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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Back in the bread queue

Where do they find these people?:

Today it seems politically unpalatable, but soon the state will have to turn to rationing to halt hyper-frantic consumerism

It is unpalatable because it is f******g stupid, Maddie. And how do you tell the difference, pray, between “hyper-frantic consumerism” and say, the mature, intelligent, oh-so virtuous form of consumer activity that you might favour? No answer to that, of course. We are just supposed to accept the wisdom of rationing by our betters instead of the supposed wild anarchy of the marketplace.

Well, it is Monday, start of the week and all that and a dotty Guardian columnist has got me all fired up. It is almost better than going to the gym.

Update: I urge readers, if they have the stomach for it, to actually read the CiF comment thread. Quite encouragingly, some people get just how authortarian Bunting and her mindset actually is. It is, at last, starting to dawn on the smarter parts of the left (sometimes I think this is a rather select demographic) that the whole Green agenda is poison to genuine, progressive politics. Once, socialists were supposed to be rather keen on consumption, I thought; okay, they were totally wrong about the process of getting more stuff to consume, but consumption was part of the idea. M. Bunting is, of course, precisely the kind of reactionary-in-drag worrywart that Brendan O’Neill complained about the other day.

Update 2: this comment at CiF is worth reproducing in full:

What utter nonsense. I was a child during WW2 and rationing, along with being bombed and losing fathers to the carnage, was suffering and sacrifice, sometimes resulting in lifelong problems due to inadequate nutrition. You know nothing about what we and our parents endured during the war and have no right to compare it to reducing consumption, apparently because dinner party liberals will make us do it. Rationing will not be introduced and it is incredible that a sane person could imagine it will be.

Well said. My only nagging worry is that rationing might be introduced. Never underestimate the sheer fanaticism of the eco-authortarians.

70 comments to Back in the bread queue

  • Johnathan, You should have worked out by now that the political, patrician, guardian reading elite is firmly convinced that they know better than mere citizens what is good for them. Like some sort of super social worker class they seek to impose their will by tax increases on alcohol and fattening foods. Ban thick sliced loaves and ration us all.

    They have a vision of a vastly reduced population living simply on simple foods. A population that is suitably grateful to their beneficent rulers, who, because of the burden they carry, live in air conditioned comfort as they jet from climate conferences in Africa to something else ‘right on’ conferences in somewhere else far a way and interesting.

  • countingcats

    The woman is a fascist. She is a hating and intolerant fascist.

    I know that.
    You know that.

    We just have to live with it.

    The worst part of it, is she honestly thinks she is a nice person, and is so moronic she doesn’t understand that she is advocating a murderous totalitarian police state.

  • Nick M

    JP,
    I couldn’t read past the third paragraph without wanting to beat this woman with a hammer. If you set out to make the Samizdata commentariat Mad As Hell consider it: Mission Accomplished!

    She ought to sub the ‘B’ in her name for a ‘C’.

  • Nick M

    countingcats,

    She’s also a self-righteous miserable cow. Oh the sacrifices she has made! I’m a little cooler now and whilst hammering every joint in her body to dust would give a short, pleasing buzz, I feel the punishment of Tantalus vastly more fitting.

  • spidly

    buy what they want you to buy, not what they buy. think peasant 1800’s and get your true love an orange and carve her a comb for her hair. If you have money left over then you are a greedy bastard and stole it from someone.

  • countingcats

    I quote Maddie – “a much overlooked aspect of environmental sustainability is how much time it requires”

    Only by Mad and her mates, the rest of us are well aware that these people want us to work fourteen hours a day just to eat. Just like all peasants through all history, trying to survive on a subsistence level.

  • Honest to screamin’ Christ: Ayn Rand made up people like this fifty years ago.

    It’s almost uncanny.

  • Nick M

    spidly,
    Not from just “someone”. From the “Developing World”! From your own grandchildren! From endangered species! From GAIA HERSELF!!!!!!!!!!

    You’ve heard of crimes against humanity. This is much, much worse. Hey, shouldn’t Hitler be honoured? Just think how many evil consumers he made carbon-neutral. And the recycling work done in his eco-camps was more than enough to offset the gas ovens.

