Repeal of the 1707 Treaty of Union

There is no need for the Treaty of Union, signed in 1707 against the wishes of the Scottish people.  Scotland can do better on its own as recent reports have indicated.  For the last four years Scotland’s economy has been in surplus – with more taxes raised than spent in Scotland.  In effect Scotland is subsidising the failing UK economy

Why is this idea important?

There is no need for the Treaty of Union, signed in 1707 against the wishes of the Scottish people.  Scotland can do better on its own as recent reports have indicated.  For the last four years Scotland’s economy has been in surplus – with more taxes raised than spent in Scotland.  In effect Scotland is subsidising the failing UK economy

Moving in with partner = benefit cut as I am assumed to be financially supported by them

 

Dear Nick Clegg,

This website is a fantastic idea! I would like to share with you a situation regarding Housing Benefit.

Due to a long-term serious health condition I claim incapacity benefit and housing benefit. When I moved in with my partner it was assumed by my council that my partner was financially supporting me. The result was Council Tax benefit was stopped and Housing Benefit reduced very significantly.

I have never been financially supported by my partner and we went to some lengths to explain and prove this with bank statements over the previous two years. We spent many months wrangling with the council, going back and forth which was less than pleasant. My partner works full time but earns less than 20k and we live in the south-east, where rent and cost of living is extremely high. Reducing Housing Benefit so drastically means I struggle to pay rent and have about 20 pounds a month left over to pay for anything else.

I went to speak to my then-MP Des Turner about this but he seemed less than interested, despite being on the select committee for disability.

I am a great deal poorer for pursuing my relationship. Since moving in with my partner the council have seen us as one entity and considers my partner's earnings fully available for my use. This is not the case – as a responsible adult I expect our incomes to remain separate, and I have no access to his income. He pays me no money and we have no joint accounts. The Housing Benefit Assessment officer stated to me 'for Housing Benefit purposes we have to treat you as a couple even though your finances are kept separate'. I am at a loss to understand what living together has to do with financial circumstances.

Equally disturbing is the Housing Benefit form itself – endlessly long and repetitive, and must be filled in repeatedly at two yearly intervals to check the claimant hasn't become a Hardened Criminal Benefit Fraud in the meantime. My non-disabled partner has consistently been pestered to fill out part of the form. In order to validate MY claim, he has to disclose his income and provide payslips, bank statements and proof of identity. He himself has no reason to claim benefit. We are treated as co-claimants, despite the fact that if the claim is successful, my partner receives no money from it. What happens if one's partner refuses to fill it in? The answer is that the benefit is stopped without explanation other than 'we assume you no longer wish to claim benefit'. If one's relationship is less than sterling, if there are domestic abuse issues or estrangement which lead partners to refuse to fill in the form, I have no idea what claimants are to do with such a system.

I feel the current system penalises people who are so unfortunate as to be forced to claim benefit – a demeaning and depressing situation – who then wish to enter into a relationship and shared life with someone. Surely meaningful adult relationships are to be encouraged rather than penalised. (I later married my partner, which should at least make David Cameron happy.)

I have some suggestions: instead of assuming all partners share income, assume they don't. Put a cap on receiving Housing Benefit based on entire household income if you must, for example 30k between two childless people (different if you have children and how many you have). Take note of where in the country people live, because cost of living does differ. Stop asking for proof every five minutes, because once you've proved your identity and your income, this should stand.

A few words on my experience of claiming benefits: I have seen a very bad attitude from many of those working with me to process my claims. It seems everyone involved (including my partner, my doctor and my parents who wrote in support of me) is treated with suspicion, with a 'guilty until proven innocent' attitude repeatedly applied to me and my partner. I have had benefits stopped without explanation a number of times and questions asked about it only later. The benefit system seems to foster the idea that everyone on benefits is either currently a criminal, or a criminal waiting to happen. Please act to try to change public perception of the benefits system, instead of encouraging this attitude as Labour did. And please work with those professionally involved with benefit claimants including council workers to help them to understand their hardline attitudes are offensive and unhelpful.

Why is this idea important?

 

Dear Nick Clegg,

This website is a fantastic idea! I would like to share with you a situation regarding Housing Benefit.

Due to a long-term serious health condition I claim incapacity benefit and housing benefit. When I moved in with my partner it was assumed by my council that my partner was financially supporting me. The result was Council Tax benefit was stopped and Housing Benefit reduced very significantly.

