By all means, cut. cut & paste do what you will, but circulate the information. I know this is long, but please read.
ELECTORAL REFORM BILL! VOTES FOR EXPATS –JANUARY 23 2013
The Number of UK citizens moving abroad rises every year. I wonder why!
UK TAXPAYERS ARE MAKING A DONATION- WITHOUT THEIR KNOWLEDGE OR CONSENT -TO THE LABOUR PARTY EVERY YEAR IN EXCESS OF £113 MILLION!
I am in the process of writing to a hundred or more Expat Websites, organisations, Clubs, Associations, press contacts worldwide concerning the recent debate in the House of Lords 14 January concerning the proposal of extending the right to vote to thousands of Expats, UK citizens, who are at present denied their right to vote.
I, and many, many thousands of other Expats worldwide, looked and listened via our computers with ever-increasing incredulity to the arguments put forward in the House of Lords, the so-called Upper House, to deprive legitimate UK citizens of that right. This Debate is being continued Wednesday 23 January, listen in and be amazed at the Neanderthal opposition.
After listening to this debate, (The extract from Hansard can be found on the www.varvillagevoice.com
details of which follow, one can only say, Oh My God “ Major Bloodknock of the Goon Show and all his thieving ilk are alive and well and residing not just in the House of Commons, but also in the House of Lords.
Brian Cave of the blogsite http://pensionersdebout.blogspot.com
(prominent campaigner for pensioners right and votes for expats )-- expressed his
, somewhat politely, when he said: “”It was not a debate in response to the well-crafted presentation by Lord Lexden, but more an exhibition by some of intellectual dishonesty, prejudice and ignorance, which sadly reflected rigidly entrenched opposition along party lines.””
“”Lord Lexden presented an extremely well argued proposal for extending the time limit, at present 15 years after leaving the UK, in which UK Expats can vote in the UK National Election. And on the positive side, the Government are planning to extend the postal voting cycle from 17 to 25 days and to remove the need for a corroborating signature from a non-family member, British citizen, in order to register. That is good.
As Brian Cave put it ”That apart the Debate and contributions that followed were anything but heartening, or even intelligent, or informed!”
I apologise for the length of my own rebuttal to the speakers in last Monday’s debate in the House of Lords, which follows, but I do urge you to read to the end and support the representatives in the House of Lords, Lords Lexden, Louth, Deben, Flight, Brooke, Gardiner who are fighting so hard on our behalf, to improve the voting sytem, to give us the vote, and representation. They most urgently need your active support, and the best way you can provide it is by registering to Vote. See: www.votes-for-expat-brits.com
Lord Lipsey for example with his cheap gibe “”Who are these people? … those who have gone abroad for the cheap gin and tonics; Followed by “”There is, however, one less obviously desirable reason why they are lobbying for the vote. There is a very well organised lobby which objects to the fact that, broadly, outside Europe British pensions are frozen. Expats in receipt of pensions reasonably think that, if they had representation in Parliament-if they had a vote for MPs-they would be more likely to get this changed.””
So according to Lord Lipsey, it is perfectly acceptable as he states for the “”Brussels Labour group, who wanted the vote to express their Labour and pro-European sympathies….!” It beggars belief, doesn’t it. Votes for some but not, not for others. And obviously not for those who vote against his tastes and party! And according to him he has the right to take the vote away because voters could well vote for change. How very Democratic.
And believe me, it gets worse. The Noble Lord Lipsey also brought up the fact that of the: ”estimated to be some 5.5 million Britons of voting age living abroad but in 2011 only 23,388 of those (had) registered to vote-(i.e.)under 0.5%.””
This fact alone,according to him and other legislators is sufficient reason to deny the vote to those who have expressed the desire to vote, including the several thousand who have signed the www.votes-for-expat-brits.com
website. and expressed their
at the fact that they can pay taxes to the UK, but are not granted the right to vote. His statements make no acknowledgement of the difficulties faced by Expats wishing to register to vote, nor that after 15 years they cannot register.
And as for his statement that expats lose connection with their home country, and they should not be given the vote, because they pay no taxes, “”No representation without Taxation””this betrays his utter ignorance and bigotry. Thousands of expatriates pay tax to the British Government, income tax, and tax on investments, tax on pensions. as well as property taxes. Thousands, perhaps several million of tax paying expats can and should correct this, by allmeans email Lord Lipsey on the subject, you will find his email at the end of this document.
