Lessons from Kirkcaldy…

…or why no-one can be completely happy.

At any other time, Labour wouldn’t have to worry. A by-election in Kirkcaldy East (deepest Brown territory) cause by the resignation of an SNP councillor because of interesting business dealings in Austria. In 2012, the result was clear: Labour Candidates got just shy of 50% of the vote compared to the SNP’s 36.4%. Labour had half the electorate behind them. Easy, right:

Kirkcady East By-Election results

In the end it was the SNP who were victorious – bagging 47.3% of the vote and Labour falling back to the 35% mark. This should leave SNP folk buoyant, they’ve just won a seat that they should have really lost. That’s true, but in the longer term, there are other considerations that might not make it quite so joyous.

Firstly let’s quickly look at the state of the ‘other’ parties:

  • The Tories: Slight increase in %age support, but nothing big. It’s most likely down to the traditional low by-election turnout.
  • The Lib Dems: Disaster. The Lib Dems have lost yet another by-election deposit and only lost a whole 2/3’s of their 2012 support. They also managed to get only a 1/3rd of the votes UKIP did. That itself is a terrible result.
  • The Greens and UKIPBoth of the “minor” parties didn’t stand in 2012, so any support they got would be a gain for them. Both also lost their deposit but the greens narrowly (by 9 votes) pipped UKIP – based on polls, it should have been the other way around.


So having dealt with the minor parties,  the swing here is important. For the SNP to win there had to be a LAB>SNP swing of 7%. They managed to bash straight through that got a swing of c.12.8%. Even on the low turnout – that’s a pretty good result. But, it possibly should have been better.
The most recent polling is placing the SNP lead somewhere around 20-25%. In 2010, LAB’s vote lead was 22% – meaning there has been a c.20% swing since the last General Election. Yet, in the by-election, the swing was only 13%. And this difference is significant. Come May, the SNP need a swing form Labour of 15% to really do substantial damage to Labour. 15% would see them take 20 seats from Labour. 13% would only give them 11 gains…which is not what the SNP are preparing themselves for. So while Thursday’s by-election sin was a good result on the night, more needs to be done if the SNP tidal wave is to strike in May.

Obviously, there are lots of caveats that must be made. It was a by-election last Thursday, which always suffer from decreased turnouts. A council election is not a Westminster election, so different factors can be at play. But, as a friend on twitter put it, this by-election can serve as a “straw in the wind” to give the general direction of travel, if not a precise landing point.
There are still 3 months to go until The General Election, and lots more is bound to happen that will change people’s minds…but as things stand, neither the SNP nor Labour can be truly happy with how things are.


A ‘Secure’ Future for Rangers

…or why fans are probably right to worry.

In what seems to be the never-ending Rangers saga – we have a new chapter. Mike Ashley, owner of Newcastle United, has offered the club a £10million loan, which it seems they desperately need. But, like all things, there’s a catch – it would be secured over Ibrox Stadium. What does this mean legally, and why should it matter to football fans?

What’s going on?

After the demise of Rangers v.1, the club and it’s assets (including Ibrox) were bought by Charles Green (who may or may not have been a front-man for Craig Whyte) – and are now owned by the company that owns Rangers. At the moment Ashley owns the naming rights to Ibrox, meaning he could rename the stadium whatever he wanted, but he doesn’t actually own the land.
But Rangers are in desperate need of cash and they have two options before them:

  • a £10 million secured loan from Ashley, over Ibrox and the club’s Murray park training ground.
  • a £5 million loan from the ‘Three Bears’ consortium – led by Douglas Park – secured over Murray park only.

The board have decided that £5 million isn’t enough, so have considered Ashley’s offer. It’s important to note that Ashley isn’t trying to buy the club – the SFA have said he can’t substantially raise his shareholding because of his Newcastle ownership – but is just looking to secure his loan, in case the worst happens. A £10 million loan should tide them over for a while at least. Ashley isn’t offering to buy the ground – most likely because the fans would never support it, and the last thing Rangers needs is a fan boycott. Instead he is wanting a security over Ibrox and the club’s Murray Park training ground. The idea that the Board was willing to to even consider putting the stadium at risk seems to have been the last straw for many…but what’s actually happening here?

