The Chancellor has no answers [Op-Ed]

Labour's John McDonnell to quit front line politics after bruising election  result - LBC

Britain’s self appointed maverick has entered Number 11 Downing Street, bunking up with his Labour counterpart. His first speech outside Number 11 Downing Street said that he will be happy to answer any questions asked of him publicly. Despite this,  the Chancellor has no real answers as evidenced by his recent piece in the press. His commentary amounted to little more than a “No u” and he couldn’t even stick to the facts inventing his own versions of the facts on the political history of defence spending. When questioned on this, he told the British people they should cope with his lies. This government is going down a dangerous path already.

> We start with decrying “endless spending packages”. This would seem to imply unending spending is a problem that needs to be curbed.

> Then we see them decry that “at a time of escalating tensions and uncertainty they are proposing to slash funding to our armed forces.”

Left with no defence on the fiscal cost of their policies, the Chancellor resorts to attacking others because he has no answers himself. I can hardly say I’m surprised as he had no defence for his election manifesto which have seen the national debt soar.Defence spending is set to rise to 2.3% in 2024 and this rise in Defence spending is fully costed, its contained in a budget under which debt to GDP will fall. 

So unlike Mr Chompsky’s claims the Shadow Chancellor is not shaking any magic money tree, the Defence spending rises are fully costed and funded in the last budget which provides a fiscal framework for debt to GDP fall. 

>They never released a plan with their target saying why it was needed, what had changed from the 2.0% target, they just wanted to call the Tories soft on defence.

First of all this isn’t true as MGuido has pointed out. The 2.5% pledge was put forward by the Conservative minority government at the time. By the way they did publish a threat assessment and where this money would go at the time. I happened to not agree with it which is why my party put forward a smaller, more targeted defence package in our manifesto. Current Defence spending levels are justified by the recent procurement document published by the Phoenix government which clearly the Chancellor has not read. The Official Opposition  will work to protect this funding for the procurement and to ensure our military is not cut.

The Chancellor then attacks the LPUK for spending more than the NATO target on Defence. However he doesn’t mention he is spending nearly three times the aid target set by the United Nations. The government’s wants to spend your money in other countries, probably to advance their aims of world socialism and because they think they can match China’s Belt and Road initiative with a couple billion quid. I’ve never seen a set of people so clueless. Under this government your taxes will go up, and that money won’t be the spent in the UK economy to boost growth or your jobs, it will be going abroad so we can mythical soft power. Let us be under no illusion, you will be poorer with this clueless Chancellor. 

It’s interesting that large recipients of US foreign aid such as Egypt and Pakistan actually voted against US policy interests at the UN whilst their votes were more closely correlated with that of Cuba who doesn’t receive any US aid at all. 

I will also note here the increase in defence spending in the last budget is 0.3% of GDP whereas the coalition agreement contains international development spending at 2% a GDP, a rise of 1.3% of GDP. This is uncosted spending and the government hasn’t the slightest clue how it will pay for their increases in the structural deficit. If they did, I’m sure we’d have heard it now instead of the deflection from the Chancellor.

> Considering what LPUK has considered to be over regulation in the past, from basic housing standards

The Chancellor doesn’t even have a basic grasp of what housing standards are, his rants about toilets were thoroughly debunked by anyone who had actually read the regulations regarding toilets. The regulations he speaks of were regulations that were never affected by LPUK legislation. We shouldn’t be listening to him. The Blurple government helped to pave the way for the abolition of the green belt and to secure planning reform to get house prices down. However, don’t expect the left to be happy for you, they despise home ownership and independence from the state. 

> to saying cigarettes cause cancer, one has to wonder what they mean here. 

Once again no understanding of the policy even after it was explained a surgeon general warning would remain. You can begin to see this press piece was together hastily with no regard for facts or the truth in a weak attack on the newly-promoted Shadow Chancellor. 

We can then get some vague nonsense resorting “You mad bro” when it comes to the budget process. It seems this will be the government’s approach to any and all criticism going forward. It appears he has a short memory when solidarity piled the attacks on the previous budget and the Phoenix government.

It was also amusing to see the Chancellor complaining about the coalition agreement and his manifesto being attacked. It seems like the guy is quaking in his boots, now that he has to actually deliver instead of shout from the sidelines.

It must be a shock horror to the Chancellor as a political party attacks uncosted funding and economic policies it was elected to oppose and champions the ones in its manifesto. It would be convenient for the Chancellor if the opposition stopped holding him and his fiscal bomb to account but be rest assured we will be here to scrutinise and add the sums up for the Chancellor if he will not do so for himself. 

This article written by  the Right Honourable Sir /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP, The Leader of Her Majesty’s Most Loyal Opposition

An opinion piece – The Midwife

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The High Middle Ages, beginning after 1000AD would be the birthplace of what we might recognise most vividly as the Aristocracy. This article aims to critique that birth, expound the potential parallel to our contemporary political challenge and to offer some balanced and respectful conclusions on the road map of our nation. On that note it endeavours not to restrain from an honest critique of the failures of the historical and contemporary aristocracy, nor is it hands off in expressing a critical assessment of our new government’s position, emphasising the real risks of birthing and nurturing an institution through infancy that shares common traits and values to that established institution in our society.