I have never been financially supported by my partner and we went to some lengths to explain and prove this with bank statements over the previous two years. We spent many months wrangling with the council, going back and forth which was less than pleasant. My partner works full time but earns less than 20k and we live in the south-east, where rent and cost of living is extremely high. Reducing Housing Benefit so drastically means I struggle to pay rent and have about 20 pounds a month left over to pay for anything else.

I went to speak to my then-MP Des Turner about this but he seemed less than interested, despite being on the select committee for disability.

I am a great deal poorer for pursuing my relationship. Since moving in with my partner the council have seen us as one entity and considers my partner's earnings fully available for my use. This is not the case – as a responsible adult I expect our incomes to remain separate, and I have no access to his income. He pays me no money and we have no joint accounts. The Housing Benefit Assessment officer stated to me 'for Housing Benefit purposes we have to treat you as a couple even though your finances are kept separate'. I am at a loss to understand what living together has to do with financial circumstances.

Equally disturbing is the Housing Benefit form itself – endlessly long and repetitive, and must be filled in repeatedly at two yearly intervals to check the claimant hasn't become a Hardened Criminal Benefit Fraud in the meantime. My non-disabled partner has consistently been pestered to fill out part of the form. In order to validate MY claim, he has to disclose his income and provide payslips, bank statements and proof of identity. He himself has no reason to claim benefit. We are treated as co-claimants, despite the fact that if the claim is successful, my partner receives no money from it. What happens if one's partner refuses to fill it in? The answer is that the benefit is stopped without explanation other than 'we assume you no longer wish to claim benefit'. If one's relationship is less than sterling, if there are domestic abuse issues or estrangement which lead partners to refuse to fill in the form, I have no idea what claimants are to do with such a system.

I feel the current system penalises people who are so unfortunate as to be forced to claim benefit – a demeaning and depressing situation – who then wish to enter into a relationship and shared life with someone. Surely meaningful adult relationships are to be encouraged rather than penalised. (I later married my partner, which should at least make David Cameron happy.)

I have some suggestions: instead of assuming all partners share income, assume they don't. Put a cap on receiving Housing Benefit based on entire household income if you must, for example 30k between two childless people (different if you have children and how many you have). Take note of where in the country people live, because cost of living does differ. Stop asking for proof every five minutes, because once you've proved your identity and your income, this should stand.

A few words on my experience of claiming benefits: I have seen a very bad attitude from many of those working with me to process my claims. It seems everyone involved (including my partner, my doctor and my parents who wrote in support of me) is treated with suspicion, with a 'guilty until proven innocent' attitude repeatedly applied to me and my partner. I have had benefits stopped without explanation a number of times and questions asked about it only later. The benefit system seems to foster the idea that everyone on benefits is either currently a criminal, or a criminal waiting to happen. Please act to try to change public perception of the benefits system, instead of encouraging this attitude as Labour did. And please work with those professionally involved with benefit claimants including council workers to help them to understand their hardline attitudes are offensive and unhelpful.

The Police Should Not Be Allowed To Refer Themselves To The Police Complaints Authority.

The police should not be permitted to refer themselves to their own complaints authority. Complaints should come from and be initiated by police victims or those with complaints against the police. The practice of referring themselves is a conflict of interests and it allows police to frame the compliants and provide the evidence to condemn themselves.

I suspect that self-referral is a case of possible self-justification and added complexity and timewasting.

Why is this idea important?

The police should not be permitted to refer themselves to their own complaints authority. Complaints should come from and be initiated by police victims or those with complaints against the police. The practice of referring themselves is a conflict of interests and it allows police to frame the compliants and provide the evidence to condemn themselves.

I suspect that self-referral is a case of possible self-justification and added complexity and timewasting.

De-criminalize Swiss army knives

I remember the media headlines about knife crime in certain areas of London and the subsequent ban but it never occurred to me that the little Swiss army knife in my pocket can be considered an illegal weapon. The little pen knife, about three inches long, used to such tasks as peeling an orange or sharpening a toothpick. In other words I was not aware that I became a criminal because I did not remove my pen knife from my pocket when the said law was introduced. I was rudely (quite literally) informed of that fact when I attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament  with a group of journalists carrying a concealed weapon in my pocket. I was told expressis verbis that I would be arrested unless I voluntarily give up the said concealed weapon.

