and his words was in place. Daniel made a speech that was so sorely needed that people have gone out of their way, and found a way past the established media to watch it nearly 1.4million times. It was 2pm Friday before the BBC finally put it on their website and that was after many emails of complaint.

Could what we have witnessed this week be described as "The Hannan Effect" whereby no matter how hard an establishment tries to deny and hide a political argument, and present only alternatives that seek the same end; that that dissenting voice will always find a way to be heard in some form. And that it will be sought and defended in equal measure to the contempt shown in the measures in which were used to hide it? I am sure this has been seen before in countries that have and do not have elected representation. But in this case, the new medium is not symbolism, anti-propaganda leaflets or pirate radio, it was the Internet.

We are unaccustomed to seeing such a response to a speech. But it was a really good speech, and it rang true for a lot of people, and was seized upon by the American political right, whose Republican Party is straining to coherently present an opposition voice to President Obama and the Democrats.

Perhaps, perhaps not. I enjoyed the speech, I have joined those in telling Daniel that on his blog, and I think I am not alone in hoping that this can galvanise all dissenting opinions to our governments here, and in Europe to reverse these crazy plans to make us more indebted, to make it harder for our voices and opinions to be heard and to accept that a fundamental tenant of capitalism is that risk can reap reward, but also failure. Those who fail must as a general rule be allowed to do so. Those who failed in their leadership of banks should be civilly investigated to probe for illegalities which should be identified and punished through the courts.

Recommended Reading - The Biased BBC Edition

I was going to post my normal Saturday Morning Recommended Reading post, lots of good stuff today on the BoS on the BBC, so because the BBC's contempt for you and me is so totally apparent, here are a few two fingered salutes back.

John Redwood says he was invited on the Today Programme, then uninvited when he proposed making a rational argument, here. (Also see some of the comments on this other post, here.)

Biased BBC has no separate posting links, so here is the main site. Recently posted items include a Vlog from Mr B-BBC himself David Vance and a poll questioning what aspect of the Bias most worries you.

Not A Sheep, Maybe a Goat analyses that same BBC Bias, here.

Events Dear Boy, Events reveals it will be yet another Tory free Andrew Marr show, here.

And, is Doug Carswell MP advocating non-payment of the Licence Fee in protest of the BBC's failure to argue in favour of capitalism? Here.

Friday, March 27, 2009

TractorStats Montage

Created by Fidothedog, and as seen on Fido's blog, here, for the viewing pleasure of the readers of Daniel1979 blog, here is the TractorStats montage.


Jury Team Profile - Krisnamurty Tayya


The last Jury Team response for today is Krisnamurty Tayya who is a candidate in the North West.

Krisnamurty's Jury Team profile can be seen, here.

If you would like to vote for Krisnamurty, text KRITAY01 to 86837.

Feel free to ask questions or raise points either in the comments field of this post or via the contact details on his Jury Team profile page.








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. False

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. False

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. True

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. False

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. True

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

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

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. False

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

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?
A. I would keep every receipt and submit to the accounts department at the E.U every month. I shall publish them in the news bulletin of the E.U every month. I shall run website and publish them.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
A. Yes, but at the end of the day I was always elected unanimously.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
A. No

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
A. I read Daily Mail every day of the week very keenly. My favourite journalists are Max Hastings, Steven Glover, Peter. Mckay and Little John and authors like Shakespeare, John Milton and Charles Dickens.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
A. Because it is independent from the Party Whips and their internal plottings.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
A. I shall thank every one of you. I shall raise money to purchase the old post office at Preston town centre for old people’s Day Centre and start working on that. I shall work to expand such Centres to surrounding towns if possible. I shall hold Mothers’ conferences every Saturday and urge them to teach their children good manners so that crime will come down thereby investments will flow in for new industries. Crime is frightening the rich to invest in crime ridden areas thereby such areas are becoming high unemployed and poor. The next project that I introduce is opening HOMOEOPAThIC CLINICS at Preston and improve general health of the public.