Let’s begin with the infancy of the High Medieval Aristocracy.

Initially an Anglo-Saxon Institution, and expanded across our land after the Kingdom of Wessex’s unification of one Kingdom – England, shires were governed by an Ealdorman. These shires by 1014 had been administratively organised into Earldoms, inherited by the appointed Earl or Sheriff. On the arrival of the Normans to our shores, this continued under William the Conqueror, and it was only on the ascension of Edward III that his sons were appointed Dukes. Kings would establish the honours of Marquesses and Viscounts to further establish differentiation of noble rank above Earl.

Behind the grandeur and ceremony that we’ve become accustomed too, as an institution this aristocracy was not born out of aspiration for a flourishing economic, social and cultural state, even with the foundations of that unified Kingdom. Instead, and with honest humility it should be recognised, that it was born from the advancement of self interest. Evidenced in how it demonstrated its rule in its infancy. The stealing and seizing of land under a pretence of piety, justice and efficiency was all too common in that nobility. No one, not even the religious monastics were spared the extortion as lavish wealth was accumulated, only to be employed for private gain. All of which was accomplished with a great degree of success under these claims; that it was morally right, that it was under crown authority, that it would provide economic sustainability and not exhaustively, that it would establish justice for all within the Kingdom.

Whatever your conclusions about the aristocracy – past, present or future – what transpired in reality was the establishment of powerful dynasties that would be wealthy beyond comprehension, powerful politically in society, and as was inevitable with such nurturing in its infancy, corrupt beyond belief. Nobles flourished with stark divisions in the standards of living to the majority in medieval society. The birth of the aristocracy was a painful ordeal, and it’s honest to confess that the medieval nobility could often be described as far from noble.

For the sake of balance and honesty there is much fault to be found with the aristocracy – even today. It’s worth noting that the influence and impact of those dynasties and those early shires under an Earldom can still be felt today. The use of leasehold sales for the homes built upon their hereditary land is a perfect example of self interest. Prior to reforms of the hereditary peerages in 1999, the number of hereditary Lords who failed to contribute as part of their constitutional duty to the House of Lords was scandalous. It should be reflected that in its infancy these characteristics were exemplified, and those characteristics remain. It would be foolish to defend the aristocracy as without fault, nor without the need for greater reform. It should be clear by now that this is not a defense of the institution.

The political influence of the Aristocracy, and the further development of the role of the institution is outside the scope of our examination, but those early foundations are important to view how the medieval earldoms, with particular emphasis on their land management, were established.

One sweeping change for the Aristocracy would come at the beginning of the 20th century. Under the weight of economic and social changes, those shires, now referred to as estates, hosting grand manor houses rather than a motte and bailey would in the aftermath of the Great War feel the first pinches of a changing world and a new phenomenon. Those unwilling to adapt and change to a new world and new technology found themselves collapsing. The presence of these estates today, and the continued presence of hereditary peers in the Lords even after 1999 make for a testimony to their survivability.

Endorsed and facilitated by the Left in the aftermath of both wars, inheritance taxes would be a bitter blow to these institutions, and the agricultural practices of a nation would change. These changes would include a radical change – farm owners would now be handling the responsibility for land they would now own and the techniques they would employ. The impact of that decision has been felt across the last century, and as agriculture has grown and adapted we’ve witnessed a shift from centralised large farms with much aristocratic oversight to an enterprising model, fueled by experience and the privatisation.

That change, and we must give credit where it is due, was in significant part because of a liberal boldness at the end of the Great War. It would appear however that the Left has changed its thinking, and set out to reapproach agricultural policy with radical ideas. It is not misplaced to be searching to better serve a struggling industry, but it is curious as to where we have seemingly found ourselves. Drawn to unexpected sources for the new inspiration. Large and influential farms, a centralised workforce, and the direction of local officials from the Department of Agriculture – nationalisation of the entire agricultural industry. All of this looks familiar. If you pull on this umbilical cord, following it through history, you might well find yourself in the High Middle Ages.

The Left have yet to announce the ‘good news’ of a pregnancy, but they’ve conceived the beginnings of a new aristocracy.

The lessons of Eastern Europe during the Great War with the rise of the Bolsheviks and nationalisation under trade unions was an experiment framed as morally right, economically sensible and bold steps towards true justice for all. It was implemented by seizing, stealing, and plundering. What would follow were deeply rooted problems within soviet society, far from the utopia promised. The wealth, power and double standards between those who rule and those who labour remained deeply entrenched. What materialised was something oppressive and dark, but be at no mistake, it was also the birth of an aristocracy in everything but name.

The Rose Government have set out their trajectory, promising agricultural change that will reforge a fairer and more prosperous society.

They may not arrive in the delivery room adorned with a wig, red robes of state or an honorary title gifted from the crown, but this chapter parallels history already well worn in the Middle Ages.

Call the Midwife!

To great surprise, the Left’s new aristocracy is potentially well into its first trimester.