The Law

When you buy a house in Scotland, most people have to go to the bank for a loan. In return for the bank giving you this loan, they will ask to for a ‘Standard Security’ against your house. You then use the loan to buy the house and you become the full owner. But by giving the bank the Standard Security, if you fail to pay up on time, the bank could sell the house to get their money back – even though they don’t actually own it.
This is what Ashley is wanting to do. He isn’t offering to buy Ibrox, but just use it to make sure he gets his money back. But the context of this is important. Rangers are in serious financial trouble and need the cash or they might not get through the month. Much like many people in desperate need of credit, they’ll get round to figuring out how they’ll pay it when they need to pay it. It is entirely possible that Rangers might not be able to pay it at all. if this happens, Ashley would be well within his rights to enforce his security and sell the property – possibly to himself. This could mean that:

  • Ashley loans the Club £10 million, secured on Ibrox and Murray Park.
  • The club can’t pay, so the security is enforced.
  • Ashley buys the stadium through the security, paying himself for it.
  • Ashley gets the Stadium for a net loss of c.£10 million, which isn’t a bad deal.

But, just because this isn’t complicated enough situation, all of this may not even come to pass. In order to have a security over land, it has to be registered in the Land Register – which has not yet happened. This should be good news for Rangers fans…but it’s not that great. While The Board haven’t granted the security yet – they have granted an ‘Advance Notice’ to Ashley. Usually things that are registered earlier have priority of those registered later, but the Advance Notice is a brand new invention that means that any security Rangers (may) grant Ashley in the next 35 days will have priority over anything else registered in the meantime. This would suggest that the board are seriously considering Ashley’s offer, and he just wanted to shore up his position in case the club need money from another source as well. At the very least, it means they can’t seriously consider the Park Consortium’s offer for at least a month.

But even the way Ashley’s securing the loan is interesting. He decided to go for a standard security (which is a type of ‘fixed security’) as opposed to a ‘floating charge’, which is perhaps more common in relation to companies. The floating charge would have hovered over all of Rangers’ assets and only become ‘fixed’ if the company entered administration or liquidation. This flexibility is favoured by creditors (because it gives them a range of assets to choose from) and debtors (because they are still able to buy and sell assets – eg. like players – in the mean time). The disadvantage is that, were additional securities granted before administration the floating charge would have ranked behind them – possibly leaving Ashley high-and-dry.
The fact that Ashley was demanding such a solid security at all should be of concern, but the fact that he’s asked for a fixed security (backed in the meantime by an Advance Notice) as opposed to a fixed charge should be terrifying. Ashley is essentially saying to the Rangers Board “I don’t know if you’ll be able to pay this loan back, so to protect me, I’ll be wanting your grounds thanks”.

This (still) Ain’t Over

It’s hard to know what will happen to Rangers this year. It’s clear that they are in desperate need of cash, and if they don’t managed to gain promotion this year it could be their ruin. But this most recent saga has shown as a few things:

  • Mike Ashley is trying his hardest to extend his control over Rangers by alternative means.
  • The fact the club have already granted an Advance Notice mean they are seriously considering the offer – in spite of the fan backlash.
  • If they do grant the Standard Security over Ibrox, the Board will have to be very sure they can pay the loan back, of the stadium could be sold from under them.
  • By asking for a Standard Security, and not the more flexible Floating Charge, Ashley can’t be entirely sure Rangers are going to be able to pay the loan back – and he wanted to protect his rights over any other creditors they have.

All this means that this chapter still has a few more pages to run, and even if Rangers do make it to March – they might have to think about all of this again. This story has a long way to run yet.

The Electoral P(o)ints

This is the second of two posts looking at Al Murray’s ‘Pub Landlord’ standing in Thanet South constituency in the 2015 General Election. This post looks at what effect he could have on the election itself; while the other post looks at why he’s standing in the first place.

