Thursday, 16 April 2015

To Barnett or not to Barnett?

The Barnett Formula works for the UK - if Scotland gets FA (Fiscal Autonomy) as well, as they all seem hell bent on, Scots will have extra taxes to pay.

Any pleas by Scots for a reduction in UK taxes to balance our personal budgets would mean less spent in Scotland from UK taxes - a reduced slice of Barnett being the most obvious option. Before any tinkering with Barnett, we MUST be told what Full Fiscal Autonomy entails.

How many tax bills is Scotland asking to have levied here?

Is FA so much smoke and mirrors? Sturgeon, Murphy and Davidson MUST clarify this if they want an honest ballot result.

Friday, 10 April 2015

A Tricky Issue in St Andrews

The siting or mis-siting of a new school for St Andrews is a long drawn out saga with the current proposal not being the right answer.

I was asked for my view, by the local press, and gave it, quite clearly:

For decades, Ming Campbell led the Liberal Democrats campaigning for a Tay Bridgehead school to relieve pressure in St Andrews.  The Conservatives also took that view. Both as a Conservative and as UKIP, I took that view too.

So we must first recognise that we are in this mess because the Liberal Democrats, when at last they held the reins on the council, reneged on the idea, breaking their pledges.  That turned the choice within St Andrews into a mess. Ming Campbell never again commented and has never apologised for not standing by his decades long demands.

You will not know it, I don’t think you were in post at the time, but we also had a campaign for a new hospital and there was near chaos on choosing a site for it.  I, as a councillor and a PPC at the time,  suggested, in discussion with the NHS, that the Green Belt could be breached for that hospital, and for that alone, and that they should plumb for the site at Pipelands.  That was right, the site was agreed  and the hospital is in the right place.

It is not the right place for the school.  Nothing those who waver on the lines of “let it all now be forgotten” can say can make it right.  The politicians who promised so much, who broke with their decades of pledges, who tried to talk turkey with the University, got it all wrong.   A school in the Green belt, in  a confined space, next to a hospital which it will landlock, with a wholly unacceptable transport configuration, is not the right answer. 

I do not move from where I stood; a Tay Bridgehead School first, proper catchment areas second, refurbished Madras for St Andrews third and finally releasing the asset value of Kilrymont towards paying for it all.  Is it too late? Is it now too much of a mess?  Does using the wrong site blighting a hospital work?   

STEPAL are within their rights whereas an intransigent council and unworthy politicians are not. Effectively, we are still on the starting line.

That response is not fence sitting.  Going ahead with a bad idea is not a good idea.  The situation demonstrates that Local Authorities are not much cop at planning schools; some of us will remember the hiccoughs at the Waid! 

This is, in any case, an issue for the elected councils, who appear to be subservient to the Administration's bureaucrats, and for the Scottish Parliament, and no longer for Westminster.  It does however, serve well in illustrating why I consider that every constituency's elected Parliamentary Member should sit both in Westminster and at Holyrood. 

Sunday, 29 March 2015

AN INDEPENDENT’S MANIFESTO

Mike Scott-Hayward
AN INDEPENDENT’S  MANIFESTO FOR AN
Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain

