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Vote Early; Vote Often!

By Mike Cunningham On May 6th, 2015

I would really like a vote tomorrow. A vote which actually counts. My vote, in this ‘rotten borough’ where I live, which also goes by the unlovely title of a ‘Labour Stronghold’, is overwhelmed and dominated by a tribalistic vote, whether it is for the present Labour candidate; or a gorilla wearing a Red rosette, if that primate was adopted by the local Labour constituency party. It is a proven fact that total political nonentities, who maybe have worked ‘forCunard’ but without an original thought between the lot, have risen to great power in this, our Island Nation, whilst riding on the coat-tails of one political party or another.

We in Great Britain had a chance to swap our ‘First-past-the-Post’ system a couple of years back, in a referendum for an alternative vote system which was backed by the Lib-Dems. This vote was part of their price for joining the Coalition which has run our Government for the past five years. It was decisively rejected by the voting public, partly because the voting public dislikes change, partly because the AV system requires a preference to be stated, and Brits  really dislike someone telling them to do anything which might make them think, or choose; but mainly because, when the possible ballot papers were shown and discussed, the jokes showed how lunatic the system actually was.

Voting for our ‘Representatives’ in Europe is by Proportional Representation, or the d’Hondt system.

When I tell you that Mr. d’Hondt was a Belgian lawyer and maths expert, I don’t need to expand any further, as when anyone actually tries to explain his system, they end up with a very bad headache. Biut the main distinction between British and European political systems is that the Europeans vote for Parties, and share the seats out according to the proportion of votes; the British also vote for Parties, but through People. We like to know who we vote for; we obviously vote for the Person as well as the Party. But my problem is that most people in Britain vote for a Person BECAUSE they (the candidate) are associated with a Party, a Party which they associate with the phrase ‘What does this Party offer me?’, so we end up with Government through greed. The common man and woman, through their voting power, have voted to increase their own standards of living, regardless of the long-term interests of their children, and the wider interests of the country. True, there should always be a ‘social security’ blanket, as a fall-back if a man or woman isn’t working, but, once the rules are made, they are bent sixteen ways from Friday; and we arrive at the ludicrous headlines like this, orthis.

Alllow me to give two examples. The British used to control the Iranian (Persian) oilfields through a listed public company. In one year, the shareholders got four million pounds in dividends, the Iranians (Persians) got sixteen million, and the British Government took fifty-four millions in taxation. We were robbing them blind, and distributing the proceeds of that theft in social welfare and political machinations. The Iranians revolted, Mossadeq took over and nationalised the oilfields; the CIA and the British MI5 engineered a coup, arrested Mossadeq and re-installed the Shah, who went on with his own autocratic rule until the mullahs kicked him out, and along came Khomeini and his Islamic revolution. Since that unhappy tale, it has happened over and over again. No despot, no dictator, no autocratic monarch has injured Great Britain as much as the common man.

I used to be employed in a consulting engineering role in the Sewage and Clean Water business. When I state that the control of sewage, and the provision of clean, safe drinking water is one of the basic foundations of our society today, I do not exaggerate. London istelf was plagued with cholera, huge numbers of people died; but once an unkown scientist named John Snow found and isolated the link between contaminated drinking water and cholera, cities began to increase in size, because the plague had been conquered. Some fifteen years back, I was looking after a project to enlarge and modernise a sewage treatment works in South Wales. The expansion had been on the cards since the mid-1940’s, and the associated smell from the overflowing sewage had been making life miserable for local residents for almost as long, but the cash had been pulled from budgets for over thirty-odd years. ‘Low Priority’ was the call, and since the small village didn’t have much political sway, and there were more urgent calls for public money, the existing sewage works just plugged along, the sewage overflowed regularly, and the untreated sewage just ran into the river. Once the Water Industry was privatised, engineering works, expansion, renewal, became the watchword. The sewage works was designed, built and completed, and suddenly, the summer smells disappeared. The money for this expansion came from the same source as before, the user, but instead of taxpayers money being lavished upon projects which would make politicians look good, the cash came from the bills paid by the water user, and was used where it was needed, not where it was politically expedient. Unfortunately, most of the our water industry is now owned by foreigners, and the profits go abroad, but that is, maybe, an argument for an another day.

