PARTY MANIFESTO, Tax policy, Wealth Distribution, E-democracy, e-democracy, E-voting, e-voting, EPICUS the Party of Informed Consensus.
THE PARTY of INFORMED CONSENSUS (EPICUS) - MANIFESTO
In 2004 social and financial justice seems to be slipping backwards. The gaps between Rich and Poor, Privileged and Underprivileged, Serfs and Aristocrats and Exploited and Exploiters have widened not reduced. Yet in this Information Society, the era of The Electronic Revolution, more global real wealth is being automatically generated by machines, computers and robots than ever in history, thanks to all the generations of effort, sweat, toil, invention, innovation and sacrifice of all who have spent their lives working, and in many cases dying, for the commonwealth.
Poverty can be eradicated, not only in the developed nations but worldwide. But the mechanisms to share this immense and sustainable wealth remain medieval, punitive and primitive. Most people are stressed out. The Work-Life balance is wildly distorted, with responsibility, work and anxiety loaded onto the crushed shoulders of the powerless. The powerful do less and less, and spend more and more time visiting their ever increasing amounts of wealth hidden in tax and money-laundering “havens”. Havens for whom?
Our elected representatives are impotently silent and are no longer capable of acting for their constituents. The governing systems need to be changed. The way that wealth is shared needs to be changed. We should all have a far greater say in government. People are tired of being bamboozled, cheated, polluted, misled and insulted. Balanced justice, equity and fairness can be achieved far more quickly than any current political proposals would allow. We need a radical and intelligent SHOUT for JUSTICE. 99% of people are honest and fair, the dishonest 1% own and exploit the world. We now need to shine the bright light of publicity on the exploiters, freeloaders and unscrupulous.
Here is how I intend to accelerate change. These policies do not please the old established rich and powerful – so I need your support to gather the energy to build a team, persuade the media and promote the changes – in our own lifetimes – that will give me and you and our kids and our grandchildren a better world to live in. Any donations you send will be applied to this aim.
Can I accelerate change? In 1988 I joined the movement to
strike the shackles off the commuting workforce – daily being chained to
cripplingly tedious work in factories and offices, away from their families
from pre-dawn till after dark – six days a week. I know, I was one if those
commuters. Flexible working was a treasonable offence. We called the new way
“Teleworking”. Today, there are more than 20 million flexible workers in the
First steps – We will build a core-team of policy strategists
and computer and telecoms communications experts – so that we can communicate
with all EPICUS supporters. We will promote our fair-share policies
Email your EPICUS policy suggestions to email@example.com – and be brief as I expect I will have a lot to read. If you are an organisation that can help – e.g. in E-Learning, E-Democracy, Tax-Justice, Tracking Off-Shore Funds, Restitution for Major Frauds Victims (Parmalat, ENRON, Equitable Life etc), Fair-Trade, Wealth-Distribution – I would appreciate your help.
To support the work, for the first year or so of our lobbying campaign (from September 2004 until the EPICUS is established) simply send a cheque/check in any currency, payable to me “Noel Hodson” at:
Am I trustworthy? Check me out on the Internet with a search for “Noel Hodson” which will show that this is the sort of campaign I initiate or join. The above address has been my wife’s and my home for 25 years. My short and long CV’s are on the website.
I will put a weekly EPICUS progress report, ‘EPICUS-NEWS’, on this web-site.
Here is the shockingly radical manifesto your support will help me to promote to usher in the Era of Intelligent Cooperation. There is a lot to do.
THE PARTY of INFORMED CONSENSUS (EPICUS).
Overall Guiding Principle:
"Gradually (over 20 years) change the party system to enable E-voting on policies by referenda with Informed Consensus."
We no longer want to vote for an individual who, like Tony Blair and most past Prime Ministers or Presidents, may manifest one or two good political ideas but who, when empowered, conflicts with his supporters on dozens of other ideas and ultimately on policies. MP's should at last, with the astonishing tools of mass communication and the information society at their disposal, truly represent their constituents via continuous, educated and INFORMED referenda.
Practical first term actions:
Ensure all voters have access to the tools of the Information Society. Devise a fraud-proof E-Voting system.
