Friday 13 November 2020

The Heritage Party - What does Britains newest Political Party stand for?

 A new party has recently been launched, known as "The Heritage Party". Many of the the figures associated with it were previously associated with UKIP. It is a socially Conservative party. The Party is lead by David Kurten, formerly a UKIP candidate. I have been reading through their manifesto. My comments are in Red Italics

The party has issued its manifesto

The Heritage Party – A Manifesto for Social Conservatism

The Heritage Party seeks to preserve and promote life, liberty, prosperity and national sovereignty.

For a nation to thrive it must be connected to its roots. We as the living generation are responsible for looking after the heritage which has been passed to us from our forefathers, and we have a duty to pass it on to the generations which will come after us. The is the basis of social conservatism. Successive governments have eroded our freedom, given away our sovereignty and mismanaged our economy.

The Heritage Party exists to return to the principles of social conservatism, to reverse the cultural destruction wreaked by politically correct ideologies and to return to our true traditions and heritage. In embracing these principles, we believe the United Kingdom can once again become a great and prosperous nation.

Protecting our Culture and Heritage
The United Kingdom is a great country and we have much to be proud of: our system of Common Law, the development of democracy and liberty, the abolition of slavery, and numerous work-beating innovations in science and technology.
We have a great and proud history, but our culture and heritage are under severe attack by subversive ideologies in the guise of political correctness. This is a real and present danger to the fabric of our society. The slow corrosion of the ‘Long March Through the Institutions’ is now evident. Marxist groups and activists openly agitate to smash capitalism, disrupt the nuclear family, defund the police and close prisons while accusing British society of systemic injustice. (I would dispute that it is Marxists who have wreaked damage on British Society, given that we have not actually had a Marxist regime in the UK, but we have had ten years of Tory Rule, preceded by thirteen years of Blairism, preceded by seventeen years of Thatcherism and John Major, none of whom can realistically be described as Marxists, but who have all played the leading role in Britains 'long march' to our current predicament. It's nice to blame mythical Marxists, but there simply is no evidence to support this)

The Heritage Party rejects these false narratives and believes we should celebrate our culture and heritage. Our society based on liberty and enterprise balanced by individual responsibility allows the opportunity for citizens to prosper. Our Common Law based on Judaeo-Christian principles is the fairest system of justice in the world, and the United Kingdom is one of the best places in the world for members of minority communities to live. (One of the reasons that the UK is a good place for minorities to live is because we have had Centerist, fairly liberal governments. Prior to the era of Roy Jenkins liberalism, we had signs saying "No Blacks, no dogs, no Irish" openly displayed in London. As someone from Irish descent, I do not want to return to this)

Children should be taught British history in schools, both good and bad, but with a sense that on balance, we are a nation with a history and heritage to be proud of. (having had three children go through the education system, one of whom recently completed a history degree, I think teaching of history in schools is fairly balanced. My daughter, who completed the degree has a fair and balanced view of Britains role and certainly does not see our history as demonic. I'm not really sure of the concerns here. I suspect that it is a reaction to ill informed media commentary and the proliferation of  media commentators with pet obsessions about narrow aspects of British history)

Liberty and Free Speech
The Heritage Party will assert, promote and defend the principles of freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, freedom of belief and liberty of conscience.
The draconian coronavirus laws and regulations implemented for a disease no worse than a bad flu season are an egregious attack on our civil liberties. (My personal view is that the issues the NHS has with Coronavirus and its inability to cope is a result of bad management and systemic defunding. I think the Heritage Party may be on far more popular ground if they sorted this out, rather than obsessing on the symptom of it, which is the NHS not being able to cope, which has required  Lockdowns to  'protect the NHS'. I suspect they have avoided this thorny subject as it is expensive and difficult).

The Heritage Party opposes arbitrary restrictions on citizens and businesses, and will dismantle the legal framework which gives the government the powers to erode our liberty in this manner again. (I cannot see how a party can pass laws that a future Parliament won't repeal, this seems to me to be an undeliverable promise). 

There should be no law or penalty for expressing controversial opinions, making jokes, or engaging in banter. This means supporting the freedom of speech of people who have differing views to ourselves, even if we find such opinions offensive. Everyone has the right to freedom of belief, freedom of speech and freedom of expression, provided they are not inciting violence or crime, or directly threatening another person. (The Barnet Eye is all for freedom of speech and the right to offend, so long as there is no incitement to violence.  We would however like to see specific details of how this would be implemented before commenting further). 