I hope that my argument now becomes apparent, in that we need a new system of voting, which would reward a voter who had advanced by virtue of his or her education, or by his hard work, by virtue of the fact that one man is not always equal to his neighbour, but deserves a bigger say in how his Country is governed. We need a system which would allow a breed of politician who would not be afraid to state that it would use taxpayers money to invest in Infrastructure projects without the stain of being politically useful. Being of a logical frame of mind, I would propose  a system which does not rely on mathematics, or abstruse formulae to determine who sits in our legislature, but would allocate votes according to individual knowledge and ability. One basic vote would be allocated to everyone. A second vote could be for the completion and award of a degree, but only certain degrees such as in science, or engineering, or mathematics; no silly ‘media studies’ allowed. A third vote might be awarded for foreign work and travel, excluding all holiday journeys. A fourth vote may be reserved for a person who has never travelled, but who has run and operated a successful business for more than five years. A fifth vote might be reserved for a person who has involved him- or her-self with a Charitable Organisation, with the caveat that nothing more than a small stipend had been received by the charity worker concerned, and that all administrative titles be excluded from such a vote.

I might be charged with being an ‘elitist’ and whilst that may be partly true, which of us can truthfully state that we have never, ever, made the remark or nurtured the thought; ‘and they have exactly the same voting power as I’?

96 Responses to “Vote Early; Vote Often!”

  1. One man, one vote.

  2. Mike

    Your proposal is completely nuts, and would split the society apart.

    Your next idea will be better than this one.

  3. We need a new system of voting, which would reward a voter who had advanced by virtue of his or her education, or by his hard work, by virtue of the fact that one man is not always equal to his neighbour, but deserves a bigger say in how his Country is governed

    Wow, great piece of supercilious vainglorious feudalism there Mike, Apartheid South Africa has obviously left it’s mark on you.

    Seriously though, are you insane?

  4. //We need a new system of voting, which would reward a voter who had advanced by virtue of his or her education, or by his hard work, by virtue of the fact that one man is not always equal to his neighbour, but deserves a bigger say in how his Country is governed//

    Mike does have a point. Only people who are paying taxes and making an active contribution to their society should be allowed vote. Just as children aren’t allowed vote, pensioners etc. shouldn’t be either.

  5. Education

    So if some schmuck has a degree in ” gender studies ” or underwater basket weaving, they deserve more voting power than a bartender?

    Get the hell out of here!

  6. How many votes would a Phd thesis on Armenian Theatre Studies buy?

  7. http://thoughtcatalog.com/hilary-watchler/2012/04/5-reasons-you-should-major-in-womens-studies/

    Paul

    Read this carefully and then choose your major

  8. //So if some schmuck has a degree in ”gender studies” or underwater basket weaving, they deserve more voting power than a bartender?//

    !!

    I like the line in the link about Womens Studies where someone’s creepy dad says: “Good idea, I studied women in college too”.

  9. BTW, can someone put up a decent post about the UK general election.

    Britain is doing very well economically by any standards, especially by EU standards, its PM basically hasn’t made any mistakes since taking office, there have been no scandals, no wars, no major domestic discord. Yet still Cameron seems to be having major difficulty keeping his job.

    Some sound and sane reasons why from our British friends, please. (none of this He’s dithering on the referendum or He can’t stop EU immigration stuff. They aren’t big issues for voters).

  10. I was amazed at reading in today’s paper that the SNP woman thinks that all the immigration is just fine and that it was an economic plus. That’s not what the British I know think for the most part.

  11. There’s an article titled “Little England: Why the British election matters to the United States” on the Brookings Institute site today….http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=179686
    Last time I checked, there were only two comments; the comments just might be more interesting/fodder than the article itself though.

  12. wrong link above; it should be this one: http://www.brookings.edu/blogs/order-from-chaos/posts/2015/05/05-british-election-matters-us-shapiro?utm_campaign=Brookings+Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=email&utm_content=17506294&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–Oephsm-vOZ4b37ZSKyBy08l04IgG1QtwNXy4rsKDtXH9-bq_tJQHdo9rxeGCQYH5YA8rMUyNQlf5UsCzgwK6EjBdSfA&_hsmi=17506294

  13. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 3:22 PM Said:

    I was amazed at reading in today’s paper that the SNP woman thinks that all the immigration is just fine and that it was an economic plus. That’s not what the British I know think for the most part.

    Many immigrants come here and work hard and pay taxes, others do not. The question is what is the breakdown of so called good to bad immigrants. This is not an easy question to get an answer to. From my personal experience a majority of immigrants are good and productive members of society. Just the same as everyone else on the planet.