I am not the only person to whom it did not occur that a Swiss army knife can be considered an illegal weapon. This is an anecdotal evidence only but I know a number of people who still carry one. My late mother carried one in her handbag all her life.

A knife is first and foremost a tool, the most universal and ubiquitous tool known to man. I can understand a ban on knives that are made to be weapons and are intended to be used as such but a blanket ban to carry a knife could criminalize almost anybody. Even a kitchen knife has to be carried from a shop to a kitchen which means that almost everybody has committed a crime. And what about outdoor camping? Anyone attempting to walk the Pennine Way is a criminal because it is impossible to camp in the wild without a knife.
 

Why is this idea important?

I remember the media headlines about knife crime in certain areas of London and the subsequent ban but it never occurred to me that the little Swiss army knife in my pocket can be considered an illegal weapon. The little pen knife, about three inches long, used to such tasks as peeling an orange or sharpening a toothpick. In other words I was not aware that I became a criminal because I did not remove my pen knife from my pocket when the said law was introduced. I was rudely (quite literally) informed of that fact when I attempted to enter the Houses of Parliament  with a group of journalists carrying a concealed weapon in my pocket. I was told expressis verbis that I would be arrested unless I voluntarily give up the said concealed weapon.

I am not the only person to whom it did not occur that a Swiss army knife can be considered an illegal weapon. This is an anecdotal evidence only but I know a number of people who still carry one. My late mother carried one in her handbag all her life.

A knife is first and foremost a tool, the most universal and ubiquitous tool known to man. I can understand a ban on knives that are made to be weapons and are intended to be used as such but a blanket ban to carry a knife could criminalize almost anybody. Even a kitchen knife has to be carried from a shop to a kitchen which means that almost everybody has committed a crime. And what about outdoor camping? Anyone attempting to walk the Pennine Way is a criminal because it is impossible to camp in the wild without a knife.
 

Repeal laws preventing the public defending themselves and others

Members of the public have a common law duty and right not only to defend themselves and others, to prevent loss or damage to property and to arrest offenders, but also to prevent a breach of the peace.

However, laws such as Section 1 of the "Prevention of Crime Act 1953", which make it an offence to be in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, prevent us from having the necessary tools to protect ourselves and others. These defensive tools, such as batons and irritant sprays, should be permitted for persons with no violent crime convictions and carrying them to protect oneself and others should be a "reasonable excuse". However the police will not accept this, so this law (and any other related ones) should be repealed and replaced with one that allows law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and others against criminals.

These defensive tools are only what the police are allowed to carry to protect themselves, but members of the public are expected to walk around defenseless and in no position to assist their fellow citizens. The police do their best but obviously they can't be everywhere at once and much of the time all they can do is catch the offender after he's disposed of the rent money or wages he's stolen from the victim, or left them with life-threatening and changing injuries, if not brain-damaged or dead. If the public were allowed to carry defensive weapons, they would have a chance at repelling such assaults and other people would be more inclined to come to their assistance. On too many occasions the police have refused or been unable to come to the assistance of someone in time and it is unacceptable that in such situations the innocent person under attack by armed criminals is rendered defenseless by the state.

I'm not suggesting people should be allowed to carry knives and guns and I'm open to the idea of having some sort of training program (perhaps run by some of the soon to be made redundant police officers) leading to a license before a person is allowed to carry defensive items, although the principle should be that all adults have the right to own and carry such items, unless banned by reason of a violent crime history or serious mental health problems.

This would in no way jeopardize the state, as it will still have trained firearms officers and the army to defend itself against insurrection, but will give citizens a chance to stand up to thugs and defend themselves and others, rather than having to scurry about with their their heads down, hoping that a thug doesn't decide to single them out, and then hope that the police might turn up in time to prevent them being left permanently disfigured, brain-damaged or dead.

There are too many cases of citizens being persecuted by the authorities for defending themselves: for example, Kenneth Blight, 51, who stabbed a 19-year old who was threatening him with an axe in his garden, was given a two-year suspended sentence but the Attorney General sought to have the sentence increased. Instead the court halved the sentence, although Mr Blight did spend 4.5 months on remand.

And Omari Roberts, 23, who stabbed a 17-year old burglar who rushed him in his mother's home, who spent 7 months on remand before the CPS decided to charge him with murder and wounding with intent, based on the allegations of the other, 14-year old, burglar. Mr Roberts then spent another six months on remand, so imprisoned for 13 months in total, before the CPS dropped the case because the 14-year old confessed he'd lied that he'd been
chased down the street.