Everyone must have the right to discuss and criticise all ideologies and texts without fear of being harassed by the state for their opinions. This right has been eroded over recent decades by the burgeoning concept of so-called ‘hate speech’, which is a term used to impose ‘repressive tolerance’, whereby only the prevailing ‘politically correct’ viewpoint is tolerated, and other views are stifled or sanctioned, even if they are held by the majority. (As per our previous comment, we would like to see a more detailed description of what legislation the Heritage Party would like to see repealed before we comment further. We suspect that what is being railed against here is social rather than legal intolerance of certain ways of speaking). 

Nobody should be dragged through the courts or fired from their jobs because someone has accused them of ‘hate speech’. The Heritage Party will repeal the legal framework which has led to repressive tolerance so that everyone can once again feel free to express themselves freely, whether in social settings or on-line. We will require that Codes of Conduct for employment allow freedom of expression outside the workplace and demand that Codes of Conduct at Universities encourage, rather than restrict, diversity of opinion. Digital social media platforms should be open to all and not be allowed to censor legal opinions simply because someone considers them to be ‘politically incorrect’; they should be classified as publishers if they engage in such arbitrary censorship. (Again, we need more detail here. The issue is where you draw the line between free speech and incitement. Our concern would be that social media platforms should not be allowed to be opened up as a platform for harrassment)

Liberty also means that individuals have autonomy over their own lives, as well as individual responsibility for their actions and choices. The state should not seek to impose its own ideologies on individuals, nor force or coerce individuals into making choices concerning themselves or any aspects of their life over which they should have rightful autonomy. Individuals have responsibility for their own finances. They also have responsibility for their own health, and no-one should be forced or coerced to take any medicine or vaccination without their consent. ( This statement needs clarification. Are they saying that people with serious mental illness who have been sectioned should not be medicated for their own safety and those caring for them?)

The technology now exists to create a dystopian 24-7 surveillance state where everyone and everything can be monitored continuously. It is therefore more important than ever to guarantee liberty and ensure that individuals continue to have the right to privacy and anonymity. The law should ensure that people can live a private life by default unless they choose otherwise. Personal information should not be held without consent. This principle should also apply to personal financial transactions. Cash must remain an option for purchasing goods and services at retail outlets for people who choose not to use electronic payment methods. We oppose any moves toward a ‘cashless society’ which would discriminate against many vulnerable, elderly and poorer people who do not have access to banking and electronic payments. (We support the right to pay by cash in the UK. However we are not sure how you could operate things like driving licences and passports without personal information being held. Are the Heritage Party calling for the abolition of Driving Licences and Passports? I cannot see how the UK could impose this on foreign sovereign nations). 

In addition, the state should not attempt to unduly interfere with family life or micro-manage families and relationships. Parents are the primary educators and carers of their children, and have the right to bring up their children as they wish, either through home education or in school. There has never been a requirement for parents to register children who are home educated or a compulsion to place them in school. These freedoms should not be removed by the state. (I was not aware of a plan to abolish home schooling. My personal view is that schools are a vital part of the process of socialising children. I am not sure that there is a major issue with home schooling though). 

Traditional Family Values
The Heritage Party will seek to maintain and strengthen the institutions of marriage and the natural family. The Party holds that the true and right definition of marriage is that of a covenant and union between one man and one woman.
While we uphold the right of individuals to make choices about how they conduct their personal lives, we believe that the institutions of marriage and the natural family are fundamental to the fabric of a good society and the transmission of values, customs, traditions and identity from parents to children through the generations.

The traditional nuclear family where a mother and father bring up their own children is the best and most successful model for bringing up healthy and well-balanced children, and building stable communities.

While there are many excellent single parents, carers and guardians who do their very best for the children in their care, the bell curve of success for children who are brought up by their own married mother and father is better than for any other model of family. Such children have better educational attainment, economic success and health, and lower rates of crime, suicide, depression, drug abuse or self-harm.

Children should not deliberately be denied a mother and a father. We will encourage and support the traditional family structure through the tax system and education, and we oppose the engineering of society in such a way that causes increasing numbers of children to be deliberately brought up without their own mother and father. ( This seems to me to be at odds with the statement that it is up to parents to choose the path for their childrens education. Would LGBTQ+ parents not have the same rights to opt out of this system? Would they be forced down the home schooling route?)

In particular, boys need fathers. Boys who have been abandoned by their fathers, or deprived of contact with them by an often discriminatory legal system, are far more likely to turn to gangs and crime than boys who are raised with a male role model. Refuting divisive notions of ‘toxic masculinity’, we will promote father figures and the nurturing of each boy to become a good man.

