Make An Anti-Whitewashing Open Confidence Poll For Public Enquiries

A number of enquiries conducted in the past decade (e.g. the Hutton Enquiry, or the recent enquiry into the ClimateGate affair) have been lead by those with questionable allegiances to the state or to those who are the subject of the enquiry.

To deter this from happening in future, you could for example create website that published all official public enquiries and their documents, and held a public poll of confidence on the enquiry and open it up to comments.

This would be available for all to see, including the media, and would help deter the temptation for the government to 'choose the right people to investigate themselves' to determine the outcome.

That is not a fair enquiry.

Why is this idea important?

A number of enquiries conducted in the past decade (e.g. the Hutton Enquiry, or the recent enquiry into the ClimateGate affair) have been lead by those with questionable allegiances to the state or to those who are the subject of the enquiry.

To deter this from happening in future, you could for example create website that published all official public enquiries and their documents, and held a public poll of confidence on the enquiry and open it up to comments.

This would be available for all to see, including the media, and would help deter the temptation for the government to 'choose the right people to investigate themselves' to determine the outcome.

That is not a fair enquiry.

End All Forms Of Arbitrary Surveillance

I simply propose that there should be an outright ban on arbitrary surveillance of the population without evidence leading to suspicion of a crime.

This includes, but is not limited to:

Why is this idea important?

I simply propose that there should be an outright ban on arbitrary surveillance of the population without evidence leading to suspicion of a crime.

This includes, but is not limited to:

Make The Banking System Legitimate Again

Over the past few hundred years, Britain has moved from a gold-based currency based upon the physical metal, through to paper receipts claiming that that gold is stored in the vaults of a goldsmith, through to paper without backing, and now to electronic, debt-based money created by privately owned banks, on a whim.

What do I mean? The Bank Of England used to print many notes, and produce many coins, free of debt which people could exchange to pay for goods and services.

Now, most of those notes and coins over the past few decades have been replaced by electronic money, created by banks, issued as credit on which interest is owed. This has happened as people have liked the convenience electronic cards offer.

But what's the effect? Now, we pay an awful lot of interest on merely the cash in circulation, back to privately owned banks, who never created the wealth necessary to give that cash its value in the first place.

It amounts to a private tax.

This is not the sort of problem though to be solved on an online forum about freedom, but it is a forum in which it should be brought to light.

Set up a panel investigating social injustices of the financial system as it has evolved. Banking as it stands at the moment exists because a legal system is in place allowing it to grow and develop.

This panel should consist of those qualified to speak on the subject – for example academics, former banking employees who have less interest and pressure to support the system as it stands, and most of all, awareness of this issue should be significantly increased by finally encouraging a debate on the subject.

Why is this idea important?

Over the past few hundred years, Britain has moved from a gold-based currency based upon the physical metal, through to paper receipts claiming that that gold is stored in the vaults of a goldsmith, through to paper without backing, and now to electronic, debt-based money created by privately owned banks, on a whim.

What do I mean? The Bank Of England used to print many notes, and produce many coins, free of debt which people could exchange to pay for goods and services.

Now, most of those notes and coins over the past few decades have been replaced by electronic money, created by banks, issued as credit on which interest is owed. This has happened as people have liked the convenience electronic cards offer.

But what's the effect? Now, we pay an awful lot of interest on merely the cash in circulation, back to privately owned banks, who never created the wealth necessary to give that cash its value in the first place.

It amounts to a private tax.

This is not the sort of problem though to be solved on an online forum about freedom, but it is a forum in which it should be brought to light.

Set up a panel investigating social injustices of the financial system as it has evolved. Banking as it stands at the moment exists because a legal system is in place allowing it to grow and develop.

This panel should consist of those qualified to speak on the subject – for example academics, former banking employees who have less interest and pressure to support the system as it stands, and most of all, awareness of this issue should be significantly increased by finally encouraging a debate on the subject.

Create Libel-Style Laws For Politicians Or Civil Servants For Alarmism

The term 'terrorism' or 'terror' was used frequently and to great effect over the past 10 years of government. After the 9/11 attacks, it became a term adopted widely by the media and massively misused, and when invoked in many brought to consciousness the shock of the attacks on New York.

We were told that 'the world had changed' and that security, and the withdrawl of civil liberties, was effectively to be expected and, in some cases, it was regarded even to be unpatriotic or even supportive of those resposible not to agree.

A string of 'alerts' were issued, many of which as Peter Oborne reported in his Dispathes programme Election Unspun: Why Politicians Can't Tell The Truth, and also in BBC's Adam Curtis' excellent documentary series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_power_of_nightmares were found to be exaggerations, or simply flat lies designed to elevate a threat in order to sell newspapers in the media side, or invoke obedience on the political side. It has been a sad decade for civil liberties.

