Saturday, 16 September 2017


Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain

Happily, we will now get an Independent Sovereign Democratic Britain, delivered by Brexit.
British sovereignty should no longer be shared and we should be represented abroad by only the British Government; the Sovereign-in-Parliament should be the final arbiter over British Subjects; and we should be Democratic not Bureaucratic.
I stood fast for this—I even had to leave Cameron’s Conservatives—but now the Referendum has delivered our British Will on this, even though the Liberal Democrats do not understand that. I want to be in Parliament to see that this is delivered.

I want to see stronger Defence—it has been cut too far; by definition,  no crystal ball can forecast when we may face an unforeseen danger.
I also want to see better use of the Armed Services abroad, used together with a Civilian Overseas Aid Service, to deliver Foreign Aid in kind on scene (no money handed over); and to be ready to help when Humanitarian and Natural Disasters occur. We need some change in Force structures and some new ships—Logistics, Humanitarian and Military Command and Support ships.  We should consider National Citizenship Service to augment Defence and Humanitarian Aid capabilities.

A Strategic Defence Review should look again at Force roles across the Globe, at Home Based Quick Reaction Mobile Regular Forces and at establishing Commonwealth Naval Task Groups, not least to share meeting Disaster Relief scenarios.
Security, Intelligence and Surveillance must be fully funded.

UK Border Controls and Immigration, post Brexit, should be wholly subject to the sovereign will of Parliament which alone should set and alter these laws and rules as required from time to time. 

Parliament should establish new criteria for British Citizenship, Immigration and Visa entry policies. 
I consider that we should avoid setting Migration level targets—the numbers are always arbitrary—but rely instead on sensible and balanced criteria.
For example, except for security reasons, tourists and visitors should be able to enter with minimal fuss, albeit with an insistence on the visitor being self sufficient and holding health cover insurance for the duration of the agreed length of stay.  Work Visas should be issued when jobs have been secured and health cover insurance provided by the visitor or employer. The employer might need to show that local recruitment was impractical.  A variety of visas would be needed -to cover students, for example.

Refugees should always be given exactly that— safe refuge—where there is a genuine need and usually where a proper approach has been made to the first British Authority with whom the refugee can make contact.  Refugees should be brought to Britain under proper control and suitably accommodated; their aim should be to return home when safe; otherwise, after a period set by Parliament, they should apply for citizenship and full residential status.
As I would like to introduce National Citizenship Service after the age of 18, I would like so see  all applicants for citizenship having to undertake such service, and to pass an English test.

Our Commonwealth Links have sadly diminished since we joined the EC/EU and we must revitalise those relationships in terms of free trade, cultural exchange and strengthen Defence co-operation. I’d propose a Commonwealth Free Trade Agreement.

Small Business: I have a solution to Late Payment Problem: HMRC should penalise late payers, via VAT returns. And I think the Business Rates system across the UK must be radically simplified to be based only on premises size (square footage), regardless of  site location or use, etc, in two bands: one for PLCs and a capped lower rate for SMEs.

National Lottery Ticket’s should include five option boxes so we can direct what benefits:  Research, NHS, Defence, Art & Culture and Community.
 Farming and Fishing should continue to receive, directly from the British Government, the subsidies currently received via Brussels.  Parliament should then, consulting with those industries, change  policies so that both CFP and the CAP fits our circumstances.

Universities  need a guarantee that there will be no non-security restrictions on visas for foreign staff or students.  Attracting foreign investment should be encouraged.

The NHS is vital but a thorough review is needed to get the available money more directly to the point of need.

Food and Fuel Poverty is best combatted by a good economy but we should immediately defy EU restraints and stop VAT on domestic energy.

Space Exploration:  Create a tax free unsubsidized regime to build the British Space Industry.

No more Onshore Wind Turbines unless directly owned, unsubsidized and run by local communities themselves.

Housing needs should be supported with any available public monies primarily being injected to support start up private home ownership.

Tuesday, 12 September 2017

The Caribbean et al

In  my Election Address for 8th June 2017, I said:


"I 
want to see stronger Defence—it has been cut too far; by definition,  no crystal ball can forecast when we may face an unforeseen danger.

So I also want to see better use of the Armed Services abroad, used together with a Civilian Overseas Aid Service, to deliver Foreign Aid in kind on scene (no money handed over); and to be ready to help when Humanitarian and Natural Disasters– we need some change in Force structures and some new ships—Logistics, Humanitarian and Military Command and Support ships.  We should consider National Citizenship Service to augment Defence and Humanitarian Aid capabilities.
A Strategic Defence Review should look at Force roles across the Globe, at Home Based Quick Reaction Mobile Regular Forces and at establishing Commonwealth Naval Task Groups, not least to share meeting Disaster Relief scenarios."