We will not allow schools to propagate anti-family propaganda which undermines the picture of the traditional nuclear family as the best model of family. We will also block teaching materials and lessons which encourage early sexual activity in children before they reach the age of consent, or inappropriate materials detailing non-reproductive sexual acts. (Again this seems to be at odds with the previous statement about home schooling, implying that LGBTQ+ parents will be forced down the home schooling route. I do not think this has been though through)

School children should not be exposed to unscientific nonsense like queer theory or gender fluidity. It is a scientific fact that there are two sexes: male and female, which are determined by anatomy and chromosomes. Previously on the fringe of radical thought, gender ideology has been mainstreamed to the detriment of children’s well-being. Transgender propaganda which confuses children about their biological sex and damages their natural development as boys or girls should not be allowed in schools. 

National Sovereignty
The United Kingdom should be governed only by her own citizens, and all legislation passed by Parliament should be formulated with primary respect to the national interest, and the liberty and prosperity of the British people.
The British people voted to leave the European Union in the 2016 referendum, but this has not yet been fully delivered. Although we left the EU in name only at the end of January 2020, we remain in a period of vassalage and subject to all the EU’s directives, regulations and rulings. We must leave the Single Market and Customs Union and the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice in full at the end of December 2020, and take back full control of our laws, borders, trade, fishing waters and armed forces from the EU. Without this, our national sovereignty will continue to be compromised. ( I suspect that by the time there is an election where the Heritage Party actually test this manifesto with the general public, this section will have to be redrafted)

It would of course be best to agree a mutually beneficial trade deal with the EU with zero tariffs and quotas on trade in goods and services between the UK and EU. However, this must not be achieved by agreeing to remain subject to EU directives, regulations and rulings, or by giving up our rich 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone for fishing. We must be free to make our own trade deals around the world, without sacrificing our fishing towns again or remaining subject to EU red tape. (see previous comment. It will be interesting to see what happens in January)

The EU is not the only organisation which has impinged on our sovereignty however. After we leave the EU’s institutions, we must ensure that we do not make any treaty or join any international organisation which involves in any way the surrender of any part of the United Kingdom’s sovereignty. The British people must never be subject to the imposition of a foreign legal or monetary system, or the jurisdiction of foreign courts. (I am disappointed that the Heritage Party does not see the benefits of International Law. If you take this to its logical conclusion, we could not have tried war criminals at Nuremburg).

To truly regain our sovereignty, we must re-think our membership and ties with other organisations and treaties of which we are members. We should remain members of international organisations which are beneficial to our national interests including NATO, the World Trade Organisation, the Five Eyes security and intelligence partnership, the Commonwealth, Interpol and the UN Security Council.

On the other hand, we should not continue to be part of globalist arrangements which dilute our sovereignty and interfere with our democracy by imposing conditions and policies on the nation which the people did not vote for. These include the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Paris Climate Agreement, and the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). (The previous two paragraphs are contradictory, we did not vote to be part of NATO or the UN. The definition of what is beneficial is very subjective)

The original ECHR is a good convention which was drafted in 1950 by British lawyers to help restore human rights to a continent devastated by Hitler’s National Socialism. Seventy years on however, activist judges in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg impose all manner of rulings which prevent the UK government from imposing law and order here at home and carrying out the wishes of the British electorate. They have ruled that we cannot impose whole-life sentences on murderers, we must give prisoners the vote, and have blocked the deportation of terrorists on several occasions, leaving them free to roam the streets of Britain. If we wish to have full national sovereignty, we must leave the ECHR and trust that our own system of Common Law will better protect the human rights of our citizens without the interference of foreign activist judges. (Personally, I feel this will damage the UK's standing in the world. It will be hard do bring international pressure on nations like Russia and China if we do this.  I agree that not all judgments are splendid, but we need to be part of an international community)

The Paris Climate Agreement implements a significant portion of UN Agenda 21/2030 and demands that the UK government adheres to the false ideology of climate alarmism. It imposes restrictions on the nation’s energy policy and forces us to be bound by carbon trading systems from which other nations are exempt. It is already undermining our competitiveness and freedom. It will fundamentally alter our way of life as petrol cars, gas boilers and gas power stations are successively banned, and restrictions are placed on roads which prevent vehicles from travelling easily from one place to another. It is wrong to stay in such a far-reaching agreement whose effects were never explained to the British people. (My view is that this policy is backward looking. The UK leads the world in many green technologies, we should be pushing forward with these, not looking to pull back from polluting and unsustainable, outmoded technologies. I believe our future should be as world leaders in such areas. We are not major oil or gas producers, so we need to look at modern ways to become self sufficient in energy and ways to make money from exporting these technologies)

