Might be a bold claim. However, do you really want to improve our world? Would you like to avoid the oncoming global uncertainty returning once again after this next set of ‘interesting times’ approaching in 2017? Well, it is time for the grown-ups to have a go as it is clear the naughty children have made a big mess again.
Understood, it is easy with hindsight to say one could see this all coming. What makes it easier to prove is by demonstrating the long years of work undertaken to prepare an entire plan for how to get out of the mess we are in. Some of us know why we are where we are. The polluting of reality by the destruction of unbiased news reporting combining with knee-jerk social media posting precludes our explaining as of today.
Final point before we start. Who is really to blame? All of us. You, you, you, you… and me. No one group, no one section of humanity, all of us. Those who try to apportion blame any other way are not to be trusted. Of course this considers the many blameless millions, that cannot gain access to nor will ever see these words, likely being the same people who will benefit most from setting a new global standard.
To business. Simplicity where required, continuance of working complex systems where appropriate and the destruction of organisational structures that divert funding from essential social requirements. This will not be easy, it will not be without challenges, disruption and, above all, effort from all of us. It is far better than the millions of lives that will be damaged, tarnished and lost otherwise.
Remember the Poll Tax, consider building on the incredible turnout in the Scottish referendum. If the people in our country truly galvanise towards working on the common goals we all wish for AND DEMAND THEM, we will go back to living together with people whose beliefs and personal aims differ entirely, as we have for many years now, without the mistrust and hatred that is being stoked up today.
- Charity review and regulation. All charities to be subject to a new regulatory body controlling growth and determining common purposes. Shared services organisations will be created to serve comparable charities thus assisting smaller charities with administration and marketing and making use of stagnant donations held by larger charities. All charities that refuse to adhere to such regulation will have charity status revoked and all assets distributed to other charities. It is also not nationalistic to suggest that charity should be targeted at foreign causes once our own country works better, it is about ensuring we are giving aid after setting our own house in order (this would not include natural disasters.) Any claims made by a charity, such as Water Aid solving global water shortages by 2030 or Cancer Research UK claiming credit for all advances in cancer treatment, will be required to be verifiable. Similarly, actual figures denoting numbers of people assisted and continuity of assistance beyond a single act will need to accompany any advertisement (for example, building a well that is destroyed the following week hardly solves a problem.) Much good work is obviously achieved by charity however too much reliance is placed in our society and globally on charity being the solution to social and political problems.
- All utility companies and organisations deemed public service to be consolidated and partially nationalised due to the demonstrable failure of privatisation over the past 30-40 years. Privatisation was sold as a way to improve services by taking away control from civil servants who were said to not be aware of business markets. Yet for the most part such companies are pretty much run in the same poor ways as when public institutions, in some cases far worse (BT, British Rail). Competition the dead golden goose used to sell privatisation, lost amongst the price fixing of multiple large organisations that can hide behind thousands of low-paid customer service(obfuscation) representatives whilst charging exorbitant rates to customers. Would you rather watch a Hollywood celebrity telling you how good a service is or a monthly bill reduction?
- Local Authorities to be disbanded for the most part. Almost all Local Authorities in the UK are prey to and dependent on private companies to provide their services. So in effect we pay to employ thousands of people to act as intermediaries between the general public and private companies or charities. Furthermore Local Authorities continue to be undermined by central government budgeting which results in the majority of services being either drastically cut or run in such a way as to cause more damage than good (Social Services). The inconsistent management of a service portfolio that is underfunded cannot be allowed to continue when the majority of services can be automated or restructured to provide better targeted services that are funded in the most appropriate locations. We don’t need politics impacting on our essential services, we need them developed and protected to empower our citizens. Technology brings us the ability to engage with services directly, as has been demonstrated by the commercial implementation of ‘cloud’ computing. This form of technology can be expanded to provide personalised local services. Voting for local councillors can then be aimed at electing those who will be tasked with ensuring probity and effectiveness of services on behalf of their local community.
