Dirty Deals: Stop the “new customers only” unfairness

Companies who offer good deals to new customers only are companies which lock-in existing customers and typically keep raising prices after the offer period expires.

If a deal's good for one customer, then make it available to all customers.

Why is this idea important?

Companies who offer good deals to new customers only are companies which lock-in existing customers and typically keep raising prices after the offer period expires.

If a deal's good for one customer, then make it available to all customers.

Make “I don’t want it!” legally valid for planning objections

NIMBYism has been ridden roughshod over. Yes, prisons must go somewhere, wind farms and nuclear power stations benefit us in energy security (though wind farms I'd disagree with, but that's only my view). The common factor is they're rarely welcome and planning permission has to be bulldozed through.

Supermarkets, though? Little town killers springing up everywhere, destroying towns for the greater glory of the likes of Tesco (with whom £1 in £7 is spent in the UK already).

The problem is developers get two or three years to form their plans and consult with planning departments while the victims – the residents – get siz weeks to provide detailed objections citing planning regulations that would baffle a boffin. It's hopelessly one-sided, in favour of the developers.

Saying "I don't want it" carries no weight. Saying "It'll destroy the character of the town" is no good. Getting hundreds and even  thousands of signatures on a petition is no good – no matter how large it is, a whole petition counts as one objection!

In plain, simple terms, weight of opinion is completely ignored in planning matters. This Coalition has promised to devolve more say to local communities, and I would wish them to stick by their word.

It is not for us, the electorate, to provide solutions to difficult problems – that's what MPs are given their seats to do. We can help, as we're doing on this site, but give us the tools to give that help!

Why is this idea important?

NIMBYism has been ridden roughshod over. Yes, prisons must go somewhere, wind farms and nuclear power stations benefit us in energy security (though wind farms I'd disagree with, but that's only my view). The common factor is they're rarely welcome and planning permission has to be bulldozed through.

Supermarkets, though? Little town killers springing up everywhere, destroying towns for the greater glory of the likes of Tesco (with whom £1 in £7 is spent in the UK already).

The problem is developers get two or three years to form their plans and consult with planning departments while the victims – the residents – get siz weeks to provide detailed objections citing planning regulations that would baffle a boffin. It's hopelessly one-sided, in favour of the developers.

Saying "I don't want it" carries no weight. Saying "It'll destroy the character of the town" is no good. Getting hundreds and even  thousands of signatures on a petition is no good – no matter how large it is, a whole petition counts as one objection!

In plain, simple terms, weight of opinion is completely ignored in planning matters. This Coalition has promised to devolve more say to local communities, and I would wish them to stick by their word.

It is not for us, the electorate, to provide solutions to difficult problems – that's what MPs are given their seats to do. We can help, as we're doing on this site, but give us the tools to give that help!

Stop taxpayer’s money being pocketed by banks – ringfence benefits

Whether you agree with benefits or not, it's a slap in the face to taxpayers that banks pocket the money from those who incomes depend on welfare in unfair charges and hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, by definition. The debt spiral takes more and more of tax money and puts it on bankers' profits to the tune of millions, if not billions, and undermines the help and support that society tries to give to the needy. They take from the jobless and they take from the workers as well in an unfair-charges double-whammy.

Why is this idea important?

Whether you agree with benefits or not, it's a slap in the face to taxpayers that banks pocket the money from those who incomes depend on welfare in unfair charges and hit the most vulnerable in society hardest, by definition. The debt spiral takes more and more of tax money and puts it on bankers' profits to the tune of millions, if not billions, and undermines the help and support that society tries to give to the needy. They take from the jobless and they take from the workers as well in an unfair-charges double-whammy.

Govt: Offer prizes for better technologies

Government doesn't do science very well – actually, extremely badly – but it knows what it wants. For instance, it wants cleaner vehicle engine with much higher fuel efficiencies. Government can't design them, but the private sector could – so why not set the goals, for this and renewable energy sources (among other nice-to-haves) and set the spec, offer a damned good prize of cash or grants or tax breaks, and let the inventive British get on with the job?