    Such a view might seem “politically unpalatable today”…

  • countingcats

    And the recycling work done in his eco-camps was more than enough to offset the gas ovens

    Nick, absolutely, his designers had the forsight to design in a feature which let them save fuel by utilising the runoff fat to bolster the fire.

    Ingenious huh?

    And all the hair which was used to stuff matresses too.

    Real environmentalist was our Adolf.

  • Ian Bennett

    If we were to abduct her from the Grauniad offices, take her to Trafalgar Square and feed her, feet first, into a wood-chipper, would that actually be wrong?

  • Nick M

    Ian,
    Woodchippers tend to run on 2-stroke petrol. I guess if you planted a couple of trees it would be OK.

    countingcats,
    Yes he was. His environmental musings were very similar indeed to our own dear Prince Charles.

  • J

    I don’t see any evidence of hatred. She thinks she knows best. Not only that, but she thinks that her plan will only work if everyone goes along with it. Any other plan will lead to a serious disaster. It’s therefore worth her while to use any means necessary to make other people follow the plan.

    That’s entirely reasonable, rational thinking, in a great many situations. It’s why the army doesn’t place much emphasis on personal liberty.

    The question is whether it is ever possible or desirable for an entire nation to act in such a manner. The experience of Britain in WW2 suggests that it is. This is the root cause of so much socialism and statism – this one, quite recent example of the shining success of enforced national co-operation. The state told everyone what to do (almost literally), everyone did it, and it all worked swimmingly. Of course it only lasted a few years, it required a real and present danger that most people believed in, it required a fairly cohesive community to begin with. And it required imprisoning lots of people who objected to being told what to do by the state.

    Ever since then some people have been wanting to get back to it, and the more apparently disasterous the situation gets, the more they want it. What we perhaps forget, is how seriously some people take climate change and things like peak oil. There really are people out there stockpiling essentials and buying woodlands so they can survive ‘after the fall’. To me, they are nutters like the US survivalists. But it explains why they feel the need for drastic action. They are wrong, and in some cases they are borderline fantasists, but I don’t think they are either hateful or evil.

  • I spent Friday night at dinner in Warsaw with a colleague who recalled, during his University days, studying while standing in an eight hour queue for a half-kilo of corned beef. He would recognise the “low-consumption” rationing system she is advocating very well. The only non-apoplexy-inducing way to view the Grauniad is as a useful means to create a list of the people most in need of rope/lampost therapy. No-one in the post-communist countries where I work believes me when I tell them we have such cretins as this in England.

  • Nick M

    J,
    Yes, and Lenin just wanted everyone to have their fair share…

    Ms Bunting can go fuck herself because the only way Greens like her will get me to change my lifestyle and join their insane, anti-human, Children’s Crusade is to use force against me. Is that OK if they really believe strongly enough? Hell, perhaps they can bring Tinkerbell back to life as well?

    Tom Paine,
    Now that’s a truly carbon-neutral way to use a lamp-post, especially if you use Fairtrade hemp rope from sustainable sources.

  • countingcats

    J,

    Ok, strike ‘hating’ and insert ‘utterly contemptuous’ into my comment.

    She really does despise those who don’t share her worldview. Nothing else explains the blatant control freakery she demonstrates here.

  • If I recall correctly, after the “stick together and minimise consumption for a greater goal” business of WWII, the British state adopted a period of collective “If we can do this in wartime, imagine what we can do in Peace” central planning, that gave us the modern welfare state, the NHS, cities full of unspeakably ugly public housing, and loads of other hideous things. Does she not know or remember any of this? (No need to answer that).

  • Ever since then some people have been wanting to get back to it, and the more apparently disasterous the situation gets, the more they want it.

    I think this is quite perceptive.

