Defra / Government Buying Standards / Sustainability / a quicker system

The current rules on sustainability & purchasing come from DEFRA as part of Government Buying Standards, which are a long academic pre-amble to a very short & useless list of suppliers called Buyingsolutions.gov.uk. I suggest a tweak to the pre-amble and then a way of expanding the list. A longer list of suppliers the shorter the buyers' jobs. At the moment they have to read a great long pre-amble and then find only about one firm per industry on the list. I guess the preamble is wasted because a buyer would think:

"Dell for computers, BMW for vehicles, Microsoft for software: they'll know the rules".

The tweak is just to mention the sustainability of UK manufacturing.

Then I suggest that certain UK manufacturing industries are chosen which could do with some understanding, but not subsidy, from government because they have been forced to work in a very lean low-admin way over the past decades.

This is how to expand the list and so make buyers' jobs easier

When buying in each industry, buyers should be required to look for every last supplier and write to each about future contracts asking for advice about whether the contracts could be changed to sustain UK manufacturers. A specialist business link team could be set-up to advise the industry on how to get onto government tender lists and advice government buyers on how to find suppliers. More generally, there might be something to be done about getting enthusiasts and people with a background in the industry to do the buying. An example:

  • LDV Vans is not in a position to change its model range but the receiver is in a position to read a draft tender and write back saying

    "change that bit and we could put in a bid and open-up a production line if we got it".
     

  • The department for business is in a position to fund or run a vehicle-making business link office
     
  • Some public sector organisations could be in a position to hire enthusiast staff to make purchasing decisions about a particular industry. Police ambulence & fire services near LDV vans have more work if there is more unemployment & social exclusion, so it's in their interest to use an enthusiast who can see ways of making local employment by buying local vans.

These are the current regulations on sustainable purchasing which are all pre-amble.

Government Buying Standards (formerly known as Buy Sustainable Quick Wins) are designed to make it easier for government buyers to buy sustainably. They include:

Why is this idea important?

The current rules on sustainability & purchasing come from DEFRA as part of Government Buying Standards, which are a long academic pre-amble to a very short & useless list of suppliers called Buyingsolutions.gov.uk. I suggest a tweak to the pre-amble and then a way of expanding the list. A longer list of suppliers the shorter the buyers' jobs. At the moment they have to read a great long pre-amble and then find only about one firm per industry on the list. I guess the preamble is wasted because a buyer would think:

"Dell for computers, BMW for vehicles, Microsoft for software: they'll know the rules".

The tweak is just to mention the sustainability of UK manufacturing.

Then I suggest that certain UK manufacturing industries are chosen which could do with some understanding, but not subsidy, from government because they have been forced to work in a very lean low-admin way over the past decades.

This is how to expand the list and so make buyers' jobs easier

When buying in each industry, buyers should be required to look for every last supplier and write to each about future contracts asking for advice about whether the contracts could be changed to sustain UK manufacturers. A specialist business link team could be set-up to advise the industry on how to get onto government tender lists and advice government buyers on how to find suppliers. More generally, there might be something to be done about getting enthusiasts and people with a background in the industry to do the buying. An example:

  • LDV Vans is not in a position to change its model range but the receiver is in a position to read a draft tender and write back saying

    "change that bit and we could put in a bid and open-up a production line if we got it".
     

  • The department for business is in a position to fund or run a vehicle-making business link office
     
  • Some public sector organisations could be in a position to hire enthusiast staff to make purchasing decisions about a particular industry. Police ambulence & fire services near LDV vans have more work if there is more unemployment & social exclusion, so it's in their interest to use an enthusiast who can see ways of making local employment by buying local vans.

These are the current regulations on sustainable purchasing which are all pre-amble.

Government Buying Standards (formerly known as Buy Sustainable Quick Wins) are designed to make it easier for government buyers to buy sustainably. They include:

Prison Service Order 5000 regulation 2.14 bullet point 13

Prison Service Order 5000 (former prison catering manual) is a long & often updated set of regulations about Prison food. It's one of a the prison service orders online as word documents.

I'd delete this rule 2.14/13 – the table – or add a note that meat substitutes like Quorn are OK. I'm not trying to propose worse food for prisonsers, and the rest of rule 2.14 could stay. It says the same thing in a more up to date and flexible way, suggesting nutricious and varied food. There are other parts of the document about what that means in detail.

