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Friday, 8 September 2017

Crime and punishment

We need to rethink our sentencing procedures.

Prison doesn’t work for shorter sentences. They become training grounds for minor criminals to learn the rudiments of becoming more serious major criminals.

But any alternative sentences must either hurt or rehabilitate the minor criminal.

First of all, there should be a greater use of confiscation. A law officer should assess the total value of a criminal after he has been sentenced to forfeit a percentage of his total wealth. Any property should be taken into consideration and if jointly held with his spouse, the property should be sold in auction with half being returned to the spouse. All phones and other luxury gadgets to be confiscated and most of other belongings.

If the court suspect the prisoner has salted away wealth, then the sentence may be carried out in full for as long as the prisoner lives--if proved to be earned previous to the conviction.

If the prisoner has no wealth, they should be put to work washing buildings, cleaning roads and other duties aimed at helping the local community.

All prisoners should be assessed using the British Army criteria for finding out what the person can do best. I saw a dustman take the test in 1959, and the officer told him he would train as an electronics technician. I kept in touch with him and he passed with flying colours and spent his time repairing cipher machines at embassies around the world! If the prisoner is found to have useful talents, he should be encourage to attend school and learn a trade. His reward would be to escape the dirty work.

Hostels to house prisoners with a 7pm curfew, with a month added onto the sentence for each time they break curfew.

Prisons should not have TV, computer games, or cellphones for prisoners. Calls from a public phone box provided providing the convict has behaved themselves over the last week.

Separate prisons for political crimes by people who want to destroy the British way of life.

OK, maybe a little over the top but my objective here is to get us all thinking there must be a better way than just locking more and more people up where they learn to be more successful at crime.


Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The black economy

Once Brexit happens, and it will; we must consider the immigrants who have remained in the UK. Many come from countries where the culture is to avoid paying any tax. Alas, many British have also succumbed to this dishonest way.

So a new way of thinking needs to be introduced. We need to consider taxing on spending rather than on earning. In addition, people will be encouraged to save more. The country will benefit and the world is our oyster for exporting our goods.

Read on.

First of all, we need to get rid of VAT – a stupid tax that makes all companies in the supply chain pay it as the goods move from manufacturer, to distributor, to wholesaler, to shop.

We should introduce our old system of “purchase tax” which only the company selling to the public introduces. That will, at least, save extra costs which should ensure a cheaper product as they move down the supply chain.

We can do two things now to help destroy the black economy.

First of all, keep purchase tax at 20% and increase the individual’s tax free allowance to £50,000. In one instance, the Inland Revenue/VAT Office would be reduced in size by well over 80%. Non productive public servants could then move to the more productive private sector.

However, there will still be a financial deficiency so we have to think about a sliding scale tax system.

This will need a lot of careful thought.

First of all we need to have a zero rated purchase tax on gas and electricity, providing all tax payers live in a building which has solar panels fitted on their buildings roofs which generates electricity and returns unused electricity to the National Grid. Otherwise the 5% tax will remain. Financial assistance to be given to install the solar panels. Landlords to pay the 5% purchase tax on gas and electricity if they don't add solar panels to their roofs.
  • Petrol and diesel tax. At present the combined tax from the duty and VAT on an average price of £1.16 litre of petrol is 69.7%. There should be only one tax, so do away with doubling up on people, and have a purchase tax of 70%. Raising it further will be unproductive as it will put up all food prices and goods which are transported by lorry.
  • Motor Vehicle.  If imported, the first £20,000 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 40%.  If made or fully assembled in Britain, the first £80,000 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 30%. The tax that owners pay on CO2 emissions is a little complicated but should stay the same until we become all electric.
  • Food. All food produced within the UK to remain zero ratedare. All imported food to be either zero rated or 5% depending on origin. For example, food from poor countries to remain zero rated and food from wealthy countries to be taxed at 5%.
  • Clothes. Zero rated up to a certain amount – enough for people to be smart in their chosen jobs. For example, if you work in an office, items (eg suits) up to £200 zero rated. Otherwise full purchase tax.
  • Luxury items. If imported, the first £200 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 35%. If made in Britain, the first £400 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 30%.
  • Computers. If imported, the first £200 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 35% If made or fully assembled  in Britain, the first £600 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 30%.
  • Mobile Phones. If imported, the first £200 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 40%. If made or fully assembled in Britain, the first £400 of a single item at 20% and thereafter at 30%.
This is just an idea to get people thinking. Remember, the idea is to transfer tax from earning to spending. If the above taxes on spend earn the government more than they receive at present, we can increase the tax free allowance from £50,000 upwards until it balances. If not, we can increase the taxes on spend until it balances. We should not reduce the tax free allowance or we will defeat the objective of changing tax from income to spend.

