As regular readers will know I’m in such a continual state of foaming fury about the idiocies of the world that I sometimes go over the top. “Truly, there aren’t enough bullets”, I’m wont to cry in exasperation. Once this was just a phrase. Increasingly though – after a very successful ongoing campaign by the left to brand metaphor a crime – it’s seen as evidence of a moral failing almost as great as if not worse than the physical reality it describes.
So that’s me, completely buggered then. Maybe, since words are my stock in trade I should end it all now.
Problem is, every time I look at the internet or read the newspapers or watch something on TV I’m yet again reminded by just how right I am to feel the way I do. Truly, there really aren’t enough bullets.
By way of further proof, I give you two speeches made by politicians this week: Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey’s speech to the Royal Society; President Obama’s State of the Union Address.
Both were on the subject I try to mention as little as possible on Bogpaper because I don’t want to sound like a one-trick pony. Suffice to say that in both cases, both men were talking unutterable bollocks on a subject on which I know quite a bit: certainly a hell of lot more than they do.
And it wasn’t just disputable bollocks. It was unquestionably, demonstrably wrong bollocks. Almost every statement each of these politicians made was a flat-out untruth. They made scientific claims which were not remotely backed up by hard evidence.
Now whether they were themselves deliberately lying or whether they were merely badly misinformed we shall never be able to prove. But it really doesn’t matter, the more important point is this: this week two politicians in positions of enormous power made keynote speeches which will have a major impact on people’s lives. What they said was wrong in almost every way: yet serious public policy is going to be based on it.
Obviously, a State of the Union address by the President of the USA is going to have influence than one by a Lib Dem MP before a bunch of pinko, faux-science activists at a discredited science institution, but even so, both men were expressing a view very much current in the political establishment in the US, the UK and across the Western World: that Climate Change remains the great issue of our time and that extreme, coercive action needs to be taken by the state in order to deal with it, regardless of the social or economic repercussions.
But again, I say, this claim is just not true. And when you know it’s not true – and you can show it’s not true – what do you do? Do you get fired up with disgust and rage and dedicate huge chunks of your life to exposing the falsehood which, you know, is damaging the economy, restricting freedoms, ruining the landscape and inflicting unnecessary hardship on billions?
Or do you just opt out recognising, philosophically, that this is merely the latest fashionable thing – the “clamour of the times” as Dr Johnson called it – and that, though much more damage will undoubtedly be inflicted before it’s over there’s really very little a chap can do to stop it. So one may as well just accept it as the way things are. Or maybe – why not? – make the most of it while one can by getting a cushy job in the renewables industry or something to do with sustainability. Screw truth; fuck morality; make hay while the sun shines.
Well I’ll tell you what, there really are times when I find myself wishing I were made of different stuff. One of my Oxford contemporaries has just made a stonking great fortune from some renewables investment company which has struck a cosy deal with the government to help it buy a bunch of wind turbines. To me, capitalism – not that this is capitalism, it’s corporatism – doesn’t get any more unacceptable than this. It’s a stitch up, pure and simple: Big Government and rent-seeking corporatist vampires joining forces to squeeze the blood out of the taxpayer. I’m sure my Oxford contemporary knows this. I don’t think you can be involved in that sector and not know the truth, by this stage. But I’ll bet you he has a way, way nicer house than I do, and more holidays, and better wine, and newer, faster cars, and that he never worries as I do all the time about the cost of educating kids and the needs of old age. And I’ll bet too that he finds that being relieved of those quotidian financial cares is more than the enough compensation for having to live with the knowledge that the disgusting, cynical way he earns his living makes him a total, utter cunt.
And I’m not boasting about my moral superiority, here. Stating it, yes, because it’s a fact. But definitely not boasting – for I’m not sure there’s anything boast about.
I’m beginning to think that our society has grown so irredeemably corrupt, our economic system so skewed and tainted, that it is foolish and vainhearted to kid yourself any individual, however committed, articulate and informed, can do a single thing about it. Kicking against the traces only makes you angry; it gets you into trouble; it puts you perpetually on the outside of things.
If you take your fill at the pigsty with all the other troughers, on the other hand, well at least you’re in a better position to give your kids a better start, and your loved ones more creature comforts and security, and your friends a nicer pad to come and stay in. And isn’t that what life’s really all about, given that we’re not here for long: forgetting about our souls and all that changing-the-world nonsense – and concentrating on the only things that really matter – friends and family?