Low Immigration
Since 1997, a program of mass immigration has been imposed on the UK. The people were never consulted on this huge and rapid influx, which has caused unsustainable pressure on resources, overcrowding and cultural concerns.
The population of the UK rose officially by 9 million between 2000 and 2020, from 59 million to 68 million, mostly through ultra-high net immigration, but this figure does not include millions more undocumented illegal immigrants. It has been exacerbated by previous governments which signed the UK into the UN Global Migration Compact, the Barcelona Declaration, and the Marrakesh Declaration, which are globalist schemes designed to encourage and normalise mass immigration without a democratic mandate. The Heritage Party will withdraw from these three schemes, and bring the era of mass, rapid immigration to an end.

Legal immigration must be brought down to sustainable, balanced levels, with strict caps on specific classes of immigration such as students and low-skilled and unskilled workers. Skilled workers should be allowed to come to the country for specific jobs on time-limited work visas where there is a shortage of British workers, but this must not be at the expense of training up British young people with the skills they need in every profession. Sham marriages and chain migration must be stopped, and illegal immigration must be halted entirely and reversed. (Sham marriages are already illegal. I agree that we need better training and more opportunities for young British people, but I do feel that it is unfair to blame immigrants for the lack of sensible UK Govt policies to do this)

Substantial developments to protecting our borders and coastal waters are needed. More robust checks should be conducted at harbours and airports to prevent illegal immigration, and all means of forced entry to the country by migrants should be made unviable. There must also be an end to rewards and incentives which encourage spurious claims of asylum by illegal immigrants who have travelled through a number of safe countries to claim benefits in the UK.

It is the poorest communities which have borne the consequences of mass, rapid immigration. The political and economic beneficiaries of mass immigration do not have to share their resources, space or facilities with the millions of migrants they have let into the country, and they are shielded from the consequences of their decisions. These include unaffordable homes, wage compression, packed trains, a lack of school places and huge pressure on doctors’ surgeries and Accident & Emergency units in the towns and cities where immigration levels have been the highest, as well as a housing crisis as it has simply not been possible to build homes for 9 million extra people in 20 years. (I must note that most of the hospitals I've visited in the last 20 years have been staffed almost entirely by immigrants, so I am not entirely sure that this is a sustainable argument in the short or medium term)

Illegal migrant workers are often willing to work for less than the minimum wage, but some are duped and forced into enduring appalling slave-like conditions to enrich unscrupulous bosses who break the law. This has led to wage compression with honest hard-working British men and women unable to compete with illegal cheap migrant labour. We will beef up our Border Force to provide them with the resources they need to return illegal immigrants to their home countries. Anyone found to be using illegal cheap foreign labour or forcing others to work in slavery should be imprisoned and have their assets confiscated to pay compensation. (Without wishing to be cynical, isn't this what Conservative governments have been saying they will do for the last 40 years? Is there any evidence that the Heritage Party actually have the where withall to succeed where the Tories have failed?)

Preserving Our Environment
The beauty of our physical environment is a part of our heritage, and it is our duty to look after it and preserve it for future generations.
The Heritage Party will preserve what is left of the natural beauty of our countryside and our towns and villages, but this requires a drastic reduction in net immigration to protect both rural and urban areas from rampant ‘development’. (I am disappointed that the measures to preserve rural UK are based on immigration policies. There needs proper protection for the green belt etc). 

The United Kingdom is already over-populated and dependent on food imports to survive. We should aim to lower our dependency on food imports and ultimately become self-sufficient in food. The United Kingdom has some of the best agricultural land in the world which is a precious resource and should be preserved for agriculture. Despite this, there is huge pressure to concrete over large areas of our green belt and the countryside to build housing for artificially inflated population growth, or for solar panels and wind turbines to satisfy the false claims of green ideology. This pressure must be resisted. ( As someone with a keen interest in the countryside, I do not think that it is solar panels and wind turbines that are the major threat, it is greedy property developers, putting up luxury flats for foreign investors).

Our 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone for fishing is a precious resource and our control of it should never have been given up. This maritime zone should be managed responsibly to protect fish stocks while also reducing Britain’s food deficit and revitalising our coastal towns and fishing industry. Foreign trawlers should not be allowed to fish in our fishing waters, except by specific permission, and a fleet of cutters should be commissioned for the Royal Navy to prevent destructive fishing by foreign vessels and super-trawlers in our waters. ( The Royal Navy has been scandalously run down. It will take a generation to rebuild it to a level where this is feasable). 