That view was rejected by North East Fife but I still maintain the concept is a good one.



Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Why do Police Scotland not budge on voluntary civil aviation help?

In 2013, Willie Rennie MSP (Mid Scotland and Fife) (Scottish Liberal Democrats) asked the Scottish Government what the position was on the role of the civil air patrol service in carrying out extended searches and about what discussions it had had with the service regarding its future role. (S4W-18227).

 Kenny MacAskill replied that the Scottish Government valued the contributions of volunteers, including Civil Air Patrol members to resilience and emergency response work, and that it had been in discussion with Civil Air Patrol, Police Scotland and the Civil Aviation Authority on the issue.

The Scottish Government and Police Scotland had asked the Civil Aviation Authority to determine measures necessary to be taken to remove any regulatory barriers to Police Scotland tasking Civil Air Patrol to assist in search operations.

Mr Rennie also asked the Scottish Government what its position was on Police Scotland’s then decision to no longer use the civil air patrol service and what discussions it had had with Police Scotland regarding that. (S4W-18228).

Mr MacAskill replied that tasking decisions on the use of particular assets are operational matters for Police Scotland. The Scottish Government and Police Scotland had asked the Civil Aviation Authority to determine what measures could be taken to remove any existing regulatory barriers to Police Scotland working with the Civil Air Patrol service.

Since then not much progress appears to have been reported and just this week we have had the horrible news of a crashed car going unnoticed for 3 days despite at least one report to a control room.  Mr Rennie has commented on the tragedy but even he has failed to connect the matter with his his earlier questions, which he does not appear since to have pursued anyway.

Now, lines of sight are an interesting topic - I can quite see why someone sitting in a car, a police patrol car for example, might not see a crashed vehicle lying below his line of vision  below a bank.

But I also know that the perspective chances quite considerable from a more elevated position - from an aircraft flying overhead, for example.   In the case in point, woodland may have obscured even that line of sight.

None of this is a good reason for Police Scotland to not work with the Civil Air Patrol. The  Police do so in England.

Sunday, 14 June 2015

Unionist Strategy for Scotland's Holyrood Elections.

The SNP won 56 seats out of 59 on the first past the post vote - the Unionist vote was as good, about equal to the nationalist vote, but divided between Labour, Conservatives and Lib Dems. 

Had the Unionist held open primaries to select a Unionist Candidate per seat, the Unionist side might have taken half the seats.

In late summer 2014, after the referendum , I suggested Unionist should discuss this - the Conservatives replied the next day stating they would do no deals. 

In North East Fife (NEF), the Lib Dems really believed that they would get more than the SNP even when Ashcroft polls showed the SNP on 40/45% with Lib Dems on 30% and Tories on 14% - and the result was on those lines.

The Tories, likewise, told all who would listen that they were going to win. 

Party came before common sense and statistics. That was clear, as even the NO campaign saw each party trying to get credit for being the backbone of Unionism. 

Tories here (NEF) would not concede that a single Unionist would be better, as they wanted the satisfaction of Tories beating the Lib Dems, which they thought they'd do as Ming Campbell had stood down.

It is now past time for Unionists in Scotland to reform - they need a broad coalition or at least a deal to stop the SNP clean-sweeping at Holyrood in 2016. 

I suggest they hold cross party open primaries to select the single Unionist candidate for in each constituency.  The parties should still put forward full party list for the Additional Members contest.

The alternative way to put the full glare on the SNP in power in Holyrood is for Cameron to give Holyrood full fiscal autonomy now.

The SNP, Sturgeon and Swiney, should immediatley have to carry the full the can for a Scottish Budget from the Autumn statement onwards.  That would remove any case the SNP could make to blame Westmintser as usual, and dodge those realities already evident  - such as the poorer showing of the NHS and Education in Scotland compared to England, etc.

Let Unionist parties in Scotland now develop a joint selfless strategy.

Sunday, 17 May 2015

UN is not fit - it must get a peace-maker role

The UN needs to mandate action (I have written about the drag of a single veto - it should not stop an 80% mandate of the General Assembly) for the best and most effective forces in the world to implement - the British Armed Forces. No dodgy Blairite dossiers, no wishy-washy bomb from a safe distance USA sorties - any soldier knows one must take and hold ground to neutralize an opponent.