- The NHS Trust system to be abolished. Trusts were created to foster greater competitiveness and efficiencies. What has happened is that one of the largest global organisations is now split into dozens of smaller organisations which then get treated as low value customers to private organisations. This results in each trust paying way more for equipment and services than one of the 10 largest organisations in the world should. Furthermore, trusts today are being consolidated by the merging of various trusts, which pretty much undermines the whole premise of breaking them up in the first place. Patients get further and further away from a business centric, image conscious health service, whilst services become more and more disjointed when a patient doesn’t fit with the business model their local trust expects them to adhere to. Considering also the money being spent on each next bright idea in creating systems within the NHS that retain a single, national presence, it seems odd that we seem to be funding two or three NHSs at the moment.
- Expansion of conventional military forces. While it is fair to say a powerful military could be turned against those it is intended to protect, the creation of a model democratic state will inherently defend against this situation. If transitioning to the next logical stage of governmental systems within a single state on planet Earth, it will be necessary to protect the state from those who would wish to destabilise or undermine it. This will only be required until the validity of this form of governance spreads across the globe. Even though the eventual ends of this plan will result in a reduction in global military forces, it would be foolish to say that today we live in a world where a peace loving nation with little to no military could survive.
- Creation of a citizenship bill of rights. This will form a contract between those who attain a certain age and those seeking residence in the UK, and the state. To destroy once and for all, the hideous imagery of ‘them and us’ we will draft a contractual agreement between the state and each citizen. Signing and confirming adherence to this contract will provide the holder with a set of rights and obligations as a citizen of the UK. This also sets a bar to which the state must reach in order to fulfil the state’s side of the contract. It also provides no differential between those born in our country and those who choose to move here for whatever reason. Signing will not be obligatory, however, not signing will preclude the use of education, healthcare (beyond emergency), state benefits and other similar protections that will only be available to allied citizens of the UK.
- Child services and education merger. The current separation of services in place to support and protect children and young adults between school and local authority cannot continue. Local Authorities with too many alternating priorities and budgeting issues are often left without the resources to properly address the needs in our communities. As much of this work entails ensuring local authorities are not held liable for their failure to meet the standards of care required or in risk assessing legal viability of support, further funding is diverted to dozens of local authority legal departments instead of being focussed on the children in need. Combining Child Services and Youth Services with local schools will remove two layers at which services currently fail. Communication and resource priorities in local authorities and misrepresentation of the situation from parents to local authorities or schools. Protecting and nurturing the young should be one of the highest priorities in our society, not left to the goodwill of charities and social workers running themselves into the ground to cope with the impossible volumes of work required.
- Immense revitalisation of workforce. One single project would bring jobs nationwide, create a national legacy that will stand for at least another 100 years and mobilise a workforce that can provide more skills where they are needed, allowing more people to work in their chosen field rather than in just the jobs available to their current location. Rebuilding and extending the UK Rail Network. If you visit many county towns around our country you will note the isolation felt by residents lacking a local train station. As usual it is the lowest paid, youngest and ironically, those who keep our country running, who are punished by our government’s blinkered view of public transport. What use is a train line that only businesses or the wealthy will ever use(HS2) and which links one set of dilapidated and poorly spread train lines in the North with the same in the South? Imagine a traveller from the past walking through a town in the UK being brought up to date with the ‘modern’ world; “So you can send a probe to Mars now but you still have to wait here by these barriers for a train to pass?” How about the employment for tens or hundreds of thousands in the grand construction of the lines and stations? How about the many more thousands suddenly able to widen their commuting capability thus increasing the chances that the correctly skilled and motivated applicant will take a job? How about connecting up families and friends who currently have to limit their socialising due to the cost or time involved in using current public transport? How many projects would improve society in so many ways?