I sincerely trust just that statement alone, will make Expats world wide reach for their computers, and www.votes-for-expats-brits.com
website and also reach for the guide on how to apply for their voting rights, via: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
and register to vote.
TAXES & INVESTMENTS IN THE UK - SUPPOSE THEY MOVE THEM? THE UK BRAIN DRAIN
Concerning tax and investments in the UK, It is interesting to note the the Gulf State of Dubai is seriously debating offering expat workers pensions and is consulting the World Bank on the subject, in order to keep the money in Dubai. Quote: Dubai is looking at the introduction of expat pensions in a bid to stop foreigners sending the bulk of their earnings back home. It has been estimated that most of Dubai’s two million foreign workers send about 40 per cent of their salaries back to their home country, where they have more trust in the financial system. This deprives the local government of much needed money which would otherwise make its way into the domestic economy. In a bid to stem this tide, Dubai’s Department of Economic Development is reviewing recommendations by the World Bank to launch pensions for expats.”
A Dubai Brit expat said : ””if a decent enough pension scheme was launched that I trusted and my employer contributed into it, then I would definitely keep more money here. But so far this hasn’t happened.” Another expat added: “The expat mentality in most of the Gulf is to work, earn as much as you can and send it back home. A new pension plan will have to be pretty generous to change that mindset.”
Dubai is keen to use foreign salaries for its funding needs.
So apart from the Noble Lord Lipsey’s and other Noble Lords total ignorance of the facts concerning taxes paid by expats, perhaps they should very seriously consider the consequences, should vast numbers of expats world wide decide to shift their savings, pensions, investments, elsewhere!
Such a wholesale shift of capital from the UK – and who could blame expats, should they do so, especially given the antidiluvian attidudes displayed by these extremely ignorant legislators – could have a catastrophic and totally devastating effect on the UK economy, its banking system, the City, with huge knock-on results.
Would the City welcome such a shift of capital – I doubt it!
And it is not just the shift of capital from the UK that could be hugely damaging to the UK’s Economy; it is the shift of its talent, of the brains, the young people to other countries searching a better future, than that being offered them by these same antediluvian legislators. Are these same legislators not aware that more and more of the UK educated talent, very likely offspring of the squeezed middle class these very legislators tend to abhor and tax to death – are leaving the UK in droves, in search of a better future. The UK is experiencing a huge Brain Drain, and is hemorrhaging its capable middle managers, IT specialists, doctors, dentists, lawyers, financial specialists, you name it
For example: “( a recent) Home Office (report) warned that Britain will experience a “brain drain” if the trend continues. Nearly half (48 per cent) of British emigrants in 2010 were in professional or managerial roles, compared to 37 per cent in 1991. Nearly 200,000 work in white-collar jobs in Dubai, while there are 28,000 British-born executives in Hong Kong and 40,000 in Singapore. As the UK emerges from a period of economic stagnation that has stunted growth since 2008, the very people who could provide an impetus to our ailing economy are leaving at a rate of 150,000 a year.
To continue: Today, there are more British doctors in Australia than there are people living in Manchester city centre. Add to that tens of thousands of British dentists, pharmacists, lawyers, accountants and academics. And that’s just on one continent. More than 4.7 million Britons now live overseas, half of them middle-class professionals who have left in search of higher salaries, lower income tax and better weather.
In addition, increasingly expats are starting to educate their children overseas in local International schools, rather than schools in the UK. Another loss to the UK economy.
Perhaps these very same bigoted legislators should ask themselves the question, WHY SHOULD EXPATS CONTINUE TO INVEST IN THE UK WHEN THEY ARE BEING DENIED THE BASIC RIGHT TO VOTE AND TO ADEQUATE REPRESENTATION?
WHY SHOULDN’T UK RETIREES SPEND THEIR RETIREMENT ELSEWHERE?
To continue, as the debate did in horrifying and and graphic ignorance, political bigotry, and petulance.
