Search This Blog

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

NEW EUREKYS LANDMARK

The number of articles published by EUREKYS has now reached 160

The first articles appeared in 2010

All articles are related to Political, Social and Cultural Affairs IN BRITAIN TODAY.

The Ethos of EUREKYS has been to offer Positive Solutions to Problems facing the UK in the Second Decade of the 21st Century.

WHO OWNS THE EU ?

WHO OWNS THE EU ? 
THE CURRENT DIVORCE BILL IS ONE SIDED IN FAVOUR OF THE EU.

I have written many articles in the past about How to settle the so called " Divorce Bill " for the UK to pay the EU when it leaves the EU.
It seems to me that all we hear about is the EU charting what the UK had committed to, including years and years of Pension contributions.
But, what about What the EU owes us ?
This brings in the question....Who owns the EU assets and liabilities ?

In previous articles, I have questioned...Is it the EU Commission ?
Is it the Council of Ministers ?  Is it the EU Parliament ?
No, it is owned pro rata by the 28 Member Nations.  The ownership should be proportionate to the number of MEP each nation has.
This seems fair and democratic to me.

If I am right, the EU needs to present to the UK, monies due after the Divorce. In any Divorce, net assets are allocated to each partner according to need.

So, let me emphasise, the EU needs to present a list of net assets and to identify the share the UK should receive as payback.
These will include, audited accounts for......

1-Monies in the Banks

2-Investments

3-Present value of properties which the UK has paid towards

4-Loans to fellow EU Nations

5-Refund on UK MEP pension funds

6-Rebates due to UK up to leaving date in 2019 or later if a 2 year transition period is agreed. These  payments will include Agriculture rebates, Education rebates and other contributions which the EU had agreed to pay in previous treaties.

These repayments to the UK should be deducted from the Divorce Bill !

So far, it seems like the UK are all give and the EU are all take.

It is time to start asking the EU Negotiators what their share of the Divorce Bill will be ? I guess their answer will be... Nothing.

Time will tell.





Tuesday, 7 November 2017

THE PARADISE PAPERS

THE PARADISE PAPERS

I do not wish to debate the pros and cons of the revelations from The Paradise Papers.
What I want to do is to suggest sone change in Government Policy which might help reduce
the scale of Tax Avoidance by the Rich and Global Companies.

1 - Any British citizen with a British Passport should pay Tax on earnings wherever it is deposited in the World.

2 - All income earned in the U.K. from earnings anywhere in the World, including Investment income or profits or Companies owned or part earned, should pay UK income tax.

3 - Profits earned by Companies in the UK should be pay UK corporations tax.

4 - Excessive Management charges to overseas companies to reduce e the tax burden should be illegal.

5 - Offshore tax heavens in British territories throughout the World such as Isle of Man, Jersey, Bermuda and others should be outlawed.

6 - A Wealth Tax of 10% of Capital Assets over £10 Million should be imposed by the Government.

7 - Assets owned by British citizens should pay the 10% Wealth Tax wherever these assets are in the World.

8 - It is outlawed for British citizens to establish companies to feed their earnings and assets into thereby reducing their personal tax burden. This includes Sole Traders.

You may not agree with all my recommendations but surely, they deserve a free and open debate in Parliament, The Media  and the Public in general.
Otherwise, the rich and Companies will continue to get away with avoiding tax, possibly legally under present legislation for many years to come.





Tuesday, 24 October 2017

THE ELECTION PROCESS OF THE NATIONAL TRUST 2017

HOW THE NATIONAL TRUST MADE A MOCKERY OF THE
ELECTION OF CANDIDATES TO COUNCIL IN 2017.

This year 2017, The National Trust held their AGM at The Steam Room, Swindon. I watched the Webcast of proceedings. The organisation by Jo Cooke, Deputy Secretary, was simply excellent. The Chairman Tim Parker did a great job controlling the AGM in his first year as Chairman. I particularly liked the very fair way he gave Members the chance to ask questions on both sides of the divide. The Directors and Specialist Staff also played their part in replying to questions from the floor.
The Financial results for the year were superb. A great performance by the retiring Director General Dame Helen Ghosh, who is going to be Master of Balliol College Oxford, and her staff.  He Legacy will be a very hard act to follow.Congratulations to everyone at the National Trust, especially the 60,000 Volunteers.

I have been a Member of the National Trust for over 50 years. I love the National Trust, it's diverse Membership and the National Trust Ethos of Conservation. I wanted to play my part to help The Council but it was not meant to be.

