Having an education system that provides the children of the country with a good and suitable education is the key to any nation’s ability to be productive and have the ability to grow both economically and socially.  If we sit and look purely at statistics that the education system has been turning out then we would think that the UK education system is fantastic as the results are just going up and up.  However this is something that if you talk to any academic in a university they will simply say is not true, if anything the education system is dumbing down to the lowest common denominator which makes those above average look rather good.

My own experience of this was during doing my law degree, which I did as a mature student; one of the optional modules was on International Criminal Law.  Which we naturally covered the Nuremberg and Japanese war crimes trials and about 60% of the class had no idea what they were; and when the tutor said well if you don’t know what they are to go and read up on them there was outrage.  Because these people had been spoon feed up till then on how to pass an exam.  Now this to me says there is something wrong with how we are teaching people in the UK, and something needs to change.

But this leaves us with a problem as the current system is set up to treat everyone the same in that we have a comprehensive education system where the very brightest are in the same system with those who are not as smart.  It is this attitude that everyone can be anything they want to be which is in my opinion wrong.  We should be encouraging the children to be the best they can be and not setting one against the other.

I would personally propose a three tier education system, with an increase in the number of grammar schools to encourage the academically gifted to push themselves in an environment set up for academia.  To produce the new Doctors, Lawyers, scientists of tomorrow in an environment that is conducive to this.   

I would maintain a middle level of education which would focus on a mixture of academic and practical skills.  So these children got a well-rounded education which could see them go off to university if they wanted but would equally leave them in a position where they could go off and pick up a trade become an electrician or a carpenter or something along those lines. 

Then in my third tier it would be for those people who naturally struggle with academic work, and it would focus on teaching them practical life skills give them a basic understanding in English, Maths and  Science but teaching them that you don’t have to be smart to be a success. You could have these people being taught bricklaying, carpentry, plumbing, cookery, dressmaking ect.

This New Labour idea that everyone should go to university is well stupid.  Everyone should have the opportunity to go to university but we need to change social attitudes so that success is not measured in how many qualifications someone has or hasn’t got.  As a country to be success full needs a varied mix of people with all skills; with this current attitude to education we will start to lose those important skills. 

We need to instil in to children that being a Chief or a Plumber is as important to society as being a Doctor or a Nurse.  Get rid of this stigma that exists that just because someone uses their hands and not a computer that their job is somehow lesser. 

So let’s bring back grammar schools for the bright, and encourage the rest to explore options to broaden their horizons and explore other options for employment.  100 years ago to become an apprentice for a skilled artisan was a prized thing; we should look to the past for how to improve the future. 

Now on the face of things a cut of the VAT rate from 20% to 17.5% or maybe even to 15% sounds like a great idea and that it’s an easy way to get money back in to people’s pockets; so that they can go out and spend spend spend and watch the economy grow at an astronomical rate.  Well that’s what Ed Balls would have you believe that such a simple thing could be the solution to the UK’s current economic situation. 

Now not being one to just dismisses an idea because it comes from Labour, as they have at times had one or two good ideas within the plethora of total nonsense.  I decided to look up just what we actually pay VAT on.  To my surprise there is actually not a huge amount of things that we do pay it on.  But I think the easiest way to illustrate this would be with a hypothetical family and their monthly spending. 

Now for this Mrs Smith earns £25,000 and takes home after tax £1,613.53 and Mr Smith earns £20,000 giving him a take home pay of £1,330.20.  With their outgoings being the following;

  • Mortgage payment of £700
  • Monthly Gas and Electric £100
  • Council tax bill £110.60
  • Food bill £250
  • Car loan payment £300
  • Pension payments £500
  • Petrol for car £350

Total monthly spend of £2310.60 out of £2943.73 leaving a disposable income of £158.28 per week. 

Now just which of those items have VAT on them, and what rate of VAT they have it at.  Well most financial services are exempt from VAT so that’s the Mortgage, pensions and Car Loan both at zero rate of VAT. But then we have the heating and electric bill’s, now there is VAT on them but not at 20% its only on them at 5%; so a cut in the 20% rate would not affect those bills.  The council tax bill has no VAT on it either.

Which leaves the food bill and petrol, now both of these have VAT on them and both at 20%; however it’s a minority of foods that have VAT on them things like chocolate biscuits, ice cream, fizzy drinks, crisps ect.  So the majority of day to day food is not really subject to VAT.  Now even the guardian accepted that the 2.5% increase in VAT added £33 per year to a shopping bill so a £2.5% cut in VAT would save this family about £2.75 per month.  Not really an earth shattering amount is it?