  14. One man, hundreds of thousands of votes…. welcome to the new banana republic of Great Britain.

    http://order-order.com/2015/05/06/how-to-vote-urdu-style/#_@/jLFkMbhTT4-dSg

    All is lost.

  15. Do they all fit in the same?

    Yours is a crowded country – is it a fair question to ask why have any large immigration at all? How does it help you?

  16. Phantom.

    Labour did not open those floodgates for nothing, those immigrants are doing what they were let in to do.

    The ghost of Blair still haunts the country.

  17. Nail, meet head.

    Blair is Evil • 26 minutes ago
    Counter-terrorism police investigating a “large-scale” fraud linked to extremists travelling to Syria have arrested six men and one woman. Officers from the Metropolitan Police’s counter-terrorism command attended six addresses in London and one address in Luton, Scotland Yard says. The men were arrested for conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering and the woman for money laundering. The fraud involves elderly people being cold-called, police said. Officers said “unsuspecting, vulnerable” elderly victims were called on their home phone by someone impersonating a police officer. Three men aged 23, one of 21 and another of 28, along with a woman aged 32, were all arrested at addresses in north London while a 38-year-old man was arrested in Luton.

    All together now: FEEL THE ENRICHMENT! Say it again, FEEL THE ENRICHMENT!

    One more time: FEEL THE ENRICHMENT!

    Bring in the drums: FEEL THE ENRICHMENT!

    Add some bass. FEEL THE ENRICHMENT! Hell yeah!

  18. Dave

    Most everybody are swell folks, but the more immigrants you get deeply disturbed or backward lands, the more those troubles will land on your own doorstep, even if the majority are model citizens of the highest caliber.

  19. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 3:49 PM Said:

    Do they all fit in the same?

    Yours is a crowded country – is it a fair question to ask why have any large immigration at all? How does it help you?

    I’m not sure what you mean by ‘do they all fit in the same.’

    Parts of the UK are crowded, as are many parts of the world. Perhaps we should be looking at the bigger question no one wants to address which is the size of the global population.
    The question of do we need immigration is not a simple one to answer. We certainly need it in the NHS as we don’t have enough doctors and nurses. However, when you find Romanian street cleaners in areas of high unemployment you have to ask why people on the dole are made to take these jobs. However, as someone who has worked in other countries I would be a hypocrite and say people can’t do the same here.

  20. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 4:01 PM Said:

    Dave

    Most everybody are swell folks, but the more immigrants you get deeply disturbed or backward lands, the more those troubles will land on your own doorstep, even if the majority are model citizens of the highest caliber.

    Yes. I can’t argue with statistics. If a percentage of any given group of people are criminals then by the laws of logic, the more people that come into the country the more criminals will enter also. But is closing our boarders the right answer? That would mean stopping the majority who are decent and law abiding.

  21. Highly skilled professionals are one thing ( even though I don’t understand at all why a place like the UK can’t produce enough doctors to serve its own needs )

    Do they all fit in the same – it is easy. Immigrants who like British ways are one thing, those who think you’re devils for eating a ham sandwich are quite another.

    Do you think that a well scrubbed Balt and someone from Karachi are equally likely to like English ways, mores, traditions. C’mon, lets get real.

  22. How will the NHS get by without them?

    An NHS doctor and his nurse wife effectively ‘owned’ and kept a young Nigerian man as a slave for 24 years after hiring him at the age of 12 and never paying him a penny, a jury has been told.
    Ofonime Sunday Inuk was about 14 years old when he left his native Nigeria in 1989 with Dr Emmanuel Edet and his wife Antan, travelling first to Israel before arriving in the UK.

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3070458/NHS-doctor-nurse-wife-kept-Nigerian-man-slave-24-YEARS-London-home.html#ixzz3ZN7swiXO

  23. // If a percentage of any given group of people are criminals then by the laws of logic, the more people that come into the country the more criminals will enter also//

    I have a feeling that once you let in people, you are inevitably going to get more good and more bad people and more in-between. The same is true for people being born in the UK – increasingly more saints and more sinners in the country.

    That seems to be the way things are.

  24. Do all source countries have an equal jihad terror potential?

    Poland the same as Pakistan?