    I often wonder where Socialism comes from. I mean, originally, fine, maybe it seemed like a good idea – but I am absolutely at a loss to explain why people still believe in it after so much demonstrated failure. I think J has a piece of the puzzle here, though. It’s not unlike those people from the East who complain that they missed the “comraderie” of everyone suffering together under the common oppression. (And indeed, Ayn Rand’s own sister voluntarily returned to Russia in part because she was worried that her skills “gaming the system” – learned over decades of Soviet life – would be useless in New York.) I think the only point J is missing here is that it’s the faux “comeraderie” that people miss – not actual fear of a crisis. Where no crisis exists, they are content to create one (see Warming, Global). Sir Keith Joseph put it best when he called this kind of thinking the “pocket money state.” What they’re aiming for is that everyone gets to stay in grade school forever – supervised by the loving teacher and working together on school projects or something – doing “their part” but not having to worry about keeping themselves fed or clothed or housed. The school/state does that, and they focus on cutting construction paper into snowflakes.

    What we perhaps forget, is how seriously some people take climate change and things like peak oil. There really are people out there stockpiling essentials and buying woodlands so they can survive ‘after the fall’.

    I think there are very few such people in actuality. I have certainly never met one. No doubt they exist – but they are not the majority of the environmental movement by any stretch of the imagination. Which, when you think about it, is the surest sign that people are NOT really panicked at Global Warming. They are merely using it as an excuse (possibly subconsious – the latest in a long line of such) to get back to the Atlee years (or the New Deal for us Americans).

  • RAB

    I think her name is rather apt Nick as she appears to have a row of flags between her ears rather than brain cells.
    My parents lived through WW11 and they were overjoyed by constant queuing and the joys of Woolerton Pie and Snook!
    I can hear the voice of corporal Jones in my head right now.

    Well I can only allow you four sausages and the 6 oz of liver Mr Mainwaring, but I’ll bung in some brawn for free. Hows that?
    The only reason rationing was needed at all was because everything we wanted to eat was at the bottom of the Atlantic, sunk by U Boats.
    You are so right Michael. They thought they had won the war by micro management and regulation and they thought they could win the peace the same way. Buffoons!
    WW11 was a paradise for the little Hitlers of this world, who would tell you how to do everything. Comply or else.
    Get this. My grandfather, a butcher in Caerphilly, was prosecuted during the war by the Weights and Measures Nazis for UNDERCHARGING his customers. Rules is rules. Fined 50 shillings.
    What this silly bitch is advocating is a Fascist/ communist command economy state. It’s the only way to enforce this nonsense.
    The flip side is that there will always be Private Walkers in this world, just like there were in Soviet Russia.

  • WalterBoswell

    Well I’m shocked. I really thought that the elitists would show a bit of queue skipping forward planning and call for the sterilizing of the less intelligent before calling for the state to control consumption.

    Notice comment #2

    We need to divert this craving for more, not try to stop it, because that we could never do.

    We need to make people crave a better society, a peaceful society.

    We need to make people crave time for their families and friends.

    We need to make wealth less important, and health of body and mind, More important.

    A bad case of the “We need to control” if every I saw one. May last years Christmas lights burn them all.

  • LBJay
    In the early 1940s, a dramatic drop in household consumption was achieved - not by relying on the good intentions of individuals (and their ability to act on that coffee-stained pamphlet), but by the government orchestrating a massive propaganda exercise combined with a rationing system and a luxury tax.

    And was replaced by massive government consumption (war materials). Consumption wasn’t reduced it was shifted to another sector and greatly expanded.

  • Dana H.

    People like Bunting do us all a favor by exposing the naked evil at the root of the environmentalist agenda. Frankly, I’d be happier if people like Al Gore were as up-front as Bunting about what it will take to reduce global warming, even on the dubious assumption that the climate models are valid. Given the choice between destroying modern civilization and adjusting to a 2 degree temperature rise, I assume most people would choose the latter.

  • RK Jones

    A real danger here is that advocates of socialism will accept that state control of production is inefficient, and simply begin celebrating it as a feature not a bug.

    An American, a Russian, and a Pole are sitting in a bar reminiscing about the Cold War. The Pole sighs and remembers spending all day waiting in line for a ham.

    The American looks puzzled and asks, “What’s a line?”

    The Russian looks even more puzzled and asks, “What’s a ham?”

