The UK Democracy Trust

The idea is to set-up a giant trust called the UK Democracy Trust that is funded my philanthropists and any other UK or foreign individuals or companies.

The trust would then set-up a payout structure to all political parties, in order that taxpayers or party donators would no longer have to do so.

The structure could be say £15mln per election to each major political party, £5mln a year to medium size parties, and £1mln a year to fledgeling parties. A total payout of say £75-100 million if there are only 3 parties per size class.
(there would be fair eligibility requirements to be classes in a particular funding segment)

The funding would come out of the accrued earnings of the trust, which would have to be approximately £1-1.5bln in size.

Donors would be encourage to donate in support of a true democracy where political parties are not funded directly so as to reduce conflicts of interest, etc. etc. Hence the reason it would be called the Democracy Trust. As such large donors could be publicly recognised for their donations.

All donations would also be tax deductible, as the trust would be a registered charity.

Why is this idea important?

The idea is to set-up a giant trust called the UK Democracy Trust that is funded my philanthropists and any other UK or foreign individuals or companies.

The trust would then set-up a payout structure to all political parties, in order that taxpayers or party donators would no longer have to do so.

The structure could be say £15mln per election to each major political party, £5mln a year to medium size parties, and £1mln a year to fledgeling parties. A total payout of say £75-100 million if there are only 3 parties per size class.
(there would be fair eligibility requirements to be classes in a particular funding segment)

The funding would come out of the accrued earnings of the trust, which would have to be approximately £1-1.5bln in size.

Donors would be encourage to donate in support of a true democracy where political parties are not funded directly so as to reduce conflicts of interest, etc. etc. Hence the reason it would be called the Democracy Trust. As such large donors could be publicly recognised for their donations.

All donations would also be tax deductible, as the trust would be a registered charity.

Identity, Professional Bodies, forms ID1 & ID2

The previous government introduced regulations requiring solicitors, accountants and other professions to demand photo ID from clients. Should this not be at the discretion of the persons involved rather than a catch-all government regulation? This requirement should be removed.

Also introduced were forms ID1 and ID2 requiring again production of photo ID for the Land Registry to be changed. Since in most cases all that this does is execute the provisions of already legally recognised documents, what is the relevance of identity here? There is none. The identity requirements should be removed as unnecessary

Why is this idea important?

The previous government introduced regulations requiring solicitors, accountants and other professions to demand photo ID from clients. Should this not be at the discretion of the persons involved rather than a catch-all government regulation? This requirement should be removed.

Also introduced were forms ID1 and ID2 requiring again production of photo ID for the Land Registry to be changed. Since in most cases all that this does is execute the provisions of already legally recognised documents, what is the relevance of identity here? There is none. The identity requirements should be removed as unnecessary

Repeal all funding to ‘charities’ who lobby (ASH in particular)

Before it's suggested that this idea would be better placed on the spending challenge website, I believe it's essential that it's debated openly on this site – as it relates specifically to democracy and freedom.

 

To quote the website: Rules in society create good law and order. But too many nannying, unnecessary rules restrict freedom and make criminals out of ordinary people.

 

I'd therefore suggest that this idea sits best on this forum, as funding groups with public money, who then lobby politicians is restricting freedoms and making criminals of ordinary people.

Both areas that this site is specifically set up to combat.

 

Additionally, providing funding to these kind of groups is undemocratic – they aren't elected, and serve their own mandate. (ASH receives funding from the Department of Health).

 

To quote from an article written by them: It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we "knew" we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.

 

The full article can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jul/19/health.healthandwellbeing

 

Not content with admitted confidence tricks, they also try to create the impression that any suggestion of compromise with the current smoking ban is being orchestrated by the tobacco industry – thus trying to undermine the legitimate debate and voice of smokers everywhere. See http://www.cieh.org/ehn/ehn3.aspx?id=31820 and another idea on this site http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/time-to-review-the-libel-laws

 

I therefore submit that this idea fits perfectly with 'freedom' in a democratic country, as any unelected group having political sway should be closely examined.

Why is this idea important?

Before it's suggested that this idea would be better placed on the spending challenge website, I believe it's essential that it's debated openly on this site – as it relates specifically to democracy and freedom.

 

To quote the website: Rules in society create good law and order. But too many nannying, unnecessary rules restrict freedom and make criminals out of ordinary people.

 

I'd therefore suggest that this idea sits best on this forum, as funding groups with public money, who then lobby politicians is restricting freedoms and making criminals of ordinary people.