So, the question must be asked – how will the Pub Landlord’s candidacy effect the election in South Thanet? Ladbrokes have him at 66/1 to win which is pretty low (but not as low as the 100/1-shot Lib Dems). But, lets be honest, much like Eurovision – winning isn’t the point here. It’s to make a point about UKIP, but by just standing Murray is going to win votes – an those votes have got to come from somewhere…but where, and what effect will it have?

Firstly, those most likely to vote for a fictional character are the apathetic voters. Those who, for whatever reason, just don’t care about the outcome. The are most likely to be non-voters (so there’s no -ve effect for other parties there), or those who would consciously spoil there ballot anyway (again, no -ve effect for UKIP, CON, and LAB). But these voters alone wouldn’t allow Murry to win.
But it’s not just the apathisers that he will need to attract. People who would have voted for other parties could now consciously vote for the Pub Landlord. Foremost among these are those who would have voted for an actual pub landlord who is already standing against Farage. Nigel Askew is standing as Bez’s (of Happy Mondays fame) ‘The Reality Party’ candidate. There is also an Independent standing in South Thanet. The latest Ashcroft poll (Nov 2014) has support for these ‘others’ at 1% – but this was taken before Bez’s Reality Party news broke – which may increase that figure, albeit only slightly. Most of these people’s support will come from “Screw everyone else” sector – so are likely to switch to Murray at election time.
Greens too (the majorest of the minor parties for the time being), being honest, do not stand a chance of winning. Green votes are, in this case, mostly protest votes, as they will be in c.640odd seats in May. There is a possible issue the Murray’s manifesto is diametrically opposed to Green policies and values – but somehow I reckon that Murray’s not going to stick to rigidly to it if he gets elected (he won’t). And hey, if you’re going to protest – why not vote for someone that will have a wider base and could cause more of an upset?

But what about the major parties? Labour, The Concervatives, Lib Dems and UKIP are all in unusual situations here. The Lib Dems firstly, similarly to the GRN, don’t stand a chance. This isn’t a “you’re in bed with the Tories” thing, it’s just a fact of Thanet South. They got 15% of the vote in 2010, while LAB and CON got 31% and 48% respectively. They were never in the race, and their support is now only at 7% That means that there are now 8% of 2010-LDs looking for a home. They left because of the Tories (you can presume), and could go to Labour, but if that offering isn’t to impressive, why not vote for Murray?
Now consider Labour’s unusual position. Thanet South is officially a CON-LAB marginal, but that is misleading. It is a LAB-1997 seat, won in extraordinary times in extraordinary circumstances (the Tory MP and 1997 candidate was Johnothan Aitken). Before 1997, Labour had NEVER won the seat before, nor any of its past versions (Thant East, Thanet West of the Isle of Thantet). The fact both parties were neck and neck last July was a wonder in itself. So, there are two options for the Labour voter:

  1. Stay with Labour – there is a chance that they could win, it’s happened before and Murray won’t get the support; or
  2. Vote for Murray – Labour probably won’t win and if enough support musters around Murray, he could stop both UKIP and the Tories.

Where would the other support come from? That’s a difficult question. The Tories want to win this seat. Tory voters in Thanet South know that there is a good chance of them to win the seat, but UKIP do present a threat to their vote. They know that if not enough Tory voters vote Tory then UKIP could over take them or, even worse, Labour could come up the middle of a split CON-UKIP vote. Of all the parties, I’d imagine that the Tories will stay the most solid and see the least (but still some) leakage. Those voting Tory just to keep UKIP out may swithc, but again, it’d have to bee seen that Murray could actually win – which is not likely to happen.
But then comes UKIP. Farage knows that Murray is their focus, and so will most UKIP voters. I say ‘most’ quite deliberately, because of the Steven Colbert issue – some people think Al Murray is ‘The Pub Landlord’ so will vote for him in good faith. Murray may succeed where all other parties fail – he might actually out-UKIP UKIP! If this is the case, the UKIP deficit will only grow, potentially improving Tory chances. But also, c.20% of UKIPs 2015 support (6% of voters) comes from 201-LAB voters. Might Murray’s satirer prove effective in highlighting UKIPs potential deficiencies and moving those people back to Labour? Or maybe they left Labour in search of a new home and found UKIP – might Murray be there man?