This article was written by flatartifact, a new member of the LPUK

Budget 2021: The Key Points

The Budget box: a history of the Chancellor's red briefcase
-NGSpy leaves number 11 Downing Street to present his first budget

NGSpy will be presenting his first budget to the House of Commons which is expecting to sail through the House of Commons with the support of the Libertarian Party UK. If it passes it will be the first non Conservative budget to pass in recent times and signals end to the Conservative Parties influences to the nations finances for the time being. The Chancellor has defeated all the odds and his critics by reaching a budget agreement and will no doubt be elated as he sips his whisky.  However, what does the budget mean for you?


A tax cut for millions

One of the headline policies of the budget is changes to National insurance contributions which will take many of the lowest paid workers out of paying NIC’s all together as the Chancellor brings the payment of NIC’s in line with the personal allowance. Ordinary working families could see a tax cut of up to £1,000 and many will no longer have to pay NIC’s.

The budget also puts the brakes on tax rises proposed by the Clegg coalition meaning that tax rate will be frozen at 17%,39.5% and 42% meaning that from next year working people will not pay more in income tax. 

Cheaper pints

The passage of the budget will mean the next time you go to the pub you drinks will be cheaper. The budget changes the way alcohol is taxed, there will now be a consistent approach to alcohol taxation with alcohol being taxed on the amount of ethanol in a drink. The budget sets the rate a flat rate of 9p. This budget will be handing out an £8bn tax cut on alcohol. Pubs will no doubt be celebrating and Britons will be able to have a drink without having to pay high rates of alcohol duty.

The budget also delivers lower tobacco duty and signals a reversal to the previous budget’s approach to tobacco taxation. Pundits hear /u/model-mili is elated.  Tobacco Duty will be halved and smokers across the country will be grateful to the Chancellor for easing the financial burden of regressive taxes.

Increased deprivation grants for devolved administrations

The budget delivers increased block grants in line with the Holtham commission, something that the Libertarian Party and others in the House of Commons have been calling for. Devolved administrations will receive money as result of the changes by the Chancellor and will have more money to spend or to cut taxes in their respective devolved budgets. 

SME Tax cut and dividend imputation

Small businesses earning under £20,000,000 profits will see a fall in the level of corporation tax meaning they can retain more of their profits to invest. This was one of the Chancellor’s key promises through the term and this budget delivers it. In order to avoid a steep increase in the marginal tax rate, larger firms will also receive a corporation tax cut but the new corporation tax system will be progressive.

Another key policy that has been flouted by the Chancellor of dividend imputation features in the budget. The policy will allow corporation to claim tax credits and will loosen the burden of taxation of those who receive dividends. This move will be welcomed by shareholders and pension funds across the country. The Chancellor argues it removes the impact of double taxation in the tax system.

A boost for defence

Since last term, higher defence spending has been a hot topic in Westminster. The budget delivers a gradual increase in defence spending but at a lower level than the Blurple government planned. The budget increased the annual defence budget by £1.1bn in the upcoming financial year with defence spending rising to 2.3% gradually in 2024/2025. The extra funding will help fund the recent defence review.

DECC funding and a cycling fund

The Liberal Democrats have delivered key pledges including a cycling fund which was in their manifesto and the Queen’s manifesto. Northern Womble has also benefited from a budgetary error which had double spending for DECC due to confusion over funding allocations to the department of Business and DECC. The budget delivers a £10bn fund to tackle climate change alongside changes to the tax system to make the country greener. £10bn is a substantial sum of money by all accounts and no doubt will be championed as a win for the Lib Dems going into the election.

Deficit to fall with Debt to GDP to stabilise

The budget deficit is expected to peak next year at 2022/2023 before steadily falling due to savings in childcare and the Chancellor’s targeted tax rises on LVT. The budget corrects some errors in the previous Clegg with non-departmental budgets meaning public sector borrowing is higher than we thought. The government’s plan tackle the deficit moderately with Debt-GDP stabilising and ending up lower in 2024 compared to 2020 at 83.98% of GDP.

Solidarity – The Party so opposed to the Lords unless it benefits them [Op-Ed]

House of Lords | British government | Britannica

Recently we saw /u/chainchompsky1 take to the press over the House of Lords because he is angry and rattled that people call out his hypocrisy. 

The Lords is undemocratic Solidarity tell us, but time and time again Solidarity peers send back legislation passed by the democratically elected house, something they believe shouldn’t happen. Take the FTPA repeal or other common sense legislation, they keep amending and sending it back. In their ideal system this legislation passed by the elected commons would go to Royal Assent.

Solidarity are effectively signaling they are happy to be undemocratic- in their own view if it benefits the cause of the radical left.

> If we were to give it to them, nothing would get better for the pro democracy movement, quite worse in fact.

If the 13 Solidarity peers left the chamber, Prescription Charges would have Royal Assent and bills such as the Child Care Enhancement bill would have had Royal Assent faster. I am sure there are many other examples of bills passed by the elected Commons that would have Royal Assent faster if solidarity peers left instead of trying to hold it up. So once again according to their own logic things would get better for the so called ‘pro-democracy’ movement. But when it comes to holding up right-wing legislation they see themselves as some sort of experts in a belief they are right so they are justified to over rule the democratically elected representatives of the House of Commons.

