Here’s a game you can play at home. Imagine that you are Britain’s next prime minister. You’ve decided that you’re going to stay in power for five years. To begin with you have high hopes of changing everything for the better, but you quickly discover that there is so much work to be done to change even one single thing, and so many obstacles and vested interests, that you will only be able to five really big things — one a year. What would your five be?
Forget, for a moment, how you choose to implement them. If you could have five things, what five? I tried this one with some of my colleagues. Making the unemployed work was a popular choice, so was making people more honest (remember, I did say don’t worry about how to deliver it). One person said she wanted to plant lots of trees, and make sure there were lots of parties.
For the record, my five things would be:
Restore trust in democracy
End human trafficking world-wide
Put a stop to predatory commerce (loan-sharks, scams, and those cash machines they put in deprived areas that charge you for your own money)
Make Britain an environmentally sustainable economy
Brand greed as a vice, not a virtue
This might strike you as an odd list for a Liberal Democrat. Why nothing about education, the health service, the arms race, child poverty? These are all important issues, but they’re also all issues which pretty much everyone agrees on. All parties are for health, against crime, against bloodshed, against poverty, for education. My five are things which either — generally — government shows little interest in, or problems to which no-one yet has an adequate answer. Things that are worth going down in history for, perhaps.
So, what are your five?