It is as important to maintain beauty and harmony in our urban environments as it is to protect the countryside from rampant development. Once beautiful towns and cities across the country have been brutalised by depressingly ugly modernist architecture. This must end.

The Heritage Party will require all new homes and commercial buildings to be constructed in keeping with the traditional and historic character of the area. We will also create renaissance zones in towns and cities whose character has been spoiled by dehumanising buildings, in order to begin restoring and recreating the beauty of urban spaces which have been ruined. (We would like to see more detail in this. We do not support a ban on good modern buildings. The issue is low cost, shoddy design and construction)

Self-Sufficiency in Skills
Education in the UK has been run down and dumbed down. It needs a complete overhaul to tackle the red blob of Marxist activists which currently controls it.
The UK must become self-sufficient in skills rather than relying on importing skilled and unskilled labour from abroad. Education needs to be re-focussed onto fostering excellence and teaching pupils and students the skills they need to be self-reliant. We must train enough of our own young people to succeed and thrive in professional and technical careers, particularly as nurses, doctors, teachers, engineers, construction workers and IT professionals. (I am not quite sure where the obsession with Marxists comes from. The idea that governments in the UK have Marxists running education is unsustainable. There is massive scope for improvement, but such language simply makes what may be sensible ideas sound contrived)

The re-implementation of a tripartite system at secondary school level is a top priority with grammar schools for the academically talented, technical schools to train young people with an aptitude for practical and vocational skills, and general schools to ensure that all children of all levels have the personal skills, entrepreneurial skills and employability to succeed in the world of work if they leave formal education at 16. ( We would support the increase in provision for technical and vocational education for less academic students, so that they can have good careers in well paid industries. We are not convinced that the eleven plus is the best mechanism, as this discriminates against late developers and those born later in the academic year).
Universities need to become lean and mean again and focus on delivering high quality academic courses. Universities are not for everyone, particularly those who are talented in practical fields who would benefit more from following a non-academic route and would be better off getting a job at 16 or 18 and learning a trade. There should be parity of esteem between academic, technical and vocational training. (We agree that a rethink of University provision is required, but would suggest a Royal commission to devise a system that meets the UK's needs and requirements) 

Universities should be for the 20% or so of people who will benefit from rigorous, high-level academic courses. We would pay off the student loans of British students who have graduated in STEMM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths, Medicine) subjects so long as they work in their field of study in the UK. (We are horrified at this proposal. It fails to recognise that the UK leads the world in creative industries and arts and seems to think that only hard degrees in sciences etc are of value. Clearly they do not understand the contribution of music, fashion, art etc to the economy). 

Poor quality courses and Universities which do more harm than good and are of little use to employers should be defunded, and failing universities should not be saved from going out of business. Too many academic institutions seem to believe that their role is to force-feed left-wing ideology and divisive identity politics, while stifling debate. Such institutions should not receive government subsidies or grants to continue their corrosive activities. ( We w.ould like to see some evidence to back up this thesis. We agree that there are poor quality degrees, but our concern is that students have run up huge debts with little to show for it. We believe these students have been mis sold and should be refunded. The emphasis here is all wrong)

For those who are more gifted in practical and vocational fields, we will invest in apprenticeships and bring back the Polytechnics which should never have been closed or converted, so that young people can learn high-level technical skills to succeed in practical trades. Our aim is to return to an era characterised by high-levels of employment, wide ranging skills sets and British manufacturing, where we as a nation are self-sufficient in skills, British youngsters are trained to do skilled jobs so that they can all earn a good living, and there is no longer a need to depend on an unsustainable flow of cheap labour from abroad. ( We are not entirely sure that there is a full understanding within the Heritage Party of how technology is changing the workplace. It certainly hasn't been addressed in their educational strategy and is a huge miss for them). 

Equality before the Law
Our British system of Common Law is the best in the world. All people are considered equal before the law, whether rich or poor, male or female, young or old, black or white.
All people are individually responsible for their actions. We hold that all crime should be treated equally seriously, and the same sentence should be given for the same crime regardless of the characteristics of the criminal. This understanding of equality before the law is today being subverted by a growing number of activist magistrates, judges and police officers. The invention of ‘hate crime’ has led to criminals with certain characteristics being treated more harshly than others for the same crime if they are considered to be ‘privileged’ by activists, and more leniently if they are considered to have a ‘protected characteristic’. ( We are not entirely sure what they are saying here. The statement "We hold that all crime should be treated equally seriously" is quite absurd. A paedophile, murderer or a rapist should clearly be dealt with in a far more serious manner than someone who drops litter, or has a drunken scuffle in a pub. Maybe the language is just badly used, but we do not believe that all crime is equally bad. Some is trivial and some is deadly serious). 

