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Last Wednesday I asked for ideas for unpopular policies that (a) Britain needed and (b) might, through their authenticity, cause a paradoxical increase in popularity.  I've repeated my three unpopular policy suggestions in the list below and have added seven ideas from the comments threads to produce what I've dubbed 'The medicine manifesto'.  Swallow the manifesto for five years and it should make Britain healthier…

TheMedicineManifesto Illness 1: Britain’s worst debt crisis.
Medicine: Years of public spending restraint including a few years of real cuts in the size of the state.

Illness 2: Hostility towards wealth creation.
Medicine: Opposition to populist measures like higher taxation of the rich that will ultimately damage the economy’s potential to create jobs.

Illness 3: Global terrorism.
Medicine: An increased commitment to Afghanistan so that the Taliban do not have the opportunity to harbour a new generation of al-Qaeda terrorist camps.

Illness 4: A human rights culture that defies common sense.
Medicine: Withdrawal from the ECHR.

Illness 5: A lack of economically-useful skills amongst the British population.
Medicine: Ending the 50% target for the proportion of the population going to university and pouring the savings into high quality apprenticeships and other forms of vocational education.

Illness 6: A police service that has lost the respect of middle England.
Medicine: Wholescale police reform and the direct election of police chiefs.

Illness 7: The lights are about to go out.
Medicine: The construction of twenty new nuclear power stations, in co-operation with France if necessary.

Illness 8: An expensive benefits and tax credit system that has introduced complexity but reduced incentives to work.
Medicine: Abolition of the tax credit system and all savings ploughed into higher income tax thresholds.

Illness 9: The growth of lifestyle illnesses including obesity.
Medicine: The NHS should charge people who call on medical help because of lifestyle choices.  The charge does not need to represent 100% of the cost of treatment.  In some cases the charge would be token.

Illness 10: A generation that doesn’t know anything about British history, can’t cook and doesn’t know what an APR is.
Medicine: Compulsory home economics, history and financial literacy education for all schoolchildren.

Tim Montgomerie

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