From closing the gender pay gap to funding the NHS properly, Lucy Mangan has a vision…
Following last week’s news that a new centrist political party is being secretly funded by philanthropists, entrepreneurs and ex-members of both the left and right, I’ve got a fair few ideas of my own about how to spend the £50million worth of political donations. Welcome to the Let’s Sort This Sh*t Out party. To wit:
1. Close the gender pay gap.
No more nonsense about it being women’s choice, or them being better suited to jobs that pay less. The party acknowledges that this is not a matter of individual decisions or failings but a result of complex, interrelated factors (eg the brunt of caring work falling on women, leaving them fewer hours for paid work, and of well-paid professions once dominated by men becoming lower-paid as women move in) resulting in systemic bias against them. This impoverishing end product needs overcoming with LEGISLATION and MOOLAH.
2. An Aperol spritz to cost no more than £6 anywhere.
Because it’s taking the piss now.
3. Fund the NHS properly.
Strip out layers of management who keep siphoning money off for themselves/new letterheads/more management. Restructure drug pricing so it doesn’t cost pounds to prescribe paracetamol that can be bought for 25p. Pay doctors and nurses properly. Open more beds. Treat mental illness as seriously as physical. Feel the swell of national pride as we watch a once-towering monument to all that is good about the human spirit rise again.
4. Provide each woman with a free pack of cards containing succinct explanations of gender-related issues.
Think victim-blaming, slut-shaming and why you don’t have to justify buying a £40 make-up palette to anyone, to save us the bother of dealing with recurrent bores.
5. No ‘dessert hummus’.
6. Reverse the Tampon Tax.
The current government not only continues to class tampons as luxury for VAT purposes, but it expects praise for funnelling the difference to the women’s refuges they have systematically starved of money… Yeah, we’ll be reversing that.
7. Fund refuges from the get-go.
On the grounds that places that protect women and children from being beaten up and murdered are, gosh, REALLY important.
8. Netflix categories to include ‘Hungover’, ‘Just sad for no reason’ and ‘Perfectly happy, just knackered’.
9. Policy decisions will not be made on the basis of who bullied whom at school, or who’s been waiting 20 years for revenge by making someone else Foreign Secretary.
Instead, they will take place after long debates round a table big enough to seat at least seven independent experts. Then there will be ‘Thinky Time’, then more debate, until everything is sorted. Because we are the Let’s Sort This Sh*t Out party.
Alas, I haven’t really been given £50m to blow the parliamentary doors off. But the point is that nothing, especially politics, changes if different people don’t get involved. So. Are you normal? Are you sensible? Have you long felt this precluded you from the corrupt world of Westminster? In that case – isn’t it precisely time that you got involved, in whatever way you can?
Images: Getty, Tomasz Rynkiewicz