The grievances of many of those who voted leave are not unfounded but misguided. I shall not write here a long dissertation of why leaving the EU is an extremely bad idea.
Even if the UK stays in the EU, this country shall be divided unless we handle the mains grievances of Brexiters. That is:
It has also become clear to both remainers and leavers that our political class is a laughing stock.
Even if Brexit is reversed, the statu quo ante is not acceptable to me. This country is threatening to fall apart and needs profound fundamental reform. We need a peaceful revolution in the form of a political party that will win the next general election and implement those badly needed changes. People are so frustrated with our political class, I see that as a real possibility.
I would propose this revolutionary political party adopts following points:
Point 1: Limit political donations to a maximum of say £1000 per calendar year per person. Only British Nationals allowed to donate, not organisations. The current situation in the UK is that the extremely wealthy have made big political donations to both Labour and the Conservative Party in exchange for favours. This has allowed big multinationals and the extremely wealthy to evade tax legally. Such donations are bribes and represent corruption. The reason why so many public services have faced substantial cuts without most people paying any less tax is because HMRC has been actively cooperating with the wealthiest in order to help these evade tax. See “The Great Tax Robbery” by Richard Brooks. If this is not agreed on, count me out basically because without this, any reform is hollow and meaningless. I have come to the conclusion that this is the main problem this country has. Britain prides itself on its glorious industrial past and does not want to become a tax heaven or a fiscal paradise. Britain wants a glorious industrial future, different from the past, but successful nevertheless: computing, electronics, biotechs, pharmaceuticals etc...
Point 2: The media not to be legally allowed to use fiscal avoidance. How can we expect the press to report tax dodging when they do that themselves? Besides that, newspapers that use tax avoidance have an unfair advantage over papers that pay their taxes fair and square. If this not agreed on, count me out. I insist on this because otherwise chances are that point 1 gets revoked.
Point 3: Non domiciled resident status to be abolished. This status is an aberration.
Point 4: Complete restructuring of HMRC. More HMRC staff to be recruited. See “The Great Tax Robbery” by Richard Brooks. Ignore Michael Gove and leave this to the experts I say. One idea I have is 2 corporate tax rates: one rate for companies who do not evade tax at all and a higher rate for companies that do. It is my opinion that tax evasion practices are bad for the economy in the long run and bad for competition as only the very big companies have the means to pay the accountants that deal with tax evasion. Tax evasion represents a return to feudal, dark age times of extreme privilege for the tiny minority and hardship for the many.
Point 5: Abolish the tax rule where no tax is due if both sides of a transaction are domiciled abroad. This rule is very good for tax heavens and very bad for Britain.
Point 6: Abolish tuition fees. These are only there because tax collection has deteriorated in UK in last 20 years. If on top of that, guidance is given to A-level students so these train more in sectors in demand such as the NHS, we will also reduce immigration levels.
Point 7: Abolish the Monarchy and turn Britain and northern Ireland into a federal republic. The monarchy is an anachronism and an aberration. The Monarchy represent privilege and servitude in their crudest form. However, I would be in favour of keeping the Queen until her death out of respect for her outstanding service as head of state. I reiterate the Monarchy is expensive and inefficient. It is not because of bad feelings that I think it needs to go, but because it is holding Britain back. Royal prerogatives need to go.
Point 8: Profound changes need to be made to our electoral system in order to make it more representative and more efficient. Currently, in our first past the post system, it is winner gets all. If that winning side is hijacked by a group with fairly extreme views as currently the Conservative party is with ERG team of MPs, than our democracy is anything but representative.
Everybody goes on about how well Germany is doing. However the success of Germany is not luck or magic or because Germans work harder or are cleverer. It is because of good institutions and good governance. We should be inspired by Germany and do even better.
With excellent governance and institutions, I see Great Britain and Northern Ireland becoming the most successful economy in the World. If this were to occur, instead of talking about an independent Scotland, we would be talking about a united Ireland within Great Britain and Ireland. Together we are stronger.
Point 9: Review of press freedom. It is absolutely instrumental that a Democracy has a free press. It is also absolutely instrumental the press reports facts and not fibs or worse lies. The British public has had a completely distorted image of the EU because of years of misreporting. The press needs to be educational and informative. Can it be said our press is really free when it is largely owned by big media barons and there is no guarantee these won’t force certain views?
Point 10: In future referendums, campaigners shall only be allowed to state facts, not lies. They shall not be allowed to make future predictions, which are subjective and open to debate.
Point 11: If in a referendum, winning side has overspent, result declared void. A fine is insufficient. Given that by overspending, you are undermining democracy, I feel fines should be heavier and in the worst cases, offenders should go to jail.
Point 12: If an MP has overspent during his/her campaign, result declared void and new election held. If overspend is more than a certain percentage, MP barred from standing for a period of say 5 years.
Point 13: If an MP or candidate had repeatedly lied or incited hatred, he/she shall not be allowed to stand. Furthermore, such a person shall not be allowed to give interviews or talk to media.
Point 14: These points are not engraved in stone and can be altered or removed. New points can be added. I am not claiming this is tidy but it might be a good starting point.
Overall, this is very radical. However, radical does not mean not moderate. If we had never been radical, we would still be living in caves. If we do not fight to defend democracy, one day we will wake up and it will not be there anymore.
Some of my references:
1. The Great Tax Robbery Richard Brooks ISBN 9 781851 689354: States just facts. Discusses how people and companies have evaded tax in UK. How tax evasion has become more and more widespread in last 30 years is truly shocking.
2. Le capital au XXIe siècle Thomas Piketty ISBN 9 782021 082289: In French, but has been translated. States just facts. Discusses wealth structure since the late 18th century mainly in France and UK. Has loads of interesting facts I did not know of. For instance, level of inequality was at its highest in France and UK in 1914 (Is that what really triggered the Great War? – people look for scapegoats, not facts). Highest tax band rates were extremely high in US and UK from 30s till late 70s.
3. The Price of Inequality Joseph E. Stiglitz ISBN 9 781846 146930: Too political in my opinion and concerns mainly the United States. Does come up with some very interesting points like the best way for the extremely wealthy to pay less tax is for these to give big political donations.