The notion that a more severe punishment should be given for a ‘hate crime’ should be rejected. Sentencing for violent crimes must be equally tough regardless of whether or not a criminal has a ‘protected characteristic’, so that the British people can be safe in our own country. ( I was surprised when I read this whole section. Most British people are far more concerned about their safety and their children having a safe environment than endless discussions about whether 'Hate Crime' is a serious issue or not. The ordinary man in the pub wants to see longer sentences for paedophiles, murderers and rapists, not discussions about this sort of thing being made a priority). 

Policing and criminal justice must be re-focussed again on arresting dangerous criminals and jailing them, rather than ‘understanding systemic injustices against minorities’. We would increase stop and search which is an effective tool for preventing crime and getting knives and guns off our streets, targeted in areas where there is the most violent crime.

There should be an end to automatic release from prison half way through a sentence for violent crime. Violent criminals must serve the bulk of their sentence in prison, with no more than a 10% reduction for good behaviour. (Will this be acheived by building more prisons or by shorter sentences for 'less serious' crimes?)

Judgements in criminal cases must be based on objective evidence and not subjective feelings. A defendant has the right of habeus corpus, the right to a fair trial, and is considered innocent until proven guilty. We reject new ‘hate speech’ laws which undermine these fundamental principles and are designed to criminalise speech based on whether a complainant feels offended or uncomfortable.

Political correctness has led to violent crime spiralling out of control, and a systemic failure to deal with certain classes of crimes committed by individuals with ‘protected characteristics’, particularly where there are patterns of criminal behaviour in specific ethnic minorities. It has allowed the problem of grooming and raping of tens of thousands of girls under the age of 16 to fester in hundreds of towns and cities across the country. This is a grave injustice and will be at the top of our priorities to set this country right again. Such heinous crimes do not need new laws; there just needs to be the political will to enforce the laws we already have. ( Again, we are not sure that the obsession with hate crime is one that the majority of the country share. I suspect that if the Heritage Party want to succeed they should be talking about the crimes that affect the real, day to day lives of voters)

The police force, prison service, probation service and courts must be properly financed so that the country has an effective policing and criminal justice system. The cutting of 20,000 police officers, the botched privatisation of the probation service and the disposal of hundreds of police stations and Magistrates Courts to housing developers in recent years are unforgivable. No more local police stations or Courts should be sold off, and new ones need to be opened to replace those which have been closed. (We agree with this 100%)

The Heritage Party wants an end to politically correct policing and justice. The job of the police is to protect us from murderers, grooming gangs, burglars, rapists, paedophiles, vandals, thieves and thugs; it is not to kneel before Marxists, make dancing videos for the internet, or hassle people for politically incorrect opinions. (Once again there is an obsession with Marxists, which is entirely unsustainable. We believe that such language does them no favours. Marxists do not run the Home Office). 

Financial Responsibility
Governments easily forget that they do not have their own money; the money raised from taxation belongs to the people and should be spent wisely, not wastefully or in self-interest.
The Heritage Party believes in fiscal responsibility. A sovereign nation should not spend beyond its means year after year and decade after decade, as has been the case in the United Kingdom over the last 40 years.

The first steps towards fiscal responsibility will be to stop wasting tens of billions of pounds every year on vanity projects like HS2, wasteful and unproductive ‘overseas development’, and subsidies for the ‘green economy’ and ‘green energy’ which is unreliable, sporadic and expensive. Taxpayers’ money should only be spent on items which benefit the people such as schools, healthcare, the police, the border force and honouring the military covenant rather than running down our armed forces. (There is a failure to recognise that energy security is a major threat to the UK's independence. Where do they think the fossil fuels we require will come from? New technologies are something we should be developing for energy independence. The dismissal of HS2 cannot be sustained without some nod towards an alternative transport policy as our roads and railways are full)

Monetary policy implemented by central banks must be responsible. It must not unnaturally inflate asset prices, which create ‘boom and bust’ bubbles that punish ordinary people by devaluing the currency as well as making house prices totally unaffordable for young people and families. The government should seek to ensure that monetary and taxation policy works in favour of ordinary British people who want to buy a home of their own, rather than leading to homes being sold off to speculators who often leave them empty further exacerbating an unnecessary housing crisis and hollowing out communities.

