River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Notes from a newcomer

May 2005

Marion muses on "If she ruled the world"

If I ruled the world, every day would be the first day of spring. Naturally.

No one would argue with dear old Harry Secombe about that. And it would only rain at night.

But I have a few other ideas up my sleeve for that brave new era when I take on the role of benevolent dictator.

It goes without saying that Jamie Oliver will be given the school dinners portfolio. Not only would children be better nourished once they have been weaned off turkey twizzlers, but there is evidence that they would also be better

behaved in the classroom and therefore easier to teach.

However, another major plank of my education policy is that all children will have to leave school at 15 and get a job. To misquote George Bernard Shaw, education is wasted on the young - a time of life when we are too much at the

mercy of our hormones to realise that being taught is a privilege, not a punishment.

Everyone in the workforce will be eligible to enrol in a voucher scheme that will pay for them to return to the education system at any time after the age

of 25. Then teachers will have the pleasure of teaching mature students who enjoy learning for its own sake instead of battling with teenagers who would rather be anywhere than in the classroom.

Now for the NHS. Well, that's simple. Matron Hattie Jacques, as she was in the film Carry on Doctor, will be cloned and put in charge of every hospital in the land. Nobody would dare to neglect basic hygiene rules when confronted by that mighty bosom and gimlet stare.

And all hospitals would revert to old-fashioned visiting hours. An hour in the afternoon and half-an-hour in the evening is long enough. If you have ever been in hospital, you will know how tiring it is having to chat to visitors

when the only topic that really interests you is the awful food. (Now, that's a thought. Another task for Jamie.)

Next on the list is roads. A handsome reward will be given to the first inventor who comes up with a car made of some sort of industrial strength rubber that would bounce harmlessly off other vehicles. (Sad news for insurance

companies, but there you are.) Vehicles will be incapable of going any faster than 50 miles an hour but there will be free race tracks for drivers who can't live without the thrill of speed.

In my utopia, all litter louts would be shot at dawn. Well, perhaps that's a bit drastic. For a first offence of thoughtlessly dropping a crisp packet within ten yards of a half-empty litter bin, the sentence would be a month of hard labour which would consist of collecting all those plastic bags etc that become entangled in roadside trees and hedges.

So forget tedious elections and roll on the bloodless coup that will put power in the right hands.

Marion Clarke

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