Crossbench peer LeChevalierMal-Fait expressed concern at the “block voting” by Solidarity Peers who receive suggestions to vote a particular way which few have deviated from according to the recent house voting record. Mr Mal-Fait said he fears that the Lords risks losing its trust and independent image if this continues. 

The paradox being that Solidarity as a party opposed to the institution’s very existence has no incentive to abide by the norms that hold the Lords within Britain’s constitutional settlement whereby under the Salisbury convention Lords would not block legislation with a clear popular mandate. They use their peers in the Lords to pursue maximal power above all else.

If one believes in the House Lords they would not take part or if they did, they would not attempt to frustrate legislation from the democratically elected house. But Solidarity has no principle, let’s remember chainchompsky’s position changes depending on who’s in government – we saw this with the state banquet. The same solidarity parties MP who said they would not vote on matters not relating to Northern Ireland to only flip flop for the goal of political power.

Solidarity’s participation in the Lords shows they have no principle and desire for only one thing- political power and influence. They are finding it hard to cope that a budget was created without them and despite their rising poll numbers, other parties do not want to work with them. As the exceptionally based Henry John Temple Foundation pointed out Solidarity are only concerned with one thing- control, control over our legislative chambers, and control over the lives of British people, even if they admit they are being undemocratic and control over your lives with their hard-left agenda which will wipe out your savings and tax you into oblivion. If a party is willing to admit to using methods they themselves consider to be undemocratic, in order to maximise their political power, can you imagine what a Solidarity government would do to further their pursuit of power? A truly chilling thought.

A rebuttal on ZHC [Op-Ed]

Over the course of the past few hours Solidarity has attempted to flood the press in an attempt to boost their ratings in the polls, with poor effort posters and anti-intellectual spam. My good friend Greejatus wrote an article regarding flexible working contracts, otherwise known as ‘Zero Hour Contracts’ debunking the nonsense from Solidarity yesterday ,however, Solidarity responded with, shock horror, a poster saying ‘reject the spiel’ – ignoring the evidence presented in the article, and misleading the British public as they did so

First of all, it is worth bearing in mind RedWolf decided to write their article by using a singular source – the Trades Union Congress (TUC) which is of course naturally biased. The Solidarity cult no doubt thinks they are  so clever for googling this one source then typing up some data! I will actually Office of National Statistics (ONS) data to eliminate any bias of surveys and use a real life example from McDonalds to illustrate my point. 

According to the Office of National Statistics, ZHC are most common amongst young people with 10% of those aged 16-24 in employment in a Zero Hours contract, and 6.2% of those aged over 65 in employment on a ZHC. Furthermore 19% of people on ZHC are in full-time education. 

As the economy has strengthened the number of ZHC for those 25-64 has fallen. 

60.6% of people on Zero Hour contracts do not want more hours, in other words they don’t need your transformational change and don’t suit your narrative of poor workers being exploited by big evil corporations, Ah yes the NHS which uses ZHC. Only 20.1% of people on ZHC want extra hours or another job. 

The current proposals by Solidarity, which would see ZHCs banned, would push the vast majority of these workers out of employment altogether, forcing them onto negative income tax (which is capped at £10,000 per year), and therefore earning less than they would have earned before Solidarity made their job illegal. 

Now if workers were crying out for the desperate change Solidarity are pushing for, then you would think less than 80% of workers at McDonad’s would chose to stay on a ZHC when having the option of a fixed job. No this isn’t a survey, this is something that actually happened. It appears that having a choice was actually a good thing and individuals expressed their preference. We don’t need  people like RedWolf and moteblinds to tell working people what they actually prefer.

A study in 2013 by the CUPID revealed that those on ZHC were more likely to be happy with their work life balance compared to the overall UK workforce.

The data shows that ZHC are most prevalent for students who can not always commit to fixed hours and people who want to work a few hours a week on the side or in semi-retirement. But Solidarity wants to take that away, and restrict your freedoms and the choices of us as workers.. Whether it’s choosing your child’s school, the kind of employment contract you want or choosing how to manage your own finances, Solidarity wants to take that choice away because they believe they know better than you and can manage your life better. 

As Solidarity continues unveiling their ‘focuses’ in the press, only one thing is becoming clearer: Solidarity has no interest in serving the workers, and every interest in ensuring the workers serve them and their ideological goals.

ZHC are an important part of the labour market and has given job opportunities to people who can not commit regular hours, to our young people and to those in full-time education.

The Agency Worker Regulations Act in 2010 can explain some of the rise we have seen in ZHC, the Act means that workers need to be effectively treated as permanent employees after 12 weeks. This has meant employers can not minimise labour costs when demand is variable. The act can explain who employers such as the NHS have opted for Zero Hour contacts. This is something I am happy to take a look at and explore.

I do not doubt there are some people who struggle and feel exploited however banning these contracts outright would be a disproportionate response. We have Negative Income Tax (NIT) which tops up wages for a good reason. If it is ‘insecurity’ we are going after, why stop at ZHC, Solidarity could attack all forms of self-employment, remember they’re the saviours you didn’t need!