We must reduce the annual budget deficit to zero and get the nation’s finances back into balance otherwise there will be a heavy price to pay in the future. Countries which consistently rack up debt always end up with a debased currency and/or hyperinflation which disproportionately harms the middle and working classes. (Sadly a balanced budget is something we will not see for a very long time following the Blair/Brown/Cameron/May/Johnson years. Failure to recognise this is a failure to face up to the real world)

In the long term, we must aim to reduce our national debt and begin to build up a sovereign wealth fund which can provide a source of revenue for pension funding, rather than operating the state pension like a Ponzi scheme. The government of today must not squander the wealth which has been bequeathed to us by our forefathers. It is our duty to be good stewards of our economy and to leave it as an inheritance for future generations.

The burgeoning ‘third sector’ is another multi-billion-pound black hole, whereby the state has increased its control over the charity or non-profit sector. Instead of allowing people to make their own choices about which charities they choose to support, successive governments have steadily increased funding to the non-profit sector, and decides which charities, NGOs and QUANGOs to re-distribute our money to. Many of these NGOs and QUANGOs are politically active, and seek to influence government policy using government money. This is absolutely wrong and undemocratic. The entire NGO sector should be defunded by government, and QUANGOs should be disbanded. Essential government services should be brought in-house and run directly by government Ministries and Departments instead of QUANGOs, saving billions of pounds and leaving politically active NGOs to find their own funding. (Having volunteered for a Homeless charity that received state  funding for outreach work, all I can really say is that the third sector is so entrenched in the way the Government operates, that this would take decades to achieve, even if it was desirable. I am not sure it is. Having seen the work my charity did with ex servicemen living on the street, I shudder to think what would happen if such work was defunded).


Free Market Economy
A free market economy provides liberty and prosperity. Where individuals are rewarded for their endeavours, they have the incentive to work efficiently and avoid poor decisions.
In contrast, planned economies based upon Marxist ideology have always been disastrous, bringing poverty and hunger instead of prosperity, and are almost always accompanied by tyranny and oppression as well. (I could be glib and say that China has a planned economy and has not done too badly. Having been to China, it is not a system I'd like to live under, but it is a functional economy). 

The Heritage Party will support a vibrant low-tax economy where individuals and businesses can thrive and take advantages of the great opportunities our nation could offer us if it were well-governed.

It is our aim to lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses, while creating an economy where everyone who is able can provide for themselves and their families, rather than relying on the state for an income. However, large multi-national corporations must pay their fair share of taxation. Regulations which create loopholes that allow giant corporations with multi-billion pound global profits to pay less tax than a sole trader are odious. A better system needs to be put in place where businesses and corporations of all sizes contribute a fair share of their profits when the nation provides them with a framework of safety and security for them to carry out their business.  (I do agree that multi national corporations should pay their fair share of tax)

Unnecessary regulations should be reduced as much as possible to allow maximum freedom to trade, but well-drafted regulations are necessary to protect workers from exploitation, to ensure that the environment is not damaged, and to ensure a fair and level playing field between businesses of different sizes. Regulations which provide unfair advantages to large businesses and global corporations over small and medium sized businesses should be scrapped. (As someone who has run a business for over 40 years, it is not so much regulations that thwart small businesses as a bias towards larger companies. As an example, Barnet Council outsources huge amounts of work to Capita, whilst local small businesses never get a look in. The last time I sent Barnet Council an invoice for a supplied service they did not pay it. As it was only for £50 it was not worth chasing, but this is typical of their contempt for small suppliers). 

Recent governments have paid lip service to capitalism while implementing socialism by stealth using the concept of the ‘mixed economy’ or the ‘third way’. Governments have excessively interfered in the free market propping up zombie companies who conform to the latest politically correct ideologies, for example on climate alarmism. Many such companies do not produce anything of value and would collapse without government subsidies. This is unfair to businesses which do not receive government subsidies, and is a drag on the economy in the long-term. It is wrong for the state to interfere in the economy in this manner. ( I am really not sure what they are talking about. Thatcher used to say this about British Leyland, but I am not aware of any Zombie companies. Many decent, profitable firms have been laid to waste by the Lockdown, but it is unfair to describe them as Zombie Companies)