It could also introduce State protection – legal protection – for patent holders, many of whom fail to bring ideas to market because of the risk to their own homes and capital, and many of whom lose their patents because they can't afford to fight off the "big guys" who muscle in (remember the fight James Dyson had with Hoover and other companies who copied his typhoon vacuum cleaners? You've got to be wealthy to fight off those corporations).

If the Government sets a goal butt it isn't attained, nothing's lost. Otherwise it might be achieved, for all our benefits, or else there may be significant progress made along the way.

Let's give it a chance.

Why is this idea important?

Government doesn't do science very well – actually, extremely badly – but it knows what it wants. For instance, it wants cleaner vehicle engine with much higher fuel efficiencies. Government can't design them, but the private sector could – so why not set the goals, for this and renewable energy sources (among other nice-to-haves) and set the spec, offer a damned good prize of cash or grants or tax breaks, and let the inventive British get on with the job?

It could also introduce State protection – legal protection – for patent holders, many of whom fail to bring ideas to market because of the risk to their own homes and capital, and many of whom lose their patents because they can't afford to fight off the "big guys" who muscle in (remember the fight James Dyson had with Hoover and other companies who copied his typhoon vacuum cleaners? You've got to be wealthy to fight off those corporations).

If the Government sets a goal butt it isn't attained, nothing's lost. Otherwise it might be achieved, for all our benefits, or else there may be significant progress made along the way.

Let's give it a chance.

Curb the Health & Safety madness for Public Liability insurance

H&S regulations are choking to death things we used to organise freely, happily and safely, like street events and parties. All over the UK, in towns and villages, in the suburbs of cities, traditional events are being abandoned by overregulation and the insistence on huge amounts of Public Liability Insurance.

This insanity now dictates that people with garden parties must have insurance if they hire a bouncy castle, for God's sake!

Let common sense prevail, and let people be responsible for their own actions once again as well as being directly responsible for their children's behaviour and supervision.

Let's enjoy life without the approval of some faceless H&E inspector sticking his unwelcome nose in. Accidents happen, and if they're serious, the Courts can sort it out. There is no need to prevent 99% of enjoyment because of the 1% incidence of accidents.

For instance, it may make H&S sense not to have traditional bonfire nights, but there are few things as dull, mediocre and uninvolving as organised firework events. Forget the namby-pamby squibs – let the kids gather wood for a bonfire and let the parents get involved in the fun and do their jobs by supervising proper family celebrations instead of crowds of inactive voyeurs at the council parks. Let the kids have a Bunny Hop Day in a local street that's been closed for the day.

Give us back our inalienable right to think for ourselves.

Why is this idea important?

H&S regulations are choking to death things we used to organise freely, happily and safely, like street events and parties. All over the UK, in towns and villages, in the suburbs of cities, traditional events are being abandoned by overregulation and the insistence on huge amounts of Public Liability Insurance.

This insanity now dictates that people with garden parties must have insurance if they hire a bouncy castle, for God's sake!

Let common sense prevail, and let people be responsible for their own actions once again as well as being directly responsible for their children's behaviour and supervision.

Let's enjoy life without the approval of some faceless H&E inspector sticking his unwelcome nose in. Accidents happen, and if they're serious, the Courts can sort it out. There is no need to prevent 99% of enjoyment because of the 1% incidence of accidents.

For instance, it may make H&S sense not to have traditional bonfire nights, but there are few things as dull, mediocre and uninvolving as organised firework events. Forget the namby-pamby squibs – let the kids gather wood for a bonfire and let the parents get involved in the fun and do their jobs by supervising proper family celebrations instead of crowds of inactive voyeurs at the council parks. Let the kids have a Bunny Hop Day in a local street that's been closed for the day.

Give us back our inalienable right to think for ourselves.

Define “In the Public Interest” versus “Of interest to the Public”

It has been misused by the Press for decades – "in the public interest" has been deliberately used when "of interest to the public" (gossip) is for more accurate. Newspaper editors misuse this inappropriate and misleading blurring to justify press intrusion, and have so far evaded Privacy Laws by agreeing to (but breaking) their own so-called Codes of Conduct.