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.
A. I am the most honest person you can ever find in this world. I relinquished a seat in the Indian Parliament in 1978 offered by the Home Minister of India as I did not do my law degree then and also for the love of living in England. I never have let down this country anywhere out side England except criticising our politicians within the country for their dishonest behaviour. I was called the unpaid British Ambassador in India for my love of England. I turned down millions of money offered to me in dowry to marry a girl although penniless in 1956. I always helped my fellow humans in any way that I could. I used to dream of becoming an M.P from the age of eight. I wanted to go around the world, settle in England, study Law and then return to India to become an M.P to form friendly relations between India and England. I worked as a teacher and then went to Sea. As a Merchant Seaman I saw the whole world and settled in England as an Illegal Immigrant. I gave up myself to the authorities in 1975. I was kept in remand for ten days in Brixton Prison. I was waived of the stringent legal stipulations that an Airman and a Seaman should never be made legal because they found me as the most honest and humane gentleman. I am very altruistic and a philanthropist. You can read about me in my profile. Whatever I did did for the benefit of others not for myself. I changed people’s lives for better where ever I went. I transformed villagers from illiteracy to literates. I started my public work at the age of fourteen in India.

I can assure you that I shall not be called another M.E.P. I shall make a difference that no other M.E.P ever did before.

Jury Team Profile - Paul Perrin



Here is another response from Jury Team candidate Paul Perrin who is standing in the South East region.

You can view Paul's Jury Team Profile, here.

Should you wish to vote for Paul, text PAUPER01 to 86837

As with the other candidates if you wish to ask questions or raise points you can do so in the comments field, or via Paul's contact details on his 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. False

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. True

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. False

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. False

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. False

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

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

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. False

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

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?
As I have already mentioned on my campaign blog pauper01.blogspot.com my intention is that all expense will be charged to a debit card setup for the purpose, statements would be annotated and published online monthly.

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

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
pauper01.blogspot.com – jury team campaign blog
free-english-people.blogspot.com – general blog for political notes/essays

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I listen to the Radio 4 when I work, I get news headlines online as I work from a number of sources (Bloomberg, SKY, BBC, Google etc), I get news from a number of mail lists and read a number of blogs – Order-Order, Conservative Home, Labour List, Daniel Hannan, Nick Robinson, Robert Peston Martin Mardell. Sunday papers are usually The Times and Mail on Sunday.

I don’t really have any favourite journalists, I read what is available and make up my own mind.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I am would not be prepared to take a ‘whip’ I will only vote according to the views of my electorate and my own conscience, so standing for a party is not an option.

I have strong views on democracy (as direct as possible) and been involved in a number of new media related political projects, jury team was a natural fit.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
On the admin side I would first establish communication channels between myself and my electorate – blogs, twitter a platform for surveys etc.

Politically I would identify the most important matters for my electorate, and identify the issues that are in progress in the EU that are most relevant and formulate a plan for my work in office. As I believe in small government, my priority is to look to remove barriers and cut red tape – not to introduce new programmes or paperwork.

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.
There are two threads to this:

1) Administratively, I want to set a gold standard in accountability and openness for elected representatives. This will be a long term legacy regardless of what else I achieve.

2) Politically I will promote the movement of power to as close to the people it affects as possible. I do not believe there is so much that need to be done at the European level to justify the EU in its current form. To justify its own existence the EU keeps accumulating powers that it should not have, and doing work that are not necessary.There is work to be done at the European level and we should work openly and honestly with our European neighbours on such issues – but this does not need organisations of the size and expense we currently see.

Jury Team Profile - Anthony Sansum

Here are the responses for Anthony Sansum who is running in the South East region. (No Photo)

Anthony's profile on Jury Team can be seen, here. If you would like to vote for Anthony then text ANTSAN01 to 86837.

To be fair to the other respondents I had to shorten some of Anthony's response which exceeded the True/False remit, without compromising his answers. I have indicated where I have done this. I do not believe I have misrepresented Anthony's responses, and if he wishes to elaborate further is free to do so in the comments field.

