Charles Nevin: Make way for my vision for Britain

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The Independent Online

Several visions were available last week, but all had the usual vision drawbacks, revolving around realisation. One thinks of Porthemmet, Cornwall's largest beach, closely resembling a tropical paradise, much touted on the internet, which turned out to have insuperable access difficulties, being as it was a spoof on tourists by a local feeding-hand biter.

The Vatican, meanwhile, announced itself unimpressed with appearances by the Virgin Mary in a pine tree in Surbiton, and Mr Brown delineated a Britain fit for ants rather than grasshoppers. There remain problems of clarity and reception with the Conservative projection, which they're still working on, feverishly, as various images and voices come up and just as suddenly fade away.

So I imagine I hear a voice asking, do I have a vision of Britain? Is there anything that can be done which doesn't involve a 12-hour-a-day individual potential unlocking programme, supplemented by another six on community vigilante patrol? Well, yes. I do, as it happens, have some typically modest proposals. Take a look: they're in no particular order, can be pretty stand-alone, and are capable of swift adoption in the event of an early election.

First, I've had this very good, up-to-date idea that no policy should be introduced until it has been given a rigorous testing on both Second Life and Club Penguin, and then submitted to a GMTV telephone vote. (While we're in this particular area, could someone please, please, get a copy of Halo 3 to Osama Bin Laden?)

Big Tent Pegs: Mr Arsène Wenger to be placed in charge of the recruitment of skilled foreign workers. Mr Harry Redknapp to be placed in charge of the recruitment of unskilled foreign workers. Minister of State for Employment Relations: Lord Abramovich. Deputy No 10 Cat: Cookie (subject to DNA test). How about, too, a Minister for Apologies? So much tidier. I nominate Lady Huq.

CCTV cameras in the Cabinet Room, please. Independent Regulators: the U-Turn Commission (chairman, Mr Nicholas Parsons). MPs will be able to refer candidates by pushing a buzzer. We considered including deviation and repetition but concluded it would be unworkable, especially in the run-up to the ratification of the new EU treaty and the election.

That last demands some urgency for my Commission for Truth and Reconciliation, chair, Mr Jeremy Kyle, which, with the assistance of Mr Paul McKenna, will be charged with helping various members of the Government, some of them Scottish, recall the events of the last 10 years. Mr James Purnell might be able to assist their inquiries, too, if he can possibly put in an appearance. And Mr Alan Yentob could be given a nod.

I would also build new prisons to house people who keep whinging on about fortnightly rubbish collections, impose an air-miles system involving pedalling, and a generator into the national grid, and insist on a Facebook friend for every voter.

Finally, could we all try to smile a little more? Quite often, as I go about my business, I find that my smile is a lonely exception, greeted at best without enthusiasm, at worst with alarm. But you will agree that we need some extra cheeriness: I'm reminded of those fine lines of J W Bryce, a poet now sadly forgotten, which, although directed at one sex, serve as a reminder to both: "I like the man who smiles, he seems to be worthwhile. A mirror of eternal good, his smile begets a smile."

Family values we all share

Encouraging news: more than a quarter of Britons identify with the Royle Family, according to a survey. The focus was on the way Jim, Barbara, Denise and the rest of them communicate with each other, but I'm confident it expresses a wider empathy.

The Royles are an inspiring example of unhurried contemplation and warm, if sometimes affectionately frustrated, loyalty. Their popularity does have worrying implications for Mr Brown's hopes for universal earnest industry (see passim), but also reveals stolid, robust "British values".

I feel that in the coming weeks we will have particular use for Mr Jim Royle's way with unlikely assertions. Ready to practise? All together: My arse!

* I'm also concerned by Hazel Blears's attack on Boris Johnson as "an upper-class twit". Ms Blears, remarkably, is the Secretary of State for Communities. Surely this intemperate abuse of a member of one of our communities, the Toffs, ought to be reported to the new Commission for Equality and Human Rights, pledged, I note, to "promote and celebrate a diverse Britain where there are good relations between groups".

Lord knows, the Toffs have enough to contend with, what with the inbreeding, the draughts and having to talk at that volume. Clearly, this Government will stop at nothing. I am a grocer's son. Are we to be next? Trevor Phillips: sort it out, there's a good chap.

Elsewhere, who will David Cameron choose to follow Sandi Toksvig and Mariella Frostrup, conference Torquemadas of Ming Campbell and Gordon Brown? Nigella, Delia, Lady Thatcher, Jade Goody or, sticking to the Scandinavian model (Sandi: Dane; Mariella: Norwegian) a Swede, Ulrika? I'd give it a twist: Bjorn from Abba, please!

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