Tuesday 31 October 2006

It Seems To Us That He Lived His Life...

The following version of Candle In The Wind is by the admirable Ian Oakley:

Tony Blair: lapdog in the wind

He lived his life like a lapdog on drugs,
Licking George Bush's boots and doing what he was told.
The truth is he lied and lied and lied,
And tens of thousands Iraqis died.
He was a liar and a phoney who did Bush's bidding
When he is gone we will wish he had never beenLike a lapdog in the wind
Bye Bye Blair, I hope you lose all your hair.

I don't think it actually fits the tune: but what the hell?

Meanwhile, this one does, although its author has asked to remain annonymous:

Goodbye Tony Blair
Though we never knew you at all
You had no grace, just span your spin
While those around you fawned
You crawled out of the woodwork
On the back of ninety-seven
That set you on the treadmill
From which you had to change t’world

And it seems to me, you span that web
To bury all that ba-ad news
Never knowing (to) whom to listen
Until Bush got in
And I’d have liked you to leave earlier
But you just pushed right on
Any legend burned out long before
The memory ever will.

Afghanistan was tough
But then Iraq was tougher still
You plagiarised, lied and deceived
For there were no WMD’s
And even though you lied
We never questioned you
And we voted for you again
Now though its time to fade away.


Goodbye Tony Blair
From “terrorising” Walter Wolfgang
Thank goodness you are finally off for good
Only now we’ll have that bloody Brown


Hatty, Patty and Dick

In addition to not depriving me of Gordon Brown's members-only email on climate change today, my "auto-exclusion" from the Labour Party has not deprived me of two of my three votes in the forthcoming elections for Leader and Deputy Leader.

The latter contest is the interesting one. My first preferences will be for the sound Eurosceptic, and sound enough Catholic, Jon Cruddas; and my second preferences will be for Hilary Benn, still known to oppose the Euro and to favour restoring the supremacy of British over EU law. If I indicate third preferences, then they will be the erstwhile Maastricht rebel, Peter Hain.

However, I will not be voting for the war criminal, Jack Straw. I will not be voting for the French-style rabid secularist, Alan Johnson. And I will certainly not be voting for Harriet Harman. Wasn't the old National Council for Civil Liberties hand in glove with the old Paedophile Information Exchange back in the days when the former was run by Hatty and Patty? Yet now Hatty wants to be Deputy Leader, while Patty is actually responsible for social services throughout England. Worth looking into, I feel.

And then there is Richard Dawkins, on record that sexual abuse is less serious than bringing up a child Catholic in the first place, as well as that his own interference with at prep school did him no harm whatever.

Get Over Her!

I have been taken to task by some people for attacking Margaret Thatcher. But did Margaret Thatcher, or did she not, sign the Single European Act? Did she, or did she not, sign the Anglo-Irish Agreement, as well as attempt to reintroduce devolution in Northern Ireland at one time, causing integrationist PPSes to resign? Did she, or did she not, take Britain into the ERM? (And don't give me the "she was bullied" line. Margaret Thatcher was bullied? Pull the other one!)

Did she, or did she not, bring in the Police and Criminal Evidence Act? Did she, or did she not, replace O-levels with GCSEs? Did she, or did she, not, effect the destruction of the stockades of working-class male employment, and thus of paternal authority (especially over teenage boys), in those communities? If you take away the economic clout of teenage boys' and young men's fathers, and you dismantle the institutions through which they exercise their authority, then you rob them of their power over their hot-headed sons. And we all know what happens next. This is not about class: if the same thing were done to the patriarchal figures of upper-middle-class families in the Home Counties, then the same consequences would result.

Did she, or did she not, at least indulge and tacitly encourage the misdefinition of liberty as the "freedom" to do absolutely anything one pleases, and the maxim that "greed is good"? And did she, or did she not, actually say that "there is no such thing as society", by definition including the society that is the family, and the society that is the nation?

So one could go on, and on, and on. Is not Political Correctness a recognisably 1980s phenomenon? Are not Thatcher's arguments against pits, steelworks, shipyards and factories directly applicable to farms? Indeed, did she not continue to subsidise farmers (as I'm very glad that she did), along with fee-paying schools, mortgage-holders and nuclear power (a good idea now, I might add), all for purely political rather than economic reasons, and thus contrary to her own ostensible ideology? Did she not, contrary to that same ideology, decline to privatise the Royal Mail "because it's Royal" (as, again, I'm very glad that she did)?

