Some while ago I was asked to define my political thoughts and I came up with the following aspirations. That needs a bit of explaining. I think the problem with politics today is that parties think in terms of policies in such a way as to suggest that they have lost sight of what they are there to do. I think that if we thought about what we wanted to achieve first and foremost and then looked at ways and means as to how they should be achieved, we would find two things. The first is that most people actually agree on the ‘whats’ (usually much to their surprise) and secondly you find people from all parts of the political spectrum talking to each other in a generally constructive rather than destructive way.
Here are my ten top aspirations. Please let me know if you disagree with any of them.
No 1: To create an educational, training and employment culture in which all have the opportunity to fulfill their potential no matter how great or small that potential may be.
No 2: To create an economic model where stability, sustainability and the mental and emotional well being of the people are as important as growth.
No 3: To create a culture in which small businesses (the key to the provision of employment) can flourish and so become the real engine rooms we need as the old ways of earning a living become redundant.
No 4: To reduce dependence on imported energy to a minimum. If there should be a serious energy crisis on the mainland, it would good if it made no difference to the UK.
No 5: To reduce dependence on imported foodstuffs to a minimum. It seems silly to be importing food while we have underused farmland and people without jobs.
No 6: To create a social culture in which communities thrive on self-help and reduce their reliance on centralised state benefits. Here I expect to see some controversy but the present system where all in need no matter where have to meet the same criteria to receive the same benefits or care seems to cumbersome to ever achieve very much. Decisions based n thinking about people’s needs and the available local support etc. seems a better option.
No 7: To reduce the gap in the living standards between the richest and the poorest. Reduce not eliminate: it can never be eliminated but that gap is too wide today.
No 8: To ensure that the weak and vulnerable are cared for in a proper and fitting manner. This is now rather personal (for obvious reasons).
No 9: To ensure that the nation’s assets (natural and man-made) are properly maintained and improved.
No 10: To ensure that our defence forces are sufficient for the calls made on them and that we learn (or relearn as we have had to so many times in the past) that it is men that matter (and women too, of course) more than material. You cannot pull trained people out of a bag when you need them. Obviously the hardware is important too but we seem to spend huge sums on ‘stuff’ for which there seems to be no real purpose.
There you have it. No policies just a map for thinking straight.