The Ballards - Manifesto (or "How to get the country going again")





Item How's the Government doing?

Remove the Motorway upper speed limit, raise the speed limit on dual-carriageways to 100mph, 70mph on A roads, 50mph in most 40 limits, 40mph in towns. Enforce at the limits, not at some arbitrarily assigned level above them. Remove 90% of traffic-calming.
Everybody speeds, why meaninglessly criminalise them? We are all aware of the Police's hidden agenda in that with the speed limits set unreasonably low (they were set back in the 1950s when cars struggled to do 70mph and took longer than a supertanker to stop from those speeds) they are effectively able to stop anyone at random with a 99% certainty they will be speeding, which makes Policing the country easier and gets around awkward Civil Liberties questions like "did you stop me because I am black/driving a BMW/tall/short/a possible terrorist" (delete as appropriate) but it's a childish trick that was outed 25 years ago. Speeding should be like parking: reset the limits to sensible levels, then privatise the enforcement, remove the points system and pay the enforcers piece rates. Then the Boys in Blue can do do more useful things with their time (like catch a few burglars) and we can all get on with concentrating on driving safelyinstead of having to watch for speed cameras or unmarked Police cars.

 

Very badly. No action, except some lame camapign to try and persuade us that speeding is as big a danger as drinking and driving. Doh!

Score: -5

Alter traffic lights to include a switched Give Way system out of rush-hour
See under Good Ideas

No action

Score: -5

Allow turning left on red and end the practice of having all traffic lights on red at once (Red Ken take note)
This works spectacularly well in the USA, let's adopt it over here.

In June 2006 John Redwood's Conservative policy group suggested this, so Top marks John!
Score: +2

Tag asylum seekers until their case is completed
Rather than build huge holding centres at huge cost to the Taxpayer, electronically tag them and keep tabs on them that way (tags can be hidden under clothes, so you won't be able to tell by looking if someone is an asylum seeker). Straying outside the tag area or tampering earns the asylum seeker instant deportation. This would also solve the major problem of untagged seekers whose requests for asylum have failed remaining in the country. Remember, to borrow the old lion hunter's joke, we don't have to make asylum seeking totally impossible, just a bit more difficult than other European countries.

 


Lots of noise (from both main parties), very little Action on this so far. Both parties have completely failed to grasp the concepts proposed
Score: -3

Ban 3-wheeler cars from the roads
Any 3-wheeler will roll when taking a corner at over 45mph. Unnecessarily dangerous. Instant and complete ban. 'Nuff said.


Never even mentioned by the Government
Score: -5

Universal Photo ID cards
Come on, deep down you know it makes sense. It would save £Billions in Social Security and other fraud, plus would help hugely with Asylum seekers. No picture ID, no Benefits. The only law I would add (and enforce with crippling punishments) would be that no one, especially not the Police, would have the right to take the ID card away from the owner.


This appears to be headed for the Statute Books (unless the Civil Liberties people get there first). But still no penalties for taking the card away, thus open to abuse by the Police
Score: +3

Legalise Cannabis and Ecstasy
Controversial one this, but the fact is more people die in the UK every year from peanut allergy than from taking Ecstasy, and cannabis is not the great evil the Government would have us believe. Go to Amsterdam and visit a Brown café if you need converting. Then the Police can do more useful things and the prison population can be reduced by 25%.


They came close to legalising Cannabis, then backed away due to "International obligations". Obviously obligations The Netherlands haven't signed up to......
Score: +2

Remove Duty on alcohol & cigarettes
Level the playing field across the country. Between London and the South Coast, everybody buys their booze and ciggies at lower prices in France, why should the rest of the country miss out? VAT@17Ĺ% Yes, Duty @415% No.


No movement on this popular measure, except for Customs & Excise to become increasingly draconian in their attitudes towards the average Volvo driver coming back off the ferry with a couple of crates of Scotch. What a mess.
Score: -5

Remove Duty on petrol
Have you ever wondered why the US economy does so well? We would share in this with petrol at 29p per Litre.

 


Still the Duty goes up
Score: -5

Explicitly Permit overtaking on the left
This is rapidly becoming more common as it is not actually illegal, but the Police believe itís evidence of Dangerous Driving (yeah, right........) if youíre blatant about it. But how else can you persuade the average 65mph-in-the-right-hand-lane merchant he might be in the wrong? Flashing is usually rewarded with a two-fingered gesture and just gets everybodys' blood pressure up. Letís cool it down and reclaim the other two-thirds of the motorways we are currently shunning because they are "Lorry lanes".


No Government action here yet but the average motorist is more likely to overtake on the left now, and tempers seem to have cooled

Score: -4

Keep Remand Prisoners separate from Convicted felons
Until youíre proven Guilty you are innocent. Enough said.


