If only we applied common sense

Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk
Peterborough Telegraph's Man behind the mic column by Paul Stainton, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire host - peterboroughtoday.co.uk

In my working life, I have been fortunate to work with some very clever people, who knew lots of very clever things about really, clever stuff.

They mostly went to university and walked into top jobs, whilst I had to use a mixture of bluster and gift of the gab to get me where I wanted to be.

I have never been the most gifted academically but I found that I often had something that most of the others didn’t – common sense.

I call these people FLICS for short – Folks lacking in common sense.

It is amazing just how many of the so-called, intelligent people that I have worked alongside, failed to see the bigger picture or pick up on problems that were often right in front of their face.

They could talk for hours and hours about complex theories and historical fantasy but were often completely unable to simplify complicated issues and make them relatable to the average person on the street.

In short, they were a bit thick when it came to the university of life.

They may have received a first from Oxford but they wouldn’t have got a single CSE at the place where I studied.

For instance, I can see that when it comes to the NHS, things are just not working as they should. So, what I would do is ask those that work in it how it needs to change and then implement their recommendations.

It seems blindingly obvious to me that in this age of increased threat, we need to spend more on keeping the public safe, not less and if people need a house, why don’t we just build some?

I know all these things require extra money but it is obvious to most right thinking people that the status quo is not sustainable and an honest, common sense discussion about these issues, might soften people’s attitudes to tax increases that will be needed to pay for them.

Some things are so apparent that you sometimes feel awkward asking in case there is some grand plan at play. Like why would Highways England close slip roads and cause chaos in Peterborough during the day for two weeks, when they could do the work at night?

At the very least you would think they would have a chat with the council, the bus companies or the local press – but again what is obvious to you and I is like Swahili to them, they are oblivious to the issues and concerns but they will be able to give you chapter and verse on the composition of the concrete they used.

It’s not just roads either – instead of spending billions on a railway to Birmingham that nobody really needs, why not build one east to west that might, actually be used?

Whilst we are at it, let’s make life mean life in our jails, confiscate people’s cars if they are caught driving on their phone, tax sugary drinks and fatty foods and force schools to quadruple PE lessons to stop our kids being the fattest in Europe.

To me, everything I have proposed here is common sense and would help make this country a better place overnight. If only we could get rid of the FLICS who run the show and replace them with people with a bit of nous.