Food Group

Minimum Frequency

Meat

Daily

Fruit and Vegetables 

5 portions per day

Poultry

Twice per week

Fish

Twice per week (One of which should be oily)

Supplementary Snack

Per evening

Why is this idea important?

Prison Service Order 5000 (former prison catering manual) is a long & often updated set of regulations about Prison food. It's one of a the prison service orders online as word documents.

I'd delete this rule 2.14/13 – the table – or add a note that meat substitutes like Quorn are OK. I'm not trying to propose worse food for prisonsers, and the rest of rule 2.14 could stay. It says the same thing in a more up to date and flexible way, suggesting nutricious and varied food. There are other parts of the document about what that means in detail.

Food Group

Minimum Frequency

Meat

Daily

Fruit and Vegetables 

5 portions per day

Poultry

Twice per week

Fish

Twice per week (One of which should be oily)

Supplementary Snack

Per evening

Procurement: end charges to see the tenders

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

Why is this idea important?

End the £545 charge to see tenders on http://www.contracts.mod.uk

End the £250 charge to get national alerts on https://www.supply2.gov.uk/subscriptions/cgi-bin/menu.cgi

better register of country court judgements

At present, county courts ask Registry Trust to collate their judgements and it costs £8 to find out if a potential trading partner has judgements against. If the search is on a company that has changed its name, the cost is £16 for two searches or for the company below, £40.

company number 2472364

21/02/1990      MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCE LIMITED
04/01/2000      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DEBIS) LIMITED
13/08/2001      DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES UK LIMITED
14/02/2006      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
01/04/2008      MERCEDEZ BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
 
Burystead Court
120 Caldecotte Lake Drive
Caldecotte
MILTON KEYNES
MK7 8ND
 

Why is this idea important?

At present, county courts ask Registry Trust to collate their judgements and it costs £8 to find out if a potential trading partner has judgements against. If the search is on a company that has changed its name, the cost is £16 for two searches or for the company below, £40.

company number 2472364

21/02/1990      MERCEDES-BENZ FINANCE LIMITED
04/01/2000      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES (DEBIS) LIMITED
13/08/2001      DAIMLERCHRYSLER SERVICES UK LIMITED
14/02/2006      DAIMLERCHRYSLER FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
01/04/2008      MERCEDEZ BENZ FINANCIAL SERVICES UK LIMITED
 
Burystead Court
120 Caldecotte Lake Drive
Caldecotte
MILTON KEYNES
MK7 8ND
 

Judges to be given fixed times in the Lords for simplification bills

Judges should be given fixed time in the Lords for introducing bills to simplify law.

  • I guess some judges are still Lords as part of their job.
  • Some way of judges being allowed-in to propose a bill is required for my suggestion.
  • Maybe the most senior judges could be Lords automatically and junior ones could apply in a compeition to be Lords for the duration of their bill's debates. I'm assuming that any debate about the House of Lords allows at least one judge in, and details follow consensus that judges should be allowed-in for this purpose at least.

 

Why is this idea important?

Judges should be given fixed time in the Lords for introducing bills to simplify law.

  • I guess some judges are still Lords as part of their job.
  • Some way of judges being allowed-in to propose a bill is required for my suggestion.
  • Maybe the most senior judges could be Lords automatically and junior ones could apply in a compeition to be Lords for the duration of their bill's debates. I'm assuming that any debate about the House of Lords allows at least one judge in, and details follow consensus that judges should be allowed-in for this purpose at least.

 

Department for International Development: how to improve human rights in Uganda

My two ideas are

  1. Channel some existing aid via minority groups – womens groups or gay groups – so that if these groups are locked-up, there is nobody to cash the cheques.   I'm assuming that they would be prepared to cash cheques for large amounts of money and pay the money on to existing grant recipients, and that this could be monitored for any corruption.
     
  2. A long-term goal of linking human rights violations with higher EU import tariffs. I'm thinking of examples where a third world country gets a special zero tariff in order to help it develop, but the third world government is more interested in locking people up and killing people than development.

My hope is that the short-term policy and long-term policy combined would make it very hard for third world politicians to persecute minorities to get easy popularity, as the Kampala government is doing now.

Why is this idea important?

