On the radio yesterday I heard the compère read out a tweet that described as ‘obscene’ the act of spending £10k£10m from the public purse on a funeral for the Iron Lady. (I agree with that stance myself; but then since the only possible opposite of ‘left’ is ‘right’, my own political view is clearly wrong.) In almost the very next breath she asked a caller whether he agreed that having a party in Trafalgar Square to celebrate the death of Baroness Thatcher was ‘distasteful’. The irony of her position flew right over her head, cawing noisily. Since public money will be spent on the party, too (someone has to pay the police to ‘keep the peace’), the UK taxpayer pays twice; once for each side of the fence.
It’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that an employee of the British Broadcasting Corporation is going to have a pro-establishment mindset, but I find it disconcerting to think that a casual listener to broadcasts such as this will be subjected to a subtle reinforcement of a view of normality that does nobody any favours in the long run. To quote the words of another dead member of the species homo fatuus brutus (Douglas Adams, RIP):
“We are now cruising at a level of two to the power of twenty-five thousand to one against and falling, and we will be restoring normality just as soon as we are sure what is normal anyway.”
The ‘ding dong’ video clip above shows reality from the point of view of those whose lives have been badly hit by past events. While the manner in which the UK coal industry was demolished in the 1970s is truly appalling, the good news is: the UK coal industry was demolished — since, from the perspective of the global biosphere, the only good coal mine is a closed coal mine. What’s shocking is the callous disregard by those in power at the time for the impact of their actions upon those families whose lives were also destroyed in the process.
Perhaps the real agenda was more about castrating the labour unions, with the economic argument merely a convenient cover. Given that poor EROEI (energy return on energy invested) was, for a long time, used as an argument against extracting fossil fuel from places such as the Athabasca Tar Sands, I wonder how long it will be before reopening the UK’s coal mines becomes “inevitable”…
… Another thing I wonder about is the extent to which our ‘duly elected leaders’ are pawns in the hands of society’s inherent, flawed, needs. Was Margaret manipulated by those with perverse views of the terms ‘right’ and ‘wrong’, blissfully unaware of the puppet strings?
If we want (need) to change what people do (say, for example, stop clearcutting forests or annihilating fish stocks) we need to ensure that those whose livelihoods depend upon these activities are helped to transition away from them. If we do not, then we end up with ‘terrists’ fighting for the cause. Will we ever learn that lesson?
If the popular view is that it’s normal to celebrate Thatcherism, I fear we have more of the same to look forward to in the years ahead as climate change forces our civilisation (sick) (sic) to change.
“The negotiators, the diplomats, the civil servants, the journalists are all drastically out of touch with the basic arithmetic of carbon emissions, carbon concentrations, what is safe and what’s beyond safe.”