Select one or more public issues, e.g. street litter collection and disposal, create key-policy questions and design a media blitz to inform and educate the electorate. Devise voting-criteria which ensure that eligible voters have studied the issue/s. Publish the eligible voters list and allow time for late-comers to join it. Take the vote with TV and Radio instant feedback on the counting - to leave no time or room for post-vote fiddling.
Here are three popular fiscal policies that might be adopted.
1) Repatriation - Globally
there is about US$14 trillion offshore, $7 trillion (Time Magazine) from the
Birthright - Time
Magazine reckons the
For details see:
Professional Land Reform Group – Tax all
land and fixed assets instead of income. To provide the
THE EPICUS PARTY MANIFESTO - PROPOSALS TO BE PUT TO THE ELECTORATE FOR DEBATE AND INFORMED CONSENSUS.
"We have a basic freedom to travel. Time is each human's most valuable and inelastic resource. We only live for 27,500 days. Don't waste them sitting in transport bottlenecks."
Increase access, reduce delays, reduce pollution.
HOW? Integrated, joined-up transport designed on the governing principles of JOURNEY-TIME and MINIMUM WEIGHT VEHICLES.
About 1/3rd of the main roads network is now occupied by
working vehicles, that is – wagons, lorries, vans and specialist vehicles.
Devise alternative systems for transporting goods, particularly the largest
category - food. In the
Encourage walking - e.g. ban all cars stopping within 500 yards of all schools. Short-haul SUV parents and kids will then walk to school. Build footpaths between existing houses and commercial buildings to enable walkers to get away from traffic and take short-cuts. In towns and cities build people conveyors to speed-up walking and to enable people to cart parcels etc. (FOOTPATH CZAR).
Encourage cycling - e.g. Allow cycling on quiet pavements.
Join up cycle paths to avoid earnest cyclists, as in
Enable Car users and stop persecuting them/us - The car is
preferred for 85% of all
Joined-up licenses for road works - Get them all onto a computer rota for One-Hole-for-diverse-repairs. Over time, put all services currently under the pavements (telephone, power, gas) and roads into above ground channels.
Stop harassing, fining and spying on motorists - remove all speed-trap-cameras and replace speeding offences with offences of careless or dangerous driving. Use cameras to record these offences.
Make most suburban streets into cul-de-sacs. Encourage small vehicles (e.g. One Jaguar takes the road space of two Smart Cars) - Move to a Road Tax Licence based on the size and weight of vehicles. Create more car parks (underground) and de-privatise the parking Gestapo and make them accountable. Co-ordinate traffic lights and fit with traffic counting sensors. Why sit at a red light when the crossing streets are empty?
Make speed limits variable to suit the conditions - e.g. 10MPH (16kph) past a school at entry-exit times - back to 30MPH (48kph) after Remove 80% of all road "furniture" and redesign the rest to cut the clutter and confusion. Our roads and streets need one-authority to harmonise them. (ROAD SIGNS CZAR)
Public-Transport: Restrict the size of buses and introduce more routes (the big buses exist only for big profits) and make them free at the point of use (no tickets - no money changing hands - no delays). Enforce School Buses. Give buses access to the railway system (tarmac the rail-routes) and use the new (old railways) as through routes for goods vehicles also. These routes join all City Centres and are used by trains only about 2% of the time.
Living Well - ban vehicles from many more inner city and town areas to turn them into enjoyable pedestrian havens.
Guiding Principle: "Every citizen is entitled to a pleasant place to live for their brief ephemeral lifespan."
Policy - Build more and varied homes and enable far more self-build and self-design; as making a living space is one of the most basic human creative acts.
HOW - Kit houses like the World-War 2 prefabs have been proposed by many famous architects. Encourage them. List ALL spare inner-city land/derelict buildings that can be used. Educate people into expecting a pleasant neighbourhood and then into insisting on their rights to have a good neighbourhood.
People will make nice homes anywhere from anything if they
are permitted - permit them but with quality controls. Use cheap loans to oil
the transactions (see Low Interest Rates below). If necessary get the loans
The UK homes property market is the cornerstone of our freedom as "subjects" or eventually as citizens. Homes and gardens lend great pleasure to most people's lives. Ensure mortgages remain affordable. Prevent rapacious interest rate hikes and the boom-bust policies favoured by City crooks. Do far more to enable low earners to own their homes. Encourage builders by keeping the homes market buoyant and profitable. House prices WILL rise until there are enough (good) houses.
