Archive for the ‘Law’ Category

The national minimum wage (NMW) in the UK is a national slavery industry, I remember it being hailed as a good thing when it was implemented but now older and wiser I see it as legitimizing forced labor in the private sector. I know many will say that I am focusing on the negative or over exaggerating the effect of the minimum wage but lets just break it downMan digging through the word poverty

  • Minimum Wage is £6.02 per hour worked
  • average week is 45 hours
  • That is a wage of £1094 per calendar month before deductions
  • So on Minimum Wage your likely to take home £750 roughly after Tax and NI
  • The Average Rent is £500-600 a month and travel £100-150

I am very fortunate at never having to have worked on minimum wage due to the fact that I was able to fall into a trade from school and by the time the NMW was introduced I was already earning £15,000 which was considered a good wage at the time, but many here in the UK are not so fortunate and end up working in retail and services which is largely minimum wage.

On paper the concept of forcing the employer to pay a minimum wage looks like a good idea but there were two unforeseen consequences by the original policy makers

  1. No effort was made to look at the cost of living and implement a minimum wage for each county/town so that in some areas people did well and in others people lost out.
  2. and two the NMW allowes companies to keep wages in areas artificially and unethically low while taking all rights under the law for the employee to question the set wage.

A Taste Of Their Own Medicine

Any politician that blindly defends the NMW should be forced to live on it for 6 months with no outside interference and I am sure we see them struggle even more than the average poor person is forced to live for the rest of their lives this would allow the policy makers to get a taste of their own medicine.

But it truly is a shame that this kind of situation has even arisen and even worse that the basic problems have not been sorted over a decade after the NMW was first introduced if we had policy makers that actually knew the plight of the poorest in our society blogs like this one would not exist.

In the next couple of years we are going to see the Tories making even deeper cuts into government spending and in response to this local authorities are guaranteed to increase taxes to keep their over inflated budgets and salaries rising well above inflation while the people at the bottom are on the verge of starvation.

Keep the National Minimum Wage or Get Rid Of It

So what am I advocating do we keep the National Minimum Wage or Get rid of it well above I pointed out some basic and serious flaws but nothing fatal that could warrant the legislation being removed no what is suggest is

  1. Amend it to be a Local Minimum Wage based the local cost of living
  2. Have it increase every year at the same percentage of the growth of GDP if negative then at 1% above inflation.
  3. Increase the tax threshold to £16,000 per year

This would go a long way to helping the people at minimum wage level increase their living standards as well as help the economy with as more people with disposable income will allow more spending and reduce the burden on the welfare state. On a final not I Man stacking shelvesthink that companies who decide to lay off staff because of the company losing money should have to prove that they are falling into negative income rather just just slimming their profit margins.

I think its disgusting that a company can lay thousands of staff but still make £20 Million pound profit to pay share holders as we have seen year in and year out since 2007. We should implement simple changes to the legislation to make the national minimum wage a national pride not the slavery that it currently is.

Advertisements

magna carta in textThe Magna Carta which is Latin for Great Charter is probably the most famous legal document in our current legal systems history and it is the very foundation from which the legal system we have today is derived from, but after 800 years and almost as many changes to the contents of the document is it really relevant.

 

I believe it is not and the main issue I have with it is that many of the clauses in the Magna Carta have been removed or changed over the years and is no longer relevant in my opinion for example clause 39 states

  • NO Freeman shall be taken or imprisoned, or be disseised of his Freehold, or Liberties, or free Customs, or be outlawed, or exiled, or any other wise destroyed; nor will We not pass upon him, nor [X1condemn him,] but by lawful judgement of his Peers, or by the Law of the Land. We will sell to no man, we will not deny or defer to any man either Justice or Right.