26 March 2015
OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES
Independent Britain
                Independent, to emphasise that British sovereignty shall no longer be shared or surrendered.
Britain Governing herself, not governed by any supra national authority – and therefore not in the EU.
Britain represented only by the British Government abroad and in all international organisations – such as the UNO, IMF, IMO, NATO, EFTA, et al.
Sovereign Britain
                The Sovereign-in-Parliament final arbiter over British Citizens
Democratic Britain
Democratic not Bureaucratic
POLICY GUIDELINES
·         Defence
o   SLBM based Nuclear Deterrent.
o   Carrier Force – cover roles across Atlantic/Mediterranean, Asian and Pacific regions.
o   Home Based and Quick Reaction Mobile Regular Forces.
o   National Service including Civilian Overseas Service and Volunteers.
o   Reserve Forces for Emergencies and to provide a Resilience Corps.
o   Commonwealth Links – establish Commonwealth Naval Task Groups/Squadrons etc
o   East of Suez Base/s
o   Strengthen the Royal fleet Auxiliary – emphasise on new additional Disaster Relief role, including hospital ships.
·         Overseas Aid and Development: 
o    Switch to predominance of assistance provided through Armed Forces, National Service, RFA and Civilian Overseas Service and Volunteers on development and aid  projects coordinated by FCO and MOD.
o   Minimal Financial Support through partial funding of projects delivered by British Companies
·         Security, Intelligence and Surveillance – better resources.
·         Immigration
o   Principle that the UK Border Controls and Immigration are wholly subject to the sovereign will of Parliament which alone sets and alters law and rules as required from time to time.
o   Immigration Quotas will be set when and if necessary based on impact on UK infrastructure and needs.
o   Refugees – People seeking Asylum will always be treated as special case with decisions taken under the Royal Prerogative.
o   Immigrants
§  People seeking permanent British Residential Status and Citizenship, either: 
·         Having British Roots:  Will become British Subjects and Citizens of UK and Colonies upon proof of connection which meets  criteria set by Parliament from time to time, or
·         Not having British roots but seeking full British Citizenship:  May become British Subjects and Citizens of UK and Colonies on application and meeting criteria set by Parliament from time to time, after 5 year qualification and contribution period during which time they must have held an appropriate Entry Visa.
§  People seeking Limited Residential Status (Renewable periodically), for the purpose of work, study or investment:
·         Entry Visa conditional upon holding proof, and continued applicability, of full medical insurance cover and proof of:
o   Employment Position covered by Employers Certificate of necessity and  remunerated sufficiently so as to ensure the entrant will be fully self-financing in respect of all own living, accommodation needs and of any admissible accompanying dependents; or
o   Fully funded University (or other approved establishment) place including full living and accommodation expenses or
o   Fully Self Financing in all respect, including medical insurance and ability to maintain investment or bank deposit holdings at level set from time to time by Parliament.
o   Tourists – Time limited Visas subject to proof of Medical Care Insurance and sufficient holding of funds for intended visit activities.
·         The Commonwealth. 
o   Renew emphasis on cooperation with Commonwealth in international affairs
o   Renew and encourage trade with and within the Commonwealth.  Propose a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement.
·         Small Business:
o   Solution to Late Payment Problem – HMRC penalise late payers, via VAT returns.
o   Business Rates – based directly on premises size (area/square footage), not location, use, etc, in two bands: PLCs and SMEs
·         NHS: 
o   NHS UK – stronger Hospital Based structure with autonomous GP practices
o   Care Homes – sourced by Hospitals, from Council, Social, Charity and Private Sector (Nanny cannot do it all)
·         Democracy
o   Parliament
§  Cohesive Parliamentary Structure 
§  Westminster integrated with four National Parliaments – MPs sit at Westminster and in National Parliaments, with additional National Members for PR balance.
§  Repeal the Coalition clamp on motions of confidence and the fixed term restriction of democracy.
o   Recall - Simple system of by election called when 30% of registered voters sign petition.          
o   Binding Local Referenda: Council Decisions, including Planning Consents, overturned by referendum of voters in affected wards when appeal called by 20% of the relevant voters.
·         Smaller Government – Guiding Principle should be to not legislate unless doing so is only solution.
·         Housing – Remit of the National Parliaments but need for a UK regime encouraging first/single home ownership.
·         International Trade –Engage in full trading relationships worldwide with an emphasis on trade with the Commonwealth, EFTA and the USA.
·         Energy
o   Full mix led by nuclear with clean oil, gas and coal technology, fracking, tidal, solar and riparian power.
o   No subsidy, support or targets for intermittent wind or wave power but no bar to private development if Planning Consent, decided “in county”, is agreed. (See Planning).
·         Railways
o   HS2 becomes United Kingdom High Speed Railway (UK HSR):  Floated for public and private investment, build from both ends (and even the middle outwards), including Scotland and Wales.  Must have high freight capacity.
o   Encourage investment in new rail links using fiscal leniency.
o   Review Rail Franchises- longer term investments 
·         Personal Taxation and Welfare Support
o   Properly establish system as advocated by the tax Payers Alliance, whereby a choice between a Citizen Benefit and a Tax free Allowance, removes benefit trap and encourages people to take employment without facing claw-backs.
·         Space Exploration:  Tax free unsubsidized environment to encourage British ventures.
·         Human Trafficking:   Human trafficking has increased; it is abhorrent and a prime cause involves prostitution.    Prostitution cannot be stopped but a safer environment can be created to protect for sex workers as well and creating a disincentive, taking the profit out of human trafficking. 
o   Regulation a preferred,  safer and better route than unenforceable wholesale prohibition
o   License sex workers’ register, approved and held by local authority.
o   Human Trafficking (for any purpose) to carry minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment without parole
·         Coalition- in extremis only – supply and confidence support

Dumb, not smart

An IoD report highlights a number of key concerns about Smart Meters:
Despite the EU Directive, 11 nations have ruled out electricity smart meters and only 5 are pushing ahead with the 2020 target for gas meters. 
In contrast, as is so often is the case, the UK has gold-plated the Directive.