If Solidarity had their way, these people would not have jobs, a flexible labour market has helped the United Kingdom have a lower unemployment rate than our European counterparts who have had shocking levels of unemployment. Labour market flexibility is something that has been a positive. A ban on ZHC would mean that more people wouldn’t have jobs at all. It’s clear that this would have more harm than good.

This article was written by Sir /u/Friedmanite19 OM KCMG KBE CT LVO PC MP , Former Chancellor Of The Exchequer and Leader of the Libertarian Party United Kingdom

References:

Ons.gov.uk. 2021. EMP17: People In Employment On Zero Hours Contracts – Office For National Statistics. [online] Available at: <https://www.ons.gov.uk/employmentandlabourmarket/peopleinwork/employmentandemployeetypes/datasets/emp17peopleinemploymentonzerohourscontracts&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

BBC News. 2021. Zero-Hours Contract Workers Happy, Survey Suggests. [online] Available at: <https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-25098984&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

Jessop, J., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Are A Good Thing — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/why-zero-hours-contracts-are-a-good-thing/&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

Shackleton, L., 2021. Why Zero-Hours Contracts Should Not Be Banned — Institute Of Economic Affairs. [online] Institute of Economic Affairs. Available at: <https://iea.org.uk/blog/why-zero-hours-contracts-should-not-be-banned&gt; [Accessed 12 January 2021].

Debunking the Lib Dems on Grammars [Op-Ed]

Sen. Josh Hawley Attacks NBA For Protest Policies, Igniting Profane  Response From ESPN Reporter
The MP for Manchester North unveiled the governments plans for a Grammar School revolution in the country.

Recently my friend the member for Manchester North revealed the governments ambitious programme for Grammar Schools which was contained in the Queen’s speech and our manifesto. Somewhat scathingly, the Liberal Democrat education spokesperson and their  other ‘liberal’ colleagues were out in full force attacking more choice in the education sector, and promoting a one size fits all approach, backed by the flawed philosophy that  all children the same.

Let’s remember the Liberal ‘Democrats’ are now opposed to democratically formed grammar schools,but this shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone considering they were willing to shut grammar schools against the wishes of local residents and parents before Libertarian MP’s spoke on the matter.

The Education spokesperson from the Lib Dems was clearly trying to flirt with the hard-left in solidarity, winning praise from the former Shadow Chancellor.

So let’s have a look at the first claim.

Polling states that no more than 40% of the British Public support the opening of additional grammar schools.

Unless the Liberal Democrats have been hiding under a rock, they will note that the Libertarian Party are now the second most popular party in Britain thoroughly trouncing the Lib Dems and others at the ballot box. We placed grammar schools at the heart of our education policy and this has been embraced up and down the country, across wide ranging communities. So it would be accurate to say that swathes of the population back the reopening of grammar schools. The Conservatives have also been at the front of the fight against the Sunrise government’s education reforms with the vast majority of Tory MP’s being pro building more grammar schools and they have been elected. We all know the Lib Dems don’t like democracy, this is the party that tried to cancel the vote to leave the single market and the European Union but using one of polls to make their point is a pathetic attempt.

Anyway let us have a look at the poll which is four years out of date and ignores the election and the growing rise of the LPUK and the fact the Conservatives have been pro grammar schools.

Even the poll the Lib Dems are referring to suggests more people wish to create more grammar schools than want to abolish them. ‘Don’t Know’ could easily swing the argument either way. I don’t know about you but I consider 38% of the population to be swathes of the population. So now we’ve established that the poll is four years out of date, and once the data is in context the Lib Dem argument looks far weaker.

We know the Lib Dems like their bar chart, but this one takes the biscuit.

Yet, what was intriguing is that in the same set of polling it showed that ⅔ of people would send their child to a grammar school and more people thought that grammar schools were good for social mobility rather than bad.  In fact people thinking grammar schools were good for social mobility was the most popular opinion. Shockingly, Mr Womble purposefully left this out. I would argue the numbers would be higher today given the domination of pro school choice parties and of course unlike Womble I won’t use four year old polls to back up my arguments. If we do however want to use out of date data, [I would recommend reading this from 2010 which suggests young people back more grammars and that they are rather popular.

Let’s begin with the first actual pieces of data raised.

The government suggests this move will somehow improve social mobility: which is why less than 3% of current grammar school students obtain free school meals vs 15% for non-selective. Why less than 5% of current grammar school students are considered to have SEN and none have an EHCP [vs 12% and 2%respectively]

First of all free schools are a poor reflection of social mobility as it considers the top 85% of the population as a homogenous group, ignoring the very large differences between pupils from the 20th and 80th percentiles. The actual reality is that 45% of students that attend Grammar schools are from households who earn below the median income. That’s right Womble, nearly half of those attending grammars are from the disadvantaged half of the population. 

So when it comes to Free School meals and the comprehensive education sector which the Lib Dems worship as the solution, what does the data tell us? Well the reality is that the disparity pointed in Grammar schools with regards to free schools meals with a poor metric to anyone with a shred of statistical integrity. only 9.4 per cent of pupils are eligible for Free School Meals in the 500 top-performing comprehensives, comparable to 15 per cent of the population in England. So the question for the Liberal Democrats is what steps are they going to take to level down the best performing comprehensive schools so they can be equal to other schools on a poor metric. Let’s take a look at some statistics:

– The attainment gap between disadvantaged pupils and the other pupils is 4.3% in grammar schools compared with the national average gap of 27.8, delivering for disadvantaged pupils. 