1. The EU should have even more control over the governing of member states including the UK. Yes, [Shortened response]

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. Yes, [Shortened response]

3. The EU is fundamentally undemocratic in how it is made up and how it functions. Yes, [Shortened Response]

4. If elected to the EU Parliament I will always vote in favour of returning legislative powers to member states. Not necessarily

5. Counties like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU. Definitely NO

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. That's democracy [Shortened Response]

7. The main reason why people are against the EU in the UK is because the Tabloid media runs scare stories. To an extent yes [Shortened Response]

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. No [Shortened Response]

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

11. The UK and France should give up their seats on the UN Security Council in favour of an EU representative. No

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. Ultimately Yes, [Shortened Response]

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

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

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament. Only if there was a referendum

16. UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command. No.

17. The EU should be allowed to collect taxes directly from European citizens and/or businesses. No

18. There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong. [Shortened response] no

19. The UK should not be allowed to declare war without the approval of the EU. No

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

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. No

22. The EU should have control of EU wide policing to make standard the same across Europe, as well as centrally gather intelligence. No

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law. We should protect Common Law [Shortened Response]

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. No

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged. Terry Wogan was entertaining, but not the song contest and Yes it is rigged and always has been

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?
On a website and permanently updated

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Yes, I was Leader of Dover District Council

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
No

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
No

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
Thatcher took my job away (I was a Miner) and Labour through its Quango the CSA wan to take everything else

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
Renew my passport

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.
I have had serious problems with the CSA being given more and more powers by a Labour Government, much of which is not even backed by legislation, I would seek help from Europe to protect the Human Rights of fathers unjustly victimised by the non-elected CSA

Jury Team Profile - Adam Buckingham


Here are the responses from Adam Buckingham who is standing in the East Midlands.

Adam's full Jury Team profile can be seen, here.

If you would like to vote for Adam, please text ADABUC01 to 86837.






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. FALSE

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. TRUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. FALSE

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. FALSE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. FALSE

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

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

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. FALSE

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged. FALSE (but The voting is what makes it so entertaining ......)

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?
In line with the Nolan Principles of Public Life I would ensure that all my expenses were transparent and justifiable to my constituents. I would have a full breakdown posted monthly on my website detailing all financial aspects of my mandate for the previous 30 days.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
No. Like so many others I have stood and watched from the wings. The world around us is changing and developing so fast that the old school tie brigade are no longer suited to the role of politician. The country should be run for the people and by the people. The old saying “Honesty is the best policy” seems to have been long forgotten within the main political arenas and they now seem to prefer “What they don't know can't hurt them.”

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
It is currently under development. Should I be successful in gaining a nomination to stand as an MEP Candidate for the Jury Team the site will be ready to go live on the 25th April.

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
I read many papers. From the Mail to the Mirror, I enjoy satirical columns by the likes of Jeremy Clarkson whose black and white view of politics is sometimes quite refreshing. To the more serious columns by the likes of Benedict Brogan. I am also an avid follower of the BBC's Robert Peston.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
For too long the current rank and file of parties have governed over this once great nation. WE have stood by and watched as they systematically spend 95% of their time blaming someone else. The other 5% trying to persuade us they have it under control. All parties are elected saying that they think the country should be run for the people by the people. To most parties this is just a line. To the Jury Team it is policy. It is in the mandate and will remain in the mandate permanently. The people of the country know what they want. With the Jury Team they will finally get to choose.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
I will ensure that the team around me is compiled of the best possible people to help deliver the promises that we at the Jury Team make. We will firstly listen to the people of the East Midlands and find out what the EU can do for them, and likewise what the EU should stop doing. We will then form a strategy to ensure we deliver on the set goals while at the same time maintaining our transparency and openness over facts & figures.

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.
I believe that the people of the East Midlands share many of the same worries, doubts & scepticism's of just what the EU are doing. It is time for the voice of the East Midlands to be heard. Louder than ever before. In the current climate it is sickening to see MEP's using the system to do nothing more than line their own pockets. While their constituents are losing their jobs, their homes & their self respect. Politics needs to be cleaned up. This is where I feel I can offer the people of the East Midlands a new alternative. A better alternative. AN HONEST ALTERNATIVE.

