24 September 2011
Dear Mr Cameron,
My dear Sir, with the very greatest respect (I think that this is how one honourable gentleman is supposed to begin addressing another in our civilised society; please accept my apologies if I offend by addressing you in what, today, you may possibly consider to be an ‘incorrect’ manner — I am not privy to the time-honoured customs and traditions appropriate to your elevated status).
At this time — and I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that ‘this time’ is more critical to us all than any previous time in all of the history of humanity — we need strong leadership. But, more than this, we need strong leadership that is taking us in the right direction. Strong leadership that has vision, that has foresight; traits that were, in hindsight, so clearly absent in the run up to 2008.
Recently, the democratic peoples of the so-called ‘First World’ have been voting in our droves: we have been voting with our feet, and with our wallets, and with our ever-diminishing paypackets: we have been voting to stop the madness.
We, the peoples of the West, are, en masse, doing what is really quite a simple little thing. It is something that you should be able to see, to understand, to comprehend; we are choosing to slow the rate at which we consume.
It is my impression that you have not been listening to what it is that we have been saying. Which comes as something of a surprise, especially since the words are in a language with which I am certain you are deeply familiar — the language of money. With the very greatest respect, Sir, perhaps you should listen.
Perhaps you will see that no matter how many carrots are offered, no matter how many sticks are used, not even you, Sir, will be able to persuade a goose that has been repeatedly flogged almost to the point of death to get back on its feet and resume laying its mythical golden eggs in accordance with the divine schedule prescribed by the false prophets of free market fundamentalism.
We the peoples are telling you, as clearly as it is possible, that we need to change direction. Now.
I urge you, Mr Cameron, to take the weekend off and read Prosperity Without Growth by Tim Jackson. It has a nice foreword by His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. The Financial Times referred to it as ‘one of the best books of the year’, and the New York Times called it, somewhat ambiguously I have to admit, ‘bold and provocative.’
Please, would you read this book and consider what it is that our country, our nation, our world needs most at this time.
Thank you for your time.
(s) Colin Reynolds
Just another citizen of the UK.
P.S. Oh, would you be so kind as to ask Mr Clegg to read the same book so that you can both discuss what to do next together — I think I’ve heard a rumour that we in the UK are being governed by two parties in something termed a ‘coalition government,’ whatever that label means today. “Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose,” as our neighbours across La Manche would say.
P.P.S. Some of us will be doing what we can to help, today, by taking part in Moving Planet.