Did not welfare dependency increase to previously unimaginable proportions on her watch? Was not the provision of local services subjected to an unprecedented degree of central government micromanagement? And did she, or did she not, practically invite in the Argentine forces and then find that a Navy which she had starved of resources effectively had to function as if independent of political (i.e., her) control (a sort of coup), or else the Falkland Islands would be Argentine to this day?

Et cetera, et cetera, et cetera.

Get over her!

Are Americans Having A Laugh?

For their own sakes, I sincerely hope so. The Republicans are now accusing the Iraqis of insurrgency merely in order to influence the American mid-term elections. American voters are just laughing in their faces. Aren't they?

Not The Ten O'Clock News

Or, indeed, the news at any other time. Well, except on Channel Four. On the BBC, we are fed nothing but the reading out of public relations material from Tony Blair's office, David Cameron's office, and certain favoured charities and campaigning organisations. How much longer is this going to go on? And how much worse is it going to become in the meantime?

Nothing Is Too Good For The Workers

I have had quite enough grief from people whom I shall not name, and who sometimes do not even name themselves, about how claiming only the national average wage for full-time work, rather than a full MP's salary, would be all that I deserved anyway, and all that people who shared my views deserved anyway from "their" MP.

Well, I would actually be my constituents' MP, plain and simple. And I am now on record as believing that no EU law should have effect in the UK unless or until it has gone through exactly the same parliamentary process as if it were a Bill which had originated in our own Parliament. This would require Parliament to sit properly, as has not happened for many a long year, precisely because of the EU.

So let me make it clear that I would now indeed claim a full salary, because my constituents would be worth as much as anyone else's, and because I believe that MPs should be made to work proper hours.

Saying The Unsayable At Last

The following, which is applicabale nationally, appears in The Economist:

"Apart from election campaigns, when rising support for far-right political parties in areas such as Dagenham causes alarm, the traditional working class is largely overlooked. When politicians say that some communities are failing to integrate with mainstream society, they mean Muslims from the Indian subcontinent. When campaigners complain that schools are failing some children, they often cite black boys. Yet the nation's most troubled group, in both absolute and relative terms, is poor, white and British-born.

The troubles begin at school. Last year white teenagers entitled to free school meals—the poorest tenth—did worse in crucial GCSE examinations than equally poor members of any other ethnic or racial group. In the borough of Barking and Dagenham, the contrast is sharper still. Just 32% of all white children there got five “good” GCSEs last year, compared with 39% of blacks and 52% of Asians. In Leicester, just 24% of whites got five decent GCSEs.

By tracking tens of thousands of poor children, academics at Bristol University have pinpointed the problem. When poor whites are tested at the age of seven, they fare only slightly worse than poor blacks, and better than poor Pakistani and Bangladeshi children, many of whom are struggling with English. By 14, whites have overhauled blacks and continue to lead the other two groups. But at 16, when futures are decided in the national exams, the white children do worst of all. Poor Indian and Chinese pupils, who have been ahead all along, increase their lead dramatically.

Clearly something happens to white children between the ages of 14 and 16 that does not happen to others. That something is that they write off the value of education in doing well in life. At the same point in their lives, or even earlier, their parents and grandparents came to the same conclusion. John Simkin, who went to school in Dagenham in the 1950s, says the ready availability of factory work made for uninterested and rowdy classrooms. “We didn't believe there was any connection between our school work and what we would do as adults,” he says.

White youngsters who think they can leave school with few or no qualifications and walk into a job are not wholly deluded. Richard Berthoud, who studies the subject at Essex University, points out that whites at all levels of education (including the unskilled) are slightly less likely to be unemployed than are others. But poorly qualified whites face two problems. First, education trumps ethnicity. It takes only a dash of additional qualifications to enhance the job prospects and pay of a black or Asian person. And the competition is hungrier for qualifications: whites are less likely to stay at school beyond the age of 16 than any other group.

One reason poor British whites have escaped scrutiny is that they are less associated with serious criminality than other ethnic groups, particularly Afro-Caribbeans. British blacks are disproportionately young and tend to live in big cities, which are heavily policed. They may be more likely to commit the sort of extravagantly violent crimes that attract stiff sentences. It is this reason, rather than any racial bias in the criminal-justice system, that explains why they are over-represented in prison compared with whites.

