I was walking through central Headington today, wheeling my bike past the Abbey National - sorry, Santander! - and there was yet another beggar sitting on the pavement. This is England 2012. Beggars. I gave him £1 and he said, "Thanks, that's like a million pounds to me!" At first I thought he was being sarcastic. I looked at him, annoyed. Did he think I was a millionaire? But he wasn't being sarcastic. He repeated, "Honestly, I mean that to me is worth far more than you think." It was apparent from his slurred speech that he'd had a stroke at some time and he was grey-haired. I asked him where he was from. "Manchester." He needed to beg enough money to get into a night shelter. On BBC1's Question Time last night, the panel was asked if they have faith in the government's economic policy. No one (apart from UKIP) suggested any constructive alternative. The first CUT we need is to cut loose from the EU. Stop giving Brussels £50 million per day. Stop bailing out the eurozone with further billions. Abolish the host of expensive, time-wasting EU regulations that impede our industry. Stop paying benefits to foreign claimants or putting them in our social housing, and make them pay if they want NHS treatment. All that would save a lot of money. Use it first of all to improve the lot of our pensioners, who have been paying into this system all their lives. They are owed a better deal. They have been short-changed by the Europhile governments of Labour, Conservative and Libdem alike. [And they are all alike.] Keep the retirement age at 65 or under. When the pensioners get a better deal, they will able to afford to retire. That will mean that younger people can take their jobs. This will reduce the amount we spend on benefits, currently one of our major economic headaches. It would also reduce our benefits bill if we gave priority to British people for jobs here. Employ others only if there is no suitably qualified British applicant. It does not make sense to employ Albanians or whatever when British people are sitting around claiming social security. This nothing to do with racism - it is just that we are paying twice for the same job! If we have a shortage of plumbers or waiters, we need to train more of them here. Bringing down the benefits bill will help us to pay off our debts and means that gradually we can invest in our own country. We could reduce or abolish business tax to encourage more people to take the initiative and employ others. There is a strong argument that business tax results in a net LOSS of tax income, and net increase in benefit claims. It certainly deters many people from running a business. Taking steps like this could start to help to get us out of the downward spiral we are in. Nothing in the manifestos of the LibLabCon or the Greens begins to do so. .
I am a Parish Councillor for Risinghurst and Sandhills in Oxford, and Chairman of Oxfordshire English Democrats.
I support the following campaigns:
>Save Horton General Hospital
>Stop Forced Adoption
>Restore Infant Literacy Hours Campaign
>Save Oxford Community Centres from re-development
>Save Northway Town Green
>No privatisation of NHS
>Stop Cuts to Arts Funding
>Justice for all survivors of CSA
>Abolish University Tuition Fees for students whose parents are English citizens.
>>;Abolish the Barnett Formula.
>>La Manif Pour Tous.