Ages since I updated this, so time for a bit more stuff.
Right now we are near an election and politicians are starting to be even greater arseholes than usual! So I thought I’d throw in my two penny worth of thoughts and that wonderful catch-all word – stuff.
There are two areas which would be my proverbial ‘sacred cows’ where, even in times of recession I would not cut back on.
The first is education. So much comes from an educated population. There is the obvious such as better employment opportunities, but there are also the less talked about consequences such as better health and being able to look after yourself. A better attitude to live and of well-being. A greater awareness of the social situation (local and national) around you, reduced crime. Schools would be co-educational, however classes would be single gender. There would also be streaming by subject. The core curriculum thing would be a lot simpler and go back to basics and be based around the old 3 r’s of reading, writing and arithmetic with time for fitness (not necessarily sport, but general exercise) and – perhaps a little bit odd – music. If there is one thing children love, that’s music. Whether it’s singing, playing specific musical instruments, or just making a noise by just bashing a drum! No specialist skills required, a fun social activity that can be done by anyone or everyone, regardless of abilities. An informal, natural creative form of expression that can help to build self-confidence.
As a side line, school lunch would be free.
The other area would be defence. Regardless of attitudes to the rights or wrongs of fighting and war, if we are going to send people into these situations and have them die for us, we can do nothing less than give them the best chances with the best equipment, training and support. This also includes support to them after they leave the services, and to their families in the event of their death or injury during service. I would see an expansion in the number of servicemen, and use this as a back-door way to improve levels of skills and health. Especially targeting those, probably very early 20s, who arseholed around at school and thus messed up things there. Many now realise they fu*ked up then, so this would now give them a chance to get some skills and education. Also now doing this with an ‘adult’ attitude to life rather than trying to do it while going through all the problems involved with adolescence.
As for things like health, what do we expect from a (free) health service. A universal free service for treatment for every single thing we want – oh look, a skin blemish, I want it ‘treated’ so I can look prettier – or something that actually concentrates on illness and discomfort. Should it be restricted to our own citizens (who pay the taxes to fund it), or open to anyone who happens to be in the country at the time and who wants or needs treatment (what defines a ‘health tourist’?). Have we developed into a society that expects everything to be fixed, and no longer can accept that some thing are just what they are, so live with them.
Would love to see an expansion of the rail network especially across more country / rural areas (if this means cutting back on roads, so be it). Even if the trains that run on the track are run by private companies, the track, signalling and stations should be run as part of the country’s essential infrastructure rather than something just to make a profit. Once a town has reached a certain level of population, then there should be a legal requirement for it to be attached to the rail network. There should also be big incentives to get freight, especially that going long distance, off the roads and onto rail.
Just a few thoughts.