– State school pupils in the most disadvantaged quintile have double the chance of progressing to Oxbridge if they live in a selective area in contrast to a non selective area.

– Those with a BME background are over 5X to go to oxbridge if they live in a selective area in contrast to a non selective area.

Whilst the Lib Dems think about how they will level down, this government will level up, promoting a good quality for all providing parents and children with a whole host of options. 
When we look at academic evidence, we find that many arguments by the opponents of Grammar Schools falls apart. A paper titled Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya by  Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer investigated the impact of tracking in Kenya. I shall quote their conclusion their below:

“In a tracking school is 0.14 standard deviations higher than that of a student in a nontracking school. These effects are persistent. One year after the program ended, students in tracking schools performed 0.16 standard deviations higher than those in nontracking schools. Moreover, tracking raised scores for students throughout the initial distribution of student achievement. A regression discontinuity design approach reveals that students who were very close to the fiftieth percentile of the initial distribution within their school scored similarly on the endline exam whether they were assigned to the top or bottom section. In each case, they did much better than their counterparts in nontracked schools”

Of course the arguments against tracking are that better off students would benefit whilst the bottom end of students are left behind however it is clear that tracking and selection works. Putting students in learning environment which are appropriate for their ability leads to more efficient educational outcomes, this is exactly what grammars do.

Grammar schools are perhaps even life changing for those that get into them. As a middle class immigrant, my grammar school gave me an environment where I could flourish and was tailored to me. I shall be forever in gratitude to the selective system, my parents were not wealthy billionaires or multi millionaires and the grammar system helped me serve as DPM as three times, Chancellor twice and hold multiple positions of power.  The Labour frontbench have historically send their children to the most elite of institutions whilst criticising the grammar system. That’s because they know grammar schools give ordinary people a shot and can rival private education. Unlike those on the left who have sent their kids and attended a grammar school I will never kick away the ladder I benefited from instead I will help everyone child get the opportunity to climb that ladder. 

Selection is part of life, why do we not move towards a selective university system? At what age does selection become acceptable? For those that make arguments of ‘muh tutoring’, I don’t see them to rushing to abolish GCSE’s and A-Levels and selective universities. Why? Because they know its a bad argument, there will always be tutoring however the government is lifting all schools up giving people a chance to succeed. Furthermore the government will be establishing a commission to look into how school should conduct entry, so it is likely we will see transfer exams for late developers.

Our system ensures both comprehensive and grammars are funded and that school choice is maintained. Our bold grammar school building programme will bolster school choice and opportunity and I’m pleased that we have numbers in parliament for it and that we can finally turn the page on the lefts assault on our education sector.

References:

Mansfield, I. (n.d.). The Impact of Selective Secondary Education on Progression to Higher Education. [online] Available at: https://www.hepi.ac.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/HEPI-Occasional-Paper-19-as-published-Screen.pdf.

Duflo, E., Dupas, P. and Kremer, M. (2011). Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya. The American Economic Review, [online] 101(5), pp.1739–1774. Available at: https://www.jstor.org/stable/pdf/23045621.pdf?refreqid=excelsior%3A762e291236d2fc6933c467aa4e53df4b [Accessed 27 Sep. 2020].


Randomman44 loses control of Lib Dems before officially crowned as Leader

Randomman44 is the only known candidate for Lib Dem leader.

Randomman44 is expected to be crowned as Liberal Democrat Leader with no one declaring their candidacy to stand against him. Far from his promise “ to prove to the British public that Labour’s infighting has led to an incompetent opposition. “ it appears even before officially being crowned as Leader there has been a hemorrhage from those on the right of the Lib Dems to a new party called the coalition. Many political pundits expect Randomman44 to take the party towards the left and this can be seen by his declaration of war on the Libertarians in his opening pitch for the leadership, a stark change in direction from his predecessor who signed an endorsement deal with the LPUK and obtained a coalition agreement.

Amongst the defectors was former Prime Minister and Lib Dem grandee /u/TheNoHeart whose defection will no doubt come a blow. TheNoHeart’s resignation helped to topple Wagbo’s government alongside other resignations and having such a respected and trusted voice in the party leave will hurt. TheNoHeart ran an active campaign in Birmingham narrowly seeing out his Libertarian challenger but with his departure and a decline in the Lib Dem vote share all but inevitable it is plausible that the Lib Dems could lose this seat.

The biggest loss however was perhaps Deputy Leader /u/sapphirework who was a rising star in the Liberal Democrats on the political scene. She served as Justice spokesperson for the Lib Dems and was an active voice in the House of Commons and the press. There is no doubt her loss will be felt in Lib Dem HQ.  This means the Liberal Democrats are in disarray having to elect a leader and a Deputy Leader simultaneously. The Lib Dems appointed temporary replacements until the elections go ahead. 