But whites actually commit more crime. A large survey carried out by the Home Office in 2003 found that white men were more likely to admit to having broken the law in the past year than were blacks, Asians or people of mixed race. Fully 18% of whites aged 10 to 25 admitted to a violent crime, and 15% said they had committed a theft. Young whites are also most likely to take Class-A drugs (the most serious kind)."

Monday 30 October 2006

Spot The Difference

Some people discuss sexual activity in graphic detail even with very young children. This is called grooming, and is rightly punishable by law. But other people are actually employed and trained by the State to do exactly the same thing, and that for exactly the same purpose, namely to encourage and facilitate sexual activity by chidren, including with adults. Can you spot the difference? I certainly can't. And I really do question the motives of those who seek work as groomers of the latter kind, indistinguishable from the former kind except by being paid (out of general taxation).

Are You Having A Laugh?

Well, I certainly am. The return of The Catherine Tate Show has admirably filled the slot vacated by Extras. However, we still really need a full series of When The Whistle Blows.

One of the most significant weeks in British politics for a very long time

We have just lived through one of the most significant weeks in British politics for a very long time.

Look at the list of Honorary Associates of the National Secular Society. It is clearly the most establishmentarian organisation in the English-speaking world. And that is quite a feat. No doubt it is therefore also one of the richest voluntary bodies in Britain. Again, that is no mean achievement. Meanwhile, we all know about the BBC.

Such people look at the Catholic school system and see their own worst nightmare. Catholic congregations are now replete with first and second-generation university graduates whose parents have never paid a school fee in their lives. What is more, the Catholic community is concentrated in Scotland, the North, the Midlands, and the working-class parts of London.

Yet from such redoubts, previously treated as if they were on the moon by Everyone Who Matters, these jumped-up oiks have now had the audacity to exercise political influence. And they have done so precisely to defend the very institutions that produced them in the first place. Yet, on top of everything else, those institutions have a higher than average ethnic mix, and a long history both of educating and of employing people with Irish surnames.

Where will it all end?

Well, for one thing, the penny might drop that General Elections are not won and lost in the South East. If they were, then there would now be a Tory Government with a large majority. The Tories first nearly and then actually lost office by losing first many and then most of their seats in Scotland, Wales, the North and the Midlands. Their failure to recapture those seats has been their failure to recapture office. Meanwhile, they took back in 2005 most of their 1997 losses in the South East. But so what?

Oh, things are certainly not as they were even only a fortnight ago...

More From Blameron's One-Party Britain

Not only is Louise Bagshawe on the Cameron A-list despite being a Labour Party member in good standing, and not only will she be permitted to retain her Party card even if she is actually elected as a Tory MP (how many more such A-listers are there, one wonders?), but the question also arises of the ageing MPs for safe Labour seats who, in return for peerages, will be announcing their retirements far too late for the normal selection procedures to be gone through, thus enabling the National Executive Committee to impose absolutely anyone it likes. Who will those lucky devils be?

Well, cast your minds back to the last Tory Leadership Election. There are only 450 active Conservative Associations, and half of those admit publicly to having fewer than 100 members each. Yet a quarter of a million people could be found to vote, and more than two thirds of them voted for the BBC-endorsed Blair clone on the ballot paper. Who were they? And where had they been throughout the previous decade? Well, I know who they will be: look out for them as the imposed Labour candidates for safe Labour seats.

I, meanwhile, am told that I have "auto-excluded" myself from the Labour Party, reducing me from three to a mere two votes in the forthcoming Leadership and Deputy Leadership Elections, since I remain a member of two organisations which are actually going to exist by the time of the General Election after next.

Just What We All Need

The European edition of The Economist currently features a front page photograph of Margaret Thatcher with the legend "What France Needs". What, the Single European Act, the Anglo-Irish Agreement, the Exchange Rate Mechanism, the Police and Criminal Evidence Act, the replacement of O-levels with GCSEs, the destruction of the stockades of working-class male employment (and thus of paternal authority, especially over teenage boys, in those communities), the misdefinition of liberty as the "freedom" to do absolutely anything one pleases, and the maxims that "greed is good" and that "there is no such thing as society" (by definition including the society that is the family, and the society that is the nation)? Is that what France needs?

If anything it is Britain that needs a de Gaulle, who stood up for France against German occupation, Soviet infiltration, American domination, and the anti-French unbalancing of the EEC through British admission. He was right on all four counts. We need someone like that, who will stand up for Britain against all comers. Thatcher was no more such a figure than Blair is, or than Cameron would be.

