Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Rhubarb-Rhubarb and Custard

The situation in Britain mirrors that in many other jurisdictions (including my home province of Ontario, the US and Australia).  It can be summarized thusly:
  • ...individuals in the Government want to use the climate change issue to generate moral authority for themselves, especially on the world stage. They can't do that unless the UK is seen to be green, with green laws, green economy, green industry, and green people. Hence, over the last year, the UK has seen a raft of measures hurried through so that the UK contingent can arrive at the UN Climate Conference in Denmark later this year dressed as planet-saving super-heroes, not as a ship of foolish Chicken Littles, struggling to sustain their political legitimacy.
  • None of Brown's aspirations are shared by the public. They are his, and the political establishment's aspirations. Very few people want to live in an eco-home in an eco-town or eco-city. Very few people want their children indoctrinated by eco-dogma. Brown pretends that he wants us to share his eco-centric eco-vision, but Mandelson and Miliband have already revealed that it is inevitable, and that we don't have a choice. We are to be eco-proles, whether we like it or not.
  • Here we see familiar lines in action. There are imperatives, and a low carbon economy is inevitable. That is to say that democracy has no say in determining what is or isn't an imperative, or what the Government's priorities ought to be. But as we have pointed out before, environmentalism has never been tested democratically in the UK. All the parties absorbed its 'imperatives' into their manifestos in a process that has never been challenged or really even debated
  • The language about the inevitabilities and imperatives of environmental catastrophe are attempts to explain failures as success, decline as progress, and inactivity as activity.
Change the names and locations, and all that is so eloquently described can apply to your own jurisdiction.  Then give it a label like change, new policy, innovation and, yes, even sustainability, package it for the media, present with PowerPoint slides and charisma and you have what passes for politics in today's brave new world.  
Central to this narrative is complicity with the fraud that more governance is the answer to the problem and not its cause
At least now there is both renewed appreciation, and a new market, for old style Soviet humour.