And James Killen, 18, who stabbed a 46 year-old man who was stabbing his mother (who subsequently died from her injuries) in their home, arrested on suspicion of murder. Thankfully he was not charged, but why should citizens who use quite legal and obviously necessary force, in this case after seeing his mother being subjected to a brutal and horrific attack, be subjected to the additional and quite intolerable stress of being arrested and treated as a criminal.

Despite only legally being allowed to use the same reasonable force as the public, police officers who kill suspects, whether accidentally or by design, even when lethal-force was quite unwarranted, are rarely subjected to the stress of being arrested and treated as the criminal and locked up for over a year, but are merely questioned after being allowed to confer and compare notes with colleagues. If this is sufficient to ascertain the truth, then it should be the same procedure used for citizens where there is reason to believe that they are the victim and were merely defending themselves or others.

If citizens were permitted to own defensive items, they may have been able to use them in some of the above cases, rather than having no choice but to reach for the nearest kitchen knife to defend themselves against an attacker who they have to assume is willing to kill them and thus they have to stop them before they have a chance to do so, only to be persecuted for using a lethal option, when the less-than-lethal options available to the police are denied them.

Why is this idea important?

Members of the public have a common law duty and right not only to defend themselves and others, to prevent loss or damage to property and to arrest offenders, but also to prevent a breach of the peace.

However, laws such as Section 1 of the "Prevention of Crime Act 1953", which make it an offence to be in possession of an offensive weapon in a public place without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, prevent us from having the necessary tools to protect ourselves and others. These defensive tools, such as batons and irritant sprays, should be permitted for persons with no violent crime convictions and carrying them to protect oneself and others should be a "reasonable excuse". However the police will not accept this, so this law (and any other related ones) should be repealed and replaced with one that allows law-abiding citizens to defend themselves and others against criminals.

These defensive tools are only what the police are allowed to carry to protect themselves, but members of the public are expected to walk around defenseless and in no position to assist their fellow citizens. The police do their best but obviously they can't be everywhere at once and much of the time all they can do is catch the offender after he's disposed of the rent money or wages he's stolen from the victim, or left them with life-threatening and changing injuries, if not brain-damaged or dead. If the public were allowed to carry defensive weapons, they would have a chance at repelling such assaults and other people would be more inclined to come to their assistance. On too many occasions the police have refused or been unable to come to the assistance of someone in time and it is unacceptable that in such situations the innocent person under attack by armed criminals is rendered defenseless by the state.

I'm not suggesting people should be allowed to carry knives and guns and I'm open to the idea of having some sort of training program (perhaps run by some of the soon to be made redundant police officers) leading to a license before a person is allowed to carry defensive items, although the principle should be that all adults have the right to own and carry such items, unless banned by reason of a violent crime history or serious mental health problems.

This would in no way jeopardize the state, as it will still have trained firearms officers and the army to defend itself against insurrection, but will give citizens a chance to stand up to thugs and defend themselves and others, rather than having to scurry about with their their heads down, hoping that a thug doesn't decide to single them out, and then hope that the police might turn up in time to prevent them being left permanently disfigured, brain-damaged or dead.

There are too many cases of citizens being persecuted by the authorities for defending themselves: for example, Kenneth Blight, 51, who stabbed a 19-year old who was threatening him with an axe in his garden, was given a two-year suspended sentence but the Attorney General sought to have the sentence increased. Instead the court halved the sentence, although Mr Blight did spend 4.5 months on remand.

And Omari Roberts, 23, who stabbed a 17-year old burglar who rushed him in his mother's home, who spent 7 months on remand before the CPS decided to charge him with murder and wounding with intent, based on the allegations of the other, 14-year old, burglar. Mr Roberts then spent another six months on remand, so imprisoned for 13 months in total, before the CPS dropped the case because the 14-year old confessed he'd lied that he'd been
chased down the street.

And James Killen, 18, who stabbed a 46 year-old man who was stabbing his mother (who subsequently died from her injuries) in their home, arrested on suspicion of murder. Thankfully he was not charged, but why should citizens who use quite legal and obviously necessary force, in this case after seeing his mother being subjected to a brutal and horrific attack, be subjected to the additional and quite intolerable stress of being arrested and treated as a criminal.

