Posted by Prymface on Monday, May 28, 2012
If I were in charge, these are some things I would put in place:
1) There would be an understanding of value beyond financial.
2) We need house prices / rental prices to stay static until wages have actually caught up which is gonna be a long long time. I know homeowners wanna stick pins in my eyes but think of our children! You should never have bought a home as a way to get rich quick in the first place. We need the ratio of earnings to mortgages given to go back to the old (sensible) days when one full time income could comfortably pay a mortgage, rather then letting banks lend on the basis two people's full time earnings (often making it impossible when circumstances change). If housing costs went back to what they were relatively 10 years ago we would all feel a lot richer, including the state!
3) As well as bankers, landlords need to be regulated, especially those making a lot of money from housing benefit.
4) We would take marriage seriously. And we would take not being married seriously too. You have a 'contract' with another person or you don't. Being 'free' means greater independence and greater responsibility. Particularly for those parenting, this should be respected not demonised. Those who are married should embrace it; be vulnerable, be strong, rely on each other, be equal (not the same!), that is what relationships are for.
5) If men (sorry, y'know, statistically more likely n all that) are abusive they should be punished. You are not a good father if you abuse the mother of your children, what part of that does not make sense?
6) We need to do more research into why some people become abusive.
7) All jobs would be offered on a 21 hour week, flexible/school hours if possible, with real options for how to deal with those summer holidays.
8) All post 16 education would also available flexibly from a couple of hours a week, with on site childcare. University academics would not be allowed to be arses.
9) We need to recognise why we work; for a better quality life, for recognition, for a sense of achievement/purpose, to feel good, etc. Everyone should be entitled to this, from cleaners, to carers (both paid and unpaid) to doctors to volunteers.
10) Paid carers would be paid what they are actually worth. They would be supported, and properly trained and valued.
11) We would support unpaid carers/parents of disabled children. They are your greatest resource, treat them like gold, give them holidays, listen to them. They will be your greatest investment. Don't ever fight them.
12) We would understand what the ill and disabled need to improve their quality of life - We would spend money on them even though we might not get it back.
13) Those with disabilities and carers would be fully part of society, not segregated, with proper support and structure/policy change to make this happen and ensure everyone can reach their potential. Services/policies need to focus on the whole life course of a 'SEN' pupil not just the first 16 years. People would generally be nicer and more understanding. Even if it isn't considered cool.
14) We would stop telling women to put off having children! Have children sooner! The contrast in your lifestyle/earnings won't be such a shock, generation gaps will be smaller so you can help care for grandchildren, you can take years out of the labour market then build up a career slower and stronger, you will be a better person for a greater proportion of your life, you will have more energy, etc. The benefits are endless!
15) We would stop going on about full time childcare as if it is the norm/expected. It should always be about individual choice, where they is real choice to stay at home with children.
16) M(p)aternity pay and income support would be merged and essentially become the same thing. It would be none-stigmatising, focused on the value and importance of parenting. It should last for up to at least 3 years for those who need it and longer for parents of disabled children.
17) Jeremy Kyle would be taken off the TV. There are better ways to feel good about yourself. Really.
18) We would value, reward and encourage concepts of 'respect, kindness and care' with young people in school as well as promoting academic/vocational career ambitions (for boys as well as girls).
19) Tampax would be free.
20) Mental hospitals would be like five star hotels. And people would actually go to them to get better.
Results: Housing benefit would be low and more realistic for people to move off it, quality of life would improve for those struggling financially because housing costs would be lower, single parents would not be at an automatic financial disadvantage, people would be less judgemental of those 'on benefits' because they would not be seen as a different species, people would have more time to spend caring for others, people could leave abusive relationships and know that financially they will be ok, women may stop hating men so much when they realise we don't have to emulate them to compete with them, we would spend less time in offices and traffic jams, we will stop valuing material things to the point that we get in debt just to keep up, we will feel that we are rewarded for the work we do and the value of that work, everyone will feel they can participate in society, we would be more equal.
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