Wednesday 25 October 2006

The Northern Alliance; or should that be The Taliban?

The Northern Alliance would be an association of members, each paying an annual subscription as the core around which to organise further fund-raising.

Across the historic counties of Cheshire, Lancashire, Cumberland, Westmorland, Yorkshire, Durham and Northumberland, each locality's smallest local authority above Parish or Town level should be "twinned" with an authority of comparable population in Scotland, another such in Wales, and a third in London or the South East. The aim would be for not less than equality between the Northern area and each of its three "twins" in employment, in wages, in incomes overall, and in both spending and outcomes in relation to each of education, training, health, social services, housing, transport, law and order, and culture, media and sport.

In every year when this was the case across all the areas in question, then the monies raised would be divided equally among the offices of all MPs. But in any year when it was not thus the case, then those monies would be divided equally among the members as a sort of dividend.

And a Western Alliance? Good luck to them!

Truly Amazing At Last

Lat night's episode of The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, while it was mostly still silly (no doubt the BBC seriously believes that a Prime Minister from the North of England, as well as being comically improbable in itself, would seek to move Parliament to Bradford and sell off Whitehall), contained the brilliant, if unoriginal, idea that EU legislation should only apply in this country once it has gone through exactly the same parliamentary process as has homegrown legislation. How many people realise that this does not already happen? Why does it not happen? When is it going to be made to happen? And how did so splendid an idea ever make it onto the BBC?

We Name The Guilty Persons

The following has just been sent to Peter.Young@ncjmedia.co.uk, jnl.newsdesk@ncjmedia.co.uk, echo@nne.co.uk, advertiser.editorial@nne.co.uk, strobes@private-eye.co.uk, michael.white@guardian.co.uk, a.grice@independent.co.uk, george.jones@telegraph.co.uk, philip.webster@thetimes.co.uk, editor@ft.com, b.brogan@dailymail.co.uk, kevin.maguire@mirror.co.uk, trevor.kavanagh@the-sun.co.uk, news.desk@express.co.uk, news@dailystar.co.uk, info@newstatesman.co.uk, editor@spectator.co.uk, nick.robinson@bbc.co.uk, today@bbc.co.uk, daily.politics@bbc.co.uk, vine@bbc.co.uk, wato@bbc.co.uk, pm@bbc.co.uk, peter.barron@bbc.co.uk and jon.snow@itn.co.uk:

The Labour Party and its Senior Constitutional Officer (Eric Wilson -- Eric_Wilson@labour.org.uk) have absolutely refused to investigate the separate political party flagrantly being maintained within the Labour Party in opposition to the Labour Leadership on Derwentside District Council, a local authority nationally recognised as highly effective, with several Beacon Status awards and so forth. Therefore, I (Secretary of Derwentside District Labour Party from 2003 to 2006) hereby use this means, together with http://davidaslindsay.blogspot.com/, to demand publicly that there be an investigation, whether by the Labour Party or by anyone else, into the activities of each and all of the following:

Hilary Armstrong, MP for Durham North-West;

Neil Fleming, Hilary Armstrong's researcher and preferred successor;

Kevan Jones, MP for Durham North;

Bob Young, County Councillor and open-casting millionaire;

David Hodgson, Bob Young's predecessor, but also a former District Councillor who was found in the mid-1990s to have fiddled his expenses in order to fund his notorious drinking, yet who has now been given overall control of the selection of Labour candidates in next year's elections to that very same Council;

Atherley Hodgson, David Hodgson's brother and a District Councillor, who this year stood unsuccessfully for Leader of the Labour Group, and then abstained at the Full Council AGM rather than vote to re-elect Alex Watson, yet who somehow manages to retain the Labour Whip;

Cath Clarke, who also abstained rather than vote for Alex Watson as Leader of the Council, yet who also somehow manages to retain the Labour Whip;

Peter Hughes, employed to run services to District Councillors, but also a member of the Constituency and District Labour Parties, close to Bob Young, and from whose email address emails to Councillors are returned with remarkable frequency;

All Derwentside District Councillors in Kevan Jones's constituency, unless exempted by Alex Watson (a.watson@derwentside.gov.uk); and

The North Durham and North-West Durham Constituency Labour Parties, as such, which should therefore be suspended.

