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Suzi Ruffell: If I Ruled the World

Ian Chaddock

BY Ian Chaddock

13th Apr 2023 Life

Suzi Ruffell: If I Ruled the World

Suzi Ruffell is a Brighton-based comedian and podcaster who has had five sell-out runs at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

Being a billionaire wouldn't exist

I don’t think anyone needs that much money. In a world where so many children go to school hungry every single day, there shouldn’t be people so wealthy they are going to space for a laugh. When you think that someone like Elon Musk could potentially make a massive dent in world poverty, it is insane that he is like, “I’m going to be a space man” instead. It drives me mad that these people are put on pedestals for telling young people that having money is the most important thing. Less emphasis on money would do us a lot of good.  

The NHS would be properly funded

We can use a lot of the money we’ve taken off of the billionaires to fund the NHS. It was an NHS doctor who spotted my grandmother’s cancer—I got an extra 26 years with her just because the doctor sent her for extra tests. I’m proud to be a patron of a children’s charity called Spread A Smile—they do incredible work in hospitals around the country and, because of that, I have seen the life-saving work that the NHS heroes do.

"I don’t think we should live in a world where a nurse has to go to a food bank after her shift"

I don’t think we should live in a world where a nurse has to go to a food bank after her shift—they spend their whole day caring for others, and they should be paid properly.  

Changes would be made in the school syllabus

There are lots of things I learned about at school that have never come up in adulthood—Pythagoras’ theorem, for instance. It’s still important to learn the basics of things, such as math and science, but there are so many more obvious things that we don’t teach about how to exist as an adult—how to fill in a pension form, how to pay taxes or what VAT is. Life skills should be an important part of the syllabus, alongside lessons about inequality. We should learn gender studies, the feminist movement, suffragettes, LGBT studies and more so everyone in the class can learn about the journeys that different groups have been on—different civil rights movements.  

An emphasis would be put back on local community

Everyone should volunteer for two hours a week, whether it’s at your local food bank, gardening at a local park, or reading at school to help kids.

"Everyone should volunteer for two hours a week, whether it’s at your local food bank, gardening at a local park, or reading at school to help kids"

It is not about getting financially reimbursed or doing something you love, it’s about the people that live on the roads near you, who go to the local schools, use local food banks, hospitals, care homes. It’s about putting time into people and your local environment so you get to know the people on your road.

In order to vote you have to do research

This includes reading newspapers that come from opposing arguments, talking about politics productively, and a willingness to listen to other people’s concerns. I’m lucky enough to do gigs for refugee charities—it’s a great way to raise money for them. These refugees probably didn’t want to leave their home, lost their friends and countries to wars, and didn’t want to come live in a place where they don’t speak the language very well—they had no choice. If we could have the capacity to listen to others, respect them and give them time, we would be voting with less of a knee-jerk fear reaction and more with compassion.  

More support would be available for parents going back to work

This means free childcare for people who need it and a better culture of understanding from workplaces that having children is a good thing. I also think when you’re a parent, you bring something different to the workforce; you don’t just want a load of single people running your business, you want people who can bring all kinds of things to the table.

I’m lucky because I’m freelance and my wife has a proper job, and I felt really privileged with the flexibility that allowed us both to spend time and bond with our little girl. Making the workforce more appreciative and understanding of parents would be a great thing.  

People would be encouraged to have more fun

I think so much emphasis is put on work, career, money and children as an adult that we forget to have fun. Having a child definitely helps because I began looking for fun in things, just like she does constantly. I recently treated myself to a nice pair of roller skates and it gives me unbridled joy that is just marvellous.

"I recently treated myself to a nice pair of roller skates and it gives me unbridled joy that is just marvellous"

Before my wife and I pick up our girl from the nursery, we go out for an hour and it is so joyful. I think encouraging people to be silly, have fun and throw yourself into your hobbies is something we should do more.

Suzi Ruffell is touring the UK with her new stand-up show Snappy from March to June. Her two podcasts are Out with Suzi Ruffell and Like Minded Friends – with Tom Allen 

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