If I ruled the world: Skin

Simon Button

Musician Skin is the lead singer and guitarist with British rock band Skunk Anansie, who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with a new live album. She has also released solo albums and has been a judge on the Italian X Factor

Women and men would be equal.

If you call yourself a feminist it’s simply because you want women to have the same rights as men. It’s an issue that’s become overly complicated when it’s actually quite simple: if you’re going to choose the best person for the job, go with the best person whether they’re male or female.

 

You’d need to be more qualified to become the US President.

Having been on a reality TV show is not a good enough criterion for you to be the leader of the biggest free country in the world. There should be more depth to the person who’s chosen to run America. The President should be well-read, well-informed and intellectually competent.

 

I’d change attitudes towards motorbike riders.

As a rider myself I think we should be allowed to use bus lanes all the time because it would be much safer. It’s a really cool form of transport but there’s so much negativity towards it, with this idea that, “riding a motorbike is really dangerous.” That’s because we’re not looked after on the streets but I still think it’s a fun, edgy way to get around a place.

 

I’d bring back youth clubs.

Nowadays, with the erosion of youth clubs, teenagers have nowhere to go and nothing to do so it’s easier for them to get into gangs and be out on the streets. It’s really sad when you see statistics about how many youth clubs have closed and you think, What are those kids doing now? They’re still out and about with their mates but instead of doing activities that are productive, such as playing table tennis or making music, they’re being unproductive.

 

Everyone would play table tennis.

And not just teenagers. I played it when I when I was young, I play it now and it’s a really fun competitive game. It’s great exercise too and the more you play it the better you get. I absolutely love it.

 

There’d be no genetically modified food.

It hasn’t been tested for long enough and I don’t think it’s healthy or good for your system. There are lots of chemicals in it and I wonder if in 20 years’ time we’ll be going, “Oh, we shouldn’t have done that”—the same way we were about, let’s say, silicone breast implants. At the very least, if something is genetically modified, it should say it on the packet so people have the choice.

 

There'd be no blame culture.

It holds people back from making mistakes and experimenting, especially with the rise of social media where everyone’s a critic. Making mistakes is the path to truly great art. It doesn’t come out of getting everything right all the time and never annoying anybody, it comes out of being edgy, finding your way and learning.

 

People would be less easily offended.

It kills discussion. If you have to be careful about what you say and you worry about speaking your truth then you’re not being honest. Argument and discussion are where you build your philosophies on life. Coming back to social media, I’d do away with fake names and fake accounts because if there weren’t trolls it would cut down on the negativity. You should be able to say what you like but transparently. Plus, if they had to own up to their opinions, [online bullies] would think twice before posting stuff.

Skunk Anansie’s new album 25LIVE@25 is out now