My belated proposal for Mark Thomas’ ‘The peoples manifesto’

Having been given Mark Thomas’ funny and lighthearted, but simultaneously serious book ‘The Peoples Manifesto’ (a book comprised from proposals, given from members of the audience during a nationwide tour of the same name, which would be brought about in a REAL democracy, ranging from funny to deadly necessary ) I started to think of my own. I wanted to join in with the debate, but sadly it ended in 2009. With nowhere else to shove them, here are a couple of my own, which I’d really love to see become reality. It’s fun, and just because it appears to have officially ended now, I really felt like joining in.

All celebrity Chef Know-it-all’s should have to take part in a 1 year reality TV show where they have to work 9-5 for minimum wage, and live on a council estate, then see what food they choose to eat and what lifestyle they choose to live at the end of each day.
Obviously this is slightly floored, as the very fact that they know it’d only be a year and so there’s a light at the end of the tunnel – and the fact that if they knew it was being televised they could use it for self-promotion – means that they could possibly achieve a patronising, self glorifying point-proving exercise about why we are ‘so bad for shopping at the local Tesco, buying processed comfort foods, or ordering takeaways, etc’ but it’s worth a try. Anyway I think it may also prove a better point: that it’s so bloody hard to improve your lifestyle, eating healthy organic food, cooking well-prepared meals, drinking sensibly, etc when life is somewhat less promising and somewhat more grueling.
Hugh Fearnley Wittingstall (although his investigative documentary about fish farming has raised my opinions of him ever-so-slightly) Should be transported from River Cottage to Riverside Industrial Estate, Middlesbrough, where we’ll get him a potentially soul-destroying factory job and a flat in town, and then we’ll see how well he keeps up his idyllic lifestyle. Of course, there’s nothing wrong in this lifestyle at all; it is a better way, it’s just that in the present time it’s impossible for most people, and lambasting the poor for not living healthier, better lives is the wrong way to challenge our current problems regarding health and the environment.

People who play their music out load in public spaces (mainly done on buses and trains) should be forced to become make-shift DJ’s, having to play to the tastes and requests of the other people who are subjected to their noise, even if they request total silence.
Pedestrians live through a sea of noise in this mental modern world; whether its the constant swoosh of cars flying by, the stupidly repetitive and anal tannoy announcements, or just the plain old overheard gossip, which you never really wanted to hear in the first place. Thus, they should not also have to be subjected to the music played by those who, either through some misguided attempt at attention-seeking/territory-stamping, or just the misguided idea that people will naturally enjoy what they enjoy, seem to see no wrong in letting their own sounds invade other peoples’ spaces.
Thus, since using portable music players is no longer a private experience but a public one, all those present should be entitled, by law, to have a say in what’s played, if anything at all. I’d love to see a gang of bad-mannered young people go to back of a bus, turn on their music, only to have to ask what the rest of the passengers would prefer to hear. Seen as the bus contains a large contingent of over 65’s, the vote is for classical FM, which is sure to bring embarrassment to the owners’ of the player, and make them aware of how intrusive unwanted and unnecessary sounds can be. To be honest I’d choose silence myself; which doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be listening to any music on the bus, just that I’d choose to listen to it privately rather than feeling an urge to blurt my tastes into everyone else ears – I’d only be upset if they didn’t like it.

Margaret Thatcher should be made to witness a communist revolution here in the UK, even if it is a mock-revolution (she’s lost her marbles too much to tell otherwise), just so she gets to see all her ‘good’ work gone to ruin before she dies.
OK, as much as I desire to see an end to capitalism, the likelihood of this occurring before the last days of Margaret Thatcher is about as likely as herself becoming a communist before she dies – it won’t happen. So that means we would have to stage a mock one, which would mean that this policy would have to be enacted before the rules of The Peoples Manifesto are actually established.
So, basically, we would have to kidnap her whilst she’s asleep, then take her to a mock-house which resembles her own, where she will wake up to fabricated television and newspapers announcing the revolution and the end to capitalism. Whilst it is totally wrong to manipulate the confusions of the elderly, Margaret Thatcher can be exempted from this precisely due to the perpetuation of mass pain and suffering she has created ever since she took this nation into a fucking ugly direction in the 1980’s. The pain and suffering she has caused will make this mock-revolution a worthwhile retribution – she shouldn’t be allowed to leave this planet without somehow paying for what she has done.
The look on her face when she wakes up to find out that Britain is now an island of communism could be an iconic image for a new era!

 

 

About John Ledger

A visual Artist, eternal meanderer and obsessive self-reflector by nature, who can’t help but try to interpret everything from within the tide of society. His works predominantly take the form of large scale ballpoint pen landscape drawings and map-making as social/psychological note-making. They are slowly-accumulating responses to crises inflicted upon the self in the perplexing, fearful, empty, and often personality-erasing human world.

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