Reporting dangerous prisoners on the run, outbreaks of new diseases, notifying people about the recall of faulty products – that's in the public interest. Publishing topless photos of some holidaying Soap Opera star isn't, and neither is what goes on in people's private lives, unless they break the law. Lives and careers are ruined by voracious and uncaring reporters whose much-vaunted morals run as deep as a cigarette paper's thickness.

Give us a legal definition of  In The Public Interest and we will finally have legal recourse against Press Intrusion.

Why is this idea important?

It has been misused by the Press for decades – "in the public interest" has been deliberately used when "of interest to the public" (gossip) is for more accurate. Newspaper editors misuse this inappropriate and misleading blurring to justify press intrusion, and have so far evaded Privacy Laws by agreeing to (but breaking) their own so-called Codes of Conduct.

Reporting dangerous prisoners on the run, outbreaks of new diseases, notifying people about the recall of faulty products – that's in the public interest. Publishing topless photos of some holidaying Soap Opera star isn't, and neither is what goes on in people's private lives, unless they break the law. Lives and careers are ruined by voracious and uncaring reporters whose much-vaunted morals run as deep as a cigarette paper's thickness.

Give us a legal definition of  In The Public Interest and we will finally have legal recourse against Press Intrusion.

Use this site to canvas opinion BEFORE Bills are written

I'm not asking for more referenda, but the last thirteen years proved conclusively that without sufficient consultation, really bad laws have been introduced and forced through because of the FPTP system. Consequently, under New Labour, we've seen a catastrophic number of laws which have resulted in unintended consequences.

I propose that this site be continued throughout this Parliament and be used to pursue crowd-computing testings of proposed Bills while still in their embryonic stages. This will help insure against unintended consequences, help foresee problems in implementation of those Bills, and generally be tested against public opinion in a truly democratic fashion.

I do not propose that the Government slavishly follows its feedback, but at least better-written Bills are likely to result, for the benefit of everyone and for the better quality of Bills being passed. We want to engage with politics, so let us. Editors of newspaper do not represent public opinion.

Why is this idea important?

I'm not asking for more referenda, but the last thirteen years proved conclusively that without sufficient consultation, really bad laws have been introduced and forced through because of the FPTP system. Consequently, under New Labour, we've seen a catastrophic number of laws which have resulted in unintended consequences.

I propose that this site be continued throughout this Parliament and be used to pursue crowd-computing testings of proposed Bills while still in their embryonic stages. This will help insure against unintended consequences, help foresee problems in implementation of those Bills, and generally be tested against public opinion in a truly democratic fashion.

I do not propose that the Government slavishly follows its feedback, but at least better-written Bills are likely to result, for the benefit of everyone and for the better quality of Bills being passed. We want to engage with politics, so let us. Editors of newspaper do not represent public opinion.

Introduce increment VAT registration for small businesses

Instead of having a binary VAT threshold for small businesses – one day you're selling without a 20% overhead on prices, the next day you are – make it possible to have small businesses nearing the threshold to incrementally add VAT so that VAT doesn't slam on the brakes of growth.

It would also discourage "creative" accounting and raise more tax revenue if handled more sensitively.

I propose that the VAT threshold is stunting the growth of many SMEs.

Why is this idea important?

Instead of having a binary VAT threshold for small businesses – one day you're selling without a 20% overhead on prices, the next day you are – make it possible to have small businesses nearing the threshold to incrementally add VAT so that VAT doesn't slam on the brakes of growth.

It would also discourage "creative" accounting and raise more tax revenue if handled more sensitively.

I propose that the VAT threshold is stunting the growth of many SMEs.

Stop encouraging Snoopers

Several Government websites offer forms for people to anonymously report people for alleged crimes such as ta evasion or of being benefits chats.

This is a licence for malcontents and grudge-bearers to cause mischief with no comeback on themselves. In such cases, the cost of investigation and evaluation is high, and the potential damage to a victim's reputation is huge.

In Baghdad under Saddam, there were Baathist Party members on every street, and in Soviet Russia, nobody trusted anyone else, including family members, because of such a likelihood of being hauled in and interrogated.

Let us prevent the UK from splintering like this. If the authorities did their jobs properly, they wouldn't need to engage spies and tattle-tales on the cheap like this.

Why is this idea important?

