Otherwise known as,’ My own post-Brexit manifesto for 2017′
Or, ‘It’s hardly the Garden of Eden.’
- Lose weight – but not for yourself, for the country. Being slimmer and fitter will not only help our ailing NHS but it will also help productivity. It has been shown that areas that voted for Brexit were more likely to suffer from higher obesity rates, so if like me you have a few extra pounds then do your best to lose them.
- Don’t throw litter. It’s everywhere and it’s disgusting. It’s also traitorous.
- Get educated – if the opportunities are there for you and you are fit and able. Why not? They say ignorance is bliss but is it if it means struggling along at the bottom? Encourage your children to try their best at school, so they have opportunity and choice when they grow up. It may not be a level playing field, but don’t take it lying down. And don’t repeat the media rubbish about teachers word for word. That’s written by very clever and manipulative people to keep you in your place.
- Take personal responsibility for your life – in the words of Camille Paglia, ‘We can’t all be victims.’
- Beautify any outside space you are responsible for with flowers and fresh paint. Be proud of your home, town, street. Why let the French and Germans beat us on this front?
- Pester your council to also spend money on improving public spaces and if they’ve run out of money (for whatever reason) volunteer to do it yourself or as part of your community. Roundabouts may be a good place to start – a la Francais.
- Get to know your neighbours. Stop fearing everyone. As the Spanish say: ‘Los buenos, somos mas’ – The good, there are more of us. Know who needs a bit of extra help, know who is lonely.
- Stop reading fiction rags – yes, those tabloids that just lie and spread fear and hate. What does it do for you? Ask yourself, ‘Does this make me feel good? Is this helping me get more out of my life?’ It may mean giving up on the ‘news’ altogether but do we need our lives run by the media’s agenda? To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, they’ll tell me when there’s a war.
- Lobby for a consumer goods and assets tax to be called the ‘Team Britain Tax’ – or something along those lines. You’re not being punished for your wealth but contributing. Who would object to paying more tax to make our country great? Imagine walking out of your house, down a beautifully paved street, to a pristine park with freshly painted railings, planted borders, picnic areas free of litter and lots of equipment for children to play on. Then moving on to the free or subsidised community swimming pool, library or adult education class. Or whilst out in your pedestrianised town centre, with its individual and regionally sensitive architecture, being caught short and finding a public toilet that is open, nearby, clean and free. Or living in your rural village, catching a reliable bus to work. Or finding a porter at the railway station to carry your bags. Or having subsidised childcare facilities at your place of work or any other convenient location. In fact, who would object to paying more and fairer taxes per se, if everything you could possibly need was provided by the state? Only traitors! This would be a real and meaningful shared wealth. This is what really underpins the Hygge in Denmark.
- Call for all our public institutions to be secular. It really would solve a lot of problems. No ban on religions, but practise them privately.
- Respect your British traditions if they’re important to you. Keep Christmas within its twelve days for example. You don’t have to put up your decorations when the shops do or take them down on New Year’s Day. And maybe you could accept the fact that Britain is multi-cultural and embrace or at least allow other traditions. What harm does it do? You’re more likely to lose your identity by being a consuming worker drone, buying to be different or because you’re worth it.
- Buy British produce. Support local food suppliers. Sign up for a box scheme. It can be cheaper and healthier. Learn to cook if you need to.
- Learn about British history and literature. Travel around your country. You can’t love your country if you know nothing about it. It’s a bit more than flag-waving, although as George Orwell points out, we British are rather fond of it.
- Grow your own fruit and vegetables if you can. It’ll enable self-reliance and provide some protection against price inflation or a sinking economy. Try to create community gardens or plant edible fruit and nut trees in public spaces.
- Decrease your energy use. Again you don’t want to be hostage to oil price rises or undemocratic countries selling you finite resources that our governments have sold off too cheaply or wasted.
- Recognise that there are no simple solutions to complex problems – that’s populism.
- Realise the depths of your own ignorance and always honestly question your own judgement and motives. It really is true that the more you know the more you realise you don’t know.
- Recognise your prejudices and try not to act on your own anger or fear. It has long been known in propaganda and its offspring, marketing and advertising, that fear and desire are the emotions we are most likely to act upon. The media know this, our politicians know this. Don’t be fooled into hate.
- Leavers – Realise that Remainers didn’t just vote on the economy or listen to the Remain campaign. We are not all rich or elite. For some, ‘Freedom of Movement’ has given us the opportunity to acquire work experience and life experience that wouldn’t otherwise have been available to us. It has also enabled many ordinary people to retire in the sun, in luxury they could never afford here.
- Remainers – Start making contingency plans for a hard Brexit but try not to let anger override compassion. I will certainly need to regularly remind myself.