I firmly believe that the people of the East Midlands know what is best for the East Midlands and I would do everything in my power to ensure their views and ideals are voiced and given the credence they deserve. While at the same time providing a level of integrity, honesty & transparency that is unquestionable.

Every week we see legislation passed by the EU that either directly or indirectly affects people in the East Midlands, Whether that's the farmers, growers, producers, teachers, doctors, police officers, armed forces or just normal every day families. The East Midlands needs an MEP that is not in it for himself, but is in it to make sure the East Midlands gets the best deal for them.
My firm belief is that what the Jury Team stand for and are actively trying to do will restore a level of public led democracy that we have not seen for over 3oo years.

Jury Team Profile - Ian Tyes


Here is the second of what will be a series of profiles of Jury Team Candidates. Here are the responses from Ian Tyes from Cambridge.

You can view Ian's Jury Team profile page, here.

If you would like to vote for Ian in the primary, please text IANTYE01 to 86837.







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. (False)

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. (TRUE)

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

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

5. Counties like Iceland and Norway should be made to join the EU. (FALSE)

6. Ireland was wrong to vote NO in their referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. (FALSE – it is up to them)

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

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. (FALSE)

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. I thought they were anyway! (TRUE)

13. The EU has kept peace in Europe for 60 years. (One major factor)

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

15. Plans should be made for the UK to join the EURO within the next five year sitting of the EU parliament (NO WAY)

16.
UK armed forces should answer to a European Military Chain of Command. (In certain circumstances)

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

18.
There will never be war in Europe as long as the EU is strong. (I hope this is true)

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

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

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. (Given up too much already – NO MORE)

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

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law. (FALSE – EU law is supreme)

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. (FALSE – freedom of speech is enshrined)

25. The Eurovision Song Contest is a wonderful form of European entertainment and the voting is in no way rigged. (Don’t know – looks political to me)

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?
I would hope that it could be displayed on my website at the end of each month.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Not for public office, only for voluntary organisations such as residents associations.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Still working on them

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?.
Only my local - the Cambridge Evening News. National newspapers opinions’ are of no interest to me – I want to know what is happening sop get my news from the Internet where I can choose the stories I feel are important, not what the prejudiced newspaper editors believe are important.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I believe that I have useful ideas to improve the UK. In existing political parties I have to start by accepting the centrally decided policies and cannot change them unless I can convince a majority of people on each issue – takes too long and far too unlikely to succeed – I tried in Labour for a few years – waste of time. Plus if the party had policies the whole party believed in, they would not need whips to force people to vote for them. I like the JURY TEAM’s approach of allowing individual candidates to project their own policies – if I cannot convince my own party, why should I believe I can convince the country?

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected? Challenge the discrimination in the benefits and tax credits system, which creates a ‘winner takes all’ system of 100% to the main carer, normally the mother, nothing to the father. This is unfair and discriminatory and should be shared equally – it takes two parents to make a child and it takes two to bring the child up properly.

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.
I have worked as a Citizen’s Advice Bureau volunteer for 3 years, I am a member of the Committee for the Cambridgeshire Older People’s Enterprise, I run the local Families Need Fathers support group and I am a qualified Engineer and a qualified Solicitor, looking for a position working in Human Rights Test cases. I have a wide knowledge of the problems in the UK, and mirrored elsewhere to a greater or lesser extent throughout the EU.

I have seen the existing political parties’ attempts to sort out the mess of ‘Break Down Britain’ and have seen the fact that they are stuck in simply doing ‘more of the same’ as their only answer. Because they have strong centralised control over thought and action, they have no chance of seriously changing direction to improve things for the majority of citizens.

I believe that I have numerous proposals, which have a far greater likelihood of success than existing policies – because I am prepared to consider any parties’ ideas, not simply limited to one train of thought. I am open to logical argument and am prepared to accept I am wrong. In areas where I have limited knowledge, I would invite everyone to post their views on my web-site and could then be guided by the majority in voting, I believe in interactional politics on a regular basis, not simply a cross on a piece of paper every 5 years. Check out my web-pages and see some of my proposals. Vote for me and join me in changing Britain for the better for everyone, not just the minority targeted by the existing political parties.