Then on to the petrol, the £350 is about 246l of petrol at £1.42l.  Now of that £1.42 only 23.6p is VAT at 20% so a 5% cut in vat would save 5.9p and 2.5% cut only 3p.  Which works out to a monthly saving of £7.38 for a 2.5% cut and £14.51 for a 5% cut.

Therefore in the Smiths monthly spend a 5% cut in VAT would save them £20.01 a month.  At a cost of £13bn to the nation, which if they just gave every one of the 30 million people over the age of 18 their share of the £13bn it would equate to the government giving everyone £433.33 each.  Which you would have to argue is a much more sensible way to redistribute £13bn in to the economy. 

So yes a 5% cut in the rate of VAT would have very little effect on the average family as it would equate to giving the two earners in this family £2.50 extra a week to spend which is hardly going to generate a mass stimulus that the economy needs. 

Today I thought I would do something a little different, instead of blogging about a topical issue I thought I would do a blog on what I would do with the country if I had the opportunity.  What major changes would I make, what I would do away with and what I would bring in to play.  As it’s my birthday it’s somewhat of a birthday wish, so as I blow out the metaphorical candles this is what I am wishing for. 


The tax system in the UK is well a mess it’s overly complicated and not really that fair, there are all sorts of tax loopholes that people can exploit so they don’t pay the right amount of tax.  So to start with I believe a flat rate of tax is fair so I would set a flat rate of tax on all income of 30% with a personal allowance of £12,500 and I would take income to mean what they lay out in the 2020 income tax report; so that would be all capital income and job based income.  This would apply to both individuals and business.

I would also address VAT especially on food, now instead of it being luxury food v’s non-luxury food I would change it so that VAT was applied only to food with more than 5% fat content.  So in essence it would be a tax on unhealthy food; I think this is justifiable due to the growing obesity problem in the UK.  So if you ate healthy then you pay less tax.   VAT would be removed also from Petrol and Diesel and road Tax would only be allowed to be used for the maintaining the roads.

Duty on Alcohol would be split between retail duty and pub duty; the first would be raised by £2.50 initially to stop the sale of really cheap alcohol in supermarkets.  But the duty on alcohol in pubs and clubs would subsequently be cut by 50p. 

Law & Order

My plans for the prison system as laid out earlier would be implemented as well as my reintroduction of the death penalty set out earlier too.  There would also be a comprehensive review of the sentencing guidelines that are issued to judges with a move to longer prison terms for more serious offense, and automatic custodial term for people convicted of an offence for a third time.  With community sentences reserved only for minor criminal offences; those that can only be heard in the magistrates court.


The focus on education would be purely on ensuring we have a well-educated and informed youth.  I would introduce a three tier education system with the ability to form new Grammar Schools for the educationally gifted, a middle tier made up of Academies, Free Schools and Comprehensives to teach those who fall in the middle.  Finally a third tier for those who are not academically gifted which would focus on vocational training teaching people to be plumbers, carpenters, builders and alike.  With systematic reviews at the ages of 10, 12 and 14 so there is flexibility to ensure that the children are in the right environment. 

I would also make education mandatory till the age of 18, be that through A-levels or through a vocational course.  To ensure that we don’t generate division between the children we would build campus’ which would hold all three types of school for an area which would have shared common areas to ensure integration of the population.    

National Service

I would re-introduce national service for those aged 18-20, however it would not be purely military national service though that would be one option. It could be something like working 2 years as a classroom assistant, or two years working in a hospital or something similar.  It would be a scheme to benefit the nation and help instil some national pride in the youth. 

Welfare System

I would reform it even further than the current reforms plan to, I would reduce the cap down to £18,000 in a way to ensure that benefits were not a way to live, but they became a safety net for when things go wrong.  However I would re-train and increase the number of staff in the benefit centres who deal with people face to face so that they can ensure that people do find work. 


I would do a huge top down re-organisation of the non-clinical side of the NHS.  It would be to turn it in England in to one big organisation that is split in to the 9 regions, and would be organised like any national based company would be; so in doing so would make a large number of the managerial and administrative staff ultimately redundant.  Thus reducing the overall running cost of the NHS, giving the ability to divert some of the saved money back in to clinical staff increasing their numbers.