It’s unclear what will happen as a result of Murray’s Pub Landlord standing in Thanet South. The only thing we can be sure of is that he won’t win. Even with half of 2015-Planned-Non-Voters deciding to vote for Murray (which won’t happen) & ALL the insignificant party support (IND and Reality Party) & ALL the GRN support & HALF the LD support came under too, there he would still be a good 8% behind Labour, 10% behind UKIP and 13% off the Tories..
However, he might garner just enough support, to chance the outcome. If Murray would have to take more support from the Tories than he does from UKIP to increase Farage’s chances of winning the seat. Given the solidity of the Tory vote in Thanets past, and the softness of the UKIP periphary vote – this is unlikely to happen. He has scuppered UKIP chances just by standing. But, and this is a big but, if Murray can take just 1/10th of the Tory vote away, and scare 1/10th of UKIP voters back to Labour – which is a distinct possibility thanks to that very same soft-UKIP periphery – Murray could actually switch the seat from Blue to Red and cause a reasonably sized boost for Miliband.

Don’t you just love FPTP?

I have done the sums for the scenario in the last paragraph. According to the Ashcroft polls, about 70% of people in Thanet South are likely to vote in May 2015.
On that basis, if Murray got the backing of:

  • All the OTH [1.4%] + GRN [2.1%]
  • Half the LDs [2.4%] + Half of otherwise NVs [14.7%]; support would be c.20.7% [4th]

But, if, at any turnout, 1/10 of 2010-CONs leave and go anywhere and 1/10 2015-UKIP voters got to LAB, Labour will win by less than 1%.

This Election took a Funny Turn

This is the first of two posts looking at Al Murray’s ‘Pub Landlord’ standing in South Thanet constituency in the 2015 General Election. This post looks at his reasons for standing; while the other (slightly longer) post looks at what effect he could have on the election itself.

I don’t buy many printed magazines on a regular basis. To be honest, I can only think of two. One is the TITAN Doctor Who comics (which, by the way, are great for winding down at the end of a long day). The other is Private Eye. I read my first copy in 2006 (yes – I had just started Secondary school) and found it brilliant. It didn’t just make fun of stupid decisions, but showed how silly they were by taking aping them in equally ridiculous situations.
It was probably my first taste of proper satire, and I still buy it every fortnight and read it cover to cover. But I’d seen satire before – just never noticed it yet. ‘Blackadder goes Fourth’, is a brilliant pastiche of the First World War and the stupidity of its generals. But it’s the final scene, almost universally accepted as being one of the finest scene ever broadcast on British TV, that brings it home. Yes, it was funny. Yes they shot pigeons and wore underpants on their heads. But in the end, regardless of what happened in the trenches, men and boys were sent over the top to their almost certain deaths. The humour wasn’t the point – it was only a tool to make it.

This brings me to what happened yesterday afternoon. UKIP’s Nigel Farage has decided to stand in Thanet South in the 2015 General Election. UKIP have a decent chance of taking the seat, though it’s far a ‘done thing’. The Tories are still ahead by about 5% in the most recent Lord Ashcroft poll and UKIP have only increased their lead by about 2/3% since last May. In 2010 the Tories had a majority of c.7,000 (17%) which would always take a lot of work to overturn. And then it got worse for Farage.