Before the AGM, The National Trust had invited its 5 Millions Members to Vote for up to 6 Candidates for Council - the National Trust asks Members of the Council to serve for 3 years -  out of a list of 20 well qualified, impressive, superb Profiles and dedicated Candidates for Council. It was to be a fair and open election BUT the problem was - it was anything but fair and open. 14 of the Candidates,  of which I was one, did not have much of a fair chance. The Election was fixed and biased by the National Trust hierarchy, namely The Nominations Committee.

Why is this ? Is this just sour grapes because I did not get elected ?
Well, you decide. Here are the facts.....

Only some 500 Plus Members of the National Trust out of 5 Million Members bothered to turn up to the AGM in Swindon. A relatively small % of the total Membership. The National Trust must have expected such a low turnout when they booked the Steam room. On the Webcast the room looked so full.  However, every Member had rightly been given the opportunity to vote except many could not be bothered to vote and apathy prevailed.

Deputy Secretary Jo Cooke said - " It is a requirement of The National Trust Constitution that the Nominations Committee makes Recommendations."

Member Raymond Williams says - " Change the Constitution. "

The Nominations Committee selected its favourite 6 Candidates and lists their names in the AGM Booklet which includes the Voting forms and online voting guidelines. In the
 Voting Booklet, the Nominations Committee them recommends that Members vote for their 6 chosen Candidates. Let us be clear what the Nominations Committee does or I should say what it does not do. It does not interview all the Candidates. It does not talk to any of the other 14 Candidates. We do not know what their Terms of Reference were. Who set any Terms ? Were the Trustees involved ?
 What role if any did the Chairman have in the selection process of the 6 Candidates and the composition of the Nominations Committee ?

Deputy Secretary Jo Cooke said - I do not know how the Chairman voted because the vote was in secret." " The Chairman did not have any direct involvement in the selection process of the composition of The Nominations Committee. "

Raymond Williams says - " The Members should have a say. " " The Chairman should have a say since he should know the mood of the Members. "

 Members and Candidates are left in the dark.
What criteria did the Nominations Committee use to select their favourite 6 ?  I wonder ! We will never know.

The other 14 Candidates together with the Profiles of all 20 Candidates were on display in the AGM booklet and online together with their replies to Members questions. How many Members bothered to read them ?

As a result, the Nominations Committee tries to bias the result of the election by promoting their favourite 6 Candidates. How they reached their selection nobody knows ! It is all done in secret.
I think that they have succeeded in introducing bias into the Election  and skewed the Election results.

5 of the 6 Candidates recommended by the Nominations Committee were elected to Council this year 2017.  They received over 15,000 votes each. One other Candidate got 15,000 votes whilst the other 13 Candidates received from 5,000 - 13,000 votes each. Such was the dramatic impact of the intervention by the Nominations Committee. The pre - chosen 6 received collectively 50% of the total vote of 231,249. 
My case rests !

Only 4.6% of the Total Membership of 5,000,000 bothered to vote in the Election.  
2.3% of the Total membership voted for the chosen 6. 

Deputy Secretary Jo Cooke said - " The numbers voting this year were double those of last year." 

Member Raymond Williams said - " The number of Members voting was still very small. "

The challenge to the National Trust for the future is  - How to attract more Members to Vote in the Election and for or against the Motions ?  It is quite pathetic that so few Members voted.
However, it is the same story in Local Government Elections and to a certain extent in the General Elections.
Apathy is King.

Is the election fair ? NO.   Here is my view ....


The Chairman will obviously use his Proxy votes to build  up votes for the 6 favoured Candidates. He is not likely to vote against his own Staff's recommendations.

Deputy Secretary Jo Cooke said - " There were no Proxy Votes. "

Member Raymond Williams says - " I may be wrong and I am sorry. However, this is a terrible blow to National Trust Democracy.

It would be better if there was a Box on the Ballot Package marked - Proxy. This might broaden the numbers voting and produce a fairer result. But, note my recommendation on how the Proxies should be distributed." " Members would not have wanted to travel long distances to the AGM and spend money on overnight stays. "
" I suggest that consideration should be given to holding the AGM elsewhere, say The Midlands."

The Nominations Committee will attract votes from Members who cannot be bothered to read the Profiles of all 20 Candidates and are likely to vote as per the recommendations of the Nominations Committee.

So, what chance does the other 14 Candidates have ? Not much !

This year there was a big influence on the voting results due to the fact that there were 2 very controversial Motions - For and Against a ban on Trail Hunting on NationalTrust land and For and Against the Plan for the A303 Road under a £1.4 Billion Tunnel past Stonehenge.

