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Change Work December 2012

What I want for Christmas

Dear George,

I'm writing to you (rather than Santa) because you seem to be holding all the cards right now.  I'm sure you're a very nice man (fingers crossed!) even though you haven't got a long white beard or a kindly smile. These things are superficial, what we NLP-ers call "surface structure", and therefore incomplete and misleading.  Underneath them is the real man, doing his best to satisfy modest requests like this one.

I've only got 3 things on my Christmas list this year:

  • Health
  • Wealth
  • Happiness

Deceptively simple eh?  But let's make them more complex with a few words of amplification.

Health

Some people think that you and your colleagues are doggedly and precipitately dismantling the National Health Service and handing it over to profiteers.  They might think that - I couldn't possible comment - except to note that "everyone acts from a positive intention" so I wonder what yours is. The question is, what will deliver the best outcomes using the resources we've got? It remains to be seen whether we're all healthier as a result of the reforms.  I suppose the usual rule applies:  some will and some won't.  But we can never go back and repeat the experiment with different settings to test the theory so, whatever the outcome, both sides will be able to claim vindication.

Wealth

As we live through the worst recession for 70 years it might seem a bit optimistic to ask for "wealth" as opposed to "sufficiency".  But some people are getting wealthier despite the economic climate (even because of it) so perhaps we could have a bit more of the wealth spread around.  I know this would be "Keynesian recklessness", but it is Christmas!

Happiness

"Money can't buy you love" or happiness - so you might think that this one's independent of the economic situation.  Probably not really your department then.  But there are wishes you could grant that would make a difference.  In a past article (April 2011) I referred to the research showing that the top 6 factors determining "well-being" in the community are:

  1. A decent income for everyone
  2. Secure, full employment.
  3. Stable communities and work spread throughout the country
  4. Satisfying work
  5. Work in the right quantities
  6. An economy that encourages people to do things rather than passively consume things.

I'm sure you're well aware of all this George - you probably check this list every day - but I thought I'd repeat it just in case it has slipped your mind.

So that's my Christmas wish-list George - just the 3 things that everybody wants, even if they don't realise it. I don't know exactly what you need to do to deliver them - but then I'm not in government.

Just sort it out for us so that we can all be merry and bright.  Although what with minimum pricing for alcohol, we probably won't be quite as merry as usual.  So that leaves "bright" - intellectually bright?  Oh no, now we're into grade inflation and the dumbing down of exams!

Let's just forget it and ...  Hang on!  I think I'm on to something here.  Forget it?  Yes, forget about the bad news, the problems and the crises - and just spend a bit of time being kind to each other.  It's novel, fanciful even - but it could work!

Have a great Christmas and a healthy, wealthy, happy 2013!