Al Murray in his ‘Pub Landlord’ persona announced that he intends to stand in South Thanet against Nigel Farage under the banner of his new political Party, the “Free the United Kingdom Party” (or ‘FUKP’). For just over 20 years, Murray has used the character to rip into the stereo-typical right win English pub owner. He is never seen without a pint (because he is a man, women drink win or a soft fruit-based drink as they are dainty things) and was ‘never confused’ about his sexuality (though his pet may be) – though he is accepting of “the gays”. He knows that Britain is the best country in the world and that Europe is the ever-present threat to it’s greatness. All these views are derived from one thing…”Good Old fashioned British Common Sense”!
This is in complete, contrast, of course to Nigel Farage and UKIP who is never seen without a pint (because he is a man, women drink win or a soft fruit-based drink as they are dainty things) and was ‘never confused’ about they’re sexuality (though his pet may be) – though they are accepting of “the gays“. He knows that Britain is the best country in the world and that Europe is the ever-present threat to it’s greatness. All these views are derived from one thing…”Good Old fashioned British Common Sense“! Get the point?

Al Murray uses humour to try and expose the UKIPpy ideas, which have existed far longer than they have been electorally successful, for what they are…odd. He used hyperbole and humour to make his point – but some people missed it. Some people thought that he actually believed what he was saying. Steven Colbert suffered from a similar problem in the USA: both are left-wing comedians using a right-wing persona to expose silliness in those ideas, but some people believe that there is no boundary between the two. And now, in what is potentially the epitome of this idea, the mocker and the mocked will be playing off against each other face-to-face.

We’ve had Monkey mayors, and Political Penguins, and now it could go a step further. Don’t you just love British Politics?

Creating a High School Law School…

…or why I’m particularly excited about Street Law.

I’ve complained twice in the last month that understanding of the law outside of the profession is, generally, quite poor. Even our own government makes mistakes that are simple to avoid (and for some, their approach to law-making leave a lot to be desired). I’ve also said that it is up to law students and lawyers to improve this. This weekend, I took action.

On Saturday morning I went to go to the Law Society of Scotland’s (LSOS’s) Offices in Edinburgh. My blog hadn’t gotten me in trouble (yet), and it wasn’t about court reform. I had volunteered, along with more than 50 other Law students from across Scotland, to take part in a weekend-long training session. Two American folks had come over to teach the bunch of us about something that has existed in The States for about 40 years, but only arrived on our shores about 4 months ago: Street Law.

Street Law

Street Law is about helping young people engage with the law. It’s not about cases or statutes; it’s about concepts and principles. It was founded in the 1970’s in Georgetown, DC, essentially as a way of teaching kids about their rights. But since then it has grown and expanded to look at all aspects of the law and is taught to a whole range of people, including prisoners and community groups.
Instead of ‘death by PowerPoint’, lists of cases to memorise and statutes to remember, Street Law focuses on the bigger picture. The aim of the Scottish Scheme, which was trialled last last year, is to teach school pupils (S3/S4) about the law in a way they would find engaging, interesting and most of all exciting. The central aim is that people are able to face the law on their own terms and in a way they understand. In essence, it’s about making the law relevant to those learning it.
Imagine, for example, going into a school in Castlemilk or Drumchapel. As much as I love talking about the UK Constitution, it’s unlikely to be a hot topic in the playground. The fact that Wee Jimmy got stopped by the police last week but Jimmy didn’t know what to do is probably a lot more interesting, so that is what we talk about, and our devolution debates have to wait for another time. And even then, you don’t go on about the procedural changes the  Police, Public Order and Criminal Justice (Scotland) Act 2005 introduced, but what they mean in real life. You ask whether the Police should be able to stop anyone for any reason, or if limits should be placed on them. If so – what are they? And from there you can even ask whether they think an individual’s freedom more important than societal safety? From wee Jimmy’s unfortunate incident you can explore a national scandal…and they might just listen.

Scottish Enlightenment

The hope of LSoS is that, by getting the law into schools, with the backing of Head Teachers and Classroom workers, it won’t seem so scary and remote. During the weekend, we got to hear from those already delivering Street Law lessons in Scotland and according to them it has been a storming success. Under the pretence of aliens arriving from some distant planet, they had kids deciding which Human Rights they needed to be safe, and how they did it. School pupils have been thinking about whether keeping the wrong change from a shop should be a crime, and whether it should be more or less of a crime than selling drugs – and why. Things that would never even cross their minds otherwise are, all of a sudden, accessible because they’re being asked to come up with an answer – not being asked what the answer is.

