moriarty: (LD ; Nothing will clip my wings)
♥ パール ([personal profile] moriarty) wrote2010-04-17 02:34 pm

But what do YOU believe in?

Well, the Leader's Debate has done wonders for me. Remember two days ago where I whined and bitched about not understanding politics? That night, I watched the LD. And although I'm still a little "what is stamp duty just explain it to me srsly", the Debate (or rather, Clegg) was instrumental in getting me passionate about what I believe in all over again. Britain's reaction to the Lib Dems is really heart-warming.

So. I've decided to sit down and write what matters to me, or what I would do if I could overhaul the system. I believe I did this 1-2 years ago, but I like to think I've matured and developed since then. This is a bit of a long list, but...anyway.

THE SELF, HOME AND FAMILY

● Better support for single fathers. The sexism debacle over constantly stereotyping women as only good for being mothers is harmful to both sexes - I grew up with my Dad as the homemaker, and he did as good a job as Mum would have.

● Equal Maternity and Paternity leave. Make sure the father takes at least three weeks off to look after the baby so that the mother can rest.

● Gay couples to be allowed to stay in bed and breakfasts without facing discrimination if they want to. Their sexuality is their business.

● Make more positive information about adoption available, especially adopting older children and teenagers. As someone who is interested in adoption, I find it incredible that there's not a lot of information out there, even on the interwebs, that comes from the government.

EDUCATION

● Lower tuition fees at universities to acceptable standards. I recognise that it is impossible to scrap fees now because of the high number of people attending university, but nobody should be left out because they cannot afford it. Also, make the grants scheme more accessible to people who suffer from 'invisible' disabilities (depression, ME, etc.).

● Lift the ban on discussing sexuality in schools. If kids are taught from a young age that it is alright to be homosexual/lesbian, it will stop discrimination. (Not altogether, naturally, but enough.)

● A flexible curriculum in comprehensive schools. Allow children to learn about the things they want to - forcing them to learn about things that disinterest them a) removes enthusiasm for education and b) most of the things they 'learn' on the current curriculum are all but useless. Also introduce proper life classes that teach about politics, the election process, how to go about getting bank accounts & mortgages, etc. Perhaps even driver's ed. to stop people scared of learning to drive from feeling that way.

● Support parents/guardians who choose to educate their children at home. Try to organise programs where home-schooled children can meet up so that they do develop social skills with others their own age.

● Physical Education: have flexible classes not based on terms such as 'ability'. Fund each school to have sets of equipment that accommodate everyone, and make it so that during PE lessons students can do what they want, I.E. arrange a basketball match if they want, or skip, or practise cross-country, etc. In other words, make it so that they are doing exercise, but the exercise they want to do, which will not embarrass less able kids in front of the class, but also allows high performers to shine.

● All religions discussed in Religious Education, not just 'Western' ones. (Perhaps this is just my school, but I didn't learn about Buddhism until Year 9, and we didn't cover Islam at all.)

● Full EMA to anybody who stays on at Sixth Form. Just because their parents are well off, it doesn't mean they support their children. Also, I do not approve of making Sixth Form compulsory. It wastes everybody's time if you have people there who do not want to learn.

● Re-introduce and support apprenticeships. If you're good with your hands but not your head, you shouldn't be made to feel inferior by making it hard to find a practical job. Britain doesn't have a factory culture any more, but we are still in need of plumbers, electricians, B.T. people, etc.

● Ban Creationism from any class other than Religious Studies. It is the result of a system of belief, not a scientific theory, and thus has no place in a Science Class environment.

MEDICINE

● Put a cap on what can be charged by private companies such as BUPA. Encourage them to have policies for everyone, so that the option is really there if you want to go private. Also, stop them from turning away people with pre-existing medical conditions and discontinuing support after someone has had a medical issue.

● Less bureaucracy, more doctors and nurses. More pay for nurses. However, bureaucracy should NOT be suddenly cut - this would put thousands of people out of a job all at once and would make it hard for them to find employment elsewhere.

● Take a serious look at the NHS Dentistry program. It is in a mess.

CRIME AND PUNISHMENT

● Life means life. Not twelve years, or ten years, or five years. Life.

● Make it so that internet companies can not pull the plug on users found to be downloading illegal content. That is between the user and the company they are stealing software/music/media from, not the internet company. Obviously make it so that internet companies themselves cannot be sued by companies who are having their software stolen.

● Remove the compulsory EU loudness setting restrictions on MP3 players. The argument for damaged hearing is a good one, but if people aren't even allowed to choose whether they have loud or quiet music, that really isn't democratic. By all means put the software in place on MP3 players (most already had it) and maybe have it so that parents can password lock it for young children.

● Allow teenagers to buy cigarettes at 16, and alcohol at 18. Kids will be kids, and this will free up the law & order system to actually focus on more important issues in their local communities.

● Scrap the silly wigs worn in court. Makes us look like we're all still Victorians. Also, allow cameras inside the court room as in the United States.

THE BIG BAD GOVERNMENT

● Lower rates on inheritance tax for people who are not millionaires. If anything, they are the ones who desperately need the money generated by inheritance.

● Stay in the EU. I'm all for us being a part of Europe.

● The National Trust / English Heritage given stricter rules about what happens to protected properties. Right now a protected medieval village is being demolished to make way for Heathrow's new runway. The government do not have to heed NT/EH on protected sites - unfair.

● Scrap the plans for privatising Royal Mail. Look at working with RM to tackle difficulties faced by the 21st century attitude of 'must have it yesterday'. (Also look at alternative transport options - with all flights in the UK grounded right now, RM is struggling to get mail delivered. We have v. informative postman, is marvellous.)

● Scrap expenses. Have MPs earn a monthly wage like everybody else, and only make it possible to claim expenses when they go abroad on official business OR live further than sixty miles away in an area that has little/no/bad public transport. This requires them to provide receipts and written explanations of why they are charging a certain expense to their account. The receipts/reasons will be processed by an external agency who hold no links to any one party. Also, the reasons given should be available online to that particular MP's constituents, for them to see what their MP is doing.

● Less censorship on MPs and especially the Prime Minister. This is a Democracy, they ought to be allowed to say what they think unless it is verbally abusive. (Just phrase it nicer. ;-)).

● No tax on pensions. Is ridiculous.

● Reduce the voting age to 16. It won't help everyone but it might spark teenagers into being interested in what's going on in their country if they know they can have a say in it.

● Abolish the whip system. Allow MPs to vote as they feel, not as they're commanded. (Didn't know about this until today, it makes me D:).

● Stop spending masses of money on new aircraft carriers and the Eurofighter, and instead make sure our troops have basic equipment like bullet proof vests and helicopters.

● Stop the 'luxury' tax on tampons and sanitary towels. There is nothing luxury about them.