We pledge to repeal the UK Enabling Act, sometimes known as the Civil Contingencies Act 2004.
We pledge to repeal all legislation of the last hundred years that attacks British Rule of Law. This includes, but is not limited to:
We pledge a Freedom of Information Act with stiff penalties for those destroying, or attempt to hide, information that rightfully belongs to the people. The presumption will be that all information is available. Exceptions will be few and limited to a highly restricted definition of national security.
We pledge a Bill of Permitted Powers for Governments, or the Bill of Wrongs. It will be presumed that all the powers not listed therein rest with the people, rather than with their elected servants. Exceeding those bounds will be made a criminal offense. The list of government rights will be extremely short.
We explicitly eschew the right of any government at any time to disarm the franchised citizenry. We believe that an armed citizenry is the best strongest protection against oppressive government. We believe that knowledge and practice leads to greater safety and effectiveness. As such, we will make sure effective and affordable firearm training is available for all franchised citizens. We hope that all franchised citizens will choose to both be armed and trained. We believe that pre-franchise citizens should be trained in preparation for eventual franchise, but the right to trade or carry arms should be restricted and supervised for this group.
The unstoppable march of technological change has brought observation technology that makes the end of much privacy but a matter of time. Much as the Emancipation Party finds this idea unwelcome, it is the reality and needs must be faced. We also live in a world where the availability of wealth, information and mischief is such that a single nut can brew anthrax, or some other nasty, in their garage and kill thousands with ease. This reality requires societies to face a degree of loss of privacy. However, we have no wish to see this used as an excuse for oppressive Big Brother style snooping. We believe the best way to safe-guard against such possibilities is to apply such technology to our public servants first, in such a way that the information collected is available unedited and in freely accessibly form, whether paper, television, internet or via some as yet undevised scheme. We believe that the work lives of our elected servants, and of those running for public office, should not be private: this extends to correspondence, meetings, offices, bank accounts and no doubt much more. We believe that laws requiring that all such snooping be first applied to all public servants will give the ambitious due pause.
We believe that the current means-tested benefits system is both intrusive and serves to perpetuate and extend dependence on government by the citizenry. We propose a universal benefit, to be call the Citizen's Dividend, which is neither means-tested nor can be reduced, selectively curtailed or removed by any elected official. We propose that this Citizen's Dividend start at a very low level and be slowly increased until it replaces all current benefits. This caution in the initial implementation is to allow time to observe and correct for unintended consequences. However, the Emancipation Party has confidence that the Citizen's Dividend is the best way to both reduce the dependence of citizens on government and exploitative businesses, and to reduce the size and power of the parasite on society that is government.
We observe that no two people are equal, nor can they ever become equal. We also observe that attempts to treat people as 'equal', rather than as individuals, is the cause of much suffering and death around the world. We regard having other individuals able to function independently and cooperatively, rather than in obeisance to some mock 'authority', or as that authority, as in the long-term interests of all. We believe that the education system should reflect this. In particular, we believe that children should be educated such that they are able to pursue their own interests, do their own research and reach their own conclusions, rather than being stuck in regimented rows with set times to learn arbitrary 'subjects': jailed for the crime of being young.
We pledge to make the following central parts of the educational curriculum:
The franchise is currently restricted to those that exceed an arbitrary age. The Emancipation Party believe that a franchise based on ability to function as independent responsible citizens is both more logical and the only reasonable way to alleviate many of the problems faced by modern societies.
We propose extending the Franchise By Examination. Education for the examination must be freely and widely available for all; citizens must be allowed as many attempts as they wish, much as with Driving Licenses; the examination must be available for all citizens, regardless of age, or any other factor. We propose that initially, those who pass the examination are given one extra vote on top of what they already receive. We believe this will both increase the value citizens place on their responsibilities and reduce the influence of the free-loaders, the feckless and the disruptive.
The Emancipation Party believes that voluntary military service plays a central part in the formation of a responsible citizen grounded in reality. We propose further extending the franchise by allocating an extra vote to those who have voluntarily served a tour.
We at the Emancipation Party acknowledge that taxation is a form of theft and, as such, both illegitimate and destructive to the wealth and productivity of individuals and society alike. We also acknowledge that some situations, in particular Tragedy of the Commons situations, require a degree of central control.
We believe that the only reasonable way to resolve these competing positions is a combination of minimal government and maximal openness. We observe that all taxation reduces productivity, and that this is not effected by the point at which the money is stolen. We therefore propose replacing all current taxation with a single tax aimed more directly and openly at production. We believe that a Sales Tax, or VAT, is probably the best place for such a tax: the infrastructure is already in place and it is a tax that people can not help but see in their daily life, making it impossible for government to attempt to hide the theft.
The UK government currently spends some 40% of GDP. That is, the UK total tax burden is somewhere in the region of 40%, so to replace all UK taxation with a single tax on all production means that one tax being set at approximately 40%. We believe this is significantly too high. We intend to greatly reduce that number. We believe that government should not be doing anything that can be achieved by private citizens. We will act to introduce competition to such areas where the government is doing that which can be done privately, with the aim of turning such services over to the private sector as soon as possible.
[Note that governments are slippery in the extreme in what figures they choose to publish; as an example, it is unclear how much the above 40% figure includes local government spending, or "off the books" spending in the form of Public Private Finance Initiatives. Neither do current Sales Taxes (VAT) apply to all production.]