There are some sectors which should be wholly owned and operated by the state. These include the armed forces, the police force, the probation and prison services and public roads. There are other sectors which constitute natural monopolies which are at present part-privatised including rail, water and energy. Part-privatisation constitutes the worst of all worlds. Price capping in selected sectors means that businesses in those sectors are not able to operate freely in the market. In order to compensate for this the state then subsidises them for billions of pounds which is paid for by higher taxes. ( I tend to agree with this statement)

The owners and executives of these businesses have all the benefits of government subsidy, but none of the risks which come from making poor business decisions, and this is reflected in the extortionate transport, energy and water prices we are all accustomed to. The sectors which constitute natural monopolies and are vital for the nation should be either be fully privatised, or fully nationalised if they cannot survive without government subsidies: it is not right that taxpayers underwrite all the risks for no reward.  ( I tend to agree with this statement)

A Culture of Life 
The Heritage Party is pro-life. We believe in the dignity of every human being and that every life is infinitely precious. This includes the sick, the disabled, the elderly and unborn children, who all have an inalienable right to life.
There have been over 9 million abortions carried out in the UK since the Abortion Act in 1967, and now there are over 200,000 abortions per year in the UK. Unborn children are children. In every abortion a human life is ended.

We will actively seek to reduce the number of abortions in the UK by tightening the criteria for abortion, providing mothers with help, support and alternatives such as adoption, and encouraging personal responsibility to avoid the need for abortions in the first place. ( The Heritage Party need to say exactly what changes to the law they intend to make. Does this apply to abortions for medical reasons, will they cut the term limits, will they require more paperwork. I would certainly like to see proper proposals before commenting, as they have given themselves a lot of wriggle room here.)

We will completely defund UK government support for abortion programs outside the UK. ( Does this include for victims of rape in war zones?)

The Heritage Party is also concerned for the sanctity of life of older and disabled people. The elderly have as much right to healthcare as the young, and they should not be made to feel a burden. We shall emphasise the Hippocratic Oath and stop nihilistic elements in the medical profession from wreaking destruction. ‘Do not resuscitate’ orders are liberally applied in hospitals, often without consent. We will oppose any legalisation of assisted suicide, or any change to the medical code of conduct allowing arbitrary deprivation of treatment. 

There must never be a repeat of the traumatic cases of Alfie Evans and Charlie Gard, where these children were denied treatment offered to them because of the decisions of activist magistrates and medical practitioners who refused to allow these children to receive treatments offered by other hospitals. No medical practitioner or magistrate should have a right to decide to block a patient from receiving an offer of a potentially life-saving treatment, over and above the express wishes of the next-of-kin, especially the parents or spouse of a patient. (These are difficult cases. Whilst I am broadly sympathetic with their aims here, I am cynical as to whether this really is more than an excercise in headline grabbing. Forgive my cynicism of politicians)

David Kurten
Heritage Party Leader

October 2020

So there you go. This is what the Heritage Party stands for.  I don't suppose it will come as too much of a shock to learn that I will not be voting for the Heritage party. In truth, I was rather disappointed by the sheer number of own goals in the manifesto. There are plenty of contradictions, such as sticking up for the absolute right of parents to decide how they will educate their kids, unless they are LGBTQ+ for instance. I was disappointed that there was no coherent industrial, transport or educational policy. There is no acknowledgement of post industrial Britain. There is no plan to improve our roads and railways to make up for the cancellation of HS2. There are no plans to re invent our education system for a world run by technology. As to the environment. As the party is called the 'Heritage Party', the least I expected was some sensible and interesting proposals on protection of the countryside, wildlife, unique habitats etc. There seems an obsession with Marxists hiding under the bed. My view is that there is no evidence at all to support the thesis that the ailments of the UK are down to Marxists and a hell of a lot of evidence to support the notion that we have a ruling class that care nothing for the ordinary person in the street. The sections on law and order are crammed full of rants about political correctness, whereas the things ordinary people care about are the safety of them and their families. There are a few sensible ideas, but if they want these to be taken seriously, they really should go off and redraw this. I have seen many documents like this. Political activists making sure the axe they particularly like to grind is there for all to see. The reason the Conservatives are so successful at the ballot box is they manage to purge their manifesto's of all such references. I am all for politicians saying what they think, but this is a document light on detail, light on serious policies and overly heavy on rhetoric. My advice, for what its worth, is cut out the contradictions, the flag waving and the waffle and put easy to understand policies and funded, deliverable solutions. If you can't do that, you won't get elected. Even if you do, you most likely won't but at least you might start a debate. 

No comments: