My government doesn’t have all the answers but we have lots of good ideas. We also know lots of people with a great deal of experience and expertise in various subjects. We will consult widely with charities, think-tanks, academia, unions and on-the-ground. We will not pretend to know it all.
None of us have any intention of:
*Buying a duck house or getting a moat installed
*Sleeping with anyone other than our partners (we don’t have time, let alone the inclination)
*Accepting money to ask questions in parliament (although bars of Green & Blacks chocolate wouldn’t go amiss)
*Charging £250,000 to come round for dinner at our place (a bottle of wine will do)
As a society, we treat our most vulnerable citizens; children, the elderly, those with disabilities etc, appallingly. We believe if we put this right, other things will follow.
We will adopt article 3 of the UN Convention on the Right of the Child which says ‘Everything we do must have the child’s best interest at heart’.
We aim to create a fairer society where wealth and power are more evenly distributed.
Skipping will also be actively encouraged.
We will set up mini-regional parliaments across the UK to make Government more family-friendly and help bring an end to adversarial, yah-boo party politics.
All hospices, including children’s hospices, to be fully government funded.
Children’s operations are not allowed to be cancelled within a week of the planned date and not more than once in total.
All hospitals to have a team of independent patient champions who will deal with complaints on the spot and ensure dignity/respect/privacy etc.
Government-funded company run by former young unemployed, selling healthy food, snacks and smoothies etc at kiosks and stalls throughout country, outside schools, high streets, shopping centres, train stations, football grounds etc, to help tackle obesity.
Massive fitness and exercise programme. All children to get the opportunity to try sports such as gymnastics, swimming, athletics, football, cricket, tennis etc (but not rugby because it’s bloody dangerous) and free training available if child shows promise.
Free fitness classes in parks/community centres for the elderly.
Mental health given the same funding and priority as physical health.
One to one care available throughout pregnancy and first month after birth. Home births available to any woman who wants one. More midwife-led birth units set up so all women have a real choice.
Full maternity pay paid for 1 year (can be split between partners). Consequently no childcare needed for under ones.
Women have right to breastfeed anywhere (as in Scotland). Government-funded baby cafes in every town.
Loads of exercise classes for mums with crèches available or baby in buggies/car seats welcome.
Scrap the national curriculum and SATS and give heads and teachers a lot more autonomy and pupils the chance to have their say about what they’d like to learn about.
Emphasis on exciting and stimulating children about their learning not inputting information. Education should not be ‘instructo’ meaning ‘building in’ but from Latin ‘educatio’ which means ‘drawing out’.
More flexible system of starting school and not until at least five. Parents to decide when their child is ready.
Maximum class sizes of 20 at primary school, 30 at secondary school.
Ofsted to be reformed and revert to previous inspection framework which looked at the care, guidance and support of children. The most important thing for parents is that their child is HAPPY at school. Reformed Ofsted to inspect schools with no notice. More weight given to parents’ views.
Secondary school children will learn about budgeting, running a home, parenting skills and dealing with family conflict. Children will be taught Rational Emotional Behaviour Therapy and mediation and counselling skills so they are more able to cope when bad things happen to them.
Enshrine in law the right of every child to be safe from bullying, violence and the fear of violence by their peers as well as from abuse by adults.
All schools to have independently appointed Children’s Champions to stand up for the rights and well-being of children and deal with complaints and concerns.
Schools to employ highly trained play workers and child behaviour specialists (instead of lunchtime supervisors on the minimum wage) for playground duty in an effort to put an end to bullying.
Britain’s schools to become secular. No preaching/acts of worship (with the possible exception of Harvest Festivals which are a good way of emptying out unwanted tins from kitchen cupboards).
All schools to have an outdoor classroom and an accessible ‘green’ area where they can learn about the environment. More Forest Schools set up.
Free personal care for the elderly.
More unannounced inspections of care/nursing homes and a hotline/website for whistle blowers to report concerns in complete confidence.
National programme of better diagnosis, care, staff training and support for those with dementia.
Closure of private children’s homes with all children in care to be looked after in the public sector, with tough regulation and on-the-sport checks. Independent Childrens’ Champions appointed to ensure children in care properly looked after. No looked after children forced to live more than 15 miles away from area they consider ‘home’ unless for their safety.
Proper care packages and support in place for looked after children up until age of 21.
FAMILY FRIENDLY/ PARENTING
Term-time, school hours working available to all (paid pro-rata).
Parenting drop-in centres in Sure Start centres, on the high street, in supermarkets, schools, libraries etc where parents can get advice and find out more about different parenting strategies.
CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE
All the projects you see on Children in Need fully funded by the Government. It’s shaming for our society that we need to beg for stuff for disabled/disadvantaged kids and Sir Terry Wogan needs to finally be put out to grass.
Children’s party bags replaced with ‘thank you for coming’ stickers, thus cutting down the amount of plastic rubbish ending up in landfill and teaching children to enjoy the experience rather than be focussed on what they get at the end of it.
National programme to tackle the causes of self-harm and help prevent it.
Opportunities for all young people to be involved in sport and the arts to enable them to find something they have a passion/talent for. All families given vouchers for 5-18-year-olds to receive two hours a week free classes.
We will remove the defence of ‘chastisement’ for assaulting a child cases.
Separate women friendly courts for rape and sexual assault cases, all involved specially trained. Evidence about previous sexual conduct inadmissible. Courts cannot jail women for withdrawing allegations.
Complete change in domestic violence policy giving it a much higher priority and funding and all cases dealt with by specially trained courts and staff. All victims given 24-hour support.
Independent inquiry into levels of male violence against women. Women’s refuges will be government funded
The White Ribbon Campaign which works to educate boys and men not to perpetrate or condone violence against women to be government funded and work in all schools.
Massive programme of drug/alcohol rehabilitation and mental health support for offenders.
No custodial sentences for driving offences, simply lengthy driving bans (automatic 10 years for drink/drug driving, dangerous driving and anyone going more than fifty percent over the speed limit), and in serious death and injury cases, a lifetime driving bans. Custodial sentences only if offenders then defy those bans.
The Houses of Parliament replaced by a network of 10 video-linked regional parliament buildings in major cities; London, Bristol, Norwich, Birmingham, Manchester, Leeds, Newcastle, Cardiff, Glasgow, Belfast (all with excellent shopping facilities). We believe the Government should be less London-centric and represent the whole of the UK.
This system of mini regional parliaments would allow more women/parents to become MPs (currently only 22%) as they could still remain living in their constituencies and not have to either uproot their families to go to London or leave them for five days a week. The parliaments would meet during school hours and term-times only.
Houses of Lords abolished. The royal family to be privatised and the money saved used to publicly fund the Air Ambulance, the RNLI, Mountain Rescue and all hospices.
Don’t start any wars. Just have a peacekeeping force. No one seems to bother Switzerland.
Scrap Trident replacement and entire nuclear deterrent.
Massive increase in number of public toilets. All public toilets to be free. National network of kiddie portaloos in town centres and along main roads.
Toy manufacturers producing pink and blue versions of the same items and toy sellers whose shops are predominantly pink and blue named and shamed on a website for ‘crimes against gender stereotyping’ and boycotted.
National newspapers choosing to carry photos of topless women have to carry a ‘degrading to women’ banner across their masthead.
A new English flag showing a cup of tea and a biscuit for those who want to be patriotic but distance themselves from the BNP.
A new national anthem which is a medley of 1)All You Need is Love – The Beatles; 2) The Green Green Grass of Home – Tom Jones, 3) I Would Walk 500 Miles – The Proclaimers and 4) Teenage Kicks – The Undertones.