The government refuses to publish any of the reports on the programme by the Major Projects Authority.
The cost-benefit analysis conducted by the Department for Energy and Climate Change is so heavily redacted as to be almost unreadable.
The Smart Meter network would be vulnerable to cyber-attack and disruption.
Introducing time-of-day pricing to shift consumer demand will only work with price increases that are not politically realistic. 
Retail consumers really can’t change their energy consumption that much.



Thursday, 26 March 2015

AN INDEPENDENT’S MANIFESTO

Mike Scott-Hayward
AN INDEPENDENT’S  MANIFESTO FOR AN
Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain

26 March 2015
OVERARCHING PRINCIPLES
Independent Britain
                Independent, to emphasise that British sovereignty shall no longer be shared or surrendered.
Britain Governing herself, not governed by any supra national authority – and therefore not in the EU.
Britain represented only by the British Government abroad and in all international organisations – such as the UNO, IMF, IMO, NATO, EFTA, et al.
Sovereign Britain
                The Sovereign-in-Parliament final arbiter over British Citizens
Democratic Britain
Democratic not Bureaucratic
POLICY GUIDELINES
·         Defence
o   SLBM based Nuclear Deterrent.
o   Carrier Force – cover roles across Atlantic/Mediterranean, Asian and Pacific regions.
o   Home Based and Quick Reaction Mobile Regular Forces.
o   National Service including Civilian Overseas Service and Volunteers.
o   Reserve Forces for Emergencies and to provide a Resilience Corps.
o   Commonwealth Links – establish Commonwealth Naval Task Groups/Squadrons etc
o   East of Suez Base/s
o   Strengthen the Royal fleet Auxiliary – emphasise on new additional Disaster Relief role, including hospital ships.
·         Overseas Aid and Development: 
o    Switch to predominance of assistance provided through Armed Forces, National Service, RFA and Civilian Overseas Service and Volunteers on development and aid  projects coordinated by FCO and MOD.
o   Minimal Financial Support through partial funding of projects delivered by British Companies
·         Security, Intelligence and Surveillance – better resources.
·         Immigration
o   Principle that the UK Border Controls and Immigration are wholly subject to the sovereign will of Parliament which alone sets and alters law and rules as required from time to time.
o   Immigration Quotas will be set when and if necessary based on impact on UK infrastructure and needs.
o   Refugees – People seeking Asylum will always be treated as special case with decisions taken under the Royal Prerogative.
o   Immigrants
§  People seeking permanent British Residential Status and Citizenship, either: 
·         Having British Roots:  Will become British Subjects and Citizens of UK and Colonies upon proof of connection which meets  criteria set by Parliament from time to time, or
·         Not having British roots but seeking full British Citizenship:  May become British Subjects and Citizens of UK and Colonies on application and meeting criteria set by Parliament from time to time, after 5 year qualification and contribution period during which time they must have held an appropriate Entry Visa.
§  People seeking Limited Residential Status (Renewable periodically), for the purpose of work, study or investment:
·         Entry Visa conditional upon holding proof, and continued applicability, of full medical insurance cover and proof of:
o   Employment Position covered by Employers Certificate of necessity and  remunerated sufficiently so as to ensure the entrant will be fully self-financing in respect of all own living, accommodation needs and of any admissible accompanying dependents; or
o   Fully funded University (or other approved establishment) place including full living and accommodation expenses or
o   Fully Self Financing in all respect, including medical insurance and ability to maintain investment or bank deposit holdings at level set from time to time by Parliament.
o   Tourists – Time limited Visas subject to proof of Medical Care Insurance and sufficient holding of funds for intended visit activities.
·         The Commonwealth. 
o   Renew emphasis on cooperation with Commonwealth in international affairs
o   Renew and encourage trade with and within the Commonwealth.  Propose a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement.
·         Small Business:
o   Solution to Late Payment Problem – HMRC penalise late payers, via VAT returns.
o   Business Rates – based directly on premises size (area/square footage), not location, use, etc, in two bands: PLCs and SMEs
·         NHS: 
o   NHS UK – stronger Hospital Based structure with autonomous GP practices
o   Care Homes – sourced by Hospitals, from Council, Social, Charity and Private Sector (Nanny cannot do it all)
·         Democracy
o   Parliament
§  Cohesive Parliamentary Structure 
§  Westminster integrated with four National Parliaments – MPs sit at Westminster and in National Parliaments, with additional National Members for PR balance.
§  Repeal the Coalition clamp on motions of confidence and the fixed term restriction of democracy.
o   Recall - Simple system of by election called when 30% of registered voters sign petition.          
o   Binding Local Referenda: Council Decisions, including Planning Consents, overturned by referendum of voters in affected wards when appeal called by 20% of the relevant voters.
·         Smaller Government – Guiding Principle should be to not legislate unless doing so is only solution.
·         Housing – Remit of the National Parliaments but need for a UK regime encouraging first/single home ownership.
·         International Trade –Engage in full trading relationships worldwide with an emphasis on trade with the Commonwealth, EFTA and the USA.
·         Energy
o   Full mix led by nuclear with clean oil, gas and coal technology, fracking, tidal, solar and riparian power.
o   No subsidy, support or targets for intermittent wind or wave power but no bar to private development if Planning Consent, decided “in county”, is agreed. (See Planning).
·         Railways
o   HS2 becomes United Kingdom High Speed Railway (UK HSR):  Floated for public and private investment, build from both ends (and even the middle outwards), including Scotland and Wales.  Must have high freight capacity.
o   Encourage investment in new rail links using fiscal leniency.
o   Review Rail Franchises- longer term investments 
·         Personal Taxation and Welfare Support
o   Properly establish system as advocated by the tax Payers Alliance, whereby a choice between a Citizen Benefit and a Tax free Allowance, removes benefit trap and encourages people to take employment without facing claw-backs.
·         Space Exploration:  Tax free unsubsidized environment to encourage British ventures.
·         Human Trafficking:   Human trafficking has increased; it is abhorrent and a prime cause involves prostitution.    Prostitution cannot be stopped but a safer environment can be created to protect for sex workers as well and creating a disincentive, taking the profit out of human trafficking. 
o   Regulation a preferred,  safer and better route than unenforceable wholesale prohibition
o   License sex workers’ register, approved and held by local authority.
o   Human Trafficking (for any purpose) to carry minimum sentence of 10 years imprisonment without parole
·         Coalition- in extremis only – supply and confidence support
Mike Scott-Hayward

