Barbara Dickson: If I Ruled The World

The multi-million selling recording artist and Olivier Award winning actress shares her ideal world, if she was leader for the day

As a multi-million selling recording artist with an equally impressive Olivier Award-winning acting career, Barbara Dickson OBE is one of the UK’s best-loved performers, known for hits such as “Answer Me” and “Another Suitcase in Another Hall”

Single Use Plastic should be completely abolished. No plastic bags should be handed out at all and that would be a great step forward to getting rid of waste, especially in sea water.

This would benefit marine life and also we would have to be mindful of taking a bag while out shopping. If you need a bag, it should be possible to get a paper one.

The new idea of using compostable bags for veg in the supermarkets is a step forward, but it’s not enough. I come from a generation who didn’t waste much and we’ve become a throw-away society.

I’d make everyone put their phones away in restaurants and bars; in fact all public places other than bus, railway stations and airports; anywhere other than necessary use.

We spend no time in conversation and getting to know each other nowadays. Strangers are in the main, just like us, and it would be helpful to smile and interact with more people in our lives in a natural way.

I’d ban all cosmetic surgery, other than that of a reconstructive nature. I think it fills people with false hopes about their lives and doesn’t lead to happiness.

Happiness is generated from within and we have a society obsessed with youthful looks and the devaluation of age as a natural process. The elders are required to advise the youth, but they are not consulted in our Western Society. Life has its cycle and we need to get used to that.

I’d ban UPVC windows (plastic) and the inappropriate renovation of old property. Artisan cottages and little modest houses, even sturdy 1960’s council properties have been ruined by disastrous updating.

We need to use appropriate materials in our renovation to stop ugliness around us. They’re a blot on the landscape in our lovely country.

"Happiness is generated from within and we have a society obsessed with youthful looks and the devaluation of age as a natural process"

I’d ban Cancel Culture. It’s a misappropriation of opinions by a few. We have to be able to engage in disagreement in our lives, without blaming others for a difference of opinion.

In extremity, this is very damaging and dangerous and people have been threatened and harassed for their views. It reminds me of Communist States where citizens were made to wear dunces hats for disagreeing with the State. We must be more actively tolerant of each other.

Screaming children should be taken out of church and not allowed to disrupt the services. I had three children and as soon as one kicked off, they were hoicked out of their seat and taken outside!

It’s pretty much usual for children to misbehave in church, but it’s not, in my new world, acceptable for them to cause chaos. Engage them in activities and if they start, take them out!

I will ban all competitive TV shows, where a person is ‘eliminated’ each week. I loathe this desperate set of values we seem to have encouraged, where people search for ‘success’ in terms of show business, without have been given the advice and support they deserve to make a career out of their new found fame.

I remember when folks won the football pools, they were given financial advice to help them adjust. It’s so easy to fall off the ladder if you’ve gone up too quickly. Better to go up gradually, learning your trade at the same time.

I’d ban celebrity culture completely. Giving people attention because of their ‘influencing’ on Instagram without them having any expertise in any way.

I want to be educated by public figures, and feel that the frivolity of the ‘new’ celebrity we have to tolerate, is misguiding young people and setting false horizons for them in their lives and futures.

They’ll never be able to match up to the celebrities they follow, who are, in reality, just ordinary people who manipulate social media. There’s nothing special about them.

Headline image credit: Brian Arris

Barbara Dickson tours nationally from March 17 2022. Tickets available from venue box office and TicketLine

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