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Conservatives? Don’t make me laugh
The Conservative Party must be having a laugh putting these neocons forward for Prime Minister – Javid who injected children when Hancock refused, Zahawi who allowed them to do it in schools, Sunak who has the highest tax in 60 years and Truss who almost sold out Northern Ireland. How do any of them tell the public they have conservative values with a straight face?
We have had a Conservative government for 12 years and what conservative policies do they have to show for it?
Tory members, not MPs, should decide the leadership
I remember when a new Tory Leader ‘emerged’ after the great and the good of the party met in a smoke-filled room. This was how Sir Alec Douglas-Home became leader in 1963. He wasn’t even an MP at the time; he was a member of the House of Lords. He had to fight and win a by-election in Scotland to be in the House of Commons. You wouldn’t see that happening today.
Sir Alec Douglas-Home was the last one to emerge in this way. From 1965 the leadership was decided by a vote of Tory MPs.
It was not until 2001 that Tory party members were allowed to make a decision between two final candidates, presented to them by the MPs.
But the Tory Party urgently needs to go one further step towards democracy. Party members only should decide who their leader is.
They should not be presented with a short-list of just two, which can be manipulated by the MPs, so the party members, for example, could be given a choice between two left-wingers when they want a right-winger as leader.
There are also always allegations that a candidate leading in the MPs’ vote ‘lends’ another candidate some votes to keep them in the race, because that other candidate would be easier for the front runner to beat in the run-off with the party members.
In 2017 the Canadian Conservative Party had THIRTEEN candidates to be leader and that was decided solely by the party members.
In America, the party leader is the presidential candidate in all but name. They are elected in primary or caucus votes of party supporters across the individual States.
Conservative Party members should insist that the system is changed for the next leadership race, which on past record is just three years away.
Former Tory councillor
Why Kemi Badenoch is the woman for the job
At the time of writing, the latest round of the Conservative leadership election sees the former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak as the front runner. It is to be expected that his name together with one of the remaining four candidates in the race, Liz Truss, Penny Mordaunt, Tom Tugendhat and Kemi Badenoch will be submitted to membership to be the new leader of the party and Prime Minister.
If only Conservative MPs could grasp the nettle and provide what true Conservative voters are crying out for: an actual conservative who will provide the country with the core values of low tax, light intervention, personal responsibility, living within one’s means and pride in one’s country. More importantly, somebody voters can trust, with integrity and competence. A fresh face is desperately needed and that person is Kemi Badenoch.
Despite her relative political inexperience, she has shown the courage of her convictions. She is ready to stand up to the pernicious culture warriors and understands that the quiet majority in this country have had enough of hearing their history and heritage continually run down, of cancel culture and the erosion of free speech, of tax hikes, and loony, unrealistic green targets whilst driving up fuel prices, of continued, unfettered illegal immigration pressurising local infrastructure and social cohesion, of their children’s education being in the hands of Marxist teaching unions subject to the corrosive gender-identity mania which is destroying childhood security and family life.
Conservative MPs must have the wit to understand that the country does not need more of the same. If they do not, they will render this country to a rag-bag coalition of left-wing parties manipulated by the First Minister of Scotland, and see the demise of the United Kingdom.
This is the most important leadership election of a generation. Only Kemi Badenoch can provide the national cohesion this country so desperately needs.
A former Tory voter
The forgotten regions of Britain
Why not allow the regions of the UK to hold referenda?
Switzerland with a population of 8million holds regular referenda. All citizens feel involved.
UK has a population of 68 million (all figures rounded down). One referendum in 2016.
The UK has a problem in that the regions have been given devolved status by Blair and they think that they are autonomous. Their breakdown is:
England – 55million
Scotland – 5million
Wales – 3million
Northern Ireland – 1.8million
Unfortunately, this distribution of powers is very heavily in favour of the minor regions. However, Yorkshire has a population of 5.5million – significantly higher, and richer, than any of the devolved regions – yet we have no-one speaking for us. We represent 10 per cent of the population and pay our taxes but do not get 10 per cent of the GDP in return – it seems more important to support London and the South-East. It has been argued that Westminster speaks for England, but it does not. English MPs have no say in what happens to education, health, etc, in Scotland or NI. If members of the SNP in the House of Commons can discuss and vote on purely English legislation, Westminster is patently not representative of English regions.
I have spoken on behalf of Yorkshire. I believe that Cornwall has an equal or better argument for devolution of the English regions: they have still a spoken language; they are as far (time of driving and distance) from London as we are.
We in Yorkshire are descendants from the Angles and Saxons (plus a few illegal immigrants who were shipwrecked from the Spanish Armada along the northern coasts). We are hybrids. Cornwall’s original population was based on the Celts, people who fled from the Roman invasion. It is a neglected area since the loss of the tin mines. It has a population of half a million. Neighbouring Devon has a population of 1.8million and increasing. If the two counties put their heads together they could out-vote NI, and have a GDP higher than Scotland.
