Friday, 18 June 2010

My legislation

Now I've got time off from schoolwork, I've been thinking about what legislation I would introduce if I were Prime Minister. I don't know whether that makes me an egotistical megalomaniac, or if everyone else does the same. I suspect it's the former. At any rate, here's a short summary of some of the things you could expect me to do if I ever led a Government. Thank goodness that'll never happen, eh?

The Fines Alteration Act

The problem with using fines as a punishment is that they're not relative to the wealth of the person receiving the fine. A £800 fine could be a huge amount to one person and discourage them from repeating the offence, or practically nothing to some rich bastard. Therefore, rather than setting a specific amount, all fines would be a proportion of yearly income. This makes the fine fairer by ensuring that it has as much impact upon the wealthy as it does the poor.

The Vehicle Noise Reduction Act

I'm fed up with chavs and their noisy exhausts. It'd be one thing if it was just old blokes in equally old cars with noisy exhausts, but a new generation of young people seem to think that having a car that sounds like a microphone placed next to a fly caught inside a bottle shows how hard they are. I don't know the average decibel noise of vehicles, and a quick google didn't help me find out either, but my minions would find out and tell me, and the maximum would be set slightly higher than the average noise level. When a complaint is made by someone about the noise emitted from a vehicle, a police officer would trace the registration number and pay a visit to the owner to test the vehicle's noise emission using some jazzy equipment like this. If the noise level is above the limit, they will be issued a fine equivalent to 10% of their yearly income (or benefits, since they're quite probably scrounging scum), and ordered to have an exhaust fitted that is below the limit within three weeks. After three weeks, the owner will receive another visit from their police officer friend who will again test the sound the car makes. If the exhaust has not be changed or if the replacement is still in excess of the noise limit, the driver will have their car towed and crushed, fined a further 20% on top of their 10%, and be banned from driving permanently.

This legislation would also apply to expensive sports cars: being rich and wanting to rub it in by having a fast, loud car does not exempt you. If the car you buy is too noisy, you'll have to get the exhaust replaced with a normal one.

The Container Value Act

This one is explained in greater depth here, but it's designed to reduce litter and reward those who dispose of their rubbish responsibly or do their bit to pick up litter carelessly discarded by scum. Recyclable packaging - including glass and plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and  tin cans - would all have a 10p value attached to them. Here's a summary of how it works from the link above:
  • The drinks manufacturer/distributor adds the 10p deposit to the price of every bottle or can sold to the retailer.
  • The retailer adds the 10p deposit to the price to the consumer.
  • The consumer (or whoever picks the container up from the street) collects the 10p deposit when he/she returns the bottle/can to the retailer or re-cycling depot.
  • The retailer or depot reclaims the 10p deposits when they return the container to the manufacturer/distributor.
  • The manufacturer/distributor gets the money from selling the containers for recycling.
  • Depending on the scheme, the money from unclaimed deposits (for bottles/cans not returned) is either used to fund the infrastructure for the collection and sorting, and environmental clean-up, or it is retained by the manufacturers.

The BBC Licence Fee Abolition Act

In this modern day we have the choice of various different channels and subscriptions, and it is time that the BBC made their own money and paid for themselves. Jeremy Paxman - in a wonderful instance of biting the hand that feeds him - likened the licence fee to a tax paid to Persil by all owners of washing machines, and I think this is a good analogy. We cannot expect people to pay a fee to the corporation for the privilege of owning a telly on which they might not even watch BBC's channels. The BBC has shown itself adept at wasting the money of the feepayers, and it would therefore have to make its own money, either through a subscription service or by going commercial and implanting adverts.

That doesn't mean the content the BBC provides will suddenly become crap. I personally think Channel 4 is a fantastic example of a channel that has to survive commercially but still provides fantastic programming and a bloody brilliant online service at no cost to you or me.

The Anti-Spitting Act

If I have to pick the thing that most disgusts me, it's people spitting. When I first started secondary school, I had the physically fight back the vomit when I almost stepped in a little puddle of bubbly saliva. I've become desensitised to it, but I still sometimes give evils, and have once been known to go into a lengthy shouting spree at someone for doing it. (They went off crying, if I remember rightly. Shame I can't have the effect on more people.) This legislation would work in a similar way to the ban on public smoking with already exists, but of course wouldn't be limited to just indoors. If you're caught sharing your saliva with everyone, you would be fined, a second time would result in imprisonment.

Remember the DNA database I've created? To prove James Trumba (not a real person) has been coating the pavements with his slime, it'd be simple to swab the blob and match it up to the database. What a nice job, eh?

The Exam Database Act

Another database for you. One of less high-profile policies in the Conservative manifesto was to create a database of past exam papers and mark schemes from all the exam boards and put them all together in one website that can be accessed for free. This would be much simpler than trawling around unreliable exam board websites to look for them. However, it seems it was so low-profile that even the Conservatives forgot about it when they were bashing out an agreement with the Liberal Demoprats. It didn't seem particularly controversial, but I suppose Nick Clegg may have gone into one of his angry tirades, fuming at the prospect of a gang of exam papers being in one location. (He probably thought it was discriminatory or infringed upon the rights of exam papers.) Anyway, I'd put this firmly back on the agenda, and would demand that all exam boards allowed their papers and mark schemes to be available for free on the Government database that could be accessed for free by anyone who wants to.

The Anti River Cycling Act

When people cycle along the river, they're a pest and potential danger to pedestrians, and when they're on the road, they're in the bloody way! I'm willing to put up with them on the road, but along river toepaths, cyclists should be banned. And I say this as someone who used to go for rides down the river bank quite often, but not all cyclists trundle along slowly, enjoying the sun and breeze like I did. Some of them are nutters, and they're a danger to people walking. Therefore, I would legislate to ban everything but walkers from using paths along the side of rivers (except prams: people can still use their prams, I suppose).

The Tax Redistribution Act

I don't have the technicalities worked out for this, but it would basically increase the tax burden on the wealthy and large businesses, including the mansion tax that Vince Cable proposed kicking in at 1million. (They later changed the threshold to 2million for fear of upsetting middle class supporters.) I'd have it kick in at £650,000. There's a nice diagram which was published during the McCain-Obama Presidential election which I think gives an example of how taxation can be redistributed:

On the right, we see Obama's plans to increase taxation on the wealthier sections of society, whilst reducing it on the lower and average paid. If this diagram were tailored to my plans, you'd probably see greater rises on the wealthy and large businesses, and larger reductions for the lower paid. I don't know whether the President's tax plans actually came to fruition, but I hope so.


That's all I've got at the moment. I'm sure I'll think of some more in future. I think you've now seen why I can never fully commit to and stick with a political party; my views are a random mish-mash of different things.

PS. On a completely unrelated topic, today's selected Facebook fan page is the beleaguered Tony Haywood, CEO of BP. He needs some love and support against Obama and reactionary US politicians.


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