Lord Tyler obviously shares his prejudices with Lord Lipsey, managing to make slighting reference to retirees in Sapin – why is it that Labour members so hate people who have retired to the sun - saying Why should someone who has lived on the Costa del Sol for the past 15 years still vote by post in local elections. Yet another Noble lord who betrays his utter ignorance, Overseas Voters cannot vote in LOCAL ELECTIONS. The fact that they are British citizens, and should be entitled to vote in NATIONAL ELECTIONS, thousands of them still pay tax in the UK ,is to him totally irrelevant and to be ignored.
And why should not British citizens who have worked hard all their lives, saved up, paid off their mortgage, educated and brought up their children to the best of their ability, paid into all the UK systems, PAYE, NHI, etc, been thrifty, why shouldn’t they retire where they please, to the sun , the Costa del Sol, elsewhere, and swig gin & tonicss to their heart’s contaent, they are paying for it, the taxpayer isn’t. Why shouldn’t they retire somewhere pleasant for the rest of their declining years?
Lord Tyler issues what he thinks is a dire – albeit hopelessly misinformed – warning, saying Expats should be careful what they wish for! Indeed, indeed, bearing in mind what could be the dire consequences should expats move their savings, pensions, etc. elsewhere in ther world, rather than the UK - rather he should be careful what he wishes for!
And as for the puerility of Lord Anderson of Swansea’s contribution, it beggars belief. His main thrust was;
"representation without a substantial stake in this country"? Everyone who is resident in the UK has that substantial stake and those who live for perhaps a very extended period overseas increasingly lose sight of this country and lose sight of any stake they may have in it.””
DO THEY REALLY LOSE SIGHT OF THEIR CHILDREN, AND THEIR GRANDCHILDREN, of their pensions, their investments. Why should they be prevented from voting for the good of their children and grandchildren?
Expats have a huge stake in their country of birth, however with legislators like Lord Anderson of Swansea, they can be pursuaded to abandon it.
Thank goodness Lord Anderson’s extremely muddled and misinformed contribution was followed by the excellent riposte from Lord Diben, one can only thank God devoutedly for some intelligence in this debate, as he cited the obvious: “”That (foregoing) is the argument of totalitarian (Communist?) regimes down history. That is why people did not want the extension of the franchise in Britain. People said, "My goodness, if those who are at the moment misused are given the vote, they might object to that". I find that an odd argument to come from any part of the House, but to hear it from the party opposite, which is about to say that some voters in this country are to have a bigger vote and more say for a longer time than would otherwise have been the case, seems to me to be an affront.””
As Lord Deben put is so accurately, expressing his
that: “…””particularly as the noble Lord will go on to support a misuse of the electoral system to ensure that we have an unfair electoral system for even longer. That is a peculiar case to put forward.””
Lord Deben continued: “”we have now heard three speeches designed to say that people should not vote if by their voting they might do something which was inconvenient for noble Lords on either side and should therefore be refused the vote. That is precisely the debate that noble Lords are about to have, which is to say that because a particular reform proposed in this House today would give people a fairer vote but thereby might give a different result, we should not change the voting system to accommodate them. That is an attitude to democracy about which we should be ashamed. Our decision should be on what is fair, what is equal and what is reasonable.””
Lord Louth took up the challenge, pointing out that the amendment to the Bill being debated was:
”"to make provision about the registration of electors and the administration and conduct of elections". Ie The important point is that they are and remain British citizens. So long as they remain British citizens, I see no reason why they should be disenfranchised. If they no longer feel any connection with the United Kingdom then it is open to them to seek the citizenship of the nation in which they reside. The fact that they chose to remain British citizens should not be dismissed but rather regarded as an asset for this country. British citizens are often important ambassadors for the United Kingdom.””
And one can add, important contributors to the UK’s GNP. He continued: “” At a time when we are having difficulty persuading many of our citizens at home to vote, it seems inappropriate to prevent citizens who do wish to vote from doing so.””
