This page answers many of the questions we are asked.
Let us know if you have a question not answered here - we will respond as quickly as possible and we may then update this page with both the question and answer.
- How do you make policy and find the right people?
- How do you find the right leader?
- How do you prevent tax fiddling?
How do you make policy and find the right people?
A political party needs policies, members, funding and a leader.
Both the Conservative and Labour parties have abandoned the policy part and the Labour party is rapidly losing members and income. The Conservative party doesn't need members beyond the handful of people who pay it to do what they want. The current Conservative party leader is a lazy, lying, sixth form, clown and the Labour leader hasn't a clue. Looking at the two of them doesn't speak well of the British public or for the future of the UK.
A political party has to win elections to implement its policies - it is more like a business than a democracy and it has to be an efficient fighting machine. It is unrealistic for every member to have a voice at all times because, even though they have the right to determine party policy, they will have a variety of opinions and ideas.
We have therefore opted for a half-way house between the Conservatives, with zero party democracy, and Labour which is rapidly moving in the same direction - away from members making policies.
FJP policy is created and adapted by a national Policy Development Group (PDG) whose members are elected by all those directly or indirectly paying a subscription to the party. There is no "structure" to the party, no hierarchy or bureaucracy.
- Individual members, or ad hoc groups of members, may put forward ideas on a national online forum for discussion.
- After 6 months an idea which has crystalised after discussion will be examined by the PDG.
- An idea that the PDG feels meets the party's principles will be put to an online vote of all members.
- An idea will be adopted by the party if it receives a positive vote from 60% of the membership.
This isn't perfect but it seems at least as fair as, if not much fairer than, the way parties work at present. Everyone can participate with ideas and determine policy without the millstone and pathetic in-fighting of so-called "party democracy".
On the whole those who put themselves up for election as councillors or MPs do so because they want to make society a better place. There are a few who do it for selfish reasons and there are a few who, to be honest, are not very bright. MPs have a job for which they are paid, they see themselves as above the rest of us and they have a lot to lose by rocking the boat - so, they have become an "establishment" even within their own parties and they are, by their very nature, "conservative".
There have been some outstanding MPs, including young ones. For example, the SNP's Mhaira Black and Labour's Laura Pidcock who lost her seat in 2019 as did other long-standing, well-respected, and totally honest MPs such as Dennis Skinner. It shows that no matter how good you are, and how much you are loved by your constituents (go to Bolsover, ask people what they think of Dennis), national elections in the UK are strictly according to party choice - you don't vote for a person, you vote for a party and its policies. In 2019 the majority of the electorate didn't want Labour - so some excellent MPs are out in the cold for at least four years. In some constituencies (e.g. Liverpool Walton and South Holland and the Deepings) you could be a donkey and still get in if you were from the right party.
How do you find the right leader?
Anyone promoting the principles and policies of the FJP will come under immediate attack by the media and by those whose greedy self-interest is best served by the status quo. If they can't find skeletons in cupboards they will simply make stuff up and twist things to create a negative impression.
Good leaders are incredibly hard to find - too many have turned out to be self-serving careerists!
Ideally we want someone:
- who is a person of principle, our principles,
- who sticks to party policy, doesn't wander off and doesn't allow others to wander off,
- who doesn't make up policy on the fly,
- who resists knee-jerk response to the latest media headlines,
- who responds calmly, openly and truthfully in a crisis,
- who creates agreement rather than division,
- who is photogenic, charming, witty and good at interviews,
- who is willing to sublimate their ego in the best interest of party and people,
- who is intelligent and empathetic and understands the day-to-day lives of the population,
- who has a deep understanding of politics and the world,
- who preferable comes from outside London,
- who is not the sort of arrogant, narrow-minded, public-school-educated type we have too many of now,
- who doesn't expect to have a private life,
- who has absolutely no skeletons in the cupboard. The media will be all over such a person and will dig and dig until it finds the slightest amount of dirt - so best to get those skeletons out in the open right at the start.
Top quality company CEOs are like this - though they are very rare. They are even rarer in politics - after all, why would anyone take a job where they are going to be bullied by the media 24 hours a day? This is why the FJP has a policy for promoting a genuine free press.
How do you prevent tax fiddling?
This is an excellent question - let us know if you have an answer!
We can do some basic things but there are lots of very clever people out there who have dedicated their intellectual lives (how sad, what a waste, how soul destroying) to advising people on how to fiddle the tax system.
- Replace trusts with Clearly Identifiable Individual Ownership.
- Prevent use of tax havens and other ways of hiding assets outside the UK.
- End non-dom status, dual nationality and ensure that all UK citizens pay UK tax no matter where they are.
- Ensure that all companies trading in the UK pay tax in the UK.
- Keep it simple.
Complex law is bad law. Every additional clause or phrase provides a loophole.
This is one of the reasons why we put Land Value Tax (LVT) at the heart of a future taxation system - is is fair, simple and unavoidable - as long as there are no exceptions - none, not one, not even a tiny one, no exceptions!
- Be clear in our definitions.
Ambiguities provide loopholes so we must be crystal clear what we mean. Sounds simple, but it is very hard.
Our policy is to remove tax from earned income (so people retain the full benefit of their hard work and it is always worth taking a job because you keep everything you earn) and replace it with tax on unearned income (and LVT).
What do we mean by "unearned" income? Simple: everything that comes in that isn't "earned" income.
What do we mean by "earned" income? This is where it gets hard.
It seems obvious that it is "what you are paid to do a job". This is fine for those who receive a "pay packet" (usually a pay slip and a bank transfer these days) every week or every month and it covers the vast number of people (over 31 million!) who are currently on PAYE.
Those currently on PAYE are not the ones we need to worry about and it is quite hard (not impossible) to fiddle things when you are on PAYE. Most people wouldn't even consider it anyway.
The most obvious fiddle is to transfer what is currently unearned income into earned income and pay no tax on it.
- Instead of taking share options, just take cash.
- If your landed estate is in a trust to avoid tax, roll it into a company and pay yourself a massive salary as an employee and make sure the company makes a loss at the end of each year.
- If you are making your income from rent, set up a company to take the rent and get the company to pay you as an employee. Simples.
Both of the last two fiddles are easy to justify, after all, someone has to "manage" the company and collect the rent and that someone, you, should be paid for the "work" they do.
Now it comes down to how we define "work" and whether or not we can identify fiddles specifically established to avoid tax on what would have been unearned income. To some extent HMRC already does this when examining companies and charities set up with no other genuine function than to avoid tax.
We could have a simple rule: "rent is not work". In fact, rent is the opposite of work because history is about the struggle (usually violent) to own land to extract rent from the work of others. Rent is unearned income.
Ah, but most "landlords" are individuals who have invested their savings in property to provide them with a living or with a pension! True, but there are other, more productive, ways of investing your money.
Things are far from simple, and we are faced with some very devious minds, so let us know if you have an answer!