  25. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 4:10 PM Said:

    Highly skilled professionals are one thing ( even though I don’t understand at all why a place like the UK can’t produce enough doctors to serve its own needs )

    It’s not that the UK can’t pruduce enough doctors, it’s that not enough people want to become doctors.

    Do they all fit in the same – it is easy. Immigrants who like British ways are one thing, those who think you’re devils for eating a ham sandwich are quite another.

    I’m going to assume you’re talking about Muslims as you usually are and once again, I’ll restate what I’ve said in earlier conversations. I’ve worked with a lot of Muslims and from my experience they aren’t much different to anybody else. The majority don’t think you’re a devil for eating a ham sandwich, (and some of the younger ones especially have the odd bit of bacon themselves.) Do you think those of the Jewish faith think we’re devils for eating pork?

    Do you think that a well scrubbed Balt and someone from Karachi are equally likely to like English ways, mores, traditions. C’mon, lets get real.

    For me to answer that question you would have to define ‘English ways’. One again from my experience the majority of immigrants are more influenced by British society that we are influenced by them. This is especially true of their kids born here. In the North West of England, (where I live), many younger, second generation immigrants are less interested in their religion than their parents in the same way Christianity dwindles with the kids of Anglo-Saxon inhabitants.
    As I’ve said before, I don’t agree with uncontrolled immigration. Sure there are religious nutters out there, and I agree thanks to uncontrolled immigration over the past twenty years a lot more are here now, but I am ‘getting real’ Phantom, I don’t see how completely closing are borders will solve the problems we have now.

  26. Noel Cunning, on May 6th, 2015 at 4:21 PM Said:

    I have a feeling that once you let in people, you are inevitably going to get more good and more bad people and more in-between. The same is true for people being born in the UK – increasingly more saints and more sinners in the country.

    That seems to be the way things are.

    Exactly the point I was making Noel.

  27. //Do all source countries have an equal jihad terror potential?//

    No, but from all countries probably a large majority are decent people wishing to work.
    You mention Pakistanis. There must be hundreds of thousands of them in the US by now. Yet so far I am not aware a single one has exhibited that “jihad terror potential” you speak of.

    In fact, in the ledger of Americans killed in the US by Pakistanis and Pakistanis killed by Americans in Pakistan, I’d say the balance is VERY much in favour of the lads from southern Asia.

    Probably close to 1000 Pakistani civilians have been killed by Americans. I wonder is there a Phantom Doppelganger on some blog in Lahore proposing that Americans, with such obvious “crusader terror potential”, be allowed enter his country.

  28. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 4:27 PM Said:

    Do all source countries have an equal jihad terror potential?

    Poland the same as Pakistan?

    No and I never said it was. Just as the UK isn’t the same as Pakistan.

  29. it’s that not enough people want to become doctors.

    This is almost impossible to believe.

    The US has always had incredible competition for slots in medical schools.

    Do you think those of the Jewish faith think we’re devils for eating pork?

    It wasn’t them that blew up the Underground or that tried to blow up the Glasgow airport.

    Yet so far I am not aware a single one has exhibited that “jihad terror potential” you speak of.

    The botched 2010 Times Square bombing was by one Faisal Shahzad, a Pakistani who had studied in Saudi Arabia

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Faisal_Shahzad

    In fact, in the ledger of Americans killed in the US by Pakistanis and Pakistanis killed by Americans in Pakistan, I’d say the balance is VERY much in favour of the lads from southern Asia.

    OK so if some of them hold an understandable grudge, then allow none of them in, and get all of your immigrants from places where there is no grudge and no history of terrorism. Is this a hard concept to understand?

  30. Phantom, on May 6th, 2015 at 4:49 PM Said:

    it’s that not enough people want to become doctors.

    This is almost impossible to believe.

    Whether you believe it or not Phantom it’s a fact. There are more Doctors retiring in the UK than stating medical school. A Ten second search on Google would have brought up multiple results verifying this.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/gp-trainers-warn-of-doctor-shortages-1580118.html

    The US has always had incredible competition for slots in medical schools.

    So? What’s that got to do with the UK?

    Do you think those of the Jewish faith think we’re devils for eating pork?

    It wasn’t them that blew up the Underground or that tried to blow up the Glasgow airport.

    Yet so far I am not aware a single one has exhibited that “jihad terror potential” you speak of.

    Again, what has that got to do with the points I made? Once again Phantom, you try to put words into my mouth. I never said Jews commited terrorists acts here. I just pointed out that they, (like the majority of Muslims here) don’t hate us for eating pork, as you clamed they do.