    Cheers,
    RK

  • John F.

    As an American living in London during the run-up to the Iraq War, reading the Guardian was like having someone piss on my face every morning (or so I imagine). Stateside, I find it easier to take it in stride, and even find hidden nuggets of wisdom. For example, the clear implication (perhaps unintended) of this dotty columnist’s line of thinking is that we should legalize prostitution in America. What better way to soak up discretionary income with minimal production of greenhouse gases? Factor in the salutary effect on the current account deficit and other second-order benefits and I think we have a proposal worthy of a Nobel Peace Prize!

  • Jim J

    And of course, global warming fits the narrative. Free markets feed consumerism, consumerism is destroying the planet, and only the enlightened, caring socialists stepping in to control demand can save the planet from the infesting humans. A properly managed subsistance-farming life is the only way of life consistent with Gaia’s wishes, with just enough excess production to support those who kindly show others the way. Spare us.

  • Sunfish

    What a maroon.

    If this jerkass thinks she’s going to ration my food that I need to feed my over-consuming grabby American ass, she’ll take my Family Guy DVD’s when she pries them from my cold, dead TV.

  • Yorick

    Don’t you people know that it is a scientific fact that humans will live longer on an extreme low calorie diet? That is as long as you deny them the means to kill themselves and get it over already. Google “Ceausescu” and “scientific feeding.”

  • Honest to screamin’ Christ: Ayn Rand made up people like this fifty years ago.

    And if there’s any justice in this universe, she’s in a very luxurious place right now, laughing very, very loudly.

  • RAB

    Oh John F ! You really shouldn’t leave open doors like that!
    I was expecting Nick M along any minute.
    Is he not here? Bugger I’ll have to do it myself.
    Perhaps if we managed to wire up the Prossies to a kind of kinetic wave machine device, and kill two birds with one stone as it were.
    It is a rhythmic event after all!
    But just like wind power, you’d be worried about the consistancy and staying power the johns ;-)

  • Dr. Kenneth Noisewater

    Six most dangerous words in the English Language:
    “We know what’s good for you.”

  • Ivan

    Jonathan Pearce:

    M. Bunting is, of course, precisely the kind of reactionary-in-drag worrywart that Brendan O’Neill complained about the other day.

    I think you’re hurling unjustified insults at the real historical reactionaries when you identify them with soft-fascist radicals like this lady. For all their faults, Metternich or de Maistre would certainly be horrified at the idea of social engineering radicalism that people like Ms. Banting would like to unleash. In fact, one of the reasons for their ultra-reactionary views was the fact that excesses of radicalism during the French Revolution were still within living memory — and while the issues over which totalitarians flock have changed a lot since then, they themselves haven’t changed at all.

  • kalel666

    Best comment from a Greenie ever, from the article:

    there is an irrational faith at the heart of government thinking.

    You’d fucking know.

    Love it.

  • Julian Taylor

    If we were to abduct her from the Grauniad offices, take her to Trafalgar Square and feed her, feet first, into a wood-chipper, would that actually be wrong?

    Only if we use a wood chipper powered from obese, benefit-claiming, single-parent mums running in a treadmill. One might well ask that if a Grauniad columnist is slowly fed into a wood-chipper, does it really matter if no-one is around to hear her scream in heart-rending agony?

  • The blogosphere has not been kind to Ms Bunting. And not just here.

    Hers is the inevitable solution for the clueless, for those who have no faith in technology and industry – a faith borne out by some 300 years of progress – quite a bit of it in her native England (Isembard Kingdom Brunel comes up first as one of the great engineers of his era).

    She and her fellow travelers won’t be happy until we’re all back to living in mud huts, with themselves – of course – as lords of the manor.

    There’s really no point trying to answer her flimsy arguments.

  • JEMiller

    I love her comments about “our parents did it in 1940″. Yeah, so they could drop their kitchen pots on Cologne. And as soon as the war was over and everything STILL sucked a whole lot of Brits bailed for Australia, Rhodesia, Canada, and anywhere else they could get to that showed a little more sign of economic life. Some would say the UK has never quite recovered from the World Wars and the deprivation and brain-drain that resulted.

