Democracy: Vote Sam Freeman

I recently started writing a play about party politics – it was loosely based around a man going from idealized outsider to the leader who compromises his morals – a little like A Small Family Business but with more multi-roles, smaller cast and a darker more sinister ending. Starting the writing (and that’s as far as I got) made me think about my own political beliefs and what I’d run for if running for office. One of my big hates is party politics – the idea that decisions are taken as a group and people have to be whipped into supporting a position they disapprove of – surely a system with independents would be better, aligned to the greater good rather than anything else.

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I found a website a while ago called Vote For Policies (click here to try it) – it is a quiz that separates the party from the policy, so it might give you 6 options on a general direction for immigration (ranging broadly from let ’em all in, to kick ’em all out) and you decide which is your preference. It’s interesting because it doesn’t tell you which party is which – some it’s pretty obvious – UKIP and the BNP policies are easy to spot for their general hatred – but distinguishing between the others, occupying different areas of the middle ground is harder.

I’ve always been a Liberal Democrat, I think partly because my parents were, partly because, before elected, I felt I could trust Nick Clegg and my option seemed like a tired Labour government and a creepy Tory one. At the end of the questions in nine categories (crime, economy etc…) it shows a pie chart (my favorite sort). All red would be someone who agrees with all Labour policies, all light blue would be Tory Policies, yellow for Liberals, purple for UKIP, greens for, well, obviously, and finally dark blue for dicks/BNP. I expected to get 100% yellow. Now bare in mind while I’m educated and read the news I’m not politically active – I don’t know policies clearly – I am, I would guess pretty typically unengaged.

So my results. 60% Green, 40% Red. Apparently I didn’t rate Liberal policies as best in any category. This got me thinking, firstly that I’d be voting Green next election and secondly about the policies I’d support. So here’s a few, see what you think and please check out the website (it’s a little out of date now but will be updated soon apparently!).

  • Crime – Universal access to high quality youth centres – increased power to police authorities – review of police officer T&Cs and pay linked to seniority
  • Democracy – Voting age 16 – Lords to become an elected second chamber – Written constitution – fixed term parliaments
  • Economy – Renewable energy investment – re-nationalisation of public transport network – Raise tax threshold to £12,000 – reduce defence spending (following review) – End of Trident
  • Education – Increase SureStart funding – Increase in fully funded Nursery places – Reduce tuition fees for economically important subject but also place emphasis on apprenticeships and small business loans.
  • Environment – Brown field site redevelopment – reinvestment in social housing – 50% renewable energy by 2025 with it owned by Government to reduce electricity bills
  • Europe – Stay in the EU – Bring down trade barriers – Much stricter banking regulations and the closing of tax loopholes, pushing for agricultural subsidy reform
  • NHS – Re-organisation and review of management structures, increased preventative health checks and diagnostics.
  • Immigration – Redevelopment of current immigration laws – Families no longer split up – Refugees will be accepted and protected.
  • Welfare – Basic Citizen’s Income – Extended Worker Rights
  • Arts – 20% increase for every funded organisation – conditional on 10% being used for participatory work and 10% to subsidise ticket prices for anyone on benefits or Under 25 (no idea how this would work btw..)

What do you think? Comment below and maybe write your own down? Best, Sam

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