Despite only legally being allowed to use the same reasonable force as the public, police officers who kill suspects, whether accidentally or by design, even when lethal-force was quite unwarranted, are rarely subjected to the stress of being arrested and treated as the criminal and locked up for over a year, but are merely questioned after being allowed to confer and compare notes with colleagues. If this is sufficient to ascertain the truth, then it should be the same procedure used for citizens where there is reason to believe that they are the victim and were merely defending themselves or others.

If citizens were permitted to own defensive items, they may have been able to use them in some of the above cases, rather than having no choice but to reach for the nearest kitchen knife to defend themselves against an attacker who they have to assume is willing to kill them and thus they have to stop them before they have a chance to do so, only to be persecuted for using a lethal option, when the less-than-lethal options available to the police are denied them.

Simplify and clarify the laws on carrying knives

At the moment the laws on the carrying of knives are hopelessly confused and complex. Because of hasty ill thought out legislation many people are unwittingly breaking the law by, for instance, carrying a life with a lock blade whilst walking in the country. Most good quality penknives these days have lock blades but for some reason carrying one can be illegal. If the law were simplified making it for instance "unlawful to carry a knife in a situation which may lead to a breach of the peace" then it could be left to the common sense of the Police and Courts to differentiate between those engaging in peaceful pursuits and those carrying knives in city centres or similar.

Why is this idea important?

At the moment the laws on the carrying of knives are hopelessly confused and complex. Because of hasty ill thought out legislation many people are unwittingly breaking the law by, for instance, carrying a life with a lock blade whilst walking in the country. Most good quality penknives these days have lock blades but for some reason carrying one can be illegal. If the law were simplified making it for instance "unlawful to carry a knife in a situation which may lead to a breach of the peace" then it could be left to the common sense of the Police and Courts to differentiate between those engaging in peaceful pursuits and those carrying knives in city centres or similar.

repeal the barnet formula

Stop the law that give inapropriate amounts to England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland wants indepenance then let them have it without the unnessary funds that come per head from central government  

This law is so out of date and we the English come off the worst – whilst Scotland and Wales get to make laws on Health like no Home care charges and prescriptions we have to pay for everything! and give them a greater proportion per head of the funds.

Why is this idea important?

Stop the law that give inapropriate amounts to England Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland – Scotland wants indepenance then let them have it without the unnessary funds that come per head from central government  

This law is so out of date and we the English come off the worst – whilst Scotland and Wales get to make laws on Health like no Home care charges and prescriptions we have to pay for everything! and give them a greater proportion per head of the funds.

Leave the EU – that should stop most of the daft, expensive legislation

Leaving the EU should stop most of the daft, expensive legislation which this site was set up to do. Most of the ideas proposed on this site would be impossible to repeal because the are binding on our government. Euro diktat has precedence over UK law in many cases.

Most of our legislation is now directed from Brussels. The government you elect here in the UK can rarely do anything about laws, regulations and bureacracy from the EU. Most of these things have been created after lobbying by special interest groups or big business. They have the deep pockets to employ specialist PR agents who – at best – wine and dine the EU bureacrats.

Even where the legislations sounds to be positive, it is usually at enormous cost.

Every year, thousands of new rules and regulations are published producing a monumental nuisance for almost every organisation in the country.

Some we know are EU-inspired, but other laws are less well known as EU in origin. In fact most of our legislation comes from over the water.  But the majority of EU laws and regulations are expensive to implement and monitor, and ineffective in not producing the intended effect; some are harmful, and of course some actually useful.

Why is this idea important?

Leaving the EU should stop most of the daft, expensive legislation which this site was set up to do. Most of the ideas proposed on this site would be impossible to repeal because the are binding on our government. Euro diktat has precedence over UK law in many cases.

Most of our legislation is now directed from Brussels. The government you elect here in the UK can rarely do anything about laws, regulations and bureacracy from the EU. Most of these things have been created after lobbying by special interest groups or big business. They have the deep pockets to employ specialist PR agents who – at best – wine and dine the EU bureacrats.

Even where the legislations sounds to be positive, it is usually at enormous cost.

Every year, thousands of new rules and regulations are published producing a monumental nuisance for almost every organisation in the country.

Some we know are EU-inspired, but other laws are less well known as EU in origin. In fact most of our legislation comes from over the water.  But the majority of EU laws and regulations are expensive to implement and monitor, and ineffective in not producing the intended effect; some are harmful, and of course some actually useful.