As the long-term reader of this blog will recall, last year I announced the launch of my own political party, PNS (Party for Northumbrian Sovereignty).
I must admit that when I wrote that I didn’t quite realise there would be paperwork involved, and that paperwork has since being sitting in my ‘to-do’ pile, underneath the red credit card bill, but on top of the court summons, since then.
Now the PM selfishly calling a snap general election has forced me to move the credit card bill to under the summons and actually look at the paperwork involved. Man, it’s a pain.
My first order of business is going to be getting some crowd-funding going. I’m hoping to raise enough money to put together a much better crowd-funding appeal, which will cover the deposit I apparently have to pay if I want my name on the ballot paper (is it any wonder the poor don’t vote, when they’re excluded from politics like this).
I also have to find some other people to join my party; Northumbria used to run from the Humber to the Forth, so I’ll really need to get candidates elected in the regions that I want to reclaim for the glorious Northern kingdom, otherwise people living in those areas may not feel that I have a genuine mandate.
Ultimately I’ll need to find some voters as well, preferably enough to see my candidates winning all of their seats and PNS thrust into parliament, with me as deputy prime-minister (I’ve never really been a leader).
I also, apparently, need a manifesto. This is principally to avoid awkward silences between the bit where I knock on somebody’s door and say, “Bye, don’t forget to vote for me!”
I’ve had a few ideas knocking around for a while, but this is the first time I’ve tried to jot them down, so please excuse any rough edges…
The NHS consistently polls as one of the most important topics for voters of all types right across the country. I’ve no idea why everybody loves the Northumbrian Health Service that much, but I like to think it’s because we all have a little bit of PNS in us.
In line with its voter appeal PNS are making the NHS one of our top priorities. We’re pledging that in our first term in office we will have a fully-funded, fully-staffed hospital in all the major population centres; Hexham, Alnwick, Seahouses, etc. We will also work tirelessly to aim to provide at least basic medical services in out-lying rural areas, such as Edinburgh and Leeds.
We will shamelessly plunder the rest of the UK, Europe and the world for leading specialist in core skills; such as sewing on bits that have come off because of a threshing machine, undoing the most baffling and intimate of bailing twine knots, and real ale poisoning.
Obviously our priority will be ensuring full independence for Northumbria and delivering freedom to those who find themselves oppressed by the Scotch and the Yorkshires. Once that independence is achieved, and we have our own royal family installed, we will be ready to ask the hardy Northumbrians how they feel about joining the EU.
We certainly don’t oppose the idea, unless it turns out that lots of Northumbrians do…then we do as well. As I like to say, if you’ll give PNS a go then we’ll back you up.
Education and children
Nothing is more important than our children. At some point in the future people who are children now will literally be older than I am as I write this. With that in mind it’s vital – nay, important – that today’s children get at least as good as a education as what I got.
It’s also important to us that Northumbrian children don’t grow up in poverty. Every child has the right to grow up scratching out a substance living on a windswept hill-farm that gets no more than 12 minutes of daylight in winter. Sadly, this dream is now beyond the reach of many parents.
To combat this PNS will be raising the family allowance by a whopping 100%. In return we’ll be asking parents to pay £20 per week per child towards the cost of their education. This scheme is, therefore, revenue neutral, but makes parents richer and schools better funded. A true win-win policy that we’re expecting other major parties to poach.
Northumbria aims to be truly revolutionary with regards to taxation. We’re planning to become the first ever kingdom of the UK to introduce a flat-tax.
Under our scheme everybody pays ten grand a year in taxes. No dicking about. Ten grand each. This avoids loads of administration and is, unarguably, fair and just.
To avoid penalising low earners, the elderly and children we’ll be allowing people who are a bit short to pay what they can and do us an IOU for the rest, and I’ll keep track of these IOUs in an Excel spreadsheet I’ve already designed for that very purpose. If you throw a seven before your IOUs are paid off we get first dibs on your stuff.
On the flip side of the coin, if you’ve got a few extra bob kicking around you can pay your taxes up to 10 years in advance, thus avoiding any inflationary rises. This policy is unashamedly designed to attract the super-wealthy, with £100k+ to spare, to move into Northumbria and pay 10 years of taxes at a time. Even if we only land 10 such people that’s an incredible £1 million straight into the coffers!
We’re honestly not sure why all the other parties make such a fuss about taxes. They’re a piece of piss.
Trade and international relations
We hope to remain on good terms with England and what will be left of Scotland after we’ve had our slice out of it.
Tourism will probably do well, what with our new royal family (applications open after the general election), and we’re taking to some guy on Facebook about getting our own Centre-parcs. If worst comes to worst we can always live of that million quid for a couple of years.
We’ll get round to thinking about defence after independence, but, honestly, those Danes haven’t bothered anyone for years. We’ll probably be applying for NATO membership, once we’ve found their freephone number.
Is there other stuff? The bins and what-not seem to be sorted at the moment, so we’ll probably just leave them as they are, to be honest.
So there you have it.
I like to think we’ve put forward a strong and well-reasoned case for Northumbrian independence, at least on par with any of that Scotch independence lot.
If you’re interested in standing as a PNS then give me a call after 6pm (sorry, busy with work at the moment).
If you’re interested in voting for us, then go for it. Shout, “I demand PNS!” as you march into the voting booth. Everyone’s 90 year old mother will cheer, guaranteed!
If you’d like to donate to our fund-raiser to raise funds for a better fund-raiser then give me 10 minutes to find out how Kick-starter works and then check back.
Whatever you do, get involved now, on the ground floor – because this country is crying out for a viable party with electable policies, and we are that party!
PNS may be small, PNS may not be in everybody’s mouth but, by god, we have spunk and our time is come!