What kind of society do you want to live in?

  

The rational behind this project is that many of us know parts or elements of our society that we don't like, but do we know what kind of society we do want to live in? What would it look like? What would it include? How would it be managed? How would it be paid for and by whom?

  

One of the major themes of this campaign is both individual and collective RESPONSIBILITY. I believe that it is plain for all to see that we can no longer (if indeed we ever could) rely on our politicians to provide the kind of society in which we want to live, as their interests and those of the people they were elected to serve are not in alignment and this I suggest, presents we, the people of Britain with a choice. Either we:

  

1. Continue to do what we have always done (point the finger of blame) and therefore receive exactly what we have always received (nothing changes)

2. Or we take responsibility for designing and building the kind of society in which we want to live ourselves

  

As described in the video linked to the page title, I have set the intention for a national event this autumn, during which everyone whom chooses to participate, will be given an opportunity to have their voice heard, on what kind of society they want to live in

  

The extent to which this event happens and how successful it will be is entirely down to each and every one of us that calls Britain home. Those who choose to put nothing into planning and organising the event, can fully expect to gain nothing from it, so the choice is entirely our own

  

If enough of us take action and get involved in making this event as successful as it can possibly be, we can then send a very clear statement to the government, press, and media that contrary to what our politicians claim, we the people of Britain are neither satisfied nor happy with the society in which we are expected to live

  

In order to generate ideas, I will be posting regular suggestions about the kind of society we could be living in below and these will also be posted on the Redesigning Democracy UK blog page where everyone will be able to comment, suggest improvements and put forward other ideas

  

  

 

What kind of society do you want to live in? – a truly democratic society

  

I want to live in a truly democratic society, where those that are paid from public funds to serve us are held fully accountable, with the ability to dismiss from office those whom we the people determine are not serving in our best interests.

  

This could mean the abolishment of central government and all it’s structures including the House of Commons, House of Lords, the office of prime minister, the cabinet, including it’s 21 ministers and 96 other ministers, all of the 27 ministerial departments, 22 non ministerial departments and 300+ agencies and other public bodies, as well as the institution known as the civil service and the 418 principal councils, all of which cost us, the people of Britain at least £840 billion in 2014/15

  

In their place, the United Kingdom of England, Wales, Scotland & Northern Ireland, which only came about through the invasion of previous monarchs and was not by consent, could be divided into perhaps the 86 existing counties. The people of each county would design the structure of their society, set the laws by consent, design their own society, including healthcare provision, education, welfare benefits, public transport, banking and taxation. They might choose to democratically elect a mayor, who would hold overall responsibility for carrying out the wishes of the people, while remaining fully accountable to them. Party politics could be assigned to the history books also and each mayor would be elected on merit alone.

  

The amount of annual salary of the mayor would be based on the local average, all public expenditure of the mayoral office would be scrutinised by a panel of citizens and published in full for all to see and no public office holder would be paid a salary of more than the mayor. All publicly funded services would be provided by a public body and under no circumstances could these services be sub contracted to private corporations.

  

All public offices would be subject to freedom of information laws and under no circumstances could information relating to the expenditure of public money be kept from any citizen of that locality.

  

  

A society where the public servants we pay, media & free press serve in the interests of the people

 

We the people of London own the BBC & channel 4, pay for the material published by the representatives of our so called "free press" and pay a basic annual salary plus expenses to all of our politicians. Yet when RBS, Bank of Scotland, Northern Rock & Bradford & Bingley banks went begging to then chancellor of the exchequer Alistair Darling between 2007-09, it was decided that we the people would underwrite the bankers gambling debts and accept liability for their ir-responsible lending activities, largely in the shadow banking market. According to the National Audit Office, the decision could ultimately cost us £1,162 billion, or just over £17,500 each, for every man, woman and child living in the United Kingdom.

 

It could reasonably be expected that serious action would have been taken in order to prevent this situation from ever happening again. Not a single banker has ever been charged with any form of wrong doing and in fact have been largely allowed to continue with business as usual. Through both the Special Resolution Regime (SRR) established in the Banking Act 2009 (“the Banking Act”) and The Financial Services (Banking Reform) Act 2013 (the 2013 Act), the bank of England and HM Treasury have established the bail in stabilisation option, as confirmed on the .gov website which also states that "Bail-in will help to ensure that shareholders and creditors of the failed institution, rather than the taxpayer, meet the costs of the failure. Bail-in will also ensure that the failed institution can continue to operate and provide essential services to its customers, by recapitalising it so that restructuring measures can then be implemented that address the cause of the failure. This will help to limit disruption to the institution’s customers and maintains public confidence in the banking system."

 

This should concern us all, because what the .gov website fails to mention, is that in UK law, those of us with deposits held in a bank account are in fact creditors of the bank, meaning that in the event of a bail-in situation, the bank will be lawfully able to seize our deposits. A full explanation can be found here.

 

Of course in the event of a bail-in, this would be a circumstance where the governments FSCS deposit protection scheme should come into place, meaning that up to £75,000 of our savings would be covered. However, the scheme does not cover all types of savings deposits and as covered in the linked video above, there may not be enough cover for the amount of deposits. Secondly, the scheme is backed by the government, meaning that in the event there is not enough cover, the government will have to step in and protect those savings covered by the scheme, which will cause the exact same effect as in the previous bank bail outs. 

 

The first of these bank bail-ins has already taken place in Austria, though the story has not been covered in any of the mainstream media/news outlets. I find this FACT outstanding!!! 

A society where politicians (if we choose to have them)

are paid based on performance

 

Performance related pay is the norm in modern British society. For many of us, we have an annual review with our line manager and an agreement is reached on the grading of how we have performed throughout the year. Yes, we are often told that there is no money to cover a pay increase, yet the basic principle is there. So why should it be any different for those we allegedly elect to represent us?

 

In point of fact, we have absolutely no say on the salaries of those we employ to serve in our best interests. So the reality of the situation is that once every five years or so, we get told what the politicians believe we want to hear during the build up to a general election, then as with the 2015 general election, our government for the next five years is elected by less than 25% of the electorate and in the constituency of Foyle, the MP was elected by just 24.6% of those eligible to vote and we call this democracy!!!

 

Once elected, the MP is of course then free to completely ignore the promises made during the election campaign if they so choose, are not compelled to attend votes in the House of Commons and in 2015/16, were paid an annual salary 2.8 times the national average, plus pension contributions and expenses and 69 days paid annual leave. If appointed chairman of a select committee, or minister of a government department they will have received an additional salary for that and are also free to take on additional jobs as they see fit, including retaining their previous employment

 

As there are no special skills or training required to become an MP,I would like to live in a society where politicians, if we choose to have them are paid a basic annual salary equal to the national minimum wage, with the option for those they were elected to serve, may award an annual bonus of up to the national average wage for the year. It is common practice in the modern age for employees to be restricted from working for another employer and therefore this should be applied equally to MP’s, who could not be appointed as either government ministers or members of the shadow cabinet, again if we choose to maintain such positions

 

The current position only exists because we the people have allowed it to and doubtless, many of us would award ourselves large pay rises if allowed to do so. Obviously, no MP is ever going to implement such a system and therefore if it were to be introduced, it would be the responsibility of we the people to both introduce and implement it