However according to the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 you can be seized and detained in policehandcuffed hands custody for a minimum of 24 hours but also longer without charge if a chief constable or higher deems it necessary to obtain a conviction this is as far as I am concerned a direct violation of the above clause in the sense that you are being deprived of your right to freedom based on the opinion of police officer who thinks you may have committed a crime. Although this may be legal is certainly unethical. Also you will note that it says that “we will sell to no man” I am assuming that this is referring to selling a detained person before charges have been brought if so we also violate this clause in cases of extradition and rendition.

I am certainly no legal professional but I am appalled to think that on one hand we call ourselves civilized with our aged legal system and yet deny everyday citizens freedom based on  hunches and circumstantial evidence, for if it wasn’t circumstantial then the arresting authorities would charge the individual(s) concerned. I am sure there are many contradictions in the legal system with reference to the Magna Carta largely based on the fact that it spans many centuries but for me that also means its pretty irrelevant from a modern standpoint.
From a historical point of view I think that this is an immensely important document and the fact that the king was brought to heel a good thing for the common man but in today’s world it is outdated and at best toilet paper as far as politicians are concerned and this is why I believe that we need to rethink our views on the British legal system by implementing a new bill of rights to protect the innocent from the excess of government and its insatiable thirst for power over the individuaSigning of the Magna Cartal.

The true irony of the Magna Carta is that it was produced from an era of betrayal and revolt against a legal ruling dynasty to become the founding father of the modern civil rights we have today. When looking at the legality of the Magna Carta we have to bear that in mind, but we must also remeber that history is written by the victors and the moral highground we currently stand on could be made from sand if it were to be proven that the Great Charter was signed under duress therefore making it illegal as well as immoral.

The Government Mushroom

Here in the UK we have a massive government and it sucks up an enormous amount of resources and money, however the British government do not have enough money coming from the economy so they subsidize the shortfall via the tax system which is bloated and gives British citizens the unenviable title of being the most taxed in the world.

According to the website ukpublicspending total British government spending in 2011 was £681.3 billion and overall government spending is currently running at 45.66% of the British GDP.

This mean that  just under half of all the money created in the UK economy is spent on the running of the government and various departments compared with just 35.89 percent that was being spent in the 1950’s in the last sixty years we have seen a 10% increase however if you look at the system that we have today we are getting a lot less bang for our buck.

A quick breakdown of government spending in the United Kingdom for year end 2011 shows in billions the amount spent

  1. Pensions £119.3
  2. NHS £121.3
  3. Defense £45.6
  4. Welfare £112.7
  5. Education £91.8

Figures courtesy of ukpublicspending

The three single biggest financial drains on the system are the National Health Service Pensions and lastly Welfare yet the two most important areas defense and education are pretty much left by the wayside and the NHS is set to increase its expenditure year after year with no exception.

Socialist Capitalist Hybrid

We currently reside in capitalist nation with an identity crisis, The problem is that while we want the spoils of capitalism and free trade we also have a government who are unable to stop meddling with the system and it is this reason we are in the financial mess we are currently in. Labour have always historically been a socialist party and it was them that gave us the National Health Service that was going to become the biggest financial black hole the UK have ever created.Capitalism Vs Socialism badge

But then came the eighties and bundles of free money from the capitalist policies of the Conservatives so not to be outdone Labour got a new man in, Tony Blaire who helped give birth to the New Labour movement effectively turning them into conservatives wearing red. In the late 90s to early noughty’s Labour went on a social spending spree trying to create more socialism using while capitalism to pay for it. But instead what we have ended up with is a broken system with a spiraling deficit and massive social care and benefits system literally dragging into a financial abyss.

This is not all Labour’s fault however it was the conservatives who sold all the silverwareso they could have enough cash to create a financial sector which would allow us nearly 20 years of prosperity but at the cost of our very souls, it was also the conservatives who destroyed the only tools in the peasants armory to defend themselves with the Trade-Unions in order to make sure that the business sector could exploit you and me and push down wages while pushing up prices to maximize profits.

The current state of the UK is that we have a very expensive government and social system coupled with a very expensive debt problem caused by the lack of financial regulation and a government either unable or unwilling to sort the problem because it would effectively mean political exile for the ruling party.

