Only this past week, I found myself in a polite but rather pointed political discussion with one my elderly clients about the issue of ID cards. She was all in favour of them because, “we had them during them war and everyone was fine with them”. To which I retorted, “we had rationing during the war, do you want that brought back too?”.
Little did either of us suspect that minds infinitely superior to ours…blah..blah..blah:
Every individual in Britain could be issued with a “personal carbon allowance” – a form of energy rationing – within a decade, under proposals being considered seriously by the Government…
Under the scheme for “domestic tradeable quotas” (DTQs), or personal carbon allowances, presented to the Treasury this week, everyone – from the Queen to the poorest people living on state benefits – would have the same annual carbon allocation.
This would be contained electronically on a “ration card”, which could be the proposed ID card or a “carbon card” based on supermarket loyalty cards…
“This is a way that enables us to make the necessary annual changes without radical adjustments to our lives.
“It is about making the small changes year by year. It won’t stop us going on holiday. But it might constrain how many times we fly…”
For some time now there has been a hubbub of grumbling among the chattering classes about the vulgarity of “cheap air travel” with its attendant and intended benefit (or, in their eyes, problem) of modest earners being able to jet off to all manner of exotic destinations at the drop of a hat. “But it’s destroying the planet!” they all exclaim. This is not, I should add, a charge which is ever levelled at the organisers of global rock-concerts for Africa despite the fact that just distributing the various members of the Rockocracy to their appointed warbling-posts consumes enough energy to light up a medium-sized land mass.
But saving the planet is not the point or the object. The real cause of this latest drive for forced austerity is the abundance of something that, only a few short years ago, was an expensive luxury enjoyed by the privileged few. But when tattooed builders, single mothers and lowly clerks can spend several weeks a year wallowing on sun-kissed South-East Asian beaches or sampling the epicurean delights of Tuscany then they are obviously living far better lives than they deserve and something must be done to curtail them.
But it’s decidedly tricky to wrench people’s luxuries and pleasures from without a good reason. So, enter good reason: “global warming”. If the masses can be persuaded that the future of mankind depends on their austerity then not only will the meekly surrender their wordly goods, they will clamour to hand them over and humbly thank their lords and masters for being so benevolent, wise and caring.
Given that so many modern activities involve energy consumption, the political classes need only play their cards right and “saving the plant” can be developed into a tool of legitimisation for almost complete social control.
But I’m sure that they wouldn’t dare go that far.