    OK so if some of them hold an understandable grudge, then allow none of them in, and get all of your immigrants from places where there is no grudge and no history of terrorism. Is this a hard concept to understand?

    No it’s not a hard concept to understand. You’re basically saying that we should stop the 99.9999%+ percentage of decent people from certain countries from entering the UK, because of the tiny minority who could do us harm. And you can’t see any problem with this?

  31. Noel seems to think that the comparative success of the UK economy is due to politicians!
    What silly piffle.
    Belgium went without a government for nearly 2 years in 2010, and trundled along very well without one, in spite of EU doom-mongering.

    Listen here old bean, if the UK is doing okay it’s because of the ingenuity, hard work and cheerful doggedness of its working population; the ability to ‘make-do’ and keep law-abiding, in spite of continued interference and f*ckups by a succession of political fools and their conniving advisers.

  32. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/1510866/Poll-reveals-40pc-of-Muslims-want-sharia-law-in-UK.html

    Were the 40% who wanted Sharia law or the 20% who sympathized with the London subway bombers decent people?

    The newspaper article says that there are early retirements of doctors because the working conditions and red tape are bad. That problem exists here, in both public and private settings. But ( follow me here ) that does not mean that people don’t want to be doctors. It means that they want decent working conditions, as the professionals that they are.

    You don’t mention the fact that some really smart and qualified British students can’t get into med school because slots are taken up by foreigners which is insane

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2401997/Straight-A-students-forced-abroad-study-medicine-NHS-recruits-record-foreign-doctors.html

  33. //I’m going to assume you’re talking about Muslims as you usually are//

    🙂

    //Noel seems to think that the comparative success of the UK economy is due to politicians!
    What silly piffle.//

    Bernard, I certainly don’t think that. My point – and I can’t see how anyone with a bit of intelligence could have a problem grasping it – is that when a country’s economy is doing well, when there have been no wars, no scandals and no civil rancour, then that country’s government generally finds it easy to be reelected.
    Cameron, however, seems to have a fight on his hands.

    Is it any clearer now?

  34. Mike’s right on principle, wrong on detail.
    .
    Only property owners and productive tax-victims have a moral right to vote.

  35. Mike. I have the exact same problem. Pat Glass is my arch nemesis in Durham because how she gets her seat no matter what. It disgusts me.

  36. Adam Young, on May 6th, 2015 at 7:45 PM Said:
    Mike. I have the exact same problem. Pat Glass is my arch nemesis in Durham because how she gets her seat no matter what. It disgusts me.

    They all disgust me.

  37. Only property owners and productive tax-victims have a moral right to vote

    According to what morals Pete? I’m both of what you describe above and I disagree.

    Predictably this thread has went down the ‘immigration’ pipe again with the usual ‘enrichment’ myth created by the far right.

    Of course Britain needs foreigners, if it had none what would 95% of ATW bloggers complain about?

  38. Of course Britain needs foreigners, if it had none what would 95% of ATW bloggers complain about?

    Very little, it would be bliss 😉

    We need some foreigners, not millions.

  39. Paul McMahon –

    I suppose it depends on what you mean by “needs”, but where did I mention immigrants?

  40. I wasn’t talking about you Pete, my point to you was the ‘moral’ point.

    I was referring t the dozen or so posts above yours.

    Very little, it would be bliss

    I don’t believe that fr a second Harri. Some other group would quickly become a target fr venom.

  41. You absolutely can make the case for only taxpayers voting (*)

    Otherwise, you have the real possibility of dependents voting for more free stuff for themselves.

    (*) not only ” property owners ” which is antique and dumb.

    And by taxpayers I mean net taxpayers or those who have retired after a working career. The too clever by half libs here will say that even welfare recipients are taxpayers because they pay sales tax when they buy something.

  42. Sorry, Phantom?

    Otherwise, you have the real possibility of dependents voting for more free stuff for themselves.

    The evidence is in and it looks like a raging certainty.

  43. In the US, the cops / fire and other civil service employees manipulate raises for themselves by funding and voting for select politicians.

    Yeah, it happens.

  44. I think that abuses by public service unions in this country are an even worse problem than abuses by the welfare class.

    As for the UK, I dunno.