/u/model-mili also left the party, despite only a short stint in the party, model-mili’s defection was a big win for the Lib Dems but is now short lived as he departs to join the coalition. Model-mili’s presence could have helped the Lib Dems broaden their appeal 

The coalition will be headed by Brookheimer and has attracted big ticket names such as former leader of the Labour Party /u/Nukemaus and the outgoing Prime Minister, /u/Yukub. Most of the members in it are experienced with several ex leaders of major parties being members, including four former Prime Ministers. The party is positioning themselves between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and will no doubt damage both parties taking active members from both parties.

This spells a tumultuous start for Randomman44’s Leadership and tough times ahead from the Lib Dems who have lost several active members including their former Leader who went to be speaker, two former Prime Ministers and their Deputy Leader.

Don’t fall for Tory lies. Libertarian tax plan to save at least £500 per household

To grow Minnesota's economy, we need tax cuts from state rather ...
The overall burden of taxation will fall by £87.99 billion under a Libertarian government.

Conservative Newspaper, ‘The Monolith’ has today accused the Libertarians of wanting to raise taxes by £300 per household. Thanks to the Editors of the Telegraph, I am pleased to be able to rebuke these false claims. It is important to note that the Monolith did not question the Conservative budgetary blackhole that will be left once the one-off revenue from their proposed privatisation plans are no longer available. Indeed, the Monolith did not even pick up on the uncosted tax pledge from the Conservatives that their candidates are strongly boasting about as campaigning continues in this election.

The notion that families will pay higher taxes under the Libertarians is categorically false. 

The Monolith claimed that the LPUK planned £98bn in spending cuts and in that regard, they are correct, as the Libertarians believe that Government funding is bloated in a great many departments. However, what the Monolith didn’t tell you was the total sum of tax cuts that we have planned. The Land Value Tax rise will bring £23.38 billion. Our income tax cuts £42.79 billion. Once you add VAT and excise duties you get £75.99 billion which is greater than the planned LVT and Carbon tax increase. Once you examine the cost of tax cuts it is bizarre to see where the Monloith’s figures come from as their sums simply do not add up. 

They’ve purposefully framed misleading figures to make it look like the tax burden will rise when this could not be further from the truth.

The average household income in the UK is approximately £34,519. Under the current tax regime they would pay £2,174.32 in tax. Under the LPUK’s plans, including lifting the personal allowance threshold by 2% in line with inflation, they would only pay £1,580.51. This is a reduction of £593.81. From figures provided by the ONS  the average household will spend £2,514.31 on VAT with a rate of 17.5%. Under our plans that becomes £2,155.13. This is a reduction of £359.19. Having used the same methodology for alcohol and tobacco duty the average household will spend £310.22 less.

The Libertarians have always been upfront and honest about wanting to raise LVT, not only is it it right that we ensure wealthy landowners pay their fair share,it is an economically efficient tax and is not distortive, unlike others.

Given the overall annual rental value of land is £184 billion and there are 12 regions, it would be a fair assumption to take the third most expensive region which has an average rental value of £7,645 in the South West. ( The total average rental value here is £19 billion which is higher than the regional average of £16.67 billion so I am being very generous here). If we take this figure and take 9% of it which is the proposed tax rise we get an increase of £688.05.

Overall the average household is £575.15 better off under our plans. This is on a very generous LVT figure. If you take a considerable amount, estimated to be around half of families who do not own a home, and those who have properties further down the property ladder. In areas outside of the South England the cost of LVT will fall quite a bit providing a sizeable benefit. I am sure Libertarian candidates will make this clear as we seek to make dents into the Labour and Tory seats that are not in the South. Our plans are grounded in sound economics and will benefit the average household contrary to Monolith misleading  headlines.

We have to adopt a practical and economically focused approach to this election, and that is what the Libertarian Party is doing. 

Firmly, we understand that the money people earn is better off in their pockets – not the coffers of Government. This is why we are reducing taxation, and insisting that the Government spends the people’s money more responsibly. The choice is clear, with the Tories you get short term boosts to the public purse, with no long term economic plan in play. With Labour you get hundreds of billions of pounds of borrowing and taxation. With the Libertarians, you get an unleashed economy, with lower taxes. 

That is why our message is clear, join us and start to take your own Footsteps to Freedom.

*The figures for VAT and excise duties were derived by taking an average by the 2nd bottom quintile and 3rd quintile in Table 2 of The Effects of Taxes and Benefits on Household Income, UK, 2018/19 by the ONS. They were then applied for MHOC figures.

This article was written by the Leader of The Libertarian Party United Kingdom, /u/friedmanite19

Criminalising Drugs Will Not Solve the Crisis [Op-Ed]

LPUK peer The Baron of Amesbury writes for the Telegraph on the subject of drugs

A petition has been garnering support in these past few days where ordinary citizens are campaigning for Parliament to prohibit the sale of hard drugs and confer strict penalties on those who do distribute hard drugs. Many families and citizens seem to support this policy due to the fact that young people these days are increasingly becoming more addicted to these drugs, sometimes with fatal effects. This has become the occurrence with Daisy Whithed, a young girl who died from overdosing on MDMA. I give my condolences to her parents, who started this petition. However, we must ask ourselves: has criminalising drugs worked?