  • RobtE

    Hmm. What a lot of new commenters we have on this thread. Could it be that The Bogfather has linked to this post? Why yes, he has indeed.

    I’m quite familiar with the idea of getting by during the war. As a member of the Newcastle Lit & Phil I have access to all those wartime cookbooks with titles such as “We’ll Eat Again”. I’ve read them. They’re certainly interesting, for a given value of “interesting”.

    Would I have cared to live on Woolton Pie? No, thank you. I’ve done the calculations of what a diet based on WWII rationing would involve. I think I’ll pass, thank you very much.

  • In the 14th century they had sumptuary laws because the Nobility and the Church wanted to keep the emerging middle class from enjoying their new-found wealth.

    This stupid cow is talking about re-enacting sumptuary laws. A medieval mace to the side of her head would be a good thing to revive as well.

  • pst314

    “these people want us to work fourteen hours a day just to eat”

    Yes indeed. They, however, as the ruling class, plan to have comfortable 9-5 desk jobs, telling us what to do in every aspect of our lives–plus exclusive access to jet travel (or any travel). Adrian Reilly’s comment about sumptuary laws is spot-on.

  • Mad Insomniac

    Thank you, British commenters, for clearing up something about which I’d been wondering since childhood.

    I grew up in a small town in Kansas, and we had several families from the UK arrive in our little hole-in-the-wall hamlet between the 1950s and the 1970s. I never did get around to asking them about their reasons for coming to the States. After reading your descriptions of goings-on during the Labour governments of the post-war years, this all makes sense.

    Truth being told, I didn’t ask a lot of questions about the British economy at the time; I was more interested in securing the attention of one particular young lady named Janine, who had this irresistible Midlands accent….

  • permanentexpat

    I love her comments about “our parents did it in 1940″. Yeah, so they could drop their kitchen pots on Cologne. And as soon as the war was over and everything STILL sucked a whole lot of Brits bailed for Australia, Rhodesia, Canada, and anywhere else they could get to that showed a little more sign of economic life. Some would say the UK has never quite recovered from the World Wars and the deprivation and brain-drain that resulted.

    Posted by JEMiller at December 3, 2007 09:41 PM

    It’s quite astonishing how few people understand that Britain lost WW2.

  • You all miss the point. You cannot have socialism without shortages. That way, the ruling class can use rationing to reward its supporters and withhold the necessities from anti-social elements (that would be us, I think). This nitwit wants to implement rationing because we have too much stuff; she wants to create artificial shortages so her confrères can administer them (the real ones would show up soon enough under her regime).

  • RAB

    Right but not helpful
    PermX

  • The Snark Who Was Really a Boojum

    “If we were to abduct her from the Grauniad offices, take her to Trafalgar Square and feed her, feet first, into a wood-chipper, would that actually be wrong?”

    Ian,
    Yes it would! Think of that poor wood-chipper! What did that poor wood-chipper ever do to you that you would want to gum up it’s workings with useless orgranic material like her? Will nobody think of the wood-chippers? T_T

  • countingcats

    The woman is just plain ignorant and wooly minded, she has no concept of what wealth is; she does not have anything other than a superficial understanding of technology or history, her understanding of economics and science is non existent, and she has no concept of how a large and complex society works. These statements can all be demonstrated by analysing the nonsense she wrote, yet she still feels competent to spray her tripe at all and sundry.

    She deserves to have her writings demonstrated as the moronic ramblings they are, but I have strong reservations about the calls to violence against her person.

    I come to this site for the quality and variety of positions presented, intellectual positions which both confirm and challenge my views. I avoid those sites where the comments are of the “feed her to a woodchipper” variety. I avoid these sites because the comments provide no value, and because I, personally, don’t want to be associated with discussions both violent and vacuous, and which confirm the prejudices of my intellectual opponents.

    Leftie sites sneer at non leftie ones which indulge in this sort of thing, and I agree with them. I hope Samizdata, as it gets more popular over the years, doesn’t head down this path. I will lose a splendid refuge if it does.