Protect the green-belt by using every imaginative way to utilise inner city sites.
Guiding Principle: "All citizens are entitled to receive good free health care - but cannot expect unlimited health care, as that is unsustainable. People should be educated to take more responsibility for their own health."
Policies and Actions.
In the UK, at 1.2 million employees (1 in 50 of the population) the National Health Service (NHS) is probably not understaffed - However the resources are not well organised. As the system is constantly evolving to meet the needs of an ageing population and to accommodate new technologies, it should be accepted that there is always a "change margin" where old systems are swapped for new. Like redecorating and refitting your kitchen, there is a necessary level of disruption - of say 5%. 95% should operate well and reliably. But it doesn't.
Hospitals - these public faces of the NHS are now dangerous, infected and dirty places. Patients go in to have an in-growing toenail fixed and die of “the hospital bug” MRSA. This is due to sloppy management. The more that "business-managers" are paid, the less inclined they are to work, as there is little point in having masses of spare cash with no free time. Hospitals need dedicated and medically experienced and qualified managers.
Bring back the Matron (Male or Female) and give them draconian powers to put their hospitals right. Pay medical staff (nurses) far more and insist they take on wider duties - to clean, cook, decorate, disinfect etc. just as you or I would if our child was to be operated on at home. Ditch all "subcontractors" as these are mostly exploited teams of de-motivated low paid workers providing a fat living for their "bosses". Contracting-Out has been fully demonstrated to not work.
Invest in training, training and training at prestigious nurses' and hospital doctors' schools. Enable bright nurses to become medical-assistants and doctors. The UK, EU and USA should be global net providers of trained medics - not parasitical exploiters of poorer nations' trained personnel. We should train more than we need.
Unlimited free medicine? It simply is not possible to provide an unlimited service to an ever ageing population with ever increasing expectations of health care. Review and publish continuously on the WWW what a citizen has rights to and what they must fund privately. All emergency care must be free at the point of delivery - continuously update the list of what is considered emergency. Increase exhortations for citizens to get and stay fit - "Dying in the Best of Health" should be our aim. Mobilise surgical teams far more and have blitzes on waiting lists for eyes, hips etc. across the country.
Give medical officers - from nurses to senior consultants - their status back; commensurate with skill, age and experience.
Guiding Principle: "Each person is born with unique talents and forms of intelligence which the education system should identify, nourish and develop. Good education creates sustainable wealth. The whole population should be well and appropriately educated."
Policies and Actions: If the
Teachers and tutors have to be re-educated to identify their pupil's innate abilities - as artists, chefs, athletes, entertainers, mathematicians, engineers, communicators, entrepreneurs, mothers, labourers, craftsmen/women, warriors, salespersons, farmers and etc. etc. etc. - and be given new goals to enable the development of those talents. The current narrow focus of schooling must be broadened to include all types of talent, to mobilise the energies of the whole community and thereby create far more wealth.
Lifelong Learning - As new technologies arrive we all get out of date and need refresher courses in our own work disciplines to avoid being overtaken. Not least of the professions under stress from new methods - is the teaching profession. Distance Learning like the Open University (Broadcast) and the even newer Interactive Distance Learning (IDLE) with two way communications, such as Australia's School of the Air, are vital elements to incorporate into the education system.
Apprentices: The UK has abandoned its responsibility to train its own workforce. The apprentice system is bankrupt (in the Midlands for example a branch of engineering is down from 3,000 apprentices to just 3) and we prefer to import fully trained people from other countries. This is lazy, sloppy, greedy and unsustainable.
We all need Lifelong Education and need to learn how to apply the new technologies.
HOW - A mix of state and private initiatives - with ever decreasing costs to the students as IDLE and similar systems come on stream.
The UK, EU and USA should aim to be global educators - but our entrepreneurs then need to keep ahead of the foreign competition which our educators create. Constant effort and innovation.
Education can be increasingly customised to the needs of specific pupils. Eventually computers will enable an almost one-to-one learning experience in any subject or field.
To reduce use of drugs, alcohol and general negative living, the mass of people need better education AND the facilities to apply their education in the real world. This means encouraging more pure research, applied research and hobbies.
Guiding Principles: "Citizens have a right to live in a well ordered society without fear of either criminals or over-bearing policing. Custody should be reserved for dangerous and violent criminals. Punishment should be appropriate to the crime."