  45. You can’t restrict the vote to ‘net taxpayers’ or working people or other such specific calculations. What about the disabled, housewives, people temporarily unemployed and how often would you need to update the registry to accurately determine who could vote. For good or ill, everyone over 18 not locked up or looney is the only justifiable option.

  46. How long should you have to pay tax for before you’re eligible to vote?

    A month? A year? a lifetime? Should those with ‘tax avoidance plans’ also be eligible to vote?

  47. Colm, Paul McMahon –

    You gret needlessly. Those mere details can easily be sorted. Elections are five years apart and simple, so fair calculations (say, employment in the productive sector for X per cent of the previous five years) are straightforward.

    Housewives will have an offer which even the Labour Party fully supports wherever its favourite demographic lives – their husbands will decide for them.

    I know, I’m culturally aware.

  48. Colms

    The super-libs think that the jailbirds should vote too.

    You fascist.

  49. Pete

    If Spare Rib magazine was still around, you’d be their token cover boy for sure 😉

    NB – In case you don’t recall it, it was a publication you’d have been loved reading !

  50. Phantom

    You’re too kind !

  51. And if the looneys can’t vote, then that rules out everyone here, so what are you proposing Mr Colm

  52. Employment in the productive sector for X per cent of the previous five years

    But what is ‘fair’ X% Pete? e.g. if I work for a year in those five years am I eligible to vote?

    And those ‘tax avoiders?’

  53. Paul McMahon –

    X can be whatever you like. The principle is the important thing first.

    Tax avoidance is perfectly legal. I think you mean tax evaders, who are social and economic heroes.

    Two votes for tax evaders!

  54. A fair way might be to have votes proportional to the level of net tax you pay in.

    If you pay a million dollars net tax, you get a million votes.

    A thousand dollars tax, a thousand votes.

    If you don’t pay tax, they wish you a nice day.

    The way it works in the stock shareholder votes.

    How can anything be fairer than that?

  55. Phantom

    If that means only I get the vote, so be it 😉

  56. Tax avoidance is perfectly legal

    So is not working? We’re not talking about law, we’re talking about eligibility to vote.

  57. AAgh, my comment was in response to your ‘looney’ one !

  58. How can anything be fairer than that?

    I suspect Phantom is in wind up mode.

    Are you not supposedly against money buying politics?

  59. Yes but the money we’re talking about would be money to the general fund, not cash in little red envelopes handed out by casino gangsters to private individuals.

    The more tax you evade, the less power you have.

    It is an exceptionally clean system I propose, and I would like for it to be approved here on an unanimous voice vote, please.

  60. In the US anyway the lower and middle class pay most of the tax

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/102341748

    They will be the victors in my proportional voting scheme.

  61. In the US anyway the lower and middle class pay most of the tax

    Yeah, but they’re not multi millionaires who would have no problems spending multi millions on tax if it got them multi millions of votes.

  62. immigrants are immigrants, the majority that wind up in Britain and the US are honestly seeking a better life than where they came from and just like the Irish and the Italians in the US the Middle Easterners will keep their roots but they within 2 generations will become Americanized.

    Also just as with the Irish and the Italians ten percent will be no damn good. With the Mics and the Whops it was organized crime. With the Camel Jockeys it’s Jihad.

    Treat them exactly the same once they are internal you hunt them down and lock them away or kill them. The Peace will be maintained, anything else is just unacceptable.

    People really don’t understand the job of their police force and the types of people that they deal with on a daily basis.

  63. oh and one man one vote. Anything else is a fraud. We live in a democratic republic are vote wind up proportional because they are given to a representative that we pick.

    Now we do pick a lot of assholes but we have only ourselves to blame. And to not vote for any reason makes you just another part of the problem.

  64. I was made redundant last week, so by some people’s standards, I shouldn’t be allowed to vote tomorrow. However, I’m meeting with a company next week to discuss a job, so thankfully I’ll be acceptable for the next election!

    Mike’s proposal is ludicrous, and harks back to a time when only those with money and male genitalia were eligible to vote. I’m actually surprised that he didn’t mention skin colour as another factor when deciding eligibility.

  65. The only people who should be allowed to vote are those affected by the decisions of the body being elected.

  66. I wonder has ever in the history of political debate anyone proposed a restriction of franchise that would exclude himself.

    In Northern Ireland, they used to have in local elections a voting system where a person had a vote or votes according to the amount of property he owned. A person with three houses thus had three votes while his neighbour paying rent to him had none. There was also a “business vote”, where having a business entitled the owner to several votes.
    That remained the system until the IRA campaign started in the early 1970s.