  • countingcats

    You all miss the point. You cannot have socialism without shortages.

    Or any other sort of economy in fact. Managing shortages and distributing the goods and services of which there is a shortage is what economice, of any sort, is all about.

    Maddy simply wants to artificially increase those shortages, which only a command economy can do. Any sort of free enterprise economy will seek to both maximise utility and reduce the shortages.

    In fact, even in a command economy the black market will seek to minimise the effectiveness of the commanders, turning all normal human interaction into criminal activities.

  • Kevin

    There’s a very ugly warning sign in that article:

    Is it enough to have halved family meat consumption, have foregone flights for several sun-starved years

    I’m sure you’re all familiar with the Instapundit slogan “I’ll start acting like it’s a crisis when the people who say there’s crisis starting acting like it’s a crisis”?

    For Madeleine Bunting, that day has come and gone. Which means she’s free to start thinking “I’ve made my family give up vacations; who do they think they are, still taking vacations?”.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    For all their faults, Metternich or de Maistre would certainly be horrified at the idea of social engineering radicalism that people like Ms. Banting would like to unleash.

    I don’t know about these two characters – but a lot of the early denouncers of the Industrial Revolution in Britain – Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Ruskin, Cobbett, etc – were pretty keen on using the instruments of the state to suppress capitalism and enforce their own bucolic vision of an aristocratic led society on the rest of us. It is important to remember that much of the early reaction against industrialism and the market came from the upper classes, fearful that their way of life was endangered; they harnessed the state to prop up their own priviliges. But at least some of the early critics of capitalism at least claimed to favour abundance for the masses; this lot have given up that pretence.

    Bunting has done us a service. She probably is not clever enough to see this.

  • Nick M

    Kevin,
    That particular, fatuous line of Ms Bunting did strike me and I could read no more. What really, really got me was the miserableness of it all. That “sun-starved years” thing. Well, it’s beyond comment and utterly beneath contempt. I guess it means I’ll never have to stand behind Bunting in a queue at an airport.

    But in a larger sense I can comment. What makes me irate about the Greens is their complete inversion of my values. Orville and Wilbur Wright are heroes to me, and presumably climate-criminals-in-chief to the Plane Sense mob.

    One of the defining moments of my life was when, as a little kid, two RAF Phantoms flashed very low over me on Bamburgh Beech in Northumberland. They were absolutely caning it and the sonic boom was amazing. I wasn’t scared, I had a mile wide grin. The power and the glory… One of my great regrets is that I never saw a Lightning take off. Discerning readers will be able to tell, I’m sure, which Lightning I refer to.

    One of the defining icons of our age is the airliner. Trogs like me can get across the mighty Atlantic in seven hours for a very affordable price. I have lived most of my life under the landing patterns of airports – Newcastle, Nottingham (was EMAP), City, Manchester… I guess I’m far from unique in that. I love planes, I adore them and always wonder when a 767 passes over about the people onboard and their stories but what must it be like for Ms Bunting?

    Where is the Promethean spirit of these people? Who are these people who see an airplane or rocket launch and feel revulsion and not exultation? What is their major malfunction? Have they lost all capacity for joy and delight? Is this how it ends? Our bold, dangerous, wonderful, never to be fulfilled flirtation with the stars stymied by puritanical prigs who probably think compressible flow is what happens when you squeeze a ketchup bottle.

    They depress me, they really do. There is something so craven and pathetic about them. And also something utterly smug and self-hating about deciding that progress must stop now, right now! They may be happy with their lot but I’m not. There is no characteristic in a person less attractive than self-hatred and the Greens have that in spades. People go on about Catholic guilt. Forget it! It’s been trumped.

    Per Ardua, Ad Astra!

    PS. I’m sure I have a comment still under smite control wrt to Chipping Bunting – which is a cruel and unusual method of execution and not a small market town in Essex.

  • bandit

    Aren’t they already doing this in Cuba and NK – and look how well it’s working!

  • watcher in the dark

    Ms Bunting is just another whinging leftie trying to control things for our own supposed good and her kind’s imagined glory.

