If I ruled the world: Howard Jones

Joy Persaud

Howard Jones is the singer, songwriter and musician behind such hits as “Things Can Only Get Better” and “What Is Love”. With an impressive 12 albums under his belt, he’s now celebrating the 35th anniversary of his debut and releasing his 13th, Transform

Women would be much more respected in society.

This is fundamental and we have a lot of work to do. We need equal pay, equal jobs and to plan for women to become future leaders. It would mark such a big shift in society when women have a proper voice.

 

Young people would be mentored by successful individuals in all areas of society.

We need to really value our young people and not take advantage of them in the workplace or any other areas of life.

 

I would give immediate priority to environmental deterioration and set up a global think tank to tactically implement measures to stop further environmental damage.

 

I’d put huge resources into education.

Education would be geared towards creating value in society and putting people’s well-being at the centre. I felt at school that education was trying to turn out people who would be lawyers and doctors, and it didn’t take into account how unique and individual everyone is. We should spot people’s talent, nurture it and not try and make everybody the same.

 

I’d make sure that education includes the study of nutrition.

People need to know about sustainable food production and ethical sourcing and be informed about where their food comes from and what things are good for their body. I’ve been a vegetarian for 42 years and in the last year I decided that I would go vegan. It has always been a priority of mine to try and choose food that’s healthy and good for the environment.

 

I’d place more value on the arts.

The arts can really lift people’s spirits and help with their mental health and general joyfulness in life—and I think that because you can’t quantify that on the balance sheet, they tend to get ignored.

 

No mother would lose their child to war.

That would be a big priority. I’d channel resources away from military spending and towards experts in dialogue and conflict solving through peaceful means.

 

There would be a global task force that would be able to respond to natural disasters.

This would be an international force of highly trained people who—at the drop of a hat—could go in and really bring some great expertise to helping with natural disasters around the world.

 

It would be really easy for people to afford electric cars.

I’d also power their homes with solar energy and reward the companies and individuals who work to reduce their impact on the environment.

 

Anybody going into politics would have to prove that their motivation was to create a harmonious society.

Wannabe politicians would need to show that they wanted to achieve that end through dialogue rather than through confrontation. Leaders would need to commit to the idea of serving the people that they represent, and not be interested in the pursuit of power for itself. I’d ensure that part of the job would be to encourage people not to hand over all of their responsibility to the political elite, but to become politically engaged, themselves, in their own community.

Howard Jones will be touring the UK in May. For tickets visit gigsandtours.com/tour/howard-jones