My two ideas are

  1. Channel some existing aid via minority groups – womens groups or gay groups – so that if these groups are locked-up, there is nobody to cash the cheques.   I'm assuming that they would be prepared to cash cheques for large amounts of money and pay the money on to existing grant recipients, and that this could be monitored for any corruption.
     
  2. A long-term goal of linking human rights violations with higher EU import tariffs. I'm thinking of examples where a third world country gets a special zero tariff in order to help it develop, but the third world government is more interested in locking people up and killing people than development.

My hope is that the short-term policy and long-term policy combined would make it very hard for third world politicians to persecute minorities to get easy popularity, as the Kampala government is doing now.

house of lords: allocate peerages like jury service

The current system: http://lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk/

My repeal would not be to the system but to its workload, by trialling another system.

Allocate one jurer in a million a life peerage, or some variation on this theme:

  • the oldest child of one jurer in a million
     
  • the elected top 50% of a group of randomly chosen jurers, if 50% stand for life peerage in a mainly online and TV hustings system.
     
  • the system that arrises after a few trials of different ideas as above and popular comment. It could be that some of these new lords, like pools winners, wish they never had the chance to make fools of themselves and have suggestions for changing the system more.
     
  • hereditary peers who have been refused their former membership, and have below average income or have an unusual career, possibly with a change to old laws to make peerages unisex. This last idea is coming from a different direction but you get the gist of the first few.

Why is this idea important?

The current system: http://lordsappointments.independent.gov.uk/

My repeal would not be to the system but to its workload, by trialling another system.

Allocate one jurer in a million a life peerage, or some variation on this theme:

  • the oldest child of one jurer in a million
     
  • the elected top 50% of a group of randomly chosen jurers, if 50% stand for life peerage in a mainly online and TV hustings system.
     
  • the system that arrises after a few trials of different ideas as above and popular comment. It could be that some of these new lords, like pools winners, wish they never had the chance to make fools of themselves and have suggestions for changing the system more.
     
  • hereditary peers who have been refused their former membership, and have below average income or have an unusual career, possibly with a change to old laws to make peerages unisex. This last idea is coming from a different direction but you get the gist of the first few.

Freedom / Pope / don’t dig-away human rights law

There are few rights for world prosecutors to arrest UK visitors, such as Pinochet.

Howoever,  one in Spain did manage to arrest Pinochet here.

The supreme court or law lords did a very unusual thing in first allowing arrest, then reversing the decision on the grounds that one of the judges was active in amnesty international, like that's such a bad thing.

Love it or hate it, this judgement gave the impression to dictators round the world that if they want to evade arrest in the UK they may not lucky next time. This has saved us a lot of police protection bills and saved the taxpayers of dictators the cost of a lot of trips to Harrods. In the mind of a dictator, the self-deception that he is somehow doing a bad thing for a good reason or that he can so easily get away with it can no longer be backed-up by a shopping trip to London.

Imagine my surprise to read a watering-down of the compromise position. From now on, any attempt to arrest a Mr Ratzinger will be a private matter between himself, the government and a man called Mr Kier Starmer who is hired by the government to say he's independent.

That's no way to promote equality before the law.

http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory/3497/23/07/2010/government-plan-could-prevent-pope-benedict-arrest.aspx

I propose we restore powers of arrest on human rights charges – even if this is nothing to do with the Pope and his name should not be dragged into it – because these powers prevent dictators from coming here and asking for expensive police protection while they shop at Harrods.

Why is this idea important?

There are few rights for world prosecutors to arrest UK visitors, such as Pinochet.

Howoever,  one in Spain did manage to arrest Pinochet here.

The supreme court or law lords did a very unusual thing in first allowing arrest, then reversing the decision on the grounds that one of the judges was active in amnesty international, like that's such a bad thing.

Love it or hate it, this judgement gave the impression to dictators round the world that if they want to evade arrest in the UK they may not lucky next time. This has saved us a lot of police protection bills and saved the taxpayers of dictators the cost of a lot of trips to Harrods. In the mind of a dictator, the self-deception that he is somehow doing a bad thing for a good reason or that he can so easily get away with it can no longer be backed-up by a shopping trip to London.

Imagine my surprise to read a watering-down of the compromise position. From now on, any attempt to arrest a Mr Ratzinger will be a private matter between himself, the government and a man called Mr Kier Starmer who is hired by the government to say he's independent.

