Ten things that the British government can’t do (regardless of political hue).
1. Control the weather. They could, however, be a little better prepared for when weather happens, and they could also listen to experts a bit more to understand the consequences of certain practices, such as chopping down trees or not dredging rivers.
2. Control the economy. Perhaps some explanation on this one. Economies are influenced by global factors far more than by local ones. If China reduces its spending it doesn’t make a spit of difference what the UK government does to try to compensate. Governments can make minor shifts in policy that can make minor changes to local economic conditions, but in macro terms they’re about as much use as a chocolate tea pot. The post of Chancellor of the Exchequer is the most futile job in the world and doomed to failure or even disaster. When that happens the Chancellor gets to retire on a fat tax-payer funded pension while we suffer the consequences of their hubris.
3. Stop teenagers from being rebellious. This is a good thing. Teenagers need to be rebellious in dress, language culture and attitude. It teaches them that they don’t know as much as they think they do, and it gets it out of their system in time for them to become responsible adults. That may not occur until they are 60, but it will eventually occur.
4. Stop people taking the piss out of governments. It keeps us sane and reminds them of how insignificant they really are. There is a long and very rich history of political satire that goes back to ancient Greek theatre and maybe even before that. Its healthy, democratic and fun. If the politicians don't like it then they shouldn't go into politics.
5. Stop the taking of mind altering substances. Leaving aside that some of these are actually legal (Pint of beer anyone?) if someone wants to pump poison into their bodies and they have the money to pay for the privilege they will eventually find some way of doing it, despite anything that the government does.
6. Produce a World Cup winning football team for any of the home nations. If their own football associations can’t do this then politicians have no chance.
7. Convince the French that British food is actually quite good these days. The same might be applied to many other aspects of British life, but the French are particularly scathing about our food.
8. Convince the Scots and the Welsh that the English like them really. The Scottish people are very balanced, they have a chip on both shoulders. Ditto for the Welsh, but sung by a really good choir. This, above all, is why the Scots want independence. It has nothing to do with having their own parliament or the ability to raise taxes (who in their right minds would vote for that?). To use an old Scottish quotation, “be careful what you wish for, because your wish may come
9. Make us love Europe. They’ve tried. The best we will ever do is tolerate it. If we pretend very hard we can even believe that it doesn’t exist, until we want to go on holiday of course. The government does have a habit of trying to remind us of the existence of Europe by holding elections for the European Parliament, which puts even more snouts in the trough, but we can still try to pretend. Then we will go somewhere hot, complain about the food and the beer, be rude to the natives and generally make everyone in Europe wish that Britain didn’t exist.
10. Make me believe that politicians are worth a single penny of their over-inflated salaries.