Christmas Competition: How can we reduce inequality?

Monday. Four days of the working work to come! “Things never change” thought Michael as his self-driving car drew up and he hopped in and caught up with some work. Still, the rat-run to work! Still, everyone copied in on emails! On the radio, Nigella Farage wittered on as ever about “country rights” in Europe to Joanna Humphrys as Today marked the centenary of Brexit in 2019. Moreover, Michael inwardly moaned that maybe equality for women had gone too far!

His grandfather had talked glowingly at breakfast about how the Lib Dem government had taken Britain back into Europe in 2042 ushering in an era of greater prosperity and equality, retaking advantage of The European single market and better workers’ rights. Moreover, Michael had shuddered at his grandfather’s childhood tales of PM Boris Johnson and his chancellor Rees-Mogg’s almost Dickensian Britain before that “But is life really more equal now than 100 years ago?” He asked Alexa to do some research for him.

Alexa told him about the hated DWP and things called food banks and sanctions. In 2050, the Lib Dems had introduced a universal basic income albeit at the paltry level of £20 a week. A success, it reduced unemployment, the opposite of opponents’ scaremongering. As the UBI rose, as well as improving equality and mental health, everyone had a half-way decent income even if they wanted to take time to care for family, volunteer or pursue interests.

Michael perused the latest digest on dementia research from the inter-bots, contemplating his week’s work on it, thinking “at least there was something left for humans to do!”

He worried that many people still did boring, less-well-paid jobs and didn’t go on to post-graduate study. However, Alexa said in 2019; there were whole schools where no-one got a good GCSE in Maths and English. The Lib Dems had called it a national disgrace massively increasing the pupil premium and investment in schools. Britain then quickly caught up with the mid-century OECD average of 3 in 4 18-year olds going to university. On the back of the better-skilled workforce, Britain boomed with many getting better-paid jobs. Indeed Michael’s dad had taken advantage of the £27,000 post-18 education fund for all adults and as a result got himself a better job. An inspiration to Michael.

Housing was also a problem in 2019. “Just as now”, Michael thought as he shuddered at the amount he was paying! However, Alexa said then many lived in tower blocks and inner cities. At least the work of the Lib Dems had led to those new garden towns of the Sixties.

Michael pondered his recipe for equality: “Gender and sexual orientation no barrier. The UK part of a European single market with good rights for workers. A decent UBI. Excellent, inspiring education at all ages leading to opportunity and everyone able to participate in a high-tech economy. A good home for all in a healthy environment. Rising tide for all in a fair and compassionate capitalist system.

Yes, there was still much to be done!”

Michael’s car drew up at work. Alexa pinged again. Spookily it was a 2018 article from Lib Dem Voice wondering about the life of someone named Michael on this very day.

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2 Comments

  • Innocent Bystander 19th Dec '18 - 1:10pm

    ” Lib Dem government had taken Britain back into Europe in 2042 ushering in an era of greater prosperity and equality, ”
    and
    “In 2050, the Lib Dems had introduced a universal basic income”
    and again
    ” A success, it reduced unemployment, the opposite of opponents’ scaremongering.”

    Landlord!! I’ll have a pint of what that chap in the orange trousers is drinking!

  • Yeovil Yokel 19th Dec '18 - 2:42pm

    Michael might be commuting by boat through polar icecap meltwaters clogged with millions of tons of unrecyclable plastic Xmas presents (Baah humbug!).

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