That's no way to promote equality before the law.

http://news.pinkpaper.com/NewsStory/3497/23/07/2010/government-plan-could-prevent-pope-benedict-arrest.aspx

I propose we restore powers of arrest on human rights charges – even if this is nothing to do with the Pope and his name should not be dragged into it – because these powers prevent dictators from coming here and asking for expensive police protection while they shop at Harrods.

An economic liberty: nationalise the Christian Brothers & liquidate

This is an idea for economic liberty rather than legal, so it is slightly off the invited topic.

I note that the Christian Brothers have stated that they will only co-operate with a government enquiry (not the UK government but the same sort of thing in Eire) if complete anonymoty is guarenteed.

At such a point in proceedings, I suggest it is time to nationalise UK assets of the organisation, liquidate those parts which serve no popular purpose to the mainstream of the population, and donate the takings to a trust fund to support those who have suffered from such organistions.

Simples.

Why is this idea important?

This is an idea for economic liberty rather than legal, so it is slightly off the invited topic.

I note that the Christian Brothers have stated that they will only co-operate with a government enquiry (not the UK government but the same sort of thing in Eire) if complete anonymoty is guarenteed.

At such a point in proceedings, I suggest it is time to nationalise UK assets of the organisation, liquidate those parts which serve no popular purpose to the mainstream of the population, and donate the takings to a trust fund to support those who have suffered from such organistions.

Simples.

merge “employer’s” and “employee’s” national insurance: it’s all our money anyway

End employer's national insurance contribution increase employee's national insurance contribution to compensate.

Why is this idea important?

End employer's national insurance contribution increase employee's national insurance contribution to compensate.

Legal drafting: a regular system to find badly drafted law

Use data from surveys or users of  opsi.gov.uk/acts and Bailii.org to find which laws are referred to most. On these, add a tab on the side to ask "Do you think this law is in clear language? If not, why?"  . Third party websites like bailii.org might help if asked.

Why is this idea important?

Use data from surveys or users of  opsi.gov.uk/acts and Bailii.org to find which laws are referred to most. On these, add a tab on the side to ask "Do you think this law is in clear language? If not, why?"  . Third party websites like bailii.org might help if asked.

Legalise E in some form in Northern Ireland

I don't know what my idea is so I will be vague about whether I want a pilot scheme, a medically supervised scheme, or a general legalisation or blind-eye to the commercial use of a drug.

The drug is MDMA and I know from personal experience that it enforces a kind of synthetic empathy and well-being. As one person told a TV program "it lets you experience the sort of person that you're not". I don't know a source to quote but anyone who has anything to do with raves where MDMA is taken will have noticed that the crowd seem just nice.

Why is this idea important?

I don't know what my idea is so I will be vague about whether I want a pilot scheme, a medically supervised scheme, or a general legalisation or blind-eye to the commercial use of a drug.

The drug is MDMA and I know from personal experience that it enforces a kind of synthetic empathy and well-being. As one person told a TV program "it lets you experience the sort of person that you're not". I don't know a source to quote but anyone who has anything to do with raves where MDMA is taken will have noticed that the crowd seem just nice.

Right to retreads

Fleet car owners often lease. I don't know why but they do. Leasers impose conditions about how the car can be returned, and I read a set today from Mercedez Finance saying that retread tyres are not "acceptable". Return a car with retreads and they charge you for a new set of tyres.

This should be made unenforceable, if it is enforcable now.

http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/media_library/unitedkingdom/mpc_unitedkingdom/passenger_cars_ng/ng_finance_and_insurance/de-fleet_video/de-fleet_pdf.object-Single-MEDIA.download.tmp/De-Fleet.pdf is the set of standards I've seen and the line is on pdf-reader page 10: "not acceptable: …. remoulds and other substandard tyres".

Why is this idea important?

Fleet car owners often lease. I don't know why but they do. Leasers impose conditions about how the car can be returned, and I read a set today from Mercedez Finance saying that retread tyres are not "acceptable". Return a car with retreads and they charge you for a new set of tyres.

