Perhaps one of the most interesting things about living in a foreign land, for me at least, is getting your head around how your home and adopted societies are alike and differ, how they function – what works, what doesn’t, and the attitudes your average person in the street has towards such things.
For example, pesky foreigners coming here and getting up to all sorts of dreary badness is a complaint of some folks in both the UK and Suisse, but there are also a host of differences, not just in language of course but in terms of democracy (i.e. direct or indirect), defense (military service or not) and so on.
Moreover…. oh…. sod it. This half-assed intro is, honestly, just a ruse to allow me to post what I just scribbled down at lunchtime – some general rules on how I will run the country when, one fine day, everyone realises that I’m by far the best person for the job. So long as the hours aren’t too long, I can bring dogs to work, and Facebook isn’t blocked in the office. Here goes…
MATT’S COCK-EYED MANIFESTO FOR A COUNTRY:
Loosely based on what he understands about England and Switzerland (which arguably isn’t much)
- The Cabinet – must be 50/50 male/female by law, with a prudent and genteel biscuit-making lady in charge of Defence. (This is most definitely not a joke. Love Biscuits, Hate War.)
- No seafood. Horrid stuff.
Law & Order
- No capital punishment. Instead Abba-listening punishments (if a listener likes Abba, then capital punishment may be allowed).
- 6 weeks holiday (excluding public holidays) per year for everyone. If you’re over 50, you can have 8.
- Every top civil servant must swim or jog for at least 2 hours a week (to clear their heads and remove their bellies).
- Out of work for a year or more? Do what job we give you or lose all benefits (which, I nearly forgot, were 50% of your last salary up to a maximum rate I haven’t bothered to calculate). Decide against it? You can come back and change your mind at any time.
Tax & Finance
- Flat tax (deal with it), but none for those earning under 10K (GBP) or so. (This mightn’t have been thought through fully.)
- No public pensions in future (i.e. from those starting work now onwards). You must pay min. 10% of your gross salary into your own scheme by law.
- No hardcore religion-based school of any kind. You can worship what you like, where you like, but leave the kids out of it.
- Any kid who fails those exams they do before age of 18? One year’s military service.
- Every kid must study (or have lessons in… that sounds easier) a foreign language, from first school to leaving school.
- Same as above with cooking (extra credits if they create dishes using my pasta recipes site).
- Haven’t really thought about the medical / state insurance side of things – that’s my perogative as a benign dictator. Definitely no uplifting boob jobs paid for from public purse though, with some obviously occasional exceptions.
- Drugs = legalised and taxed. Less criminals, more cash, likely the same amount of stoners.
Or you’re out…!