Then one comes to the incredible, ignorance, bigotry and partisanship of Baroness Hayter, who states:
“”As has been said, these amendments would, in effect, extend representation without taxation. They would allow people who do not, on the whole, pay council tax, income tax, value added tax or, presumably, any death duties here to continue nevertheless to elect people who decide on the level of those taxes. We also have to remember that this is not just about taxation; it is also about expenditure and these non-residents do not school their children here, use our health service, drive on our motorways or live day-to-day under our laws”
For a more ignorant and unsubstantiated opinion the above would be hard to beat. Many thousands of expats still school their children in the UK, although as I have pointed out, they are increasingly opting for other choices, perhaps driven away by such legistators as Baroness Hayter. As for Medical costs, I would point out that many of these costs, medical and others, are on a reciprocal basis, i.e. the over 400,000 or so of French Nationals living and working in the UK, are covered by the NHS, in direct exchange, as is common with all EU countries and services, for UK Nationals living in France. Has Baroness Hayter not heard or read about reciprocity. And she is one of our legislators?
Perhaps by the same token she could consider the large numbers of Polish workers living and working in the UK, claiming child and other benefits for their children and wives still living in Poland, and who every month send back to Poland large portions of their salaries earned in the UK. Of what benefit to the UK are these remittances to Poland? They are not spent in the UK!
Whereas Expats tend to spend in the UK, and invest in the UK.
When the next huge wave of immigrants from Roumania and Bulgaria hit the UK, will she be content with the amount of UK welfare money outflowing to these East European countries?
I hope to frame an appropriate FOI request to relevant authorities to ask how best they can estimate the flow of investment, capital, savings, etc from Expats into the UK. and also correspondingly to what level they estimate the flow of remittances from the UK to such countries as Poland etc. The comparison will be interesting.
Baroness Hayter then excels herself with the statement that:””Should these amendments be agreed, these people would also be able to make donations to our political parties-a form of overseas subsidy that I thought we had outlawed. Section 54 of the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act 2000 allows UK nationals who permanently live abroad to remain on the electoral register for 15 years. By being on the electoral register, they are also categorised as permissible donors to a political party.”
And happilyBaroness Hayter enlarges on the rules for political donations. Read on!
And advamces an incredibly biaised argument, that were overseas voters given the vote, they might indeed use that vote to change things, and Heaven Forfend, make political donations. Totally in agreement with her Labour crony Lord Lipsey who is so against giving expat citizens the vote, in that they could vote for change. How very democratic, or rather, Not!
This is in no way a surprise, the Labour party, its acolytes, and obviously its senior members are hardly known for their devotion to democracy, i.e. one man one vote and the right to vote for one’s convictions, hence the above. After all do trade union supporters get the right to vote on how their union subsidies are used, how they are spent or who represents them, are they ballottted? I think not.
Just recently wasn’t the Trade Union fat cat jack Dromey handed a safe labout seat on a plate. – talk about wrotten boroughs! – and still apparently was continuing to collect two salaries, one from the Union, which he had not declared in the Register, as well as his MP’s salry! How democratic is that. Their motto is “pay up, shut up and stitch up!” How beautifully corrupt.
One of the Blair offspring is rumoured to be sniffing around for a safe labour seat for 2014. One wonders why, surely Daddy could buy one for him, yet another wrotten borough in the making. Ex Prime Minister Blair has managed to accumulate a fortune estimated now to be anything between 30 and 65 million, including a large property portfolio, but yet declares virtually nothing in profit or tax, via an incredibly complicated and opaque system of tax shelters that no single accountant has yet been able to decipher. Last year he paid paid just £315,000 in tax on a turnover of more than £12 million over the previous year. Echoes of Starbucks, Amazon, and Google, one wonders!
Despite the fortune he has accumulated at great speed, the taxpayer is funding his police protection bill at an estimated cost of at least 6 million a year, a bill he could easily afford himself. The Royal Family have greatly downsized their police protection bill, so why not Mr. Blair and his family, they can afford it. Why should the taxpayer fund his protection bill?
Just as in the same way Baroness Hayter and her labour cronies in the upper house and elsewhere defend Labour undemocratic practices, their Labour party continue to plunder the UK taxpayer to the tune of at least £113 million a year to pay for their Trade Union “facilitators”working in the public sector. (See www.order-order.com/pilgrims/
This is the £113 million-a-year the taxpayer (including thousands of expats) pays for the Trade Union “Pilgrims”, i.e. the full time trade union officials officials that were embedded in every area of the public sector by the previous Labour administration. If the Trade Unions require full time Union representatives, or so called “”facilitators”” they should pay for them out of union funds.