A look back into the history of world politics will show that many governments have attempted to ban and criminalise sale, which ended up hurting those who were consuming as well. Let’s look at the War on Drugs in the United States. The criminalisation of drugs was intended to be a crackdown on the smuggling of drugs that caused the crack epidemic in the 1980s and the ongoing opioid epidemic. This policy saw the widespread arrest of people caught possessing hard drugs, irrespective of whether they desired to consume it or whether they desired to distribute it. This led to many people who had no intention of distributing drugs and who were, instead, addicted to them being arrested for virtually no reason and sentenced. Most of these arrests were disproportionately minorities who had become victims to the addictiveness of hard drugs and possessed, not to distribute, but to consume. This is just one of many examples throughout recent world history where government crackdown on drugs caused more issues and more incarceration for innocents.

Criminalising drugs will cause the same troubles here. Impoverished communities will be harassed constantly by police for housing drug dens. Addicts who were caught possessing would be imprisoned and their record blighted permanently. A blackened history means forever being unable to get jobs and earn money; eventually, they will have to live in the streets or off of welfare. Even then, banning and criminalising will not do much damage to the drug trade. Smugglers are quite experienced in transporting goods under the noses of government officials. Also, as the industry is cracked down upon by the government, more legitimate businesses will fall at risk and will either be forced to close down, be arrested, or engage in black market activity.

Overall, the premise of the petition is desirable: prevent our children and our citizens from being exposed to hard drugs and ruining, or even surrendering, their lives and livelihoods because of them. I understand, it’s difficult to see this happen in our nation. But criminalisation would have even more ramifications in terms of wrongful arrests, targeting of minority and impoverished communities, and increased black market activity. The side effects of this bitter medicine would be too hard for Britain to swallow.

This piece was written by /u/RMSteve, a Libertarian peer

Education Secretary and Welsh Tory Leader sacked as defections to the Lib Dems deal a blow to the PM

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives and Education Secretary was fired by the Prime Minister over support for a justice devolution referendum sending a shockwave through Westminster and the Senedd. This move has reasserted the Prime Minister’s authority and shows that CCHQ will stamp out any rebels. It appears that devolution is a redline when it comes to the autonomy of devolved leaders and anyone failing to toe the national parties line on devolution will follow the path of RhysGwenythIV.

The government replaced the education secretary with party loyalist and former leadership candidate BrexitGlory. This leaves BrexitGlory with four positions in government, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Education Secretary. The Prime Minister will be hoping that this appointment can reunite the cabinet as they head into a difficult election with the Conservatives forecasted to lose 8 seats.

RhysGwenythIV fiercely criticised the national Conservative Party in a resignation letter and said that the party is “riddled with the misconception that Wales is a joke” and that the membership “treats it as such.” He also attacked the government support for the high threshold requirement in the referendum of 75% and said that  “it is clear that the party will never fully respect democracy in Wales.” For many pundits this will confirm that the national Conservative Party is exerting control over the devolved branches to further their anti-devolution agenda in Westminster. For opposition parties Mr Gwenyth’s sacking has proved them right with the LPC seizing on his departure.

 In the removal of Mr GwenythIV, the interests of Wales have been exposed as secondary to the interests of the Westminster establishment and the Welsh Conservatives

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RhysGwenythIV headed for the Liberal Democrats joining former Welsh First Minister model-willem in the party. He is yet another Classical Liberal which has left the party. The Liberal Democrats are now home to former Welsh Tory Leaders and also managed to bag the Welsh Tory Deputy Leader ohdearstudying who opted to also leave the party in solidarity with RhysGwenythIV. This also mean the party has lost an MP and an active member who was seen as a rising star by some.

The Telegraph managed to obtain a copy of ohdearstudying’s resignation letter. He also delivered serious blows to the Tory leadership.

It is with a heavy heart that I cannot continue in my position as Deputy Leader in the knowledge that the Welsh Conservatives are being cast aside and ignored for the sake of  “national policy

ohdearstudying

He also argued that the “Welsh Conservatives have been cast aside in favour of what Westminster feels is best for the party – even though it blatantly ignores the will of the People”

The Welsh Conservatives are in turmoil now losing both members of their leadership. A successor is yet to be chosen. When asked for comment ohdearstudying told the Telegraph the following:

“It seemed to me that Welsh Conservatives were seen as a proxy of the national party and they didn’t respect the leader standing up for his own principles on behalf of the People of Wales. It does not matter if the polls would not nosedive but it is about the respect for the will of the people who voted in for a significant amount of parties on the basis of the prospect of a referendum. It met the requirements in the Senedd and it felt as if we, and the Welsh People, were being undermined and ignored entirely in favour of what they claim to be a “party” decision. The Leader merely translated the concerns of the party to those higher up – hardly a crime.

ohdearstudying

There is no doubt that losing all members of the Welsh Leadership, a cabinet member, two MP’s and two AM’s will cause disruption to the Tories and disrupt the Conservatives momentum ahead of the election. However it is a risk the Prime Minister has decided was worth taking in order to tame any rebellion over devolution. Only time will tell if that gamble has paid off.