Q: why does it take flooding in the Thames Valley before the Westminster village wakes up to a problem?
A: because we don’t have a functional democratic system in this country. What we need is more devolved power and control and money. If that had been in place we would’ve had more effective local planning and regional planning for exactly these kinds of events, and the ability for us all to make the appropriate decisions for ourselves in our local communities and regions, instead of being dependent on and waiting for the attention of Westminster.
Q: Should people accused of rape be given anonymity prior to charge or conviction?
A: Same rules should apply as other cases, before charge yes but after charge and before conviction the judge should make a decision about what is necessary to ensure a fair trial. This is a matter for the judiciary and the legal system to define.
Q: How can State schools be the same as private schools with half the funding and twice the pupils?
A: Under those conditions, of course they can’t. The problem is not how much rich people are prepared to spend on their children’s education, the issue is what we as a society are prepared to invest in the education of our young. Our state system has the ability to deliver a better education at a lower cost per pupil, but we need to stop meddling from Westminster in how our schools are run.
Q: Will the revival of the 50p tax rate lead to the wealthiest individuals leaving the UK?
A: No, the revival of a 50p rate will not lead to the wealthiest individuals leaving the UK, they have already left the UK and currently claim non-dom status.
Tax evasion and avoidance currently costs the UK Treasury around £18 billion a year, which is 1,000 times more money than is expected to be raised from increasing the maximum rate to 50p. The majority of this is facilitated by tax havens sheltering under the umbrella of the U.K.’s excellent legal system. We can and must do whatever is possible to prevent the ultra wealthy from claiming some form of noncitizen status, avoiding all taxes. LIFE will levy income taxes on all UK citizens’ worldwide income – just like the United States of America does for its citizens.
LIFE will have a maximum rate that will not exceed 50p, because we understand that anyone who succeeds in earning a lot of money in the UK does so because we have the social, legal, and economic infrastructure in place, that the citizenry of the country have paid for, and that enables them to make a lot of money. Anyone who thinks they can earn the same amount of money, and enjoy it as peacefully, in some other place around the world should go there.
Q: If you have chosen to live below sea level in Somerset, is it reasonable to assume you will be flooded?
A: Yes, of course, but if that is the only question you ask, you have missed the point. It is not the fact that these areas have flooded that is the issue, it is the severity and the extent of the flooding that is the problem being highlighted by those living in the affected area. To leads to 2 questions: one is, why is the flooding so bad this time, and the other is why hasn’t more been done to mitigate the problem? The answer to both of these questions is substantially found in the fact that we have an overly centralised country, and trying to run everything out of Whitehall in London is never going to provide the appropriate solutions or the efficient use of the resources available. We can and must push more responsibility and money down to local and regional governments so that they can apply the necessary solutions to their specific circumstances.
Q: Should foreign-born criminals be able to have their citizenship revoked?
A: Citizenship is not something that any country should be able to revoke for any citizen. Whenever any citizen commits a crime, be that a terrorist type of offence or any other, then it is the country’s responsibility to use their legal system to prosecute the offender. And I speak as a foreign-born citizen, can you make a distinction between me and some other kind of citizen to which this rule to be able to revoke someone’s citizenship would be applicable?
Q: Is the UK government doing enough to help Syrian refugees?
A: is the UK doing enough to help any people around the world who are suffering? I would argue that the most important thing in the UK can do to help people around the world is to set an example, by getting our own house in order by protecting the liberty of the people who live in this country, and by establishing a cohesive society that can be an example to people around the world. We make money by selling arms and military assistance to governments all over the world, and our asylum system is a disgrace and a mess. There is plenty that we could be doing that would be far more important than a few hundred refugees here or there.
If there are communities in the UK would like to extend their arms and welcome in refugees, and to take care of them and provide the facilities and resources necessary to support their productive lives, then that that is a welcome and noble offer.
Q: Is banning smoking in cars with children present an unnecessary infringement of personal freedom?
A: Yes, it is. Generally the rule of law should concern itself only with the harm done to another by one person’s actions. Now parenting represents a special case, and we all have a natural empathy for children in respect of the fact that they are the wards of their parents and, therefore subject to the discretion and behaviour of those parents. The answer in these situations is education, education, education. I don’t want to live in the country in which the state believes it can write laws that are a rulebook on parenting. Personally, I feel as strongly about the situation in which I see parents taking their children into fast food restaurants to stuff them with unhealthy food, if you can even call it food.