Jury Team Profile - Scott Craig



I issued an invitation to Jury Team candidates a few days ago here to answer some questions, the first response came in from Scott Craig who is running in the South East region. I have reproduced Scott's answers below and you can view his profile here.


If you wish to vote for Scott in the Jury Team Primary, please Text SCOCRA01 to 86837.


If you have questions for Scott, you can leave them in the comments, or contact him directly via the contact details listed on his Jury Team profile. Please bare in mind that Jury Team candidates by-and-large are still employed so if you do have a question, you might not get an immediate answer.



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. FALSE

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. TRUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

9. The UK should leave the EU as swiftly and as amicably as possible. FALSE

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

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

12. The city of London and UK financial institutions should be regulated by the EU. TRUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. FALSE

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

23. UK Common Law is incompatible with European Courts. We should protect Common Law.* I don’t accept that UK law (by which you mean English law I presume) is incompatible.

24. People who stand opposed to the EU should be punished. FALSE

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

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?
I have made it a campaign pledge to publish annual accounts which are independently audited. These would be published online. If the public wanted to see my expenses more frequently, I would happily instruct my staff to post the material online. I believe in transparency and that is a big plank of my campaign.

Q. Have you ever stood for an elected position before?
Nothing terribly official, mainly university societies.

Q. Do you have you own website or blog?
Yes, you can find me on Twitter as ‘srcraig’, there is a politician’s page for me on Facebook, and I’m on MySpace under: www.myspace.com/scottforparliament
I will be writing updates on those sites about the campaign, and I’ve asked voters to post their thoughts on what they would like to see me take up in Brussels.

Q. Do you regularly read any particular newspapers or magazines? Who are your favourite writers/Journalists?
As a journalist myself, I read all of the UK papers, as well as a selection of the international press, the New York Times and International Herald Tribune in particular. I read the Economist, as well as Time and Newsweek. The New Yorker too. Without wanting to upset any of my colleagues, I have a particular fondness for John Simpson’s reporting, as well as Jon Snow of course.

Q. Why did you decide to stand for Jury Team instead of an existing political party?
I believe strongly that no one party has a monopoly on smart ideas. Some solutions will come from the old ‘left’ of the spectrum, some from the ‘right’ and some from the centre. Problems can rarely be solved by a dogmatic and unyielding approach, yet this is exactly what the party whip demands. Independents who are elected members can vote according to their judgement and conscience to best deliver what constituents demand of them. We need independents, not party drones.

Q. What is the very first thing you will do in your official capacity if elected?
I will hire staff who are not members of my family or business associates. I do not support the idea of parliamentarians using public funds to employ family members.

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.
As an independent journalist, I’ve never been afraid to take on the big challenges, ask the difficult questions or duck from the issues of the day. I’ve seen first-hand how the economic crisis is affecting people around the world and how that is now coming home to roost here in the South East of England. I passionately believe in financial reform. It’s clear we had a regulator asleep at the wheel in this country, coupled with banks that were happy to privatise profits but now want to nationalise their losses. An EU regulator with real teeth, to oversee the banks - a major employer in the South East - will help to ensure this does not happen again.

Small and medium-sized businesses are the core of the region's economy. Regulation should be used as a tool to accomplish an objective, but too often they are simply making it difficult for business owners to operate. We should never have regulation for the sake of regulation. Cutting red tape and lightening the load for small business is one of my guiding principles.

The South East can lead the way in investing in renewable energy, instead of lagging behind as it is at the moment. I would argue strongly for major investments in the energy of tomorrow, making our environment cleaner and reducing our dependence on energy imports from unstable countries.


I want to see a fund set up for young entrepreneurs in the South East. Too often young people with great ideas simply cannot find the resources to help them realise their vision. We must invest in this talent.

I would be a tireless advocate for the South East. I believe that the European Parliament isn’t something that should be feared, but rather harnessed. And the EU is in dire need of reform and greater openness, something I would argue passionately for.