This should be made unenforceable, if it is enforcable now.

http://www2.mercedes-benz.co.uk/content/media_library/unitedkingdom/mpc_unitedkingdom/passenger_cars_ng/ng_finance_and_insurance/de-fleet_video/de-fleet_pdf.object-Single-MEDIA.download.tmp/De-Fleet.pdf is the set of standards I've seen and the line is on pdf-reader page 10: "not acceptable: …. remoulds and other substandard tyres".

Sale of services: clarity on legal insurers & unions

I want two pieces of clarity.

  1. The same consumer protection service should cover legal insurers & the legal insurance work of trades unions.  At the moment if you ring Consumer Direct about a rip-off by a trades union, they tell you to try the Financial Services Authority. Try them and they say try the Certification Office. I pressed my point on the phone so the boss of the helpline office rang me back to say that this was not a political thing; unions do other things apart from legal insurance, and that's the reasoning "like getting you cheap food at the canteen" he said. But a legal insurere that also offers human resources advice or is bundled with the services of Cardsave or the Federation of Small Businesses is covered. Likewise unions have no trouble registering with the FSA for their work flogging financial services to the mailing list, but don't want to register as legal insurers. On to the Cerfication Office: "complaints regarding a union’s failure to represent a member adequately, or at all" are not covered. That's what they say on their web site.
     
  2. Legal insurers who use no-win no-fee lawyers should be transparent about it. At the moment some legal insurers pay no insurance premium tax: all the money goes to the broker. They charge no-win no-fee lawyers such as Shoesmiths referral fees, accoding to the company quoted in an Observer article: "It's the only source of income we get", said someone at DAS legal insurance.

    Now, if the whole edifice of a legal insurance company is funded by no-win no-fee lawyers, most consumers would cancel their subscription and think of another way to get such lawyers. They would be right to do so. Apart from a murkey hope that a legal firm can use cross-subsidise cases there is no excuse for running such a service and a murkey hope is no hope at all.

Why is this idea important?

I want two pieces of clarity.

  1. The same consumer protection service should cover legal insurers & the legal insurance work of trades unions.  At the moment if you ring Consumer Direct about a rip-off by a trades union, they tell you to try the Financial Services Authority. Try them and they say try the Certification Office. I pressed my point on the phone so the boss of the helpline office rang me back to say that this was not a political thing; unions do other things apart from legal insurance, and that's the reasoning "like getting you cheap food at the canteen" he said. But a legal insurere that also offers human resources advice or is bundled with the services of Cardsave or the Federation of Small Businesses is covered. Likewise unions have no trouble registering with the FSA for their work flogging financial services to the mailing list, but don't want to register as legal insurers. On to the Cerfication Office: "complaints regarding a union’s failure to represent a member adequately, or at all" are not covered. That's what they say on their web site.
     
  2. Legal insurers who use no-win no-fee lawyers should be transparent about it. At the moment some legal insurers pay no insurance premium tax: all the money goes to the broker. They charge no-win no-fee lawyers such as Shoesmiths referral fees, accoding to the company quoted in an Observer article: "It's the only source of income we get", said someone at DAS legal insurance.

    Now, if the whole edifice of a legal insurance company is funded by no-win no-fee lawyers, most consumers would cancel their subscription and think of another way to get such lawyers. They would be right to do so. Apart from a murkey hope that a legal firm can use cross-subsidise cases there is no excuse for running such a service and a murkey hope is no hope at all.

Common sense juries allowed in some employment tribunals

This is an extra law but could save a lot of others.

  • Juries where requested by both sides, or one side at an appeal case
  • Juries perhaps in cases where the employee gave up their right to damages, but wanted the case to be heard more like a criminal case, for a statement of guilt and deterrant against future wrongs.

Why is this idea important?

This is an extra law but could save a lot of others.

  • Juries where requested by both sides, or one side at an appeal case
  • Juries perhaps in cases where the employee gave up their right to damages, but wanted the case to be heard more like a criminal case, for a statement of guilt and deterrant against future wrongs.

Blanket planning permission 4 solar panels, windmills, satallite dishes

I think wind farms are beautiful, so just ignore my point about that perhaps and concentrate on the simpler part.

If I want to extend a building upwards by the height of solar panels and water tanks, and I have had the strength of the building inspected, surely this could be enough to allow automatic planning permission just as previous generations argued for their sheds and porch extensions to be covered automaticaly.

Why is this idea important?