Policies and Actions: In this world with the rapid increase of the Information Society, it is ridiculous that many violent and non-violent crimes go unsolved, undetected or unchecked. We need to create a fairer society which means protecting the vulnerable against bullies and thieves of all sorts - but without giving up our essential freedoms - as a poster outside Washington Airport exhorts "Read Orwell". We should use more computing, more responsibly.
All law enforcement agencies should share information on a national computer system. The UK’s medieval County boundaries should be abolished.
In the UK, prison doesn't work - With a record 60,000 going on 75,000 people banged-up in our overcrowded penal system the question has to be asked about the Home Secretary's fascist tendencies. We MUST reduce the prison population dramatically and with it reduce all the huge costs it generates - from Courts to Police to Cells to the social consequences of a burgeoning population of ex-cons.
HOW? - Legalise drugs. It is ridiculous that marijuana (pot) is illegal. The original laws stem from the US and probably from the tobacco growers of the US, who see a plant that is fun to smoke, has powerful medicinal uses, and which can be grown on any kitchen window sill, as the greatest threat ever to industrialised tobacco. BAT makes sure it hires as many influential "revolving door" politico's and civil servants as possible - who always reliably strut their stuff to keep pot out and fags in. Strong drugs such as cocaine and heroin compete for the markets of the weak and addictive in society, against industrially manufactured beer and spirits. Where do tea and coffee rank in the harmful drug league tables? All substances should be de-criminalised and equally regulated and taxed if necessary.
De-criminalise all drugs. But greatly increase the information campaigns. If people want to kill themselves by smoking, drinking, injecting and whoring - bad luck to them - but it would save society billions if we simply let them do their thing - legally - and halve the prison population.
Release non-fine payers. The other large and oppressed prison population are people who cannot pay fines - including women, for mostly TV licences. It is a sick society that criminalises the very poorest and blights their lives ever after with a prison record. People trapped into such poverty must be helped to get out of it - by education - not damned to stay in it for life.
Mentally-ill people should not be in prison. “Care in the Community” for the mentally ill is not working. Transfer them to hospitals, as secure as necessary to protect themselves and the public.
Review the entire criminal system and de-criminalise anachronistic "crimes" and inappropriate punishments. Replace most prison sentences with obligatory education courses. Re-educate prison managers and guards.
These measures will reduce the UK prison population from 60,000 to 10,000. If the numbers start to creep up again - review the reasons.
A fair society - the basic causes of crime are despair and lack of education. Despair at never being able to express one's own talents and creativity; lack of education consigning most uneducated people to social dustbins. These causes are reflected in the recent re-emergence, since 1980, of aristocrats and beggars in most OECD economies. The UK and the USA locks up petty thieves for stealing a few hundred pounds for longer and with less hope of rehabilitation that it does major financial fraudsters stealing millions or billions of dollars. Fairness must be restored to society.
Guiding principle: "The life work of a steel-engineer, sweating for forty years at a furnace, or a soldier dying for their community, or nurses dedicating themselves to our health, are as valuable to society as the life-work of a senior-manager; their families should now receive more equal respect and benefits. The era of exploitation of other human beings is ending. Ever increasing automation is generating more wealth than the human race ever dreamed of, in a society of rapidly increasing unfairness and state tolerated major fraud, without restitution. Wealth will continue to increase with less and less necessity work - new mechanisms are required to distribute this wealth."
There has been a resurgence of the principle of aristocracy since the days of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Regan, Monetarism and the "unacceptable face of capitalism." Regular and recurring massive frauds, stealing the life savings of millions of hard-working people, like ENRON, Parmalat, Equitable Life and many, many more; and the extraordinary Lottery-Fund-Level annual grasping by corporate directors - and the ever increasing gap between rich and poor - demonstrate that enough is never enough for most of those who claw their way by hook or by crook into the Rich List. While recognising the few notable exceptions – the majority will not voluntarily stop grabbing and getting fatter.
The world's major economies are in real and present danger of becoming Gangster Economies which award power, the power of great wealth, without responsibility. Power without responsibility ultimately leads to anarchy and then to e.g. the French and Russian Revolutions. The few thousand super-rich never have enough and unless there is a shift in government intervention, the already rich will take more and more of the world's wealth, pay less and less tax - anywhere - and leave less and less to be shared between the other 6 billion people on the planet. Without de-motivating society's budding entrepreneurs, it is time the rules were changed to distribute wealth more fairly.