I am tempted to merge the armed forces in to one big single force in an attempt to make it more efficient.  With any savings being pumped back in to it for equipment to ensure that we have the best equipment that any modern day military could want.

Legal Changes

Well for one I would withdraw from the Council of Europe, well I would have to if I wanted to bring back the death penalty.  I would also repeal the Human Rights Act and replace it with a Bill of Rights that was clear and easy to understand. 

There would be a major overhaul of employment law to ensure a competitive labour market whilst also ensuring workers were not exploited.

I would reduce regulation on international trade, to make it easier to import and export goods around the world.  This should encourage international trade with the UK.   

Then have a jolly good clean up of the British Statute book to remove unnecessary legislation.

The EU

Although I am an EU reformist and not opposed to the original core ideas of the EU, that it being an economic trade area.  I think the only way to deal with the EU question would be to hold a referendum on the EU with three questions;

  •   Should we leave?
  •   Should we give the EU an ultimatum to change or we will leave after 2 years without change?
  •   Should we stay?
International Aid

I think aid to countries like India and alike would have to be cut, as if they can afford to have a space program then do we really need to be giving them money.  As for other nations, those who have a dictatorship in place would also have to be reviewed to see if the money is getting to the people or being diverted elsewhere.

Though I think a policy of providing food or other solid materials may be more beneficial than giving money.  So my idea would be to provide these nations with physical goods rather than cash.

I am sure that if I sat and thought about this a lot more I could come up with hundreds of other additions to this, but if I posted a huge essay I doubt many people would read it.  So feel free to post a comment about this or suggestions for things that I may have missed off and let’s see what we come up with. 

There has been some recent criticism in the plans of the government to offering parenting classes for new parents.  Some people have said it’s the Nanny State telling us what to do and how to do it.  I have personally sat and thought about this and listened to both sides of the argument and have to say that I disagree I don’t believe this action is the state being overbearing at all, and in all honesty I think it’s a jolly good idea. 

Now yes go back 30 or 40 years and lots of people lived round the corner from their mum or another relative who could pass on their wisdom about what to do and how to do it, when it comes to looking after a baby.  But now we are a more socially mobile society and out of all of my friends in their late 20’s early 30’s none actually live near their parents.  So that safety net is not really there in a lot of cases today. 

We don’t hear people complaining about anti-natal classes for pregnant women and their partners, and this should really be seen in that vein; it’s a continuation of help for parents after their children have been born.  Now I accept that there will probably be a lot of people who don’t actually use it because they will either look up the information themselves in a book or online; but there will be some people out there who wouldn’t think to do that and they are the parents that we need to help. 

In any large town and city there is normally a housing estate where there is a lot of social deprivation and it’s these people that this program appears to be primarily aimed at.  The kind of families who due to poor parenting skills and alike are the ones that social services inevitably end up getting involved with which leads on to costing the state a fair bit of money.

So if we can get in there early and educate these people and give them the skills they need to look after their children properly then in the long run it’s beneficial not only for the State but also for society.  So I can’t really see how people can think that teaching people how to be a parent and raise their children properly can be a bad thing?

Drawing on the analogy David Cameron made, we make sure people know how to use a car before we give them a license to drive one.  So why not teach people the basics about parenting when they become one? If we can teach people how to raise children so that they respect their parents, themselves and other people then we all win. Yes it’s not going to be an overnight thing but the sooner we start with it then the sooner we will see the results. 

The past 2 years have shown us that to be an opposition leader or shadow minister is actually a really easy job.  As all you have to do is stand there say you shouldn’t do that, oh we wouldn’t do that and lots of other really easy things to say.  This Labour opposition well have done jolly good at saying they wouldn’t do that or your cutting too far and too fast and lots of other media friendly sound bites.  Yet we haven’t heard what alternative they would do instead.  They have become more a party of opposition not an opposition party.

So this got me thinking it’s easy to say what you wouldn’t do and as a result have the public say oh we like the sound of that, and get a boost in the opinion polls as a result of it.  But what is hard to do is to actually put down some policies for the public to look over and see just what they would do.  As at the moment all we know about Labour is they wouldn’t cut as much and they would borrow some more for a stimulus package of some sorts. 

Now that on its own is not really a lot, how much more would they borrow? £1bn, £10bn, £100bn or £1,000bn? And how much less would they cut by, a million pounds less of cuts is cutting by less.  So the public are left hearing we would spend more and cut less.  Which when times are hard is quite appealing more money in your pocket and more public sector people there to help.  Which in a sense is conning the voters that you would be better, when in reality you may only borrow a little bit more and cut by a little bit less. 