That is the true strength of Street Laws approach, and why its such an exciting idea – the learners are at the heart of everything that happens. One of the most interesting things from the whole weekend was ‘The Michael Morton Experiment’. A crime scene was set up in the room. A note was left on the wall. Evidence and information was presented and, in groups, the participants had to try and piece together what had happened. Had Michael, murdered his wife(Christine), or had someone else done it? Was the fact he seemed to show no remorse over his wife’s death the reaction of a man in shock – or a sign of a cold-hearted killer? When all these questions had been considered, people were paired off, and 1 acted and a Prosecutor of, and the other as a Defender for, Michael Morton in a plea negotiation. The evidence was damning, but not water-tight. Was a deal worth it? Was there still reasonable doubt? Is it worth going to trial even though, if found guilty, Michael Morton would be executed?
When us law students did this on Saturday Afternoon, a fair number of the participants thought that Michael Morton was guilty. About 90% came to a bargain that involved some amount of jail-time for the man. It was only after all of this that it was revealed that this was not actually an experiment. It was based on a real case, where Michael spent 25 years in prison for killing his wife. On 19th December 2011, Michael Morton was found innocent. He had been convicted based on incomplete evidence and untruthful prosecutors.
What the defenders in the room didn’t know was that the prosecutors had been given 4 additional pieces of evidence. All of these categorically exonerated Michael Morton, but the prosecutors didn’t have to tell the defenders about them i.e. there was no duty to disclose. what does the prosecutor go for: the win, or the right answer?

When this is used in a school, the whole concept of what ‘justice’ is exploded wide open. Not because a teacher stood in front of the class with a jurisprudence textbook, but because the learners stepped inside the shoes of real lawyers. They examined the evidence. They drew the conclusions. They had to decide what to do in the negotiation. They had to decide if being right or being successful was more important to them. Decisions solicitors and advocates have to make every day were instead being made by them, and suddenly don’t seems do remote or distant.

Going Meta

If we are serious about engaging people in the law (and by extension politics), Street Law is absolutely the best way to start. By using examples the school children can relate to (such as stop-and-search), simple examples (such as aliens stealing our Human Rights) and fun, interactive teaching methods (like ‘The Michael Morton Experiment’ does), “The Law” can slowly become just “the law”. Not some far off concept that only people in wigs and silly gowns can understand, but something that affects everybody.
In essence, Street Law democratises law and can help play a part in promoting fair access to justice in Scotland. We encourage greater understanding of what the law is and what it means, so in future when Tory MP’s make nonsensical statements about the Human Rights Act, its not just the lawyers on twitter who ridicule him for it, but non-lawyers get why he’s wrong as well.
But more than that. Street Law helps to promote engaged, analytical and curious minds in the next generation, adn demystifies the idea of ‘being a lawyer’. The legal profession is still seen as an old boys’ club where Legal Dynasties reign and the top lawyers are overwhelmingly rich, white men. It is not an expanding circle, and not something for the wee kid in Drumchapel. We have to change this perception.

Street Law is our chance to do so.

The Scottish Difference…

…or “Just Ignore the Spelling Error for a Minute”.

On Saturday I went a walk into town, and I saw this sign:


I thought it was unusual to see this sign in the middle of Glasgow’s Sauchiehall Street. It’s location wasn’t unusual: Club520 was doomed when one of it’s acts threatened an audience member on it’s opening night. But, a leasehold? In the middle of Glasgow? I was intrigued. In Scotland you don’t generally get leaseholds (which is akin to total ownership of a piece of land but for a certain length of time). In a few remoter places they do still exist, but not in the middle of big cities. I wondered if I was wrong and, as a fun little quirk of things, there was one. So I asked:

Being truthful, I was kinda hoping that it was a quirk. I like it when things are just a little bit different, a bit like “There are no ‘streets’ in Drumchapel”. But, alas:

It seems it was just a mistake after all. Although, it is a mistake that demonstrates a common problem. People don’t appreciate the Scottish Difference. The sign should should have read “Lease”, or the more common “To Let”, but “Leasehold” is similar and nobody noticed it’s actually very different. Christie & Co are a International firm based in London, so they are allowed to drop the ball every now and then. But, at least they accepted their mistake and are going to change it – and for this I applaud them:

We need more like them.