The new legal entity 'terrorist' has been created, separate from our normal legal system, carrying its own set of penalties and treatment of the suspect, including being able to lock up the suspect without even having to present evidence of guilt.

History shows politicians can use fear with great effect and ease to push forward unjust powers and build more unjust regimes, because it is really only under threat that people, sadly including in a democracy, allow such unjustices to take place. The media magnifies this power because they know also that it will gain them short-term attention.

This can't happen again.

Besides the idea of repealing the current 'splurge' of terrorism laws based upon this nebulous new legal entity, if a new threat develops, politicians and civil servants need to be held accountable, by law, to any claims or ideas they circulate about threats.

I would go so far as banning the use of the term 'terrorists' in describing threats, as the term is simply too loaded and people are too easily frightened by it, often beyond the scope of the actual threat.

But more than that, similar to libel laws, politicians and civil servants (including those who work in the intelligence services) should be able to be penalised clearly and in public view if they can be seen to be using alarmism to justify actions.

That's terribly difficult to quantify – how is it done?

Perhaps some sort of public, electronic based accountability system, calling time on alarmism in some way, could be developed and those in power should know that it exists and may be used. The public could vote if they believe they are being deliberately alarmed. If it reaches a certain level, it would require public scrutiny of a civil servant's claims.

Or, perhaps bring the accountability system closer to the government, bearing in mind the fact that this means the government is holding itself to account – always a problem!

Or, create a new Office Of Threat Claim Responsibility (no that wouldn't be the actual name) whose responsibility it is to scrutinise politicians/civil servants claims as to the magnitude of a threat, and give them access to those necessary to establish a reasonable concensus and most importantly, anonymity and protection to those involved so that they did not 'keep quiet' if they felt their job was under threat. Conscientious Objectors should be treated with absolute confidence.

There may well be better ideas, but that's a flavour. But the idea is important.

Why is this idea important?

The term 'terrorism' or 'terror' was used frequently and to great effect over the past 10 years of government. After the 9/11 attacks, it became a term adopted widely by the media and massively misused, and when invoked in many brought to consciousness the shock of the attacks on New York.

We were told that 'the world had changed' and that security, and the withdrawl of civil liberties, was effectively to be expected and, in some cases, it was regarded even to be unpatriotic or even supportive of those resposible not to agree.

A string of 'alerts' were issued, many of which as Peter Oborne reported in his Dispathes programme Election Unspun: Why Politicians Can't Tell The Truth, and also in BBC's Adam Curtis' excellent documentary series http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_power_of_nightmares were found to be exaggerations, or simply flat lies designed to elevate a threat in order to sell newspapers in the media side, or invoke obedience on the political side. It has been a sad decade for civil liberties.

The new legal entity 'terrorist' has been created, separate from our normal legal system, carrying its own set of penalties and treatment of the suspect, including being able to lock up the suspect without even having to present evidence of guilt.

History shows politicians can use fear with great effect and ease to push forward unjust powers and build more unjust regimes, because it is really only under threat that people, sadly including in a democracy, allow such unjustices to take place. The media magnifies this power because they know also that it will gain them short-term attention.

This can't happen again.

Besides the idea of repealing the current 'splurge' of terrorism laws based upon this nebulous new legal entity, if a new threat develops, politicians and civil servants need to be held accountable, by law, to any claims or ideas they circulate about threats.

I would go so far as banning the use of the term 'terrorists' in describing threats, as the term is simply too loaded and people are too easily frightened by it, often beyond the scope of the actual threat.

But more than that, similar to libel laws, politicians and civil servants (including those who work in the intelligence services) should be able to be penalised clearly and in public view if they can be seen to be using alarmism to justify actions.

That's terribly difficult to quantify – how is it done?

Perhaps some sort of public, electronic based accountability system, calling time on alarmism in some way, could be developed and those in power should know that it exists and may be used. The public could vote if they believe they are being deliberately alarmed. If it reaches a certain level, it would require public scrutiny of a civil servant's claims.

Or, perhaps bring the accountability system closer to the government, bearing in mind the fact that this means the government is holding itself to account – always a problem!

Or, create a new Office Of Threat Claim Responsibility (no that wouldn't be the actual name) whose responsibility it is to scrutinise politicians/civil servants claims as to the magnitude of a threat, and give them access to those necessary to establish a reasonable concensus and most importantly, anonymity and protection to those involved so that they did not 'keep quiet' if they felt their job was under threat. Conscientious Objectors should be treated with absolute confidence.

There may well be better ideas, but that's a flavour. But the idea is important.