    The whole thing was of course designed and maintained to disenfranchise Catholics, who proportionally were much less likely to own property than their fellow citizens.
    But idea is the same as Mike’s lunacy here: by disenfranchising people you increase your own political power.

  67. So judging by the assorted comments above, that old truism that ‘He who pays the piper calls the tune’, Is now defunct.

    The bitter truth is that the majority of voters are going to vote in their own best interests and have little concern for the larger picture of ‘community’, either local or national.

    A prime example is the push to give imprisoned criminals ‘the vote’, they obviously have a total disregard for the general community, and are merely being used as an extra source of votes for politicians who are themselves so egocentric that any sense of communal fairness is a strange concept.

    Likewise with lowering the voting age to sixteen and the Labour obsession with the ‘benefits culture’, – a culture that has a place in modern Britain, but not when carried to extremes.

    Unfortunately, with the advent of ‘globalism’ our political class has a decreasing regard for the electorate’s concerns. Blair is, of course, a prime example of those for whom the post of PM is but a step to greater things, such a pity that so many others are following his example, i.e. Major, and that ‘financial world saviour’ Brown.

  68. Good look to the Brits on their Election Day.

    If anything, you’re more divided that even the US is, politically. I don’t like the situation in either country.

    Vote.

  69. Seimi, sorry about the redundancy notice…you’ll do great on the interview; go and wow them with your awesome skills!
    One person, one vote…the only way to go.

  70. //If anything, you’re more divided that even the US is, politically.//

    Phantom, I very much doubt that and, again, warn anyone against thinking ATW is a representative example.

    About a generation ago, politics in Britain, like everywhere else in Europe, was very polarised along left-right lines. Now that’s all gone. Both the former left and right have moved to the centre – Labour has long since abandoned any kind of socialism and the Conservatives have become much more liberal. The electorate for its part is now far more indifferent to and ignorant of politics than it used to be.

    There is in the UK nothing like the acrimony and sheer hatred you find in US political debate.

  71. Ernest, your comment seems to be somewhat convaluted?

    The bitter truth is that the majority of voters are going to vote in their own best interests and have little concern for the larger picture of ‘community’, either local or national

    Has that not always been the case? Haven’t people generally voted for policies which best represent them? Lamenting the ignoring of the ‘larger picture’ of local or national community sounds a bit Commie to me particularly as, to paraphrase some woman from Grantham who once decreed, ‘there is no such thing as society’

    A prime example is the push to give imprisoned criminals ‘the vote’, they obviously have a total disregard for the general community, and are merely being used as an extra source of votes for politicians

    Whilst I don’t think that anyone who loses their liberty should be given the vote, (insofar as I understand this suggestion is propagated by a number of focus / pressure groups and few else), I don’t see the point you’re making: If they have a total disregard for the general community, (there’s that word again), why would they even bother voting in the first place and which politicians are going to benefit from this extra source of votes and why?

    Likewise with lowering the voting age to sixteen

    Why not? If sixteen year olds are mature enough to get a job or join the army and be entrusted with an automatic rifle why sould they not be entrusted to vote?

    Unfortunately, with the advent of ‘globalism’ our political class has a decreasing regard for the electorate’s concerns

    What concerns?, according to your first point the only concerns the electorate have are ones which affect them as individuals.

    One man one vote is the most sensible solution. Noel brought up the ‘five bob franchise’ pre Civil Rights in NI earlier in the thread, this is what is essentially being proposed here.

    That worked out well didn’t it?

    Now that’s all gone. Both the former left and right have moved to the centre – Labour has long since abandoned any kind of socialism and the Conservatives have become much more liberal. The electorate for its part is now far more indifferent to and ignorant of politics than it used to be.

    Spot on.

  72. In Northern Ireland, they used to have in local elections a voting system where a person had a vote or votes according to the amount of property he owned. A person with three houses thus had three votes while his neighbour paying rent to him had none. There was also a “business vote”, where having a business entitled the owner to several votes.

    Pete

    This would be the kind of system that you would like to see in all of the UK, correct? Seriously?

  73. Of course, Phantom. This is ‘liberty’! Pete has been pretty honest about not being any kind of democrat to be fair.

  74. Phantom –

    What I’d like to see is the state so dessicated that no-one cares who’s in government.

    As for the strange example from NI, no.