This helped to polarise the Votes. Candidates got Votes from some of the 100,000 Members of the Countryside Alliance if they had clearly stated that they agreed with the Countryside Alliance and Candidates got Votes if they disagreed with the A303 Motion. The National Trust urged Members to Vote against each  Motion. This helped to distort the vote. I must admit I took a view that if the activity is legal it is OK. I also voted For the Motion to  stop the A303 Tunnel Plan. As a result, I probably lost a few thousand vital votes.
" C'est la Vie."

I also thought that Question 4 - Ask the Candidates, was a bit ambiguous. It referred  to Stonehenge
and mixed two Motions - Trail Hunting and the A303 Tunnel in the same question 4. There should have been a total of 7 questions and not only  6 Questions.

I also thought that 2 highly emotional Motions should not have been included in the list of questions in the Ask The Candidates list. Some 60, 000 plus Members voted in the 2 Motions and each side urged their Membership to vote for the Candidates who supported their point of view. This skewed the results for each Candidate.

Here is another factor for Members to consider. In the voting for the 2 Motions, there were
" Discretionary Votes." These were votes assigned by Members to the Chairman Tim Parker,
In the Motion against Trail Hunting on National Trust Land, there were 3,460  Discretionary Votes Against the Motion and 2,057 For the Motion. So, the Motion was lost.
Similarly, in the Motion Against the tunnel under the A303, there were 6,710 Discretionary Votes  Against the Motion. Once again, the Discretionary Votes decided the result of the Motion.
Who decided how to allocate the Discretionary Votes ?

The very poor number of the 5 Million Members who voted, also diminishes the validity of the Election.

The National Trust has to change the voting rules in the future according to my view as follows...

1 - Abolish the Nominations Committee. Change the Constitution to do this.

2 - Introduce Proxy Votes next year. This is a leap from normal practice at AGMs but I think in the case of the National Trust, it is badly needed. What is wrong with this if anything ?

3 - Members should have Proxy Votes but  they are allocated in proportion to the Candidates according to their % of the registered National votes distribution. A proportional representation approach. If Candidate X gets 30% of the submitted votes online or on paper, he or she should get 30% of the Proxy vote.
Is this a denial of Democracy ? No. It broadens the Vote abd should produce a better fairer result.

4 - My challenge to the National Trust is......Print my article on your Website to give Members a chance to express their views.
I do not want to submit a Motion for next year's AGM because it take up precious time which could be used to debate more vital subjects. However, my Article needs debate and not pushed into oblivion.

Deputy Secretary Jo Cooke said- " Here is the link to the National Trust AGM website. You can post this on your website EUREKYS. "

Member Raymond Williams said - " I am most grateful to Jo Cooke for her response to my Article. I have made changes as a result of her sensible comments. I appreciate the fact that this subject of The role of the Nominations Committee has been strongly debated in the past. In fact, in recent years a Motion was passed by Members to prevent the Nominations Committee from placing asterisk's  alongside their favoured Candidates names.
 I propose that the National Trust goes one step further and abolishes the Nominations Committee."

5 - This year on the Voting Forms, the National Trust asked Members if they thought that the Recommendations of the Nominations Committee were " helpful ? "
We must be careful interpreting the results. They should have asked...." Do you think that the intervention by the Nominations Committee distorts the Vote and is unfair to all the Candidates ? "


I think that then the National Trust might have fairer election results and every Candidate will have a fair chance of being elected.
 My views are shared with many people including The Christian Voice Journal who states in their recent headline article that the Council Election was fixed.
The Christian Voice - noted for it's Fair Play says:

" Whether anyone is elected does NOT depend one scrap on our votes. That is because the Chairman  of The National Trust  Tim Parker casts all the Poxy votes. It will come as no surprise at all if Mr Parker sends all the Proxies down the wire to Vote for his favoured six establishment approved figures. "

Member Raymond Williams says - " The Christian Voice is right about the Council Election was fixed - by the Nominations Committee recommendations but they are wrong about Proxy Votes. "

WHY NOT change the Voting Procedure ?

If the results of The Election are going to be pre-determined by The Nominations Committee -
They know best !

WHY HAVE ANY ELECTION AT ALL ?  

The National Trust is just building up the hopes of decent Candidates, wasting National Trust money, and cynically ensuring in effect, that Members will Vote according to the wishes of the Nominations Committee. 

No, The Nominations Committee do not know best !

Raymond Williams
EUREKYS
National Trust Member

Making Lives Better








Thursday, 12 October 2017

OPEN LETTER TO The Rt.Hon. STEVE BAKER MP

You must be as frustrated as me about the EU negotiations.
The Divorce Bill seems the main sticking point.