But no, they have found a way of making the mug punter, the UK taxpayer fund them. ”Pilgrims” are so called as the first one that came to light was a Ms Pilgrim, a full time unionist, in a nursing post in Tooting. They are being gradually weeded out, kicking and screaming all the way, but it will take a long time.
Not only that, but a recent report claims that public bodies have even been deducting union subscription fees in the payroll process without charging the unions for the work that requires, in spite of unions themselves claiming the opposite.
For more details read the report by the Tax Payers Alliance, where they state; at least 3,041 full-time equivalent public sector staff worked on tradeunion duties at the taxpayers’ expense 2011/12. Whereas total public sector employment fell by 6.5 %.....the number of full-time staff working on union duties …..declined less than 3%, which suggests the proportion of public sector staff working for trade unions may be rising”. The number of full-time equivalent staff provided to trade unions is more than 2.5 times as large as the workforce of HM Treasury…””
A donation to the Labour party of £113 million a year – may I repeat that £113 million a year – a donation the UK taxpayer has no idea it was making, and without agreement or consultation whatsovever. FRAUD? CORRUPT PRACTICE?
And concerning donations to political parties, the Lib Dem party hardly smells of roses on this subject. In the run-up to the 2005 election the party accepted £2.4million from Michael Brown, a financier subsequently convicted of fraud after four years on the run. Mr Clegg has so far declined demands from Mr Brown’s creditors to repay the donations.
And just recently they have accepted a donation of three quarters of a million (£775,000) , from Brompton Capital Limited, a company with no staff that has not recorded a turnover since 2003. Party funding laws state that firms which support political groups must “carry on business” in the UK, which it refers to as “buying or selling goods or the provision of services”.
The latest accounts for Brompton shows it recorded no sales, turnover or profits in the year to the end of April 2011. Instead it racked up a loss of £357,000 - £350,000 of which was said to be accounted for by “donations””.
This donation is currently being looked at by the Electoral Commission, to determine whether it is an “impermissible donation”.
Yet expats, who pay every tax under the sun, should be, according to the above noble lords, discrimated against. What a topsy turvey world, the Noble Lords live in.
I rest my case.
As to the nitpicking arguments raised, totally obstructively, re the implementation of amendments to voting requirements, they are as fleas on a hog. Of little consequence and interest to any intelligent person.
Many of the above speakers are a disgrace to Democracy. They have no desire to improve the present very out-of-date voting system, voting register, of making a fairer voting sytem available to UK voters, or of eradicating voting fraud. Obviously they are totally intent on preserving their privileges, their expenses at all costs, and an out-of-date voting system riddled with fraud.
The sheer hypocrisy of their opinions, and breadth of duplicity Is hard to believe. If as they say, few expats want to vote, why are they so afraid of granting them the vote?
One can only be devoutly thankful for the collective intelligence, patience and contributions of Lords Deben, Louth, Lexden, Flight, Brooke, Gardiner and others, and pray they might overcome the forces of evil, bigotry, and sheer ignorance.
May the Force with them! However they seriously need your help, your support.
Expats, your only remedy or recourse against these antediluvian dinosaur monsters denying you the right to vote, and who are legislating for the future of your children, your grandchildren – is to REGISTER TO VOTE!
Go to : : www.votes-for-expat-brits.com
You will find out how to register via: www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
By all means register your opinion with the noble Lords:
Lord Lexden: Conservative, proposing changes in Electoral reform to allow expats voting rights after 15 year period; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Lipsey: Labour, email: email@example.com
was Secretary Streatham Labour Party, not an MP
Lord Tiler: Lb. Dem : email: firstname.lastname@example.org
formerly MP North Cornwall
Lord Anderson of Swansea: Labour, MP Monmouth, & Swansea East: email: email@example.com
Lord Deben: Conservative, previously John Gummer; no listed email
Lord Wills: Labour no email
Lord Norton of Louth: Conservative; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Flight: Conservative MP, email: email@example.com
Lorde Brooke of Sutton Mandeville: Conservative: email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Baroness Hayter of Kentish Town: Labour: email: email@example.com
Lord Gardiner of Kimble: Conservative Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
For Details of Member of House of Lords, or House of Commonhttp://www.parliament.uk/biographies/lords/