I think wind farms are beautiful, so just ignore my point about that perhaps and concentrate on the simpler part.

If I want to extend a building upwards by the height of solar panels and water tanks, and I have had the strength of the building inspected, surely this could be enough to allow automatic planning permission just as previous generations argued for their sheds and porch extensions to be covered automaticaly.

Employer-run pensions: mutualize

I haven't done the work of looking up the exact law but have seen the questions asked.

How to ring-fence employer owned pensions like Mirror Group Newspapers, British Shoe Corporation or Richards_of_Aberdeen?.

I suggest that no employing organisation should be allowed to own a staff pension scheme; that all such schemes should be mutuals. Even the staff of the Prudential, I think, should not be required to keep their pensions with the Prudential and perhaps own a little part of it that shares management.

Why is this idea important?

I haven't done the work of looking up the exact law but have seen the questions asked.

How to ring-fence employer owned pensions like Mirror Group Newspapers, British Shoe Corporation or Richards_of_Aberdeen?.

I suggest that no employing organisation should be allowed to own a staff pension scheme; that all such schemes should be mutuals. Even the staff of the Prudential, I think, should not be required to keep their pensions with the Prudential and perhaps own a little part of it that shares management.

Help at work / union transparency / Foster v Musicians Union case law

The trades union act says that members should have access to the accounts and that the accounts should be made known to members. It's quite vague and initially it's often an obscure little tribunal called the Certification Office that hears complaints. They are run by someone hired by the Labout government so obviously they're impartial.

Foster v Musicians Union ruled that a member cannot "conduct an audit of the unions affairs" even if the local branch of a union has its own budget and "audit" means a member reading the bank statement of the local branch. The first case is on http://www.employees.org.uk/case-foster-v-musicians-union.html and it's re-iterated on http://www.employees.org.uk/accounts-tgwu.html

I want the Trades Union Act slightly amended with a line to change the Foster v Musicians ruling. Otherwise unions will centralise budgets from their embarassing branches, like the taxi drivers branch in the second case, and carry on being just as daft amongst paid full time staff at central office, where the daftness can be hushed-up better and lawyers can be paid to sort out the mess – which was Foster's reason for a complaining about the Musicians Union: he wanted to know how much they had paid in legal fees and bribe to get their director to go.

I suggest that every member should have a right to see the bank statements and receipts of their local branch and ideally the same right should apply to members of building societies, customer co-ops and mutials like Equitable Life.

I suggest that union activists and their national paid offices should be as accountable as MPs. If the law says that accounts must be "made known" to members, the Certification Office should make sure that a member can see scans of every bus ticket and every bank statement and that the union branch emails the member to say where to look on the net. If MPs have to suffer this, why not union activists? I think that if the honest ones could give people a reason to trust them, more of us would benefit.

That's all.

Why is this idea important?

The trades union act says that members should have access to the accounts and that the accounts should be made known to members. It's quite vague and initially it's often an obscure little tribunal called the Certification Office that hears complaints. They are run by someone hired by the Labout government so obviously they're impartial.

Foster v Musicians Union ruled that a member cannot "conduct an audit of the unions affairs" even if the local branch of a union has its own budget and "audit" means a member reading the bank statement of the local branch. The first case is on http://www.employees.org.uk/case-foster-v-musicians-union.html and it's re-iterated on http://www.employees.org.uk/accounts-tgwu.html

I want the Trades Union Act slightly amended with a line to change the Foster v Musicians ruling. Otherwise unions will centralise budgets from their embarassing branches, like the taxi drivers branch in the second case, and carry on being just as daft amongst paid full time staff at central office, where the daftness can be hushed-up better and lawyers can be paid to sort out the mess – which was Foster's reason for a complaining about the Musicians Union: he wanted to know how much they had paid in legal fees and bribe to get their director to go.

I suggest that every member should have a right to see the bank statements and receipts of their local branch and ideally the same right should apply to members of building societies, customer co-ops and mutials like Equitable Life.

I suggest that union activists and their national paid offices should be as accountable as MPs. If the law says that accounts must be "made known" to members, the Certification Office should make sure that a member can see scans of every bus ticket and every bank statement and that the union branch emails the member to say where to look on the net. If MPs have to suffer this, why not union activists? I think that if the honest ones could give people a reason to trust them, more of us would benefit.

That's all.