    It would be one (English)man, one vote. A tenant has just as real an interest in property as a freeholder. He is, practically, a freeholder limited to the term of the tenancy. He often improves it, often generates the income from it and the freeholder would be nothing without him. It’s a vital partnership.

    We capitalists and free marketeers know these things.

  75. Petr Tarasov –

    I plead guilty to the charge of “not being any kind of democrat”, but can’t help chuckling that my accuser is Mr Revolutionary Justice.

  76. As for the strange example from NI, no.

    No? That’s exactly what’s being advocated here.

    Only property owners and productive tax-victims have a moral right to vote

    Nice bit of back pedaling there Pete.

  77. Paul McMahon –

    Erm, a lease is an ownership in property.

  78. Erm, it’s not. A tenancy agreement is not ownership.

  79. Paul –

    I have a degree and a master’s in property and worked as a professional in property development for 20 years. Maybe for once I know what I’m talking about.

    A lease is an ownership of property for a fixed period of time. When the lease expires ownership reverts to the freeholder.

  80. Exit Polls are predicting Tories will win but just short of overall majority

  81. A lease is an ownership of property for a fixed period of time

    I don’t think that’s how it’s defined elsewhere than Britain then.

    Like pregnancy ( you are or you are not ) you either own something or part of it or you do not in most places anyway.

    This may be one of these matters where the language conventions are very very different across borders. I’ve rented apartments but I never thought for a minute that I had any ownership in them at all. I thought I had the right to stay there for the fixed period.

  82. EXIT POLL: Conservatives largest party with 316 seats, Lab 239, LD 10, SNP 58, UKIP 2, Green 2, PC 4, Others 19

  83. Phantom –

    A lease is an ownership of property for a fixed period of time. It’s not squatting, it’s not loaning, it’s a full legal ownership.

  84. That’s not how a lease of property is defined here.

    Not even close.

  85. Even the British government agrees with me (and it’s right, for once) –

    You only own a leasehold property for a fixed period of time.

    You’ll have a legal agreement with the landlord (sometimes known as the ‘freeholder’) called a ‘lease’. This tells you how many years you’ll own the property.

    Ownership of the property returns to the landlord when the lease comes to an end.

    “Ownership”

  86. LINK

  87. Very interesting.

    I have forwarded the definition to a real estate maven here for his comments.

    You guys are nuts over there. You call a lease an ownership, you drive on the left, you call your private schools public, what is the deal with you all?

  88. Yes, it’s an odd little place (though we drive on the correct side of the road – ehem).

    I’ve said it before in here, but an essential and extremely funny book about Britain, by an American is Bill Bryson’s Notes from a Small Island. He has a magic eye for seeing all the little absurdities.

  89. Thanks

    So technically in the UK a landlord does not own property that he rents out?

    An owner of an 10 unit apartment block that is all rented out doesn’t own his own building until the leases expire one by one?

  90. He remains the freeholder. That’s his enduring interest. In return for transferring a temporary ownership he receives rent. Other terms of the lease govern too. The leaseholder cannot, for example, demolish the property. But for while he pays the rent and abides by standards terms, he is the owner for that fixed term.

  91. There is a big difference between leaseholder and renter. leaseholder is effective ownership when you purchase a leasehold say on a flat for 50 years or 99 years. It is entirely different from being a renting tenant.

  92. All this is confusing.

    In the US if you rent an apartment it is typically via a formal lease ( contract ) of one year or so.

    If such rental were to happen in the UK, would it be called a lease of the premises?

  93. //. It is entirely different from being a renting tenant.//

    Look, if someone moves to London and rents an apartment, is he then a “renting tenant” or a “leaseholder”?
    That’s what we talking about here. Paul said the tenant is not the owner, and Pete pulled rank on him.

  94. http://www.ludlowthompson.com/property_advice/Whats_the_difference_between_freehold_and_leasehold/article.htm?id=16

    Lease lengths vary and most common are 99, 125 (in the case of ex local authority) 500 and 999.

    Terms are defined in this link by a UK property agent, and they refer to very long leases, the type that Colm was talking about, and not the normal one or more year rentals.

    If you rent a flat for a year, you don’t own it. The landlord owns it. Right?

  95. Ignore Pete.

  96. Phantom

    Yes, Pete is talking nonsense. Renters own nothing. They are buying time in a property no different to staying in a hotel just longer. Leaseholding is ownership without freehold.