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain

I simply cannot find a party for which to vote which adequately covers all the bases I consider necessary; moreover, those that come close on some points have gained track records of breaking promises.

All I want is an Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain:

Independent Britain

Independent, to emphasize that British sovereignty should no longer be shared or surrendered: Britain governing herself, not governed by any supra national authority – and therefore not in the EU. Britain represented only by the British Government abroad and in all international organisations – such as the UNO, IMF, IMO, NATO, EFTA, et al.

Sovereign Britain

The Sovereign-in-Parliament - the constitutional framework which should be final arbiter over British Citizens

Democratic Britain

Democratic not Bureaucratic: Decision making should wherever possible require or be subject to the endorsement of the people most affected. Our Parliament, as our supreme sovereign authority, subject as it has always meant to be, subject to the democratic will of the British People; its members, our MPs, sitting subject to the goodwill and support of their electing constituents, and hence liable to recall if that goodwill is lost.


It seems to me that my only choice is  to stand again; to stand for North East Fife at the General Election on 7th May 2015.

So today I am launching my appeal to raise money for a deposit and for leaflets if possible.  

Moreover, I have submitted a registration application to the Electoral Commission though they are unlikely to clear it as a "party registration" in time. 

If registered, I will be able to use the description "Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain" on the ballot paper - otherwise I will simply be an Independent.

I will publish a Manifesto here soon. 

Views or comments etc to me via email: independentsovereigndemocraticbritain@outlook.com

Mike Scott-Hayward