Public Priorities

Treated day in and night out as the consumers we’ve become, we’re all used to deciding what kind of products and experiences we’d like.

That should be good practise for a little exercise I want you to do.
I think we should all – as citizens – think about the kind of society we’d like.

So, I’d like you to make a list of all the things that are most important to you. Maybe a decent living wage is your priority, or maybe you think honorable care of the elderly should be at the top of the agenda… Whatever it is, write it down. Make a list of aspects or characteristics of society that are most important to you, personally.

The UK government seems to prioritise economic growth above all social, humanitarian and environmental aims. But in a true democracy, the priorities of the government would mirror the priorities of the people. They’d be public priorities.

I think it’s important to think about what kind of world/country/society you actually desire, because so many people are really all too accepting of a status quo they hate. I’ve heard people come out with things like ”oh this country’s gone to shit, but there’s nothing we can do about it” or ”yeah, life’s a bitch – but that’s just the way things are’.
Um, no. I firmly believe we can create a society that works for the people and the rest of nature, and the first step is deciding what you’re working towards.

So what’s most important to you?

Here are my ‘public priorities’, in no particular order.

  • High quality and free education
  • True democracy
  • Lots of good jobs and low unemployment
  • Low crime levels
  • Welfare state (incapacity benefits, childcare and eldercare)
  • Localised food system
  • Resilient local economies
  • Renewable energy system
  • Good public transport
  • Strict and scientifically informed environmental laws
  • Diversity and acceptance of difference
  • High involvement in politics and the Arts
  • High quality and free healthcare
  • Independent media
  • Strict animal welfare laws
  • High recycling rate

That sounds like a nice place to live, I could handle this!


One thought on “Public Priorities

  1. Tegan, You have hit a nerve with this one. There are so many things I wish were different many you mentioned above, we think alike here. Better public education, better and free health care system, change in zoning regulations to allow people to build smaller homes if they want to, real democracy and privacy, not allowing corporations to be considered a person for voting and financially supporting an election, etc.

    Other things I would like to see is a change in how people view garbage and instead repurpose and repair first, demise of the big box stores and cheap stuff and an emphasis on small independent businesses (including local food) which would solve many of the problems of the community including economic, and return to real food, no more GMOs. I better stop now or I will write an entire book.


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