The Alternative UK Manifestos. 11: Simon Anholt - Talking About The World Properly

Our 11th Alternative UK Manifesto comes from Simon Anholt, director and founder of the Good Country Project. Simon's work over the years has been about engaging with heads of state and governments about their country's brand and direction, but he is now focused on the Good Country project - which addresses this issue:

"Most of the world’s problems are really just symptoms of a bigger, underlying problem: that we haven’t yet worked out how to organise ourselves as a single species inhabiting a single planet. This can change."

On those lines, here's Simon's short but stimulating manifesto. 

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Simon Anholt: A Manifesto For Talking About The World Properly 

  1. A proper public discussion about what form Britain’s new global role might actually take: not just “loads of trade agreements with loads of countries” but our new place in the international order, the concrete reasons over the next decades why people around the world might actually feel glad that the UK exists. 
  2. A discussion about migrants that isn’t limited to how many we should or shouldn’t take, but also includes the question of what will happen to the ones we don’t take: who will take them instead, where they will go? In other words, a discussion about the entire problem, not just our end of it – as befits a properly globally engaged would-be major power. 
  3. A similar change in the debate about other global issues, such as climate change, poverty reduction, disaster relief, human trafficking, terrorism, and so forth: a proper, principled, grown-up debate about the whole of each issue from its roots to every one of its consequences, not merely a narrow focus on our national interest. 
  4. A discussion about how we propose to produce something better than the European Union, since around half of us apparently don’t believe in it. Simply abandoning something we feel isn’t working just doesn’t seem very constructive. 
  5. A ban on all mentions of other politicians, parties or their policies by candidates and their supporters. You’re only allowed to discuss what you propose to do if elected, not talk about the plans of others. And journalists aren’t allowed to ask for such comments.