The US Treasury estimates there is $7 trillion dollars in
tax-haven bank accounts. The entire wealth of the
The favourite mechanism to enrich the rich in the
Money-lending and loan-sharking is more subtle than out and
out aristocratic-gangsterism - but is just as effective at stealing from the
poor and giving it to the rich.
Budget changes have to be slow to avoid dislocation. The majority of the tax collections are used to pay teachers, nurses, policemen, firemen and civil servants. Even the radical policies of M. Thatcher only tweaked the national budgets by a meagre 2%, even including the £10M she slipped across to lubricate Mark Thatcher’s life. Evolution not revolution is the way forward. She relied on Interest Rates to punish the poor and create unemployment in order to defeat Arthur Scargill and his miners’ unions.
BIRTHRIGHT - our proposal is to ensure that the increases in national
wealth are shared more equitably. Over 70 years, a generation's lifetime, all
new babies, about 700,000 people a year in the
GLOBAL ECONOMY - Birthright introduced in all countries, at levels appropriate to the local economy, will bring cash-income to more and more currently excluded communities. There are about 1 billion active in today's money-economy. Global Birthright will switch on the other 5 billion in economics terms, give them spending power and hugely increase global markets and corporate and government wealth. Automation will produce more real wealth than the world has dreamed of - if we can avoid the disruptions of revolutions, wars and pestilence.
PENSIONS and SAVINGS:
The City of
FISCAL POLICY - Slowly (20 years) move from direct to indirect taxation. Increase Estate Duty on wealthy families. Collect taxes from dodgers (N.B. - $7trillion off-shore funds - this would pay the UK & US Budgets for a few years with no taxes charged).
Guiding Principle: "We are, like it or not, moving into an ever shrinking world where all are obliged to look over the neighbours' fence before tossing our garbage over it - and to recognise their humanity before we decide to exploit their labour or geographic assets. The world has changed and information flow prevents us from ignoring our neighbours' rights and needs."
On immigration - "We in the
Policies and actions:
First - count the numbers. We have computers these days. Count how many arrive - and what they bring - and count how many leave and what they take. We should be encouraging people to come and bring or generate wealth and encouraging the worthy to stay and not export their wealth to tax-havens or elsewhere. It is this balance that we must constantly review and get right.
Integration - people need to integrate because otherwise
basic human nature creates paranoia which ultimately leads to genocide.
Immigration is not a real problem in the
Defence - We live in a dangerous world that is only partly civilised. We cannot leave ourselves vulnerable to primitive warriors, psychopaths and sociopaths - we need a strong, modern and well trained military. Dictators - We should help to police the world against cruel, murderous regimes. It is now too small a place to know and ignore what is going on in other countries. We do owe a duty of care to other communities.
Terrorism – In his terrifying book ‘1984’ George Orwell predicted, decades before the technology, government cameras on every street and in every room in every house. The population was bewildered and controlled by a phoney war, with a hated fake enemy who was supposedly doing atrocious things around the globe – but, thanks to the free-world’s benign dictator, Big Brother, citizens were kept safe from these imagined terrorists. Does this horrifying Sci-Fi society ring any bells? To maintain the illusion of enemies everywhere, the government set off the occasional “terrorist-bomb” in the city slums – which both cleared a derelict area and frightened the populace into cringing, paranoid compliance.
Terrorists have always existed in all societies. They are the
mad, the disenfranchised, the incompetent minority, who apply the tool normally
reserved for the exclusive use of governments, physical violence, to express
their rage. They are not and never have been a global conspiracy. The answer to
the, very real, threat of terrorism is that our secret services, hugely well
paid, hugely privileged, hugely able, equipped and educated – should damn well
do their job; a job which is dangerous, is stressful and requires great
intelligence. But they should do it nonetheless – or resign. In World War 2 our
spies and double-agents were brave agents, risking their lives. Where are the
James Bonds these days? In the decades up to the
HOW can we most rapidly improve society – by Education, Education and Education. And by joining the political process by adopting the policy of informed, with a strong stress on ‘Informed’ consensus.
Support the EPICUS Party.