Monday 23 October 2006

Blameronism: A Cause For Complaint

All members of the Labour Party, and indeed all concerned persons, should complain to that Party's Membership Department (join@labour.org.uk) about the existence within it of a separate political organisation, i.e., a party within the Party. I refer to the Blameronite Party (formerly the Blairtilloite Party).

This organisation's existence is now beyond dispute. It has its own source of funds, namely the criminal sale of peerages out of Tony Blair's office. Its members include Louise Bagshawe, who appears on David Cameron's A-list while unable to explain when, how or why she ever left the Labour Party (which she only ever joined because of Tony Blair), leading one to assume that she has not in fact done so at all. And its Publicity Department is briefing furiously in favour of a Cameron victory over Gordon Brown as, to no one's surprise, Blair's preferred outcome to the next General Election, an outcome for which he will undoubtedly vote in the privacy of the polling booth. These are by no means the only examples of proof: there is simply no doubt.

Keeping It In The Family

We should all be standing up to the Creepy Electoral Commission, for Constituency Campaigning Services and for the Midlands Industial Council (it's the being provincial that really annoys the Creepy Electoral Commission). If this persecution succeeds, then the next target, which is in fact the real intended target, will be the political campaigning and research work of the trade unions, which Labour would also traditionally describe as "part of the family", but which the powers behind Hazel Blears doubtless would not.

It is already illegal to put any designation other than "Independent" on a ballot paper unless it is the name of a party whose constitution (including, of course, it aims and objectives) and whose Leader have been approved by the Creepy Electoral Commission, which has the effrontery to charge £150 for this privilege, plus a further £25 every year. The ultimate intention is that no one should be allowed to contest any election except at taxpayers' expense and thus with the approval of some commission appointed around Oxbridge high tables or at dinner parties in the most chi-chi parts of London.

Saturday 21 October 2006

Behind The Veil

The niqab does not appear to be of Islamic origin at all: it was a status symbol among upper-class women in the (of course, Christian) Byzantine Empire, enabling them to walk the streets without being mistaken for street-walkers. As Islam conquered that Empire's Levantine and North African provinces, this, among much else, was taken on. But it almost certainly has absolutely nothing to do with Islam as such.

By all means let both men and women dress modestly. I do not want to see practically naked girls falling down drunk in the gutter, and I see no reason to regard them as having been liberated, but the very reverse. However, I object in the strongest possible terms to the idea that, simply because one finds women sexually attractive, one might jump on any woman if one can see anything more of her than her eyes. This is just as objectionable as the genital mutilation of male infants, and the sale of adolescent boys to the highest bidder through the dowry system.


The specific offence of rape should be abolished, since it serves only to keep on the streets people who ought to be behind bars. Instead, the sexual element should be made an aggravating factor in offences against the person generally, enabling the maximum sentence to be doubled.

That way, a few silly cases that currently come to court would not do so, while many serious cases that currently either never make it to court or end in an acquittal would at least end in a conviction for something. My jaw drops when I hear or read reports (no doubt truthful) of women with serious injuries whose assailants were never charged with anything because there was considered little or no chance of a conviction for rape. Why were they not charged with, say, grievous bodily harm? This way, they would be.

Furthermore, this would be achieved without compromising fundamental principles such as trial by jury and the burden of proof on the part of the prosecution, both of which have already been eroded far too much (i.e., particularly in the latter case, at all).

At the same time, why is no one asking why, if there are so few convictions for rape, almost nobody who makes a false allegation of rape is ever even charged with perjury (with which, given its prevelance, next to nobody is ever charged in general), or with perverting the course of justice, or with making false statements to the Police?

Britain's Foreign Nationalists

There were two foreign nationalist movements in post-War Britain. One of them could defend even the invasions of Hungary, Czechoslovakia and Afghanistan. The other could defend even an act of high treason against The Queen, in the interests of the Boer Republic set up as an explicit act of anti-British revenge in a former Dominion of the Crown by people who had been interred during the War because of their pro-Nazi activities.

Bizarrely, the former enjoyed considerable influence within the wider Labour Movement. Just as bizarrely, the latter enjoyed considerable influence within the Tory subculture. Furthermore, there were Soviet sympathisers on that subculture’s intellectual fringes, as there were Boer sympathisers in that Movement’s less educated corners.

