If I Ruled the World: Richard E. Grant
The actor, screenwriter and director, best known for his role in Withnail and I, would swap global wars for one big food fight, fix our climate and put doctors in Boots.
I would invite all the world’s dictators to dinner
I’d assemble the world’s despots and dictators, currently tormenting tribes of people all over the globe, in a locked-down ballroom, big enough to accommodate everyone, and kit them out with enough crockery and cutlery to settle their own wars. One to one.
After Tony Blair has explained about those weapons of mass destruction, dinner would be served. Cold. VERY cold. Whatever 'beef' one tyrant has with another, has to be sorted and settled there and then. No possibility of sending in troops or pressing Trident buttons. Man to man.
Nobody leaves until everyone has emptied their Swiss bank accounts and divided their spoils democratically into every citizen's current account. Oh and of course, when they are finally let out, they will only be wearing their undies.
I’d invent tube travel
A brilliant invention which would preferably cost no more than a pound per journey, and be a 24-hour service.
Insomniacs would be given precedence to drive the midnight shifts. Internet would work at mega-speed no matter how deep underground, and fares would be subsidised by Google, Amazon and Facebook as we have all been subsidising them since online shopping and info began.
I’d fix airport passport control
Instead of 20 desks with only four customs officers installed at any one time, whilst thousands queue and fume, we would have facial, iris and fingerprint scanners that identify you from the moment you get off a plane, so that you never have to wait.
Ditto car hire companies. As they already have all your personal and credit card details on file, all you need to do is pick up your car keys without having to re-write the constitution to rent four wheels.
Movie munchers and talkers will be swiftly dealt with
The simplest solution to crinkly wrappers and the stale stench of popcorn is not to sell them.
Likewise anyone who thinks that sitting in a cinema is the perfect place to have a foghorn-loud conversation risks getting tazered.
I’d introduce doctors in Boots
Every branch of Boots will have in-store doctors to diagnose and deal with health issues there and then and ease the burden on the NHS.
I’d educate our children with skills that really matter
Schools will teach every pupil how to cook, change a light bulb, fix a plug, put up a shelf, sew on a button and do basic First Aid.
I’d change the climate
I’d guarantee three months of solid sunshine in the UK from the 1st of June until the 31st of August.
The national mood would instantly levitate and our beautiful coastline would rival the Cote D'Azur.
No more empty buildings
Uninhabited buildings that have stood vacant for more than five years would be eligible to be converted into apartments forthwith.
No one running a charity organisation should be earning more than the prime minister
For every pound donated, one penny will go to administrative costs, instantly ending glossy brochures and emotionally blackmailing 'gifts' sent through the post at great expense and subsidising the executive 'Fat Cats' living off the cream.
I’d legislate our right-to-die in line with Holland
We wouldn't keep a beloved pet alive in a state of pain, so why prolong humans living in terminal agony?
Richard E. Grant’s biography, With Nails, is out now and available in our online bookshop
Cult films to see before you die: Withnail and I