Poisonous Medication

The fact of the matter is this we can not sustain our current path and in order for us to remain the financial center that we are we are going to have to drastically change direction. I for one would like to see a reduction in government and allow it to return to the doing what it is supposed to be doing like keeping the peace not snooping on families or trying to micromanage the economy. Skulls and coss bones on yellow background

The only way for us to get out the hole we currently reside is to reform the NHS into privatized hospital system and get people to buy medical insurance but make sure there are strict guidelines to stop insurance companies from inflating the premiums, we could also have a similar system to the US and merge the ambulance service with the Fire Brigade. I would also raise minimum wages in line with inflation to give people more disposable income as well as  making sure that wages are set regionally not nationally to take into account living costs. Then cut taxes with the money raised in the destruction of the over inflated benefit’s system and subsidize new companies worth under a million pounds to revitalize our industry and abolish VAT on on products produced within the United Kingdom to help them keep running costs down.

I would Finish off by not bailing any banks that refuse to lend money to small business and don’t be fooled by the media rhetoric the money we have put into the banking system so far is lost and we may as well write it off and if they do fail they fail it would hurt in the medium term but I think it is better than leaving a legacy of debt pushing our children into poverty before they are even born as the current government policy is intent on doing.

I would then scale back on things like overseas contributions and handouts until our economy is back on track and out of the deficit and I would also bring our troops home and if America wants to continue to police the world then let it do so at it’s own expense. The money saved here would be put back into the military but on a defense basis only. I don’t buy that we are more safe fighting war’s overseas as nearly every terrorist attack we have been a victim of has been directly because we have had troops overseas, this is not cowardice it is prudence.

What Comes Next

Nobody knows what comes next but we can put ourselves into a better position to weather the coming financial storm
by reducing the states influence and expenditure and reducing the deficit through a sound economic policy not by throwing limitless amounts of money at it until we are so indebted that we are living hand to mouth just to pay the interest.

View of a highway

To much damage has been done by people who quite frankly know nothing about the world in or how to avoid the storm but we can make sure were in a port when it hits. Thanks to the fiat currencies around the world on the verge of meltdown If we wait to long to start the medication it may be to late to cure the disease that is debt.

Constitutional MonarchyRoyal Coat of arms of house windsor

The British government is classified as a Constitutional Monarchy Government this means that although we have an elected prime minister our head of state is actually a monarch however in the UK this has been largely ceremonial since the passing of the Bill of rights act passed in 1689. Although the head of state has to write off on laws and the opening and closing of Parliament the monarchs ability to rule is very limited within the United Kingdom.

The other part of the title Constitutional is also quite fictitious as the ruling class otherwise known as politicians are able to change and amend the bill of rights as it suites them and the constitution is based across various documents and laws so in reality we do not have a strong solid legal precedent which actually defends the right of the individual.

Old as the Union

British law is quite literally as old the Union itself and many countries around the world including the mighty American Empire can trace its legal lineage back to the small island of England and this is something every British citizen can be proud of but all this history has a side effect. Written page of the magna carta

The problem is now the system is so old and archaic and so entwined with business that it seems to have forgotten the little people and the gulf between individuals and courts have become so wide that many people within the United Kingdom do not actually know their rights which were set down by better politicians than we have today. Edmund Burke once said that Britain is likened to an “Organic Society” where things change slowly by evolution rather than revolution and I have to say I agree with this statement.

I think that being an organic society has allowed the United Kingdom to stay at the forefront of many other nations by showing restraint where others have powered ahead sometimes to devastating effect just as we saw in the French Revolution of the 1700s, This restraint however has been pushed to the extreme and has become antiquated and in cumbersome, its time to let go.