Several Government websites offer forms for people to anonymously report people for alleged crimes such as ta evasion or of being benefits chats.

This is a licence for malcontents and grudge-bearers to cause mischief with no comeback on themselves. In such cases, the cost of investigation and evaluation is high, and the potential damage to a victim's reputation is huge.

In Baghdad under Saddam, there were Baathist Party members on every street, and in Soviet Russia, nobody trusted anyone else, including family members, because of such a likelihood of being hauled in and interrogated.

Let us prevent the UK from splintering like this. If the authorities did their jobs properly, they wouldn't need to engage spies and tattle-tales on the cheap like this.

Strict budget limits on consultancies

Government, devolved governments, quangos and local authorities are profligate beyond belief in spending money on consultancies, reports, studies, surveys and feasibility exercises, with little if any regard to achieving value for money. In Denbighshire, over a decade of studies and feasibility studies were performed at regular intervals to attempt to asset-strip a car park in Llangollen, which would have cost tens of thousands in their drive to sell it off for development.

Much – possibly most – of this spending is wholly irresponsible and wasteful, and all forms of government must be made to live within their means. Wages and salaries first, after expunging the non-jobs, a strict limit on consultancies next, and the bulk of revenue must go to front-line services.

It should also be made an offence for those applying for planning permission to use misleading and inaccurate measurements and studies to support their applications, as is currently common practice throughout the UK.

Why is this idea important?

Government, devolved governments, quangos and local authorities are profligate beyond belief in spending money on consultancies, reports, studies, surveys and feasibility exercises, with little if any regard to achieving value for money. In Denbighshire, over a decade of studies and feasibility studies were performed at regular intervals to attempt to asset-strip a car park in Llangollen, which would have cost tens of thousands in their drive to sell it off for development.

Much – possibly most – of this spending is wholly irresponsible and wasteful, and all forms of government must be made to live within their means. Wages and salaries first, after expunging the non-jobs, a strict limit on consultancies next, and the bulk of revenue must go to front-line services.

It should also be made an offence for those applying for planning permission to use misleading and inaccurate measurements and studies to support their applications, as is currently common practice throughout the UK.

Decriminalise non-violent and non-serious offences

Parliament should be the sole arbiter of what's deemed serious or violent, as these terms are too often misapplied. Convert all offences from criminal to civil offences provided they're neither violent nor serious, and if in doubt, place the onus on the CPS to make judgements in grey cases.

Why is this idea important?

Parliament should be the sole arbiter of what's deemed serious or violent, as these terms are too often misapplied. Convert all offences from criminal to civil offences provided they're neither violent nor serious, and if in doubt, place the onus on the CPS to make judgements in grey cases.

Ensure only the Police can bring criminal charges

Far too many private and public bodies can bring criminal charges, from railway companies to local councils, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. This leads to prosecutions for trivial matters and encourages a free-for-all in creating petty offences and the misuse of powers.

Judgement over prosecution should be left 100% to the police once they've evaluated a complaint, and perhaps our jails wouldn't be so overcrowded with people who've overfilled their bins or been prosecuted because it was an easy nick.

Why is this idea important?

Far too many private and public bodies can bring criminal charges, from railway companies to local councils, Uncle Tom Cobbly and all. This leads to prosecutions for trivial matters and encourages a free-for-all in creating petty offences and the misuse of powers.

Judgement over prosecution should be left 100% to the police once they've evaluated a complaint, and perhaps our jails wouldn't be so overcrowded with people who've overfilled their bins or been prosecuted because it was an easy nick.

Drive down local authority costs

It's known that a County Council such as Denbighshire spends approximately 60% of its entire income on paying its own wages, salaries, expenses and bonuses.

Use the ratio of income to wages as a measure of performance. The lower the overheads of paying itself, the higher the proportion of income will be spent on frontline services. It will be a sound guide to tackling waste and inefficiency in local government.

Why is this idea important?

It's known that a County Council such as Denbighshire spends approximately 60% of its entire income on paying its own wages, salaries, expenses and bonuses.

Use the ratio of income to wages as a measure of performance. The lower the overheads of paying itself, the higher the proportion of income will be spent on frontline services. It will be a sound guide to tackling waste and inefficiency in local government.