Both areas that this site is specifically set up to combat.

 

Additionally, providing funding to these kind of groups is undemocratic – they aren't elected, and serve their own mandate. (ASH receives funding from the Department of Health).

 

To quote from an article written by them: It is essential that campaigners create the impression of inevitable success. Campaigning of this kind is literally a confidence trick: the appearance of confidence both creates confidence and demoralises the opposition. The week before the free vote we made sure the government got the message that we "knew" we were going to win and it would be better for them to be on the winning side.

 

The full article can be read here: http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2006/jul/19/health.healthandwellbeing

 

Not content with admitted confidence tricks, they also try to create the impression that any suggestion of compromise with the current smoking ban is being orchestrated by the tobacco industry – thus trying to undermine the legitimate debate and voice of smokers everywhere. See http://www.cieh.org/ehn/ehn3.aspx?id=31820 and another idea on this site http://yourfreedom.hmg.gov.uk/repealing-unnecessary-laws/time-to-review-the-libel-laws

 

I therefore submit that this idea fits perfectly with 'freedom' in a democratic country, as any unelected group having political sway should be closely examined.

Scrap sex laws that discriminate against teachers.

Relatively recent law changes now mean that a teacher can be prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year-old. Yet the age of consent is 16! Why should there be special rules for the teaching profession? Doctors and nurses aren't barred from having relationships with people who have been patients in their hospital. Police officers aren't banned from having sex with people who live on their beat. Tax inspectors aren't banned from french-kissing taxpayers!

Now, if a teacher abused their position, that would be a different matter. If they said to a sixth-former, "I'll fail you unless you give me a blow job," then that would be a clear abuse of their position – but prosecutors should have to show that some abuse of authority has actually taken place. The state should not presume that a relationship is abusive just because one partner is a student and the other is a teacher!

A person could marry a 16 year-old and then become a teacher at their school. They could already have a child together. Surely we can't prosecute them or ban them from being at the same school! And if we don't prosecute married couples, why should we discriminate against other couples who choose not to marry?

Why is this idea important?

Relatively recent law changes now mean that a teacher can be prosecuted for having a sexual relationship with a 16 or 17 year-old. Yet the age of consent is 16! Why should there be special rules for the teaching profession? Doctors and nurses aren't barred from having relationships with people who have been patients in their hospital. Police officers aren't banned from having sex with people who live on their beat. Tax inspectors aren't banned from french-kissing taxpayers!

Now, if a teacher abused their position, that would be a different matter. If they said to a sixth-former, "I'll fail you unless you give me a blow job," then that would be a clear abuse of their position – but prosecutors should have to show that some abuse of authority has actually taken place. The state should not presume that a relationship is abusive just because one partner is a student and the other is a teacher!

A person could marry a 16 year-old and then become a teacher at their school. They could already have a child together. Surely we can't prosecute them or ban them from being at the same school! And if we don't prosecute married couples, why should we discriminate against other couples who choose not to marry?

Make all publicly elected officials declare a register of interests, just like MP’s

Corruption and protection of vested interests is affecting many aspects of life.  Make a law to ensure that anyone standing for public office has to declare their income etc.

Ideally this information should be made publicly available prior to the election, which will allow members of the public to make decisions based upon the facts.

It needs to be as comprehensive as possible, hence the suggestion that the MPs register of interests is used as a template.

Why is this idea important?

Corruption and protection of vested interests is affecting many aspects of life.  Make a law to ensure that anyone standing for public office has to declare their income etc.

Ideally this information should be made publicly available prior to the election, which will allow members of the public to make decisions based upon the facts.

It needs to be as comprehensive as possible, hence the suggestion that the MPs register of interests is used as a template.

Abolish the Official Secrets Act

The OSA was originally brought in during a state of war, and its presence on the statute book is at the heart of the culture of unaccountability, secrecy and control freakery which defines most of what is wrong with UK politics today.

 

How can the citizen trust a system which is conceited enough to believe it "owns" information, when all of government is the property of the taxpayer ? A duty of openness should replace a culture of deceit and cover up.

Why is this idea important?

The OSA was originally brought in during a state of war, and its presence on the statute book is at the heart of the culture of unaccountability, secrecy and control freakery which defines most of what is wrong with UK politics today.

 

How can the citizen trust a system which is conceited enough to believe it "owns" information, when all of government is the property of the taxpayer ? A duty of openness should replace a culture of deceit and cover up.