Please tell David Davies to move this along.... Here are some Urgent Questions for him to ask the EU. The 3 Stumbling Barriers to the Negotiations which must be resolved NOW.
The UK and the EU need answers to speed up further discussions.

1 - THE DIVORCE BILL

What Share of EU Assets does the UK own ?

What sum of money does the UK have to pay legally up to leaving date 2019 ?

What share of EU Loans to Member States does the UK own ?

What does the EU expect the UK to pay and what is the Justification ?

The UK cannot pay forever into the EU Pensions .

What is the gap between what the UK will pay and what the EU want the UK to pay. ?

Surely, David Davies can get answers to these questions.

Concentrate on the Divorce Bill otherwise we are talking to a brick wall and the Conservatives will get the blame.

2 - THE IRISH BORDER

My Solutions....... 

A - Allow free trade between Eire and Northern Ireland as at present

B - Tighten up Passport Control Checks for visitors from Northern Ireland to the UK.

C - Only short term entry for EU  citizens who enter the UK via Northern Ireland.

D - Free Trade from Northern Ireland and Eire IF the EU reach an early Free Trade deal with the UK. 

3 - CITIZENS RIGHTS IN THE UK AND EU POST BREXIT

A - No change for British Citizens living in the EU.

B - No change for EU citizens living in the UK.

C - Drop the plan that they must reapply for  Permit to Remain in the UK or EU. Not necessary.

I am only an ordinary UK citizens.  Negotiator Rt.Hon.David Davies MP has an army of civil servants.  Revise the Priorities in the talks. Discuss the Divorce Bill NOW as the EU want. Otherwise, the UK will spend many more months in deadlock.  

The UK have a very strong position when it comes to trade talks, later on in the Negotiations.

RAYMOND WILLIAMS
EUREKYS


Tuesday, 10 October 2017

MESSAGE FOR NON CELEBRITIES

A MESSAGE TO ALL NON CELEBRITIES

Be grateful that you are not famous. Be thankful that you are not a Celebrity ! You may not have their money but you can be very happy with your normal life.

You can go about work and love your Family without being hounded by The Media.

You will not have to mix with Celebrities who take drugs. Some of them die as a result of drug addiction.

Most of the Celebrities are so vain. You can be yourself. You don't have to satisfy the wishes of your Fans.

Some famous Celebrities are only good at Singing or Acting. That is it. You probably have many other talents. Know yourself as the Greeks said years ago.

Encourage your Children and Grandchildren to live their lives to the full. Too many young people say..." I want to be a famous singer. It will change my life. " so do thousands of other young people think that. Look at the thousands of people who turn up for X Factor auditions. It semis to be TV viewing to see the hopes of most them crushed. They see Singing as an easy way our. They think it will bring happiness.
It may not. There are one or two Winners. The rest sink into oblivion.. shattered, disappointed, depressed. Wha a pity !

Consider how many Celebrities get divorced.
Consider how many Celebrities die young
Consider how many Celebrities have Breakdowns because they crack from the pressures of Being a Star.
 Remember the old saying.... " Money does not buy Happiness. "
It is true today.

Remember that " You cannot buy Health. " Many so called Celebrities lose their health at an early age because of the stress of touring, concerts, deadlines and some disappointments. Heroin, Cocaine and Crack Cocaine abuse In Britain Today costs the NHS £Billions. I am not saying that Celebrities are responsible for all these abuses. However, the record is full of Celebrity deaths from Drugs  - the stupid people. Chasing Celebrity status will mix you with all these dangers. You may survive - I hope so - but you will be in danger mixing with the Celebrity clique. Think strongly about this.

You can be very happy from being an ordinary Citizen. Life has  more to offer than being famous. Volunteers get great satisfaction from the unpaid work they do. Low paid Nurses in The NHS want to serve humanity. Not for Profit organisation are full of decent people who are motivated by the will to serve - they are the Givers not the Takers of this World - the Salt of the World. I have nothing but respect for them.

I am glad that I am not a Celebrity. I am what I am and I have no regrets.

I suggest that you tell your children and Grandchildren about this article. It may be a big turning point in their young. lives. Their future may be bright without being a Celebrity.

EUREKYS
Changing lives for the Better




EUREKYS ETHOS

EUREKYS ETHOS

" CHANGING LIVES FOR THE BETTER "

By Writing Articles, 155 so far,  about Politics, Cultural and Social Affairs 
IN BRITAIN TODAY and by presenting  - 
Practical Solutions to many Problems for the People and Government of Britain.