Which is really not on as you could very well be giving false hope to the electorate that things may be financially better under the party that well let’s face it caused the mess in the first place.  Then it hit me that for financial policies not would the government publish its plans and have them put in to action like they have done. 

But that the opposition party would have to publish some strict economic policies that list values detailing both proposed increases in spending and budget cuts.  That would then be given to the Office for Budget Responsibility who would look over them and model them to see just how they would play out.  Then this data would be released to the public so that the electorate could see just how or if there would be any difference in the two sets of policies. 

So that they could then make an informed and educated decision on the plans of the government and the opposition so when it came to an election people could vote more informed.  I also think you could probably extend it to other areas such as reform of services. 

Then when it gets to the time for a general election the OBR could do maybe a TV program that would illustrate the different positions that the two parties would have got the country to.  Which could list things like national debt, the state of the emergency services and the NHS and all the other things may be presented by Andrew Neil or someone.  What I think is great about this idea is that you couldn’t have an opposition party saying something really stupid like they would give every one £1,000 because that would be factored in to the calculation so overly populous policies couldn’t be trouped out just to win votes then returned to the closet under the stairs. 

In my opinion it would be beneficial for everyone, opposition leaders would really have to think about what they were saying, the government may pick up on an idea that they missed and implement it and above all the voters would get to see the big what if question.  So its win win all round. 

I have come across this story on a few different places on internet message boards.  Now every time I have come across it the LGBT community in large numbers have defended her actions blindly, in an attempt to justify her actions. This bemuses me beyond belief.

Now I have looked at several different sources on this incident and there is no great deal of difference in who said what and what happened.  The basic facts are three undesirable people made some offensive comments; her and a group of her friends went to confront them.  She was attacked by one of the women in the undesirable group which lead to her retaliating and stabbing fatally a man; who had at most only said some offensive comments. 

Now the LGBT community seem to think that her actions were that of self-defence, which on consideration of the facts this is a stupid accretion.  As the confrontation which lead on to her assault and the fatal stabbing was something that she created, she had the option to ignore the possible situation and move on.  At this point it’s gone from there being any possible innocent people involved to people participating in civil disorder, which ultimately lead to murder. 

I even took time to look at the laws for murder and self-defence in the state of Minnesota, which for murder are actually straight forwards.  Which if you impose the facts in to them there is no grounds for a claim of self-defence, yet these people seem to think that she should somehow be allowed to claim self-defence. 

Now one of the most alarming comments I read on this whole issue was, that the murder victim as he had a past of violent criminal convictions and he was supposedly a member of a Neo-Nazi group and was inherently homophobic and transphobic that it was fine for her to kill him.  The justification for this was, that well he may have at some point in the future tried to kill her.  Now if this was any form of justification for murder then it would give just about everyone the possibility to go and murder who they wanted to, because that person at some point may want to kill them. 

Now what worries me is the strange disregard for the rule of law, and how that if someone from a class of people you belong to does something wrong that they defend them to the hilt, regardless of what they have done.  It is as if these people become somehow blinded by the fact that the person involved is like them in some way. 

People need to wake up to reality, and it’s not just the LGBT community it’s all minority groups.  You may want to think that your little clique is perfect and no one does anything wrong because they have something in common with you.  Well that’s a load of poppy cock every minority group has rotten eggs in it, its part of life.  To blindly defend someone’s actions because of who they are is just wrong and will lead the world to a very bad place.

As where would it stop? If they are happy to defend someone who commits murder or child abuse or grievous bodily harm because well they are kind of like us.  Do we carry on do we start trying to justify that locking up Dennis Nilsen was wrong because he was a gay man or we shouldn’t lock up Muslim paedophiles because the Muslim community says a proper Muslim can’t be a paedophile. 

Civil society says that if someone breaks the law we should punish that person, and that it doesn’t matter if that person is LGBT, religious, from another country, male or female or even from another planet.  If someone breaks the law they should be put on trial and if convicted punished accordingly.  We should not start to let people off because of what could have happened if they didn’t do something, or because we think that maybe it’s a bit harsh that they are being put on trial.

This all comes down to the fact that as a society we seem to have lost the grasp that people are accountable for their own actions.  If that person does something they shouldn’t do they have to face the consequences, there should be no exceptions; and the rest of us should not try and justify the un-justifiable.  As it makes you look foolish and almost as bad a person as the perpetrator.