One final point – and I am not able to cover this as I don’t know the answer. What to do if the immigrant workers just exist on the bare minimum here whilst sending all their money out of the country? What can we do?

If you'd like to chip in with your ideas, comment below, I will then reply.


Tuesday, 5 September 2017

They haven’t finished yet…

… but what they have works perfectly.

I am referring to the Drupe communications app. The clever Israelis have written an app which does the following:

On the screen are two columns.

On the left are a list of your contacts with their photos and on the right are the various things you can do with your contacts. How it works is simple, you drag the contact you want over to place it on top of the sub app you want to use.

But first of all a list of what apps you can drag the contact to:.

Phone – drag a contact here and it phones the contact.
Loudspeaker – Same as Phone, except it will start a call with the loudspeaker on.
SMS – drag a contact and send a message.
Reminders – drag a contact and set a timed reminder to appear at the designated time.
Notes – drag a contact and make notes of what you want to discuss so you can keep the call short.
Calendar – drag a contact and enter an appointment.
Maps – drag a contact and navigate to their home (soon it will show their whereabouts).
Video –  drag a contact and make a video call with Google Duo.
Record call – drag a contact and record the call.
Messenger – drag a contact if you have messenger installed to contact someone.
PayPal – drag a contact to pay them by PayPal if you have a PayPal account.

And, if the other person has Drupe installed, you can send Talkies – recorded messages to them. Also, if they have animated GIFs – you can choose an appropriate one about your message and call them and if they also have Drupe, it will appear on their screen as soon as their phone starts to ring. For example, a Happy Birthday GIF.

If any of your contacts also use Drupe they will have a green dot to the left of their name in the contact list.

There is also a page of 81 different types of businesses – just click on the one you want, and a page will open up with a list of that particular business in the order of how far they are from your present position.

Four dots appear on the side of your home screens, and you can move them left or right, up or down to suit you. Just drag them across the screen and Drupe opens. This may not impress you at first, but you’ll be impressed when you see the four dots in any app you may be using. Instant communications at any time.

Although the app works perfectly, Drupe are continuing to improve it. For example, Skype recently removed their account support from the device address book recently so it broke the functionality in Drupe. They're investigating alternatives to make Skype work.

If you have several numbers in your contact list, the system doesn’t necessary pick the number you want. However, when you drag the contact to the phone or SMS app, continue to hold it there for a short time and a list of the contacts phone numbers will appear for you to choose.  – but if you just click a contacts name alone, it opens up a page where you can choose the number you want to ring or SMS.  You can also favourite or unfavourite the contact, or, choose a ringtone, share a contact, create a shortcut, view the contact in your address book, share Drupe, write a note or set a reminder.

You will notice a Me contact in your favourites list. That’s you! You can use this to set a reminder to yourself, or a series of notes. In addition you can use this to Navigate to home or work.

At present, it is mainly an Android product but they are working on an Apple app and are looking for beta testers for this. Contact Drupe at whether you are an iPhone or Android user, and want to help.

Try it and see for yourself, after all, it’s easy enough to delete if you find it isn’t for you. According to Google Play, this app has had between ten million and fifty million downloads to date.

There are approximately 30 other apps you can include within Drupe and more are being added. For example I also have WhatsApp, Hangouts, Line, Vibor communications, and the Waze SatNav program. And, they are all accessable within Drupe. Different people on different communications apps, but they are all inside the Drupe umbrella.