Adrian Farrel's blog

Going Equipped

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Section 25 of the 1968 Theft Act created the offence of "going equipped" for burglary or theft and refers to the possession of housebreaking implements including any item that is designed to be used to carry out a theft or burglary, as well as any items made specifically by a thief for use in committing a burglary.

The CPS [1] says that that law makes it an offence to knowingly possess an article for use in the course of or in connection with theft/ burglary and observes that the possession of the article must occur before the commission of the offence.

The CPS goes on to say that "Prosecutors should consider the evidence as a whole in order to determine whether or not there is sufficient evidence that the item is possessed for use or in connection with theft. Possession of an item alone, such as an empty rucksack or a pair of gloves, may be insufficient to found a charge of going equipped."

The Importance of a Positive Campaign

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We have grown familiar with political campaigning in our country, and this General Election is bringing out more of the same. The focus is on the harm other parties might do, on the characters and capabilities of the opposing candidates, and on the flaws in the policies and manifestos that others are putting forward.

In short, the campaigns that are being run are largely negative. It's easy to see how we all get sucked into this way of talking. It is much simpler to put out a Tweet with a comical picture of a party leader and a witty comment than it is to think through your own beliefs and policies. And when you're immersed in a social media world that is swamped with similar conversations it is only natural to respond in kind turning political debate into a tribal battle.

But wouldn't it be nice if the campaign could stay positive? If we spoke up about what we want to see happen, what policies we support, and why? If we focused on what we have to offer rather than what we hate about the opposition?

Why It's Important to Make a Small Donation to a Small Party

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Our electoral system is skewed against small political parties – it's well known.

Perhaps the most obvious problem is the "first past the post" system of single constituency MPs elected to represent large areas by the largest number of votes but without a requirement for a majority. Thus, most of our representatives in Parliament got the largest number of votes in their constituencies, but do not have the support of the majority of the voters.

This translates to a Government that is hugely unrepresentative of the people. So-called "minor parties" in British politics can gather a significant proportion of national vote, but never be the largest party in any one constituency and never get any representatives in the House of Commons.

While there are many benefits to democracy from our system (stability, direct representation), the drawbacks lead to a feeling of distance and disenfranchisement. The incumbent major parties see no benefit to themselves in a change in the system and there is a consequent disillusionment and Sinicism among voters.

Is a Vote for Your Principles a Wasted Vote?

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The media are full of proposals for electoral pacts and ideas for tactical voting. These suggestions are based around keeping one party or another out of government, or making sure that a particular person is not returned to Westminster.

But where does this leave a minority party? Should it encourage its supporters to vote for candidates from other parties and maybe for different parties in different constituencies?

And what should voters do in our first past the post system where their first choice from one of the smaller parties is unlikely to get elected? Should they vote for the person they support or should they consider that a wasted vote?

I am personally very frustrated and disappointed by negative voting. At the previous election my MP said to me words equivalent to, "Vote for me because at least I'm not one of them." This is not exactly a resounding reason to do anything.

PPUK After the Brexit Referendum

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Ahoy fellow Pirates.

Regardless of which way you voted, I'm sure you're tired of hearing about the referendum and plundering politicians but PPUK is impacted by many of the issues raised by the process and fact of Brexit.

Transparency in Campaigning

Both the Leave and Remain campaigns were based on lies and fear. Little concrete evidence was supplied and both sides of the debate can carry some blame despite the fact that real information and data was available to researchers. It seems as though the politicians and campaigners were more interested in stirring up emotional responses than in having a measured and constructive debate.

What treatment would we in PPUK like to see for those who lie on a public platform during a referendum campaign? How would we like to see the media held to account? How would we expect information to be presented to the public in future campaigns?

Ridiculing of "Experts"

During the campaign, Michael Gove said: "People in this country have had enough of experts" and this seemed to strike a chord across the voting public.

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Current Internal Elections

Full NEC Election 2017 - View
Nominations opened: 27 October, 2017 - 23:00
Nominations close: Friday, 10 November, 2017 - 22:00
Voting opens: Friday, 17 November, 2017 - 22:00
Voting closes: Friday, 24 November, 2017 - 22:00