Monthly Archives: January 2012

Crucial Policies for a New Political Party! Is there the will?

1. HEALTH – Nothing in this world should be more important to any government that its citizens’ health. It is easy on this planet to think of people as group. Some are born, some die, but there is always “the people”.

However, each person is an individual being, living their one and only life. These individuals can be expected to contribute to the well being of others in their country, and should put in their fair share of work and endeavour. Some, though, are less intelligent, have fewer abilities, are disabled or suffer from poor health or genetic conditions. There is no justification for the rest of society to treat them as second class citizens.

In addition some people will have bad luck in their lives. The difference between a successful entrepreneur and a bankrupt is not always the skill and talent of the individuals. They can sometimes be separated in their achievements by being in the wrong place at the wrong time or getting caught out by market changes. My book provides two prime examples of this happening in real life.

The wealthy and successful are too ready to criticise and categorise the rest.

Whatever a  person’s status in society, monetary achievement, physical or mental ability, they deserve as good health care as any other person.

Once that premise is accepted, and it would be a selfish person indeed to deny it, then it simplifies health policy.

  • The finest health care in the land should be available for everyone in the land – free for all at the point of use (millionaires or tramps).
  • Health care should be paid by central government out of general taxation to the necessary level and standard to satisfy all. The standard of care should be as good as in any private clinic.
  • Private clinics can still be available for those who wish to pay for their rooms to be private or equipped with 3D TV or WiFi, or to buy therapies which the national health body considers ineffective or unnecessary. That is their prerogative in a free market society. The key, though, is that it must not be necessary to use these alternatives in order to get a better level of health care.

My next post will deal with the other prime policy a new political party will need to adopt in order to improve our world.

If I am on the right wavelength please repost, re-tweet or share this item. Let’s see if we can find a third way!

Is £960,000 a fair bonus for RBS chief?

Appropriate to my last post, the RBS – you know the bankrupt bank the government bailed out with our money –  has announced a £960,000 bonus for its CEO who is already on a £1,200,000 salary.

[If you are in the US, a pound is about 1.5 dollars so multiply by that to make a comparison]

If this were taxed at 95% it would be fine because he would be walking away with not much more than quarter of a million pounds which, I suppose, is what you would consider to be a captain of industry’s salary. This is, however, an employee’s salary. He is not the inventor or creator of the business, neither is he the entrepreneur who set up and risked his all in building a business from scratch. He is an employee!

However, with the current taxation system this man is going to walk away with well over a million pounds for his year’s work and can look forward to the same sort of income for the foreseeable future.

What on earth does someone do with such money? Not just once, when you might buy a mansion or a fabulous yacht, but year after year after year after year?

Think about it in actual money terms. This is £19,000 per WEEK. Two weeks buy a Range Rover, another week the cruise of a lifetime, another week Eton school fees, another week, refurnish your entire house, another week, a year’s pay for the cleaner, another week, a year’s pay for the gardener.

HOW can you spend that much? And many FTSE company bosses earn four or five times that sum of money.

It is an obscene amount of income for an employee. No one can justify it. Even if the business improves by billions, it does not warrant such a salary. It has all got badly out of kilter and the government needs to tax it out of existence.

If something is not done about this there will, eventually, be a backlash. This sort of money is just rubbing the noses of the average person in the ground.

Action now, please, Mr Chancellor. Somehow, although the chancellor earns barely £100,000 per annum, his multi-million pound wealth might blinker his view of how bad these top salaries really are.

Fairness – the wealthy government ministers don’t understand

When it was discussed that the 50p tax rate should be dropped, the argument put forward was that it hardly brought in any revenue so its adverse effect on entrepreneurship meant that it should be dropped.

This demonstrates an absolute misunderstanding of fairness. It really doesn’t matter how little revenue such a tax generates, the element of fairness is that people earning six figure salaries are paying a larger amount into our country’s community coffers. It is seen to be fair.

It has been said that if we try to tax huge bonuses, the people will move out of the UK. Perhaps some will, but there is always new talent rising out of the masses and if they want to throw over jobs which pay huge bonuses and think they can do better in Germany or Brazil, frankly we should let them go. If the UK leads the way, others will follow.