The Scottish Government actually suffer from a similar issue earlier this year. In their Programme For Government 2014-15, they misspelled “moveables” as “movables” every time it appeared in the paper. The latter is the ‘correct’ spelling, but the former is the legal term for most property that is not land or houses. If a government can’t get it right, what can we expect?

Not This Again…

…or why your Facebook pics are safe!.

A few friends of mine posted this on Facebook recently:

I do NOT give Facebook, or any entities associated with Facebook, permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future. By this statement I give notice to Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile is private and confidential information. The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-11 308-103 and Rome statute). NOTE: Facebook is now a public entity. All members must post a note like this. If you prefer, you can copy and paste this version. If you do not publish this statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as information contained in the profile status updates. DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste to make this your status.

The general gist seems to be, “Facebook can’t steal my stuff because I posted this notice”. This is a repeat of something that sprung up about 2 years ago, around the time Facebook became a Publicly Traded Company in the US. A lot of people have been quite curt in telling people that this is completely pointless and unnecassary. But, being a Law Student, I can’t help but go through exactly why you don’t need to worry about such things. So here we go:

1) I do NOT give Facebook, or any entities associated with Facebook, permission to use my pictures, information, or posts, both past and future.
“Any entities associated with Facebook” could be anyone. I am an entity associated with Facebook in as much as I use it. So this person is stopping (or at least intending to stop) their Facebook friends from using their pictures or posts, possibly including commenting on them – so it seems that Facebook just got a lot less social.
Also the phrase “…past and future…” excludes the present, which is just a mess.

2) By this statement I give notice to Facebook that it is strictly forbidden to disclose, copy, distribute, or take any other action against me based on this profile is private and confidential information.
Firstly, “By this statement” nothing changes. When you sign-up to Facebook you agree to the terms of service and this is a from of contract. All contracts are formed on the basis on mutual agreement, i.e. both sides agree to the same thing. This can only be changed by both sides agreeing to the change. One party declaring that the other can’t do something any more (especially when it was explicitly agreed in Section 2 of the Terms of Service).
Secondly, if Facebook can’t “disclose” anything on your profile, they can’t show anything you post. Once again, to ‘social’ side of social media is a little less present. As for what “other action” Facebook could take against you is anyone’s guess.

3) The violation of privacy can be punished by law (UCC 1-308-11 308-103 and Rome statute).
This parts almost right, The violation of privacy is punishable by law. In Europe, the Right to Private and Family Life is protected by Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. It is, however, not punishable under the UCC (the Uniform Commercial Code). Article 1-308 is about reservation of rights, but is only a statement that if you say you don’t want to do something, but do it anyway, the other side can’t make you do it again.
At least the UCC is in the same general area as the claim. The Rome Statute has absolutely nothing to do with companies or privacy, but if Facebook ever commits genocide, let me know.

4) Facebook if now a Public Entity.
This is absolutely right. Facebook is a publicly traded company. You can even buy shares in it should you be so inclined. But it doesn’t change any of its responsibilities to its users.

 5) If you do not publish this statement at least once it will be tactically allowing the use of your photos, as well as information contained in the profile status updates.
As I said above this is completely incorrect, but I couldn’t resist pointing out that (if this were a real thing) you would be “tacitly allowing” Facebook to use your stuff, not “tactically allowing” them to. There’s no strategy involved here.

6) DO NOT SHARE. You MUST copy and paste to make this your status.
As I hope I’ve established…no you don’t.

The law is often seen as a confusing thing that no-one, not even lawyers, can understand. Sometimes people think its best to just go out on a limb and see what happens. And that’s not their fault. It lawyers’ fault that its not explained well and widely enough. Hopefully that can be something that can be changed in the future. Maybe.