regional policy

theguardian.com
Boris Johnson’s £350m claim is devious and bogus. Here’s why | John Lichfield
The foreign secretary must find it necessary to distort statistics because the truth does not serve his case, says John Lichfield, a former EU correspondent
By John Lichfield

John Lichfield looks at Boris Johnson’s repeat of his bogus claim that the leaving of the EU would result in £350 million into the coffers, resulting in a spat with the UK Statistics Authority. Lichfields explains the truth the figures, relating to Margaret Thatcher’s rebate placed in 1984, along with how EU regional grants are placed on local and national levels as oppose to drawn by Eurocrats. In the subject of £160m a week and how  the government’s  labyrinth of post-Brexit customs and legal institutions which would swallow up some of the savings it comes to attention hence the nature of the bogus nature of Johnson’s claims.

We have general elections every year in the US. VOTE THIS YEAR.

Among other things it’s doing, the federal government is looking to devolve more power back to the states.  VOTE THIS YEAR, and help to swing your state’s government.   Off-year elections have the smallest turnouts and so they are EASY TO SWAY by getting out there to vote.

VOTE THIS YEAR. Off-year elections can affect Congress and they affect local and regional offices whose policies can hold people accountable in their bases of operations if the federal government refuses to. For 2017 we have:

  • 1 US Senate seat (Alabama)
  • 6 US House of Representatives (California 34th District, Georgia 6th District, Kansas 4th District, Montana At-Large District, South Carolina 5th District, Utah 3rd District)
  • 2 State Governors (New Jersey, Virginia)
  • New Jersey General Assembly and Senate, Virginia House, North Carolina General Assembly (a special re-vote with the de-gerrymandered district lines!)
  • Lots of mayoral and local elections that will MATTER IN COMING YEARS because city mayors can carry a lot of influence in elections and also act as leaders and innovators to model policies and programs (see: sanctuary cities)
World Building: Where to Start

For sci-fi or fantasy writers, creating your world could be the hardest part. Building something from nothing is incredibly difficult and, while you don’t want to be conceited, you are being a God. You are reaching into this nothingness and pulling a whole planet, whole civilization, towns and people and cities and governments out of nothing. 

You have to always keep in mind that your world, once created, exists without you. Your world existed before you dropped your characters into it, and your world will exist long after your characters die (unless they somehow end the world).

Geography

I have always thought the best place to start would be geography. If you open up a history textbook, for any country, geography is often the first thing that you see. How large is this world? Is it a full planet or just a landmass that you are discussing? Where in space is it? Do you know? It is in this universe? What does the sky look like? Are their islands? Mountains? Rivers? Oceans? Lakes? You need to know the layout of the land.


Start off with a piece of paper, and explore where your want your characters to go. If you look at Harry Potter, there is an entire world built inside of our world, living amongst us. If you look at Lord of the Rings, there is an entire different world out there that we haven’t reached and doesn’t know about us. Pokemon has it’s own region, with little towns and usually some islands. Firefly has earth-like planets in a different universe, but they know of Earth (Earth-that-was). Is your world build on ours? Build away from ours? Built after ours? Can they interact? Have they ever interacted?

Let There Be Life

Once you have a basic layout for landmass, think about the first interaction with our world. So, for example, I created a world called Fallamore, which exists underneath Earth and was built by magical folk during the witch hunts in order to escape prosecution. This is the kind of information that will probably never make the story, but it is cool to know for yourself. How long has history existed for this world? Where do they believe life started? God? Science? Aliens? 

Knowing Every Rock and Tree and Creature

You obviously don’t need to know every tree and rock that exists in the world - but you do need to know what species are around. Are trees like they are on Earth? Brown bark and green leaves? Do they change colors in the fall? Are there even seasons? While you don’t need to make note of every type of flower or tree, it’s good to have an idea of what things might look like. 

Another good idea would be knowing what kind of species exist in your world. Humans? Witches? Vampires? Goblins? Elves? Fairies? Aliens? Something you invented? Do they all live together, or do they have their own communities? Do they get along, or are they racist of each other? 

Vague and Yet Menacing World Government 

You have a lot of options for governments in your world, and are also free to make your own.

You can do a traditional monarchy: king, queen, princess, prince, etc. Is your monarchy going to be a patriarchy, a matriarchy, or equestrianism? (Will the eldest son take over? Eldest daughter? Oldest child? Most prepared / smartest child? The parent chooses? It’s a vote?) 

You can have a President, or Minister. You can have a dictator. You can have a council. You can have a religious leader double as a political leader. All political decisions can be asked to a magic conch shell. 

Also, you can mix and match these. For my upcoming NaNoWriMo novel, I have a world with many different regions. The entire world has one royal family in charge of everything ( a patriarchal monarchy ) that defends the realm and all things in it. However, the monarchy allows the different regions to govern themselves as long as they follow the monarchy’s policies. Several regions have established their own monarchy that bows a knee to the main one. A goblin region has a council that reports to the monarchy. An elf region has a matriarchy. A final region is led by a very wise educator, who has been appointed as leader for his knowledge. 

You also need to decide how important government is - but it is necessary. If you are telling the story of a very young girl who finds a unicorn in a meadow, knowing that she lives under the rule of a beautiful princess in a far away castle is not relevant and doesn’t need to be shared. However, in The Hunger Games the government plays a huge role in the plot of the story. 

Now, there is a lot of other things to think about when creating a world, but this is just a place to start. World Building is a lot of work and takes a lot of time and effort and dedication. 

Best of luck, and happy writing! 
MRM

But a 2007 poll in the five most influential European countries – France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom – found that most people regarded the United States as the greatest threat to global security, more dangerous than Iran, Iraq, or North Korea.
—  From “Fundamentals of World Regional Geography”