- Technology for people not for profit. A responsibility of government in the modern world should be to protect citizens from the manifold dangers of technology. From state or private hacking to exploiting of a perceived demand for technological advancement that has been promoted by the industry selling the products. All technology companies will therefore be required by law to ensure any piece of equipment or software can remain in use for at least 10 years. We all hear about the pace of technological advancement but no one in technology can tell you why it is important to ‘improve’ what already worked very well 10 years ago. We reached a pinnacle of what is useful several years ago and since that time, technology companies have been spending more on developing ways to force consumers to pay more money for software and hardware that now does less than it is capable of. Many organisations and individuals that continue to work with ‘outdated’ software and hardware have been able to see how false the claims of technology companies are and how the industry has actively blocked people from using older technology that doesn’t generate new revenue. If technology companies had taken that similar time to extend the lifespan of software and hardware by creating differing sales models, there is no doubt that we would be using more thoroughly tested technology, built to last, not to be distanced from a year after release. This will resulting in organisations investing far more on their core functions and people investing far less in wasteful technology just to wear the ‘new’ badge (not that this is necessarily bad, just devalued when each week a ‘new’ product hits the shelves promoting the ‘fear’ that one is out of date).
- Voting reform. Institution of a social voting system. By implementing a means by which the nation can vote on a regular basis, we will institute the most accurate gauge of true public opinion/consumer demand that has ever existed. No longer will organisations be able to quote poorly researched statistics as a representation of fact. Media integrity will be increased by merit of reporters not being able to misrepresent what is currently topical to generate news rather than report on it after the fact. Fox hunting was a classic representation of this. Before this situation began to be widely reported as being debated by ‘everyone’, it did not seem to be something either regularly discussed or exceptionally focal in the general zeitgeist. Suddenly it became the top story at a point where rather more important changes were being discussed in parliament. This ‘spin-doctor’ inspired media manipulation plays on the good, or bad intentions of people, as, if something dear to your heart gains massive focus, of course you are going to support it. Good trick until it backfires, as you can’t always manipulate tens of millions of people accurately. (Scottish/EU referendums) It is now commonplace for many millions to vote for a television show on a weekly basis, why should that not be possible for things that matter to each and every one of us? Currently the only true representation of public opinion is visible after a General Election or national referendum. Why?
Shouldn’t considerations such as the above be debated and voted on nationally? Shouldn’t there at least be a forum for the population to be consulted through?
This list covers some of the most pressing needs written off the top of my head and so contains no references (of course if this article is ever read and debated, these can be provided) as it is published here rather than remaining as a part of an incomplete book due to the worrying deteriorations evident in our world. This text comprises a fraction of an overall plan to restructure UK governmental, social and economic systems, pick a subject, there is a plan. Whether it be regulating recycling so that not only do we have traceability of products from source but also that we don’t put recycling in a bin and hope that our local council doesn’t just package it off to landfill or furnaces in China, or ensuring London based councils do not continue to be complicit in supporting the repeated sale of prostitute’s babies to paedophiles (what you mean your £3 per month donation doesn’t mean children don’t suffer horrifically in the UK?), there is a lot that needs to be fixed that will not go away otherwise. There is a lot that will never be fixed but we cannot ignore so we must plan to eternally protect against.
To give the certainly required nod to the positive, there are multitudes of wonderful and excellent aspects of our society and incredible advances that we must continue to support and which need to be identified alongside the focus on change. It is time to be realistic about what is really important though and until we make drastic changes, the failing areas in our society will drag everything else down.
Cost too much? Unrealistic? I refer you to the same people who will apportion blame to individual groups and who need to defame anything that could undermine their cushy number. How many thousands of millions of pounds have been wasted by our government in the past 50 years? How many scams diverting untold sums of money have been perpetrated under our current systems? Well, we’re now able to quite clearly state “We can’t do much worse than you!”
Consider two hours per week undertaken by more than 46,000,000 people. That’s over 92,000,000 hours of time/effort that could be dedicated to political matters each week. Couldn’t we afford that? Some will engage more, some less. We need the chance to have that choice now we have the tools to deliver it.