Prosperity without growth – where did it go?
Today, as promised yesterday, I am going to discuss why there was no discernible change in government policy after Tim Jackson’s Prosperity without Growth (PWG) report was published by the Sustainable Development Commission (SDC). But first, here is a clue:
In May 2010, the UK failed to vote for a majority government and so, after a lot a political horse-trading, what we got was government by a Coalition of the Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties. Somewhat unkindly, this was almost immediately labelled by the likes of idiosyncratic Socialist (or may be just “self-publicist”) George Galloway as the “CON-DEM” coalition.
However, in what came to be known as the Bonfire of the Quangos, one of the many organisations that were condemned to oblivion by the incoming government in an attempt to reduce government spending was… yes, you guessed it, the SDC: Rather than kicking the PWG report into the political long grass; by appointing a committee to review it and come up with recommendations (i.e. including that government should appoint a committee to come up with recommendations) the government simply waved a magic wand and made it disappear…
Will history repeat itself?
Upon the restoration of Charles II to the throne, the body of Oliver Cromwell was exhumed – and the head was separated from his body – as a deliberate act of retribution for his having engineered the trial and execution of Charles I. This makes me wonder if future generations of humans, once they have resolved the existential threats to their survival, will dig up any available corpses of today’s politicians simply to disarticulate them in retrospective protest at their failure to face up to the nature of reality. If so, in order to avoid their final resting place being desecrated, I would recommend that all politicians clearly specify in their Wills that their mortal remains should be cremated. Furthermore, they had better hope that they die before their folly becomes much more obvious; and that their wishes are respected.
The essence of the problem
We don’t live in a democracy; we live in a global petrocracy; where all real power is vested in companies extracting fossilised sunlight from rocks (a million times faster than it can be recycled). As such, our politicians have mostly been hypnotised into slavish obedience to their essential oil masters.
Just as turkeys will never vote for Christmas, our politicians will not choose to prohibit the burning of fossil fuels (or even for the generation of the main waste product of their combustion to be properly penalised)… unless the opinions of the great mass of ordinary people becomes more important to them than the risk of disappointing the vested interests of those who are already extremely wealthy.
In short, we need to complete another failed revolution; namely the establishment of government of the people for the people by the people… Because, what we have now is government of the people, by the politicians, for the businessmen.
Therefore, despite being a very long way from being a Marxist, I am tempted to say: “Viva la revolucion!”