Justin Hawkins: If I Ruled The World

Eva Mackevic 12 December 2021

Justin Hawkins is the frontman of the British rock band, The Darkness. He shares his ideal vision of the world

I’d introduce a smoking ban. The only time you’d be allowed to smoke is when I'm smoking, which is roughly half of the year. If you see me smoking, then it’s OK. But even then, you wouldn’t be allowed to smoke indoors, and there would be designated areas that are well lit, well ventilated and certainly not near children. Nobody should be allowed to smoke within 200 meters of a child and when I say child, I mean up to 21 years.

Exercise would be compulsory. Everybody would have to do at least six minutes of plank a day—doesn't have to be in one go. Ideally with a side raise because it’s good for your balance. Those who are able to do that should be forced to do it. I think everybody would live longer and have better abs and core and nice things to look at as a result.

We’d all play football. Or at least some kind of sport that involves hand-to-eye coordination. Because when you when you're doing that, you can't be looking at your phone, you can't be watching television, you have to be focused on what's happening. I think focus is a lovely byproduct of playing football, not to mention great cardio and all the health benefits it brings. I've played it all my life. It's just the most enjoyable thing. It really is this time when you feel perfectly in the moment. I always say it's the nearest thing to singing?

"Not everybody can sing. But I think everybody can play some kind of sports and so it should be made compulsory"

When you're on stage, you have a microphone in your hand and an audience to connect with, you can't be thinking about the other stuff in your life. It’s when you’re truly connected with the present. Football is like that for me. Not everybody can sing. But I think everybody can play some kind of sports and so it should be made compulsory.

We’d find a way to solve peer pressure. People tend to blame really bad behavior on peer pressure. I think there should be properly vetted, responsible adults, that could be implanted in the social circles of kids, kind of like teaching assistants, or something like that. Just another adult presence in in the child's life. Or maybe a robot programmed by a responsible adult? Or a television programming subsidy? As a parent I’ve noticed that my child, for example, would eat anything you put in front of her such as carrots, all kinds of vegetables, brilliant kid, I thought she’d live to 150.

But as soon as she started going to school where she’s surrounded by other kids, it was like, “Oh, carrots, they're gross.” That opinion came from other kids, and it shouldn't be allowed. So while forming opinions during formative years, I think there should be more adult presence in children's lives to prevent that peer pressure from making them go off the rails, as Paul McCartney says, off the rails and doing stuff that's bad.

I would make veganism compulsory. Everybody would live longer. People would be really mad at first, but they'd have to retrain. No apologies. I think eventually that is what's going to have to happen anyway. I don't know whether it's the next ten, 20, if we've even got 30 years. If I was in charge, I'd make it happen immediately. It's going to save a lot of lives and make the world more inhabitable for a bit longer. I don’t know what we’d do with all the animals… maybe just send them to an actual farm where they can be with all their friends and live happily ever after?

Niceness would be enforced. I see a lot of people preaching compassion and then not really being able to show it. It shouldn’t be something that people need to work on. It's a bit sad actually, the inability to be nice. Some people just have a compulsion to be a tw*t. And I've suffered with it myself. I think there's a time and a place for it, but in general, the default should be “nice”. And if you can't be nice, you should be punished.

"I see a lot of people preaching compassion and then not really being able to show it"

It shouldn't be seen as just a misdemeanor or a personality trait, it should be seen as a crime. You don't have to wear tie dye and be “awakened” to show compassion to your fellow person or animal. And if the only people who are capable of doing it are the ones that wear tidy, and are a little bit tedious in other ways, then it should be mandated. Surely it doesn't cost anything, does it? Just a smile? Even if it's fake?

Budget travel would be banned. It’s ruining the planet. Travelling by plane should be elitist, it should be a privilege. People just get so spoiled; they're standing there like, “Oh, my flight’s five minutes late.” It's a f****g EasyJet, it costs 35 quid, what you're moaning about? Of course, it's going to be late. I come from a really small town by the seaside where Victorian tourism was the main source of employment for everybody there.

Before that, it was a fishing town and they had shipbuilders and stuff. But for a while it was tourism. And then with the advent of cheap travel, nobody, goes there anymore and it’s dead. It's just really depressing. It doesn't have to be like that. There are so many great things to explore locally. You shouldn’t get on a plane just because it's 45 quid, it shouldn't be 45 quid. I’d make it 500 quid and then you’d have to think hard about whether you want to get on a plane or not.

The Darkness' new album Motorheart is out now, and the band is touring the UK in December 2021

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