Entrepreneurs who build businesses worth mega-millions will have had to risk their own money and, often, had to stake their homes to succeed. I have no problem with the Dyson’s of this world earning millions upon millions each year. Dyson, Gates and others have thrown their all into building their empires and we all know that enough businesses have failed over the years leaving similar geniuses bankrupt. It is the risk that makes it fair that they should benefit from their achievements. I know from experience. We were on the verge of great things when it all went wrong in 1990 recession and we almost lost everything. The luck of the draw, really.

BUT, when a salaried employee at, say a bank or supermarket chain, is paid two or three million a year it really is obscene. The heads of Tesco, Sainsbury’s, Royal Bank of Scotland etc. have never risked any of their own resources in building the businesses for their shareholders! Yes, they should get a fair and proper salary, perhaps it could be half a million a year, but surely not an amount larger than some of the largest lottery wins every single year that they stay in their jobs. Even when RBS was going great guns, what gave Fred the shred the right to a pension pot that would pay him about a million a year for the rest of his life? Somehow he even managed to retain that pension pot when he bankrupt the company. HE LOST NOTHING!

The big shareholders, the people who look after pension funds should be stopping these huge salaries. The trouble is that the type of person who represents, say Norwich Union, at the Tesco AGM is also on a megabuck salary. These guys are voting themselves an upward spiral of income beyond all common sense.

Government has the ability to stop these spiralling salaries using the tax system. Salaries between £100k and £200k should be taxed, as now, at 50p, but then it needs to accelerate. If your company wants to pay you a million a year, then it will be taxed at 75p, two million at 85p, three million at 95p and so on. The companies would soon stop the escallation.

Remember that this is salaries and does not hurt the entrepreneur who will probably get most of his income from dividends. The Dyson’s, Sugar’s and other successful entrepreneurs of the country can earn their millions … and good luck to them.

Does this mean all the best people will leave and take jobs elsewhere? Many will, but it is a fact of life that every chief executive of a large organisation has a whole team of top and middle managers just dying for the opportunity to step into his shoes. Give it a year or two and the whole thing will have evened out.

We need to ask whether Fred the Shred was an irreplaceable genius or whether he just appeared to be the best of the bunch when he rose to the top. Believe me, if he had been hit by a bus the week he became chief exec of RBS, someone else would have stepped into the job. Also look at Tesco. What an incredible job the CEO did building it the last few years, but what happened in 2011? So, what a surprise, Clarke was not infallible, so why was he paid as if he was? Others, great retailers, coming from within the company or from other companies could have stepped in and, perhaps, done even better. There is ALWAYS someone to step into the boss’s shoes, ALWAYS!

Am I advocating some sort of communism? Of course not, I am asking for a government of this country to not just give lip service to fairness, but to actually take action to achieve it. The escalating tax system need not be introduced in a single measure, but could build up over say two or three years.

Frankly, the people more interested in personal greed will leave the country. See how they do overseas. Do we really care as long as people who deserve the promotion end up with good salaries over several hundred thousand a year by stepping up into their shoes? It takes a genius to build their own business, it just needs skill and ingenuity to run a large corporation.

The tax system will also, of course, stop the obscene bonuses in the city. The edge will be taken off a one million pound trader’s bonus if 70 or 80% of it is going to disappear in tax!

The problem in this country currently is that there is no sensible socialist party. There is the current labour party who are not only scared to be so radical, but also incapable of grasping the opportunity to jump on the fairness bandwagon, and then the radical socialist groups who, frankly, would be a disaster if ever they got any power.

We need a new social democrat party and there is no one out there to deliver it?

What can you do? If you think some of what I say is on the right track then please share this post with as many people as you can. Social networks have great power – just look at the middle east. Can it cause a new political party, The Fair Party, to be formed? Please share if you even hope it can.

Ed Miliband – Hopeless Speech Maker

I am listening to Mr Miliband giving his speech. Before going on to the speech itself, I must ask the question, why oh why did the organisers allow the leader of the opposition to give an important speech with boats and trucks, bikes and seagulls passing by behind him? What an idiotic distraction. This is such an elementary mistake it makes it obvious that the man is surrounded by a bunch of amateurs.

On the speech itself, if you take out the text it is actually very good indeed, but the delivery by Mr Miliband is absolutely abysmal. The emphasis is on the wrong words; there is no punch to the important points; it sounds as if he is going to burst into tears any moment.

Just take, “We can deliver fairness even when there is less money around”. This was delivered in a tearful monotone when the word “can” should have been punched out after a strong “we”. The descending emphasis applied later to “even in these tough times” showed a resignation, not an enthusiasm for change. It wasn’t the actual text, it was in the delivery.

