What the UK needs

Tom Golden
Tom Golden

This is not a manifesto. This is not divine research. This is just some ideas and thoughts on the current sociopolitical status quo in the UK.

What is going well?

  • having a changeable constitution has allowed the UK government to respond faster to changing circumstances
  • the local authorities (councils, police) are broadly well-intentioned across the board
  • the UK is culturally a very green nation
  • our appreciation for the "cheap and cheerful" forces companies to compete more on price and pushes prices down
  • the UK's people and government are vocal supporters of progressive causes internationally
  • all of our neighbours are in a joint military alliance (NATO) which offers our citizens security
  • the Premier League gives us huge cultural influence worldwide
  • we are making progress (albeit slowly) towards a more inclusive society
  • young British Muslims and young non-Muslims are far more tolerant of each other than generations previous, improving social integration and reducing tensions
  • our education system makes social mobility possible (but does not represent total equality of opportunity)

What the UK is doing wrong

  • social media has centralised influence over a democracy, and allowed social media companies to play God
  • the government and parliament have basically no working class representation
  • the current political landscape is populist with both Conservatives and Labour often ignore developments on controversial issues
  • the tactical prorogation of parliament was a power grab; the government effectively asked the monarch to take power away from parliament
  • while the monarchy can be trusted to follow conventions, it still has some wiggle-room to "select" a convention - this represents significant influence in unelected hands
  • our "special relationship" with the United States causes us lots of problems as our priorities largely do not match
  • our adversarial cultural relationship with France causes us both harm; our priorities largely do match and we should celebrate more what we have in common
  • we have enough people with skills to become a world leader in software and robotics, but we haven't been able to capitalise on it
  • our NHS is costing more and more to run, and our economic growth cannot keep up to pay for it
  • prospective teachers and nurses are put off by uncompetitive pay
  • too often, top graduates work for financial companies instead of industries that could benefit from them
  • our social classes do not share much commonality and this has no suggestion of progress; broadly, our working class does not want to be like our middle class, and vice versa
  • the different school types (private, state, grammar, faith) separate children of different backgrounds, which leaves space for ignorance and apathy towards people from other backgrounds
  • people are divided on to what extent a post-colonial UK should leave behind symbols of the British Empire to find a collective national identity fit for today

What the UK could look to do next

  • solve certain governmental problems using decentralised blockchains/smart contracts, massively cutting costs
  • requiring social media companies to publish their content recommendation algorithms (and requiring them to use "closed" and "static" logic)
  • ban Facebook/Meta from the UK
  • punish Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Apple for anticompetitive practices
  • replace first-past-the-post with a system devoid of tactical voting
  • lower tuition fee caps for STEM subjects
  • create £0 STEM undergraduate degrees for over 30s (to encourage retraining)
  • (long game) create a universal maximum individual income (remainder is taxed and could fund national insurance + more)

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