We find the government control of the money supply, and thus the banking system, particular egregious. We regard government made inflation in the form of printing money and 'government' debt as nothing more than fraud. We intend to give the central bank full independence. We further intend to allow privately run currencies in competition with the government money supply, breaking the ability of governments to control the economy for their own personal benefit.
The Emancipation Party regards the world energy situation, in particular with respect to fossil fuels, as a tragedy of the commons issue. As such, we believe that government intervention is necessary in that area. In particular, we acknowledge that oil resources are finite and fast running out, and that if we do not prepare adequately and quickly, billions of people around the world may well die.
As a first step, we propose spending one percent of GDP, year on year, on energy infrastructure. This includes building new nuclear power plant stock, alternative energy sources and energy conservation. We also believe that government regulations should be changed such that the cost benefit analysis for producers favours energy and resource conservation, rather than consumption. We observe that the technology is already available to greatly reduce the human impact on their environment and at the same time increase material prosperity. However, current practices subsidise and encourage profligate waste, waste that we can ill afford with expanding populations and expanding wealth and expectations.
Nuclear power is not without its risks, but we believe those risks are vastly dwarfed both by the known damage caused by burning fossil fuels and by the disaster that would occur if we allowed the oil to run out without adequate preparation for the continuation of our hugely energy dependent society. We believe that the prospect of the fuel for seeding, fertilising, harvesting and distributing our food supply running out is sufficient on its own to warrant the above measures.
To alleviate risks of nuclear proliferation, and of lax safety precautions, we propose a worldwide monastic-type organisation to control the usage of nuclear material. We must be careful that such a group can neither come to bear undue influence on the body politic, nor be ignored in its field of control. This obviously requires careful negotiation and cooperation amongst the democratic nations. The IEAEA is a possible seed organisation.
We regard failure to act to remove repressive governments around the world as both immoral and unsafe in the post-Hiroshima world. We believe that it is only in a world where the citizenry has access to the opportunities, wealth and freedoms available to their leaders that we have any chance of a degree of safety and peace. We regard it as the moral duty of democratic governments everywhere to work together to oppose such oppressive governments and support the people that those governments oppress. No option should be overlooked in this task, whether economic, diplomatic, or military. We believe that the costs of delay or weakness in this task greatly outweigh any immediate costs to action.
The Emancipation Party regards government interference in the lives of its citizens as a great evil, especially when that interference is directed at behaviour that does not harm the unconsenting. As an example, we regard the semi-random prohibition of certain narcotics as stupid and dangerous. While indulging with drugs is clearly foolish and can be harmful - as can be seen by the thousands each year who terminally reduce their life expectancy by smoking or by drinking immoderately - just as clearly that indulgance is a personal individual decision that is not the business of the government. Further, attempts by governments to control private indulgence have been shown through long experience, both with the prohibition of alcohol and with the 'drugs war', to both not work and to increase corruption, crime and government powers of intrusion. We intend to legalise all narcotics and regulate their production and sale in much the same way as with other food and drugs, e.g. aspirin, chocolate, and cigarettes.
We do not believe government has any business in regulating personal relationships. We aim to get government out of the business of regulating sexual relationships, the ways people choose to die and what people choose to do to their bodies. At the same time, we believe it is in the interests of the individual to make clear what they wish to take from, and are willing to give to, any given relationship, before agreeing to that relationship. We propose to extend the scope of contract law to allow for routine private contracts for all aspects of personal relationships, including sex.
The Emancipation Party believes that it is always preferable to enact dispute resolution at the local, rather than national, level. We also believe that the franchised citizens can only be reasonably judged by their peers. Aside a minimal framework of tolerance, freedom from interference and basic rights, we believe law should be decided at as local a level as possible. We believe that national law should be minimal and as unintrusive as possible. The more that independent small groups of people are able to freely choose the rules under which they wish to live, the better we will like the world and the safer we will feel! We place two immutable rules on such communities:
The Emancipation Party acknowledges the unreliability of witness testimony, that miscarriages are widespread and that attempts to punish have negative effects on the wider society. We believe jails should be humane, comfortable and minimal in their restrictions. We believe that sentencing should be aimed at the minimum required to stop the individual's anti-social behaviour. This means sentences aimed at the individual, rather than blanket rules. It also means greater sophistication from judges and all other parts of the judicial system. We observe that ritual state murder is both barbaric and leads to greater violence in the society as a whole.
There are no doubt many other issues on which the Emancipation Party can present their views, but we believe the above should be enough for prospective voters to get a clear picture of our motives and principles. Although the Emancipation Party is nominally aimed at the United Kingdom, we believe that all of our policies - of course excepting those that refer to the repeal of particular UK 'laws' - are applicable to any nation and any people. The founder and leader of the Emancipation Party happens to be a British citizen, in voluntary exile. That, and that alone, is the reason for emphasis on problems British.
We hope that this manifesto will act as an evolving document. We will keep available all previous versions for reference. This is the first and most recent draft. It was written on the Fifteenth of April in the year Two Thousand and Five by the auroran sunset. Suggestions, questions and indications of points needing clarification are solicited.
© 15/4/2005, the auroran sunset. All rights reserved.