We must get rid of this man or face a Tory government for another 8 years. Well the English will, anyway!

This is Cynical Interference in Scottish Affairs by Unpopular Tories

If you agree with this post please tell people about it and forward it to everyone you can.

We all know that the Scotland act does not permit the SNP to choose the date of, or question asked, in an Independence referendum, but is the Westminster Parliament going to run roughshod over the wishes of the Scottish people just because they can? Clearly the Westminster parliament should take the Scottish people’s wishes (as chosen in the campaign) to have the referendum at the end of the parliament as being important.

Instead, suddenly the Tory government (whoops, sorry coalition) have started to get nervy about the success of the SNP government in Scotland.

Alex Salmond is clearly a very skillful politician and he wants to hold the referendum on Independence at a time which suits him. A lot of thought obviously went into this before the Scottish election and it was decided that it should occur towards the end of the parliament (2014) and that was put to the electorate. The SNP had a truly stunning victory, securing an overall majority which was something Westminster had tried to ensure could never be achieved by any Scottish party.

It is obvious that while the country is still climbing out of the recession caused by the international banks, the pro-free-Scotland politicians do not want to put the referendum to the people. This is probably one of the reasons it is to be towards the end of the parliament.

A rattled David Cameron plus his one and only MP in Scotland (if you don’t count Danny Alexander) are saying that business is getting nervous and worried about investing in Scotland because of the uncertainty.

The Scottish Institute of Directors said tonight on BBC that this is just not true and attempts by the BBC newsreader to try to trap the Institute into not supporting Independence failed. The Institute would not comment either way.

Whatever the legalities, the matter of Scottish Independence is unquestionably a matter for the Scottish people. Whatever the legalities, the timing of the referendum is a matter for the Scottish Government.

The BBC, no doubt being encouraged by the government and other unionist forces, are trying to stir up trouble by forcing an earlier referendum at a time which does not suit the SNP government.

They need to realise that middle of the road business people like me will not be swayed by such tactics – EITHER WAY – and we will fiercely resist interference which is something for us, not the rest of the UK at this stage.

Red herring legal matters are just trying to scare the ignorant and claims that jobs are being lost owing to the uncertainty is a deliberate lie. Of course some businesses would not invest in a free Scotland, but equally many would fall over themselves to invest in a free Scotland – especially ex patriot businessmen. Scotland would almost certainly get an enormous boost from overseas investment after independence and that … rightfully … might frighten David Cameron!

Continue to interfere at your peril, Westminster, let things run their course. Let the referendum take place at the time the Scottish Government has promised. If it is positive, then the legal matters can kick in.

There is a huge amount to think about here and it needs time. 2014 will allow the necessary time.

 

Finally Some Sunshine At Loch Ness

Sunshine at Loch Ness at lastAs I looked out of the window across the silver grey mass of Loch Ness this morning, the sky looked as grey as it has been for the last month or so.

Then while taking in the first mug of tea of the day and listening to David Cameron’s plans for telling Scotland how to conduct its affairs, I was hit in the face by the rays from a huge ball of light known as Sol.

Could it be that finally, the run of awful weather could be coming to an end? Slivers of powder blue were making their way eastwards and by the time I took this photograph the whole of the loch was bathed in sunshine.

However, I regret to inform that by the time I decided to pen something about it, the grey, albeit a bright grey, was spreading from the west again contrary to weather forecasts and hopes.

In fact, on Saturday, the forecasts all promised the Highlands around Inverness a lovely day with just an odd scattered shower. In fact it turned into almost continuous torrential rain. How can they get it so wrong?

Anyway, finishing off this blog item I can see brightness fighting its way through again.

We live in hope, if not expectation.

David Cameron & Danny Alexander Stick Their Noses into Scottish Affairs

How dare these two UK coalition partners, with no mandate whatsoever from the Scottish people, stick their noses into Alex Salmond’s decision-making process on when to hold a referendum on Scottish Independence.

The delay is not hurting the Scottish economy except in the minds of rich Tory CEOs who have now instigated their war against the Scottish people.

Danny, you should be ashamed.

The Scottish parliament was designed by Westminster so that it would NEVER provide an overall majority to any party. Well, Westminster, the SNP HAVE obtained an overall majority and you need to keep your noses out while the SCOTTISH people think about what they intend to do.

Don’t panic, we have no intention of reclaiming our queen. We’ll be happy to share her with you!