Rights of the Individual

In the western world we pride ourselves on our freedoms such as the freedom to live without fear of oppression but interestingly all of our freedoms are of society and can sometimes side step the rights of the individual. In law the person is defined as: 

  1. a human being. 2) a corporation treated as having the rights and obligations of a person. Counties and cities can be treated as a person in the same manner as a corporation. However, corporations, counties and cities cannot have the emotions of humans such as malice, and therefore are not liable for punitive damages unless there is a statute authorizing the award of punitive damages. Legal Dictionary

But nowhere is it said that a person is an individual and therefore they must only look at the rights of people or persons based as a whole society I think this to be the wrong way of looking at things as it becomes very easy to pass laws which may be of detriment to an individual but seem on the surface to benefit society. Under British law it appears to me that as a Human Being you have rights and as a person you have rights but as an individual you do not have rights.

mans face obscured by barcode. I am not a number

The importance of defining the Human being as an Individual to me is the Key to ensuring that corporations do not continue to move into the realm where they become one of us, this is important because certain rules such as land ownership and privacy rights and that should be unique to the individual citizen.

Why change the Bill Of Rights

In my personal opinion I think we do not need a constitution but we do need an up to date and modern Bill of Rights that is governed by the people in the form of any amendments to be made must have the backing of the electorate by a vote of 70% or more for any change to be made.

The issue I have with our current bill of rights is that people who wrote it did not see the rise of mega corporations or the single minded way in which they strive for control of the individual and they couldn’t even comprehend the way in which we use information and they way it is thrown around the internet so carelessly.

Right To Representation

You reading this currently do not have a set of rights tailored to you or to the needs of your family and unlike the large corporations who share the rights you currently do have, you don’t have the understanding influence or money to lobby for changes that can affect your life. I find it very worrying that a non human entity has the above mentioned things to get the law changed to favour the corporation that could have a devastating effect on the way in which we live.

In law we have the right to fair legal representation so why is this not applied when it comes to how the law looks at us, simply because the legal system panders to the person with the most money. Is it fair that when a person (corporation) finds a law that stops it doing something it can lobby to have that amended in order to circumvent it? Is that fair representation.

By defining you and me as individuals we can write a Bill of rights that will truly champion people and not persons it will stop this massive invasion of our privacy and our rights to live in a society that is truly free.

Conflicts of interest

The vast majority of politicians active in politics today have either come from business or are guaranteed a position in business companies in highly valued positions when they leave office, many will argue that they get the jobs based on previous experience and contacts built up while working in government, But at what point does contact building become a conflict of interest I would like to see it put that if a politician is for example the minister for energy then they are not permitted to work that industry.

Even though the evidence is clear that Government and Business are bedfellows we will never be able to prove that key positions are held open for votes, but as the Cash for Honours Scandal in 2007 showed we do need to be vigilant and we do need a cast iron legal document to protect us from such abuses.

Bill of Rights 2012

If we do have a bill of rights we need to ensure it contains clauses clearly defined for the individual and not the corporation persons with no ambiguity.

  1. The bill must be clear and definitive.

  2. it must not allow corporations to abuse/harass individuals including families.

  3. all amendments must be publicly voted on by the electorate to keep stability

  4. it must include a mechanism that allows the individual that effects the state as a whole such as decelerations of war to avoid abuses such as Tony Blair forcing people into unlawful conflicts.

  5. Have a clause which protects the individuals assets from seizure by the state.

  6. A maximum cap on taxation to stop the government and corporations from returning us to feudelist state where people are taxed into poverty.

The above are in my opinion the bare minimum of what should be enforced to protect not just me and you but also the future generations of this country. The quicker we get a bill of rights enforced the less damage that I think Parchent scroll of Bill of Rightswill be done to society.

The electorate are disheartened with democracy because the will of the people is no longer enforced and this has been proven in the low turn out at the last few general elections. The reason people vote in droves for things like the X-factor is because they can see that their vote has a direct impact on the show in politics this is sadly no longer the case.

The United Kingdom may no longer be the power it once was on the world stage but we can still show the world why we are the oldest continuous democracy in the history of the world and it is time for us to evolve once more and enact a bill of rights for the rights of the people let us be the world leader again showing why Great Britain is still Great.