No action here yet
Score: -5

Re-Nationalise Railtrack
Iím as much a fan of the free market as anyone but there is only one road system and only one rail system so the infrastructure should be nationalised. But free it from Government intervention by permanently ring-fencing its funding (same for the road system, vitally important national infrastructure funding must be ring-fenced so politicians with crazy schemes canít get their hands on the money).

 


This is coming. Slowly and politically carefully, but it is happening
Score: +3

Build some more railway tracks
The reason the rail system is so bad is not a lack of money, but a lack of track space at and around major stations. So build some more tracks and some more stations. It's not Rocket Science (there's a tale here: actually the correct statement is "it's not orbital mechanics". Rockets are basically simple, it's orbital mechanics that make spaceflight complex).
Start with a rail "M25" around London so passengers from Oxford to Cambridge and from Bristol to Norwich don't have to cross London on the Tube, with stations at all of the major rail intersections and at regular points on the M25 put stations and big car parks.
Quadruple all tracks between there and mainline terminii and replace the Tube with a proper underground railway on rubber wheels that runs South of the river and extend all lines to the road/rail M25. Build an Outer Circle line.
Repeat for the top 20 British cities.
Build more Parkway stations for places like Oxford. Force the train companies to take bicycles free and to run longer trains if no seats are available. Cap fares.
Run Eurostars from all major British cities through to Europe.
Dig a tunnel to Northern Ireland and run the Eurostar plus Le Shuttle down it. Ditto for the Isles of Wight and Man.
Beat the French at their own game by making our trains run faster on our tracks than
they can make their TGV run on their specially-built tracks.

 

At last, some Action. The Governments' announcement that it has given the Go Ahead for the High Speed 2 line from London to somewhere unspecified North of Birmingham is a very small start

Score: -3

Build some more roads
Widen the M25, widen the M4 and the M40, the M1 and the M3. Take the tolls off the Dartford Tunnel. Build all bypasses and widening schemes currently on the books. Turn the Chieveley A34/M4 junction in to a cloverleaf (this is the least cost solution, even including knocking down the hotel on the roundabout).


Some action here: the M25 is getting widened, parts of the A1(M) are getting done. The Chieveley junction has been done (what an expensive mess, but at least it was done)
Score: +2

Force everybody to display a valid certificate of Insurance
Uninsured drivers face instant car impounding. Uninsured accident perpetrators face car sale in favour of the victim plus payment of all other costs plus spot fine plus ban. Unwillingness to pay risks Bailiffs and confiscation of other property in favour of the victim. Driving is a privilege, not a right.


At Last: Action on this point. Operation Takeaway has finaly been rolled out across the country, whereby uninsured cars are impounded and crushed. Excellent!
Score: +5

Fund fusion, solar, wind and wave power
Make a firm goal to bring these energy sources down to a cost comparable with fossil fuels in 30 years (cross-party support, ring-fenced funds). Fund fuel cell research to replace petrol/diesel in cars. If necessary, Windfall tax the oil companies to ensure this work happens. There remain lingering suspicions of patents and prototypes bought up and buried by these industrial leviathans......

Some action here, but cpre, Country Life and the bearded Greenies "don't want to spoil the countryside" so are hiding behind Planning issues. Ludicrous.
Score: 0
Fund the NHS properly
The motto should be "do less, but do it properly".


Action here: this is slowly getting better
Score: +4

Support the Police by handing down stiffer, more victim-friendly and more meaningful penalties for crimes in a shorter time
That will re-moralise the Police force. In return for this and the removal of speed limit duties, they must improve their relationships with the People, especially with racial minorities. Clamp down on Travellers. Register "true" Gypsies by DNA test (they are a racial minority), ban the rest (they are freeloaders) by confiscating the caravans. No one likes to be cold. Social Security Benefits will only be paid to registered taxpayers. No tax, no Social.


No action on this politically sensitive issue, suspect no one wants to touch it because these people live in the cash economy and action risks sparking race issues
Score: 0

How do we pay for this?
Let Northern Ireland rule itself, so get the armed forces out. Disentangle ourselves from 90% of foreign armed forces commitments. Give Gibraltar back to Spain. Downsize the armed forces to protect the UK, not Germany. We do not need 22,000 Service personnel in Germany. Cut foreign Aid drastically: we should not be giving to corrupt Governments. Cut cultural funding to £0 (thatís what we have a National Lottery for). Cut Social Security Benefits to a minimum safety net. Simplify the tax system hugely, make it entirely electronic and outsource it. Outsource 70% of Government tasks. The message is very simple. The Government is taking too much money out of the economy. It's not orbital mechanics


Some forces removal from Northern Ireland. Sinn Fein currently failing to put their criminal past behind them in spectacular fashion
Score: +2

Summary

A sad indictment of the short-termist policies our Governments have. No vision, just self-serving, bickering, time- and money-wasting bureaucrats.