Today, Britain is again afflicted with two small but well-placed foreign nationalisms. The first is neoconservatism, which has merely changed Marxism’s ending so that the bourgeoisie wins, and thus so that the most bourgeois of countries (which is not Britain) wins. And the second is Islam. Not “a perversion of Islam”, but any religion or ideology deriving honestly from the Qur'an and the Hadith.

The Party Leaders are close to the first, and depend on it in internal party terms. Yet they are also afraid of the second, both at home and abroad. So they must constantly placate both. This is one of the key reasons why ever-fewer people vote, calling our democracy ever-more into question.

We need to recreate the cross-party movement that resisted both the Soviet Union’s and the Boer Republic’s supporters, so as to resist both foreign nationalisms today. We need British politicians who will stand up for Britain against all comers. From the bottom up, and for these among many other reasons, we need to replace both parties.

Question Time

This week's Question Time, which devoted fully half its time to discussing the veil, came from what appeared to be a three-quarters empty auditorium (in Preston). This followed on from "Party" "Conferences" also completely unable to fill, or anything approaching fill, their venues. Even The X-Factor now seems to be held in a village hall or something, in order to give the illusion that there are far more people present than is actually the case. What is going on?

Meanwhile, what a surprise that Chris Huhne, the past and future BBC-endorsed neocon candidate for Leader of the allegedly anti-war Liberal Democrats, used Question Time to demand that General Sir Richard Dannatt be sacked for telling the truth about Iraq. Or was it really for saying that Britain had a Christian heritage?

A Load of Horrocks

People who have been enjoying Jane Horrocks in The Amazing Mrs Pritchard need to consider that, in point of fact, a faction devoid either of political principle or of practical policy, and led by someone who neither knew nor cared anything about politics, has won at least the last three, and argubaly four, General Elections. All three parties are now controlled by that faction, which is indivisible across the three of them and beyond.

A Few Steps In The Right Direction

It seems that after Blameronism, Brameronism. But who is going to be on the Brameronite NHS Board? The NHS, through the Secretary of State for Health, is currently accountable to the House of Commons. It is also consistently the electorate’s number one concern.

But now the electorate, as such, actually cannot even care about interest rates, even though the public certainly does. And Brown seems determined to do the same thing to health policy, once again reversing one of Labour greatest democratising achievements.

With no say over either monetary policy or health policy, what will politicians be for? There will still be education, and transport, and policing, and social security, and foreign policy, and defence, and a host of other matters. But for how much longer? The precedent will be well and truly set. Parliament will go the way of local councils, except voluntarily.

We should insist on a directly elected NHS Board, if we must have one at all. In Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and each of the nine English regions, we would each vote for one candidate. The top three would be elected to serve a four-year term. There would also be a Chairman, appointed by the Secretary of State with the approval of the House of Commons.

The Board would meet in public under any circumstance when a council would do so. And the candidates would be sufficiently independent to qualify in principle for the Remuneration Panels of their local authorities.

This pattern would also be applied to the BBC Governors (in which case the voters and candidates would be licence-payers), to Ofcom, to the Press Complaints Commission, and to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority, just for a start.

Not the necessary restoration and extension of the powers both of Parliament and of local government. But a few steps in the right direction.

We Could Call It Democracy

In the course of each Parliament, the two highest-scoring Leadership candidates produced by a party's internal procedures should be put to an independent, binding ballot of every registered elector in the United Kingdom.

Likewise, each party at constituency level should submit its shortlist of two potential parliamentary candidates to such a ballot of every registered elector in that constituency. The deposit system should be replaced with a requirement to be nominated by, say, fifteen per cent of the electorate, which would still allow for up to six candidates.

And each branch of each party (including branches of affiliated organisations in Labour's case) should suggest up to three policies. Members at branch level would vote for one, with the three receiving the highest numbers of votes from each branch going forward. The ten highest scorers nationwide would then go out to a ballot of the whole electorate, with each voter entitled to vote for up to two. The top five would then be included in the subsequent General Election Manifesto, with all the pressure that particularly popular policies would thus put on the other parties.

Furthermore, each MP who takes his or her seat should be given a tax-free allowance of a fixed sum of money, publicly transferable to a registered political party, conditional upon matching funding by resolution of a membership organisation. The name of that organisation would then appear on the ballot paper after the party designation next to that MP's name. Party spending would be limited to twice the number of MPs multiplied by the amount of that allowance.

We could call it democracy.