Community Activists Network
I was looking at my account today and came across the following I had written in 2016. I can't believe how time has flown by and how long it has been since I came on to the NatCan site. I'm so glad to see it is still running.
I listen a lot to LBC radio and the discussions on there. People are so fearful of what is happening with Syria and Russia but I think the words I wrote in 2016 are still relevant so I've posted them again for your comments.
I've been working hard on updating my project's site, www.residentsassociations co.uk. I still see well-run residents' associations as the way forward in helping to create friendlier communities. What do you think?
Today some wars are still being fought with weapons, but most are with words – written and spoken – very poorly done.
I love people, but they arouse so many different feelings in me ranging from affection to anger, frustration, amusement, impatience and so much more.
I want to understand and get on with my fellow me and women. I used to think that was hard but it’s not really – everyone wants to be “happy”. We all want pleasant homes and surroundings with satisfying work to do during the day and leisure time with our friends and families.
Some find happiness in accumulating money or belongings, others with doing or creating things for others to enjoy.
As with opinions, words express different viewpoints. The hardest thing is to discern whether they are right or wrong. Then again, what is right or wrong? Everyone has an opinion of what they consider right or wrong!
To combine thoughts, people join “clubs” – some are religious, some political, some educational. Others are to do with their interests and hobbies.
Some people put a cost on everything they do and sell their goods or services. Others just like giving things away, whether it’s their time or gifts.
I love giving my time. To me that’s the most precious thing I have and because I don’t know how long my time will last, every minute is precious so I endeavour to use it wisely.
My work with residents’ associations has given me greater insight into communities and how people think and work together. In my opinion, the UK is just one big complicated and badly run residents’ association – albeit a very multi-cultural and diverse one.
As with every residents’ association there is the need for a good and flexible Constitution that everyone can understand and follow, with the possibility of tweaking when necessary.
According to Wikipedia,’the constitution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is the sum of laws and principles that make up the body politic of the United Kingdom. It concerns both the relationship between the individual and the state, and the functioning of the legislature, the executive and judiciary. Unlike many other nations, the UK has no single constitutional document. This is sometimes expressed by stating that it has anuncodified or "unwritten" constitution. Much of the British constitution is embodied in written documents, within statutes, court judgments, works of authority and treaties. The constitution has other unwritten sources, including parliamentary constitutional conventions.
After the Glorious Revolution in 1688, the bedrock of the legislative British constitution has been described as the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty, according to which the statutes passed by Parliament are the UK's supreme and final source of law. It follows that Parliament can change the constitution simply by passing new Acts of Parliament. There is some debate about whether the principle of parliamentary sovereignty remains valid, particularly in light of the UK's membership in the European Union. Another core principle of the British constitution, as enunciated by the legal scholar Albert Venn Dicey, is the rule of law.
Such changes, seldom involve the residents of the UK as the decisions are made by the government.
There is the Cabinet, the Prime Minister and 21 members selected by him from the House of Commons and Lords (ie. the committee). However, they can be dismissed by our Queen on the Prime Minister’s advice. They are responsible for Government Policies but have met less frequently since the War but some “experts” claim that fewer meetings have made them more efficient.
Then there is the Cabinet Secretary, who is is neither a Secretary of State or other minister, nor a member of the Cabinet, but is the professional Head of Her Majesty's Civil Service, not elected by the people.
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In a well-run residents’ association, a Chair, Secretary and Treasurer form the basis of the Committee who oversee the running of the association. Together they drawn up the draft Constitution.
The association is supposed to be run democratically with members discussing important issues and then deciding what needs to be done by the Committee.
There are many definitions and explanations of “democracy” but to summarise it is a form of government chosen by the people (ie. elected by them to represent them). I am not the only one of the opinion that our country is not really run democratically and the Referendum highlighted this.
In my opinion, if the government was run like a well-run residents’ association, the Prime Minister would be the equivalent of the Chair. The Chancellor of the Exchequer, the equivalent of the Treasurer and the Secretary of State, the Secretary.
There would be the rest of the Cabinet who would each have responsibility for different committees covering issues such as Housing, Law, Employment, Immigration and so on.
The Chair would be responsible for ensuring that all members of the Cabinet, carried out their roles as economically, legally and efficiently as possible with the Treasurer responsible for the financial side of things and the Secretary responsible for the administration procedures.
In an unincorporated RA, all work is done voluntarily but expenses are met. In a limited company (with or without shares), committee members (Directors), could be paid a salary.
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From what I can tell, as things stand with government, the Prime Minister is considered the “leader” and “spokesperson” (just as a Chair is), but also plays a more dominant role in telling members what to do according to his policies, not necessarily the views of the members of his party. This is why both the Tory and Labour Parties have been divided as to whether or not they wanted to stay or leave the EU.
Then there is the question of accountability and transparency. If UK residents had been more involved in joining the EU from the beginning and understood the implications better, they could have voted to join or not. To have such conflicting viewpoints and “lies” told to them about the reasons for staying or leaving the EU has resulted in total confusion all round.
As with all RAs, there will be a small group doing much of the work with the majority of members on the sidelines, except when there are social events or major decisions to be made, usually involving finances (service charges, repairs, building works etc.).
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The country is very divided. The problem caused by mass immigration has brought about a shortage of housing and jobs for people which affects people’s lifestyles and spending power. The increase in financial services and computerised work with the decrease in manufacturing, has resulted in an increase in hospitality jobs (cafes, take-aways and restaurants) and taxi drivers.......
Most people are not against immigrants but the type of people allowed into the country – the high increase in crime by foreigners, overcrowded schools, GP surgeries and homeless just shows this. The insistence on living lifestyles which do not harmonise with what existed in the UK and just emphasises the differences and creates conflict in communities.
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I think that the closing down of hospitals and selling off of social housing has not helped. Rather than building just new homes on brown and green belts, extending existing ones to house larger families could be an option. Getting communities more involved in house building and extensions could be incorporated.
The other issues involve the numerous low quality take-aways concentrated in areas whilst there is an increase in cheap, sugar-laden and un-nutritious food. Not to mention the cheap, poor quality clothing that needs replacing too frequently!
This could be dealt with at with re-introducing domestic science and other skills such as sewing, carpentry etc. back into schools.
We have numerous laws but not justice or a deterrent to break such laws. Although according to the National Statistics, reported crime has gone down but there has been an increase in anti-social behaviour, violence and sex crimes and car theft being the most dominant. In some areas, shoplifting. Surely in a civilised country there should be little crime and the need for prisons! What does that say about our country – that we are not very civilised?
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Whilst I love my computer and the internet, the claim that it would reduce the use of paper is completely untrue as the ability to produce leaflets and unnecessary bombardment of letters has greatly increased. I still maintain that despite our improvements in technology, our communication skills haven’t improved.
We need to clean up our country, find better ways of reducing rubbish and reduce unnecessary paperwork and administration so that services are provided quickly, economically and efficiently will go a long way to improving everyone’s lives and reduce unnecessary stress.
When we have leaders who will clarify the issues facing residents and show how they can deal with them effectively, then we will, as a country, have residents who are truly happy with life in the UK.
To achieve this, I believe we need many more residents’ associations, more accountability and transparency in communities and a government who is more interested in creating peace and stability in our country that sorting out other nations.
But, and this is a big “but” it needs clarity in how we discuss these issues and then put them in writing to win the war of words, not just charisma and a fluent way of speaking to make this effective.
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