The Jury Team 2010 General Election

Championing policies, Reforming our democracy, Strengthening Parliament, Improving the running of government.

Championing Policies

The Jury Team has identified ten legislative Proposals which the political class does not wish to deal with but which are clearly important to the public, as shown in a series of YouGov polls it has commissioned. It will pass legislation on each of these issues. However as it believes in the electorate's ultimate right to decide, these Proposals will all be passed subject to an authorising referendum. The Jury Team has chosen policies which it appears will be passed by such referendums as there is no point in wasting Parliamentary time on policies which the public does not want.

The ten policies cover a wide range of issues which appeal across the electorate. The detailed YouGov poll results can be seen by clicking on this download [PDF, dead link removed] but key findings from the results are as follows (ABC1 is the pollster's definition of the people in administrative/managerial/supervisory households and C2DE in manual and unemployed households):

  1. Holding a referendum on the status of the UK within the EU: 59% agree (37% strongly agree and 22% tend to agree) and 31% disagree (13% strongly disagree and 17% tend to disagree). More popular among C2DE at 65% than among ABC1 at 55%.
  2. Limiting government borrowing to 10% of expenditure: 47% agree and 19% disagree. Stronger support among C2DE at 50% than among ABC1 at 45%.
  3. Protecting bank customer deposits from casino banking: 73% support and only 9% against, with 80% support among the 55+ age group.
  4. Limiting benefits to 80% of the after tax minimum wage: 63% in favour and only 15% against with 59% support even among the C2DE who are likely to be most affected.
  5. Sentencing violent criminals to 'army style' punishment: 78% support with only 11% against and with only 8% of the C2DE against.
  6. Limiting UK troops in Afghanistan to the NATO average: Supported by 67% to 14% with particular support among females (71%) and those aged 55+ (75%).
  7. Requiring private medical insurance for non-EU citizens: 78% in favour and only 10% against.
  8. Establishing 10 year residence requirement for UK Citizenship: 63% agree with the 10 year rule and 81% that any crime in those 10 years should disqualify someone for Citizenship (highest in both cases among the C2DE).
  9. Allowing state schools to opt out from local authority control: Approval by 36% to 33% in England and by 31% to 27% in Wales. Main approval is from the C2DE who currently have to put up with the worst schools.
  10. Requiring stores to allow customers to leave excess packaging

Democratic Reform

The Jury Team has pulled together and reviewed the various ideas for Democratic Reform which have been suggested by charities, think-tanks and parliamentary and government bodies over the last twenty years. It has incorporated these into a series of Proposals in each area which will make the political system more responsive and give back the balance of power to the electorate. It will create an English Parliament and seek to equalise the powers held locally by each of the four devolved nations. It will reform the House of Commons by reducing the number of MPs by a third and introducing proportional representation. It will enable the holding of a referendum on a particular subject if requested by 5% of the electorate. It will reduce the 'health and safety' culture and the 'nanny state' by introducing a 'no-fault' compensation scheme for claims against public bodies.

  1. Setting up an English Parliament
  2. Holding a referendum on the status of Scotland within the UK
  3. Giving the Welsh Assembly similar powers to the Scottish Parliament
  4. Reducing the number of MPs by a third (from 650 to 433)
  5. Changing Commons elections to proportional representation
  6. Requiring referendums on petition by 5% of the electorate
  7. Introducing "no-fault" compensation for public bodies

Strengthening Parliament

The third set of Jury Team Proposals is designed to encourage more MPs with experience of the world outside the 'Westminster Village' into the House of Commons by providing the opportunity for proper debate, rather than being 'lobby fodder', in the same way as is achieved by the non-party crossbench members of the House of Lords. The expenses scandal has accelerated the idea of a new style of politician going into Parliament.

  1. MPs to be free to vote in line with their best judgment except when bound by their manifesto
  2. MPs to be paid according to civil service pay scales
  3. MPs to serve for only three full terms of five years
  4. Elected Representatives (Prevention of Deception) Act
  5. Independent Politicians Complaints Commission
  6. Cap donations to political parties
  7. Members of Select Committees to be elected by MPs
  8. Gold-plating of EU directives to be stopped
  9. General elections to take place every five years

Improving the Running of Government

The fourth set of Jury Team Proposals will give back to the House of Commons its right to choose the Prime Minister rather than having that choice based on a narrow party political system. This will change the focus of future general elections from being based on little-read national party manifestos and shallow promises being marketed for floating voters to the priority being for each constituency to elect the best person to represent their views and contribute to the election of the head of the government. The constant reshuffling of ministers will be reduced, government departments will be run by boards with proper governance, in a similar way to charities and companies, and all Government statistics will be produced independently.

  1. The House of Commons to elect the Prime Minister
  2. PM to appoint junior ministers jointly with Cabinet Ministers
  3. Departments to be run by a Board
  4. Government statistics published by independent body