If I Ruled The World…..by Michael Younger

Jamie Cullum once sang if he ruled the world “every day would be the first day of spring”. A great idea, but if I ruled the world it wouldn’t be one of the first 6 things I would do. These would be…

3 Day Weekends 

It can’t only be me who notices everyone is happier when it’s a Bank Holiday? Tourist attractions seem to be busier, local parks are full of dog walkers/families having a good time and the economy thrives.

So, if I ruled every weekend would be a 3 day one, starting on a Friday.

It would mean less time being stuck in a hot & sweaty office during the summer, more time to do the Christmas shopping, and we’d also get more time to spend with family and friends.

More Dog Friendly Shops/Restaurants 

All shopkeepers/restaurant owners will have to open their doors to “man’s best friend”. Ok, perhaps I’m slightly biased as I’m a dog owner (our rescue pooch even has her own Twitter account), but there aren’t enough dog friendly shops / restaurants.

If you visit (some) coastal resorts, dog friendly shops are slightly more common, and there are two cat cafes set to open in Birmingham, but why isn’t there more for shops which are dog friendly? Under my rule, they all would be.

No More Self-Serve Checkouts

Controversial maybe, but are these really beneficial? Honestly, have you never got frustrated at the computer advising you to place your item in the bagging area/that there’s an unexpected item in the bagging area? You cannot win with these machines.

Remove them & with them one less frustration from shopping. It would (surely) help reduce the unemployment rate as shops would need more staff. For me, this is a win-win solution.

Cheaper Football Tickets

The beautiful game, invented in England – yet fans are being priced out of it (Arsenal charge up to £97 for a match day ticket).

Time to make it cheaper by capping tickets at £25 - & this is plenty, especially when you can pay less than £10 to watch Birmingham Ladies & less than £5 to watch Aston Villa Ladies.

Ps. I’d also make sure all games went back to 3pm Saturday Kick-Offs.

Moaning Monday Mornings

I get people need to vent from time to time – so lets limit that time to Monday mornings, between 7am and 9am. A 2 hour slot to let off steam, whinge and moan. But moan outside of these times and you face a fine which goes to charity – either £10 per moan or an hour of your time given to charity.

Free Cake & Coffee Friday 

So I’ve introduced longer weekends, and what better way to start your weekend with free coffee and cake (limited to 1 per person) at your local independent coffee shop. But it comes with T&Cs…1) it’s only valid between 10am & midday, 2) you must purchase something from the coffee shop too.

By Mike Younger – Copywriter (by nature) & Twitter user (@MYounger14). And you can reach Tilly on Twitter @T1lly_dog.

 

If I Ruled The World...by Rickie J

The Birmingham Favourites founder would solve the world's problems with cake and put persistent social media moaners in a 'sin bin'.

People are positive

A tricky one to enforce although it means the world of difference in people’s happiness. Government to set the example by changing their language, after all, even the Queen tends to look on the bright side. The media will report bad news in a sombre, constructive, non-scandalous way and make it their business to make people feel positive with contrasting, upbeat news stories.

Anyone who constantly swears or uses social media only to complain rather than offer constructive criticism will be temporarily banned and placed in the sin bin as ice hockey would have it.

Pet allowance

Everyone has the choice of child allowance or a pet allowance. They can live with a pet or put it towards saving an endangered species.

MPs to be civilised

They will only talk about what they are doing or promise to do, rather than what the opposition are up to and we can re-elect a new one otherwise. (see People will be positive, ‘sin bin’ etc.)

There will be quiet coffee shops

Loud music will be banned before 6pm so we can all hear ourselves think while working. And, indeed, converse.

Public Sector to have accountability

The public sector will have the same flexibility to offer their employees holidays and perks as commercial organisations, ie dependent on profitability and targets achieved. There will be consequences for anyone discovered to be losing the organisation money, or I don’t know, paying men more than women for doing the same job. Of course profits will go back into offering the people the council serves better value for their taxes (i.e. cleaner streets, better resources, access to arts and culture, green spaces etc)

Email etiquette

No email auto-responder will ever say ‘we are busy and will respond to your enquiry within 72 hours’. We’re are all busy!

Empty Nests

Commercial buildings will be disallowed from remaining empty for more than two months. I will pass a law whereby owners/landlords have to offer empty space to anyone who needs it (small businesses, small charities, even the homeless where appropriate). A nominal rent will be charged to cover legal expenses, staffing and security costs for short term (month by month) lets and all tenants will need to abide by the regular terms of rental. Local councils will have a small team, accessible to facilitate this.

Wars are settled with cake

Country leaders will settle disagreements with others over cake and coffee. Or tea, rather than guns and killing. Our foreign aid budget will include homemade Victoria Sandwich.

There will be transparency

Taxes will be simplified and tax payers decide where are tax money is spent and I doubt then, it will be spent on overpriced library websites or digging up the same road three times in as many years.

The community has a say on where their tax ££s are spent through online voting.

Help where it’s needed

Benefits will be simplified so that those who do fall on hard-times or are seriously unable to work or take care of themselves, are supported quickly with love and hugs rather than endless forms and wait times.

Those who are able to work and look after themselves, do so, in a job they like doing.

We need to work harder in matching people up to what they love doing, regardless of experience. People can be taught skills, but the not the attitude. I would urge employers to recruit staff on their attitude and personality and less on skills.

Unless they are applying for a job as a brain surgeon, pilot, etc.

Respect the dead

It will be illegal to sit on or vandalise graves, tombstones and memorials.

Head stones will fitted with alarms that will give electric shocks to offenders, that can only be turned off by those maintaining and paying their respects to the departed.  

Work from home

Every employee is able to work from home one day a week, say, after six months with the same employer.

Everyone has to use their right to vote

If there’s no one worthy, there will be space on the ballot paper to vote for any random person. Votes are only counted when there’s a 100% 95% turnout and pubs will remain closed until everyone has voted.

Oh and voting booths will be in pubs, coffee shops, organisations with large reception areas and golf clubs.

Constituencies to be re-divided across the land so they are of similar size. 

Paper serviettes under cake

Banned.

A serviette will be supplied separately but never underneath where it already messy and unfit for purpose.

By Rickie J, Founder & editor of Birmingham Favourites

@BrumFaves @RickieWrites