As a lifelong republican from an Irish background I never thought that one day I would have this opportunity. I intend to make the most of it before my Catholic upbringing is discovered.
I will concentrate my proposals on the things that have most influenced my life: social housing and the NHS, to which I owe my life; an education system, which gave me my opportunities; an immigration system, which gave my family and my wife’s family a home; and the fight against discrimination, to which I have devoted most of my career.
Tackling the housing crisis
The housing crisis is one of the main contributors to inequality in the UK.
I would bring together the leaders of all the major parties and remind them that the only time that we built enough homes that people could really afford was during the 1950s. Then, at a time of huge war debt, governments invested in social housing and built over 150,000 new homes a year.
This provided the foundation for the private sector to build a further 150,000 homes a year and the magical figure of 300,000 was achieved.
Ban the word ‘affordable’
I would use my regal powers to insist that public funding was provided to both local authorities and housing associations to ensure that we could build again. I would insist on a consensus approach to providing homes which would bring hope and opportunity to those in need. At the same time I would ban the use of the word ‘affordable’ which has become Orwellian in its meaning.
Some housing associations are losing sight of their original ethos. To overcome this I would introduce an annual values report as well as the value for money report. I would also reinstate the regulator’s role in monitoring services to tenants and residents.
Compulsory diversity training
To address the growing levels of racism and discrimination in the country, I would introduce compulsory diversity training.
On completion, everyone would take an oath to welcome immigrants and recognise the benefits that newcomers have always brought to this country.
I would also establish diversity quotas for executive and non-executive posts in all public funded organisations to ensure that these positions reflected the communities in which they worked.
Real life experience
I would introduce measures to ensure that children from all backgrounds have the educational and financial support to enable them to enter the best universities.
For too long these have been the reserve of an affluent and privileged elite who have gone on to control the country with no experience of the real world.
To reinforce this message I would ban politicians from entering parliament and politics until they had lived and worked in the real world for at least 10 years. Targets would again be set to enable the lower house and upper house to reflect the diversity of the country.
My final act would be to preserve the NHS to allow it to benefit from proper funding, to enable it to stay true to its traditional ethos delivered in a 21st century setting.
This would complement a reformed social security system which would ensure that all citizens received a minimum income whether they were in employment or not and that care and funding was provided and funded for people who could no longer look after themselves.
Put people before profit
‘How would I fund these reforms?’ I hear you say. I would tax those that have and borrow where necessary to invest in a just society that puts people before profit.
In recent years this country has invested billions to repair the damage done by a few. In my short reign I would invest billions to help those who have suffered the most because of the actions of the same few.
I have been lucky in my life. I hope that these proposals would enable the next generation to benefit in the same way. None are new. They are based upon what has worked in the past, refined to give people a better future
Finally, on a personal note I would give Tranmere Rovers instant promotion to the Championship to please my son Kieran. That is the least I can do for him.
I hear the sound of marching feet approaching my chamber. They must have found my Dad’s old rosary beads. I am off to the Tower. Goodbye and thank you.