I have never understood why Blair decided to hive off the extreme regions (who will never be self-supporting) and grant them self-governing powers, supported by subsidies from the English tax-payers, which they have squandered, whilst leaving the more populous and hard-working regions under the direct control of Westminster.
My wish would be to divide England into ten counties of approximately 5.5million electors (London would have to be split into two), which would all be directly responsible to their voters in referenda on any important issue. Our elected politicians would be local and immediately available, not 200 miles away and chosen by HQ rather than people with local knowledge.
Eco-activists are common criminals
Last week eco-activists from Tyre Extinguishers deflated the tyres of 45 SUVs in Edinburgh. They have done this on five previous occasions. The group’s Amy Kidd threatened SUV owners not to come to Edinburgh. Why have the police not charged her? The police and judiciary must take draconian action against eco-demonstrators who are severely disrupting civilised society. Instead police officers dance and skateboard with demonstrators, and if they have glued themselves to roads or railings the police ask if they are comfortable. That is not what we pay the police to do. Anarchist groups Extinction Rebellion, Insulate Britain, Just Stop Oil and Tyre Extinguishers should be banned. The UK police and courts are far too lenient on these eco-terrorists. These demonstrators are not eco-warriors but eco-cowards since they do not go to the oil-rich Arab countries or America which has 33million SUVs with owners who have guns. The UK police should adopt the French method of dealing with eco-terrorists glued to the roads by removing them without using solvent.
NHS suppliers and their captive market
Reading Ian Ashworth-Kirkham’s TCW piece on tackling the NHS, I was struck by the fact that among the excellent suggestions on profligate spending, one dimension was absent: suppliers nakedly overcharging. In a former life I was a senior anatomical pathology technician and principal among my duties was conducting primary dissection for autopsy. Most NHS hospitals include a post-mortem suite and it will conduct somewhere between ten and twenty autopsies weekly, sometimes more or less depending on local factors. Each of those procedures uses a minimum of one specialised blade known as a PM40. Like some of my colleagues, I maintained a ‘field kit’ of basic instruments to enable work off-site; I was responsible for providing this myself, purely voluntarily; of necessity it included two PM40 knives. Replacement blades are non-sterile and supplied in packs of ten. I still use one knife at home for various domestic purposes (none of which relate to Hannibal Lecter); recently I used my last blade and went online with an eye to replacing it, expecting to pay around £20-£25. Imagine my horror on seeing that my normal suppliers were pricing £102 per pack of ten. Needless to say I’m hunting for an alternative, but the NHS and local authority mortuaries are very much a captive market, and if that price is indicative of a trend among specialised suppliers then the taxpayer is certainly being skinned (no pun intended).
Former SAPT East Kent NHS Trust
Vote for RoN
I suggest an innovation in voting that I believe would significantly improve democratic representation and the calibre of those elected to public office. This would be for `Re-open Nominations’ (RoN) to be an option on ballot papers for all elections to public office: Parliament, Councils, Mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners, etc.
A vote to `Re-open Nominations’ would hold the same weight as a vote for a candidate. If `RoN’ gained more votes than any candidate, no candidate would be elected, and the election would be re-run after a suitable period for new nominations and campaigning, say five weeks. This idea is not new; it applies to elections in many university Students’ Unions.
There are two major advantages. First, it provides a meaningful way to express dissatisfaction with any or all of the candidates. The current options of either not voting, or spoiling one’s ballot paper, which is then not counted, do not affect the outcome of the vote, except to lower the turnout. A protest vote requires a constituent to vote for someone they might not wish to elect. The latest local elections were a case in point. Thus we might expect significantly greater political engagement by the public.
From this follows the second major advantage, that elected representatives would have to be sufficiently diligent in their work for their constituents to avoid being ‘unelected’. A candidate who alienated sufficient of the electorate during his or her term of office might expect to be unseated without the necessity of an opposing candidate. If this occurred, it would indicate that the electorate wanted a change, and might thus encourage independent or otherwise new candidates to stand for election who might not have thought that they had a realistic chance of winning.
A further advantage is that, unlike the various forms of proportional representation or transferable votes, this system does not require major changes to electoral structures, and is easy to understand.
One objection is that this could leave the country (or town, borough, etc.) without a governing body at the end of the election, in the event that sufficient quantities of votes for `RoN’ were polled in enough constituencies. This would be merely an extension of the hiatus that occurs once Parliament is dissolved, and the provisions that govern this period would apply. Another objection would be the expense of repeating elections; this would be negligible compared to the advantages, and in the event that `RoN’ won might be offset slightly by all candidates losing their deposits. A moot point would be whether to allow a vote for `RoN’ in a re-run election. That, however, is a detail.
The failure of the Opposition to hold the current Government to account, especially over the imposition of lock-downs, demonstrates that our electoral system cannot continue as it is.