    Funny isn’t it how socialism always seek to redistribute wealth, but can never create it. On that basis rationing must seem like a wonderful way of control, so you can see how it appeals. On the other hand, I expect for all her rant about consumerism Ms Bunting will be in there like a pack animal for Christmas pressies from all corners of the globe and is salivating at the prospect of the January sales…

  • countingcats

    Last night here in Oz, on SBS evening news, there was a piece, presented as straight news, about how Cuba was leading the way in elimenating the consumerist mindset, and how its people were ‘choosing’ to do such things as growing their own food in plots (guess SBS has never heard of allotments) and reusing plastic bags when they were able to get their hands on them.

    It was sheer envirocommie propaganda, and as honest as we have come to expect from the intelligentsia. Next week I guess they will tell us how wonderful the Cuban health service is.

  • permanentexpat

    Not helpful, RAB?
    Not so sure. The logic has been apparent since VJ day & had we spent the ensuing years constructively instead of exalting in our tarnished laurels we would be doing a little better now. Outsiders, like Dean Acheson, for example, try to make us aware that the present is the time in which we live. A glorious past is, like former mistresses, nice to look back on.
    Our recent history reflects our most dangerous character-trait: The inability to recognize danger when it stares us in the face. In wartime this is sometimes called bravery. In peacetime it is utter stupidity…and no more so than now.

  • RAB

    Trouble is Expat, it is the Asshats that think they have alreay spotted the danger, AGW and are determined to make the rest of pay for their paranoia and control freakery.
    I’ m suprised no-one has mentioned the Conference!
    In Bali no less. That well known spot that is easy to reach by every known mode of transport, especially the greenies favorite, the Train!
    19 thousand people are to attend. 20 MEPs are supping up by the pool in the 5 star as I type.
    The majority of these junketeers probably dont have enough scientific knowledge to wire up a plug, yet they deem themselves fit to decide the fate of all of us between dips in the pool or a spot of surfing.
    Now if the conference had been in Bradford or Brussels even, I’d maybe I’d start to take ‘em seriously. If they’d video conferenced it, I’d take them even more seriously. But it’s the same ‘ol gravy train.
    It appears to be fine to emit more carbon in a weekend than a small town does in a year.
    But it’s ok for them because their saving the Planet and the rest of us should be jolly grateful to them!

  • I don’t see any evidence of hatred. She thinks she knows best. Not only that, but she thinks that her plan will only work if everyone goes along with it. Any other plan will lead to a serious disaster. It’s therefore worth her while to use any means necessary to make other people follow the plan.

    I agree, which is why I think there is clearly a time and a place for political violence. There comes a point when the people who want to impose their will on you actually start to amass the ability to carry out their totalitarian wishes. At that point you simply have to be prepared to kill them if you cannot defeat them via purely political means. If the 20th century had any lesson to teach, that was it.

  • permanentexpat

    RAB:……..agree fully…..but it is not that to which I was referring.
    Global warming….and cooling is, & always has been, cyclical. That is not to say that we shouldn’t practice good husbandry with what we have…which the rectally idiotic troughers currently in Bali are not doing.
    No, I fear that we shall be overtaken by far more terrible things before the sea-level rises another three inches.
    Thankfully, it is doubtful that I shall still be around to experience either scenario…but I fear greatly for our progeny.

  • Brad

    We have a political system built on economic growth as measured by gross domestic product, and that is driven by ever-rising consumer spending. Economic growth is needed to service public debt and pay for the welfare state.

    This excerpt is perfectly true.

    I had a long treatise that simply boils down to this – simply because we (at least for the US) live in a fascistic modeled society doesn’t mean that we should turn toward an even more restrictive model, based on a mericilessly enforced single moral code and an ensuing uniform system of values. Instead we should turn toward a pure free market. Nothing will “ration” more effectively than people acting RATIONally and in their own interests.

    People DO tend to overspend – people have little incentive to save for the future because our Socialist government confounds risk and reward and dumps everyone back into the same bucket regardless of the morals they have, the methods of valuation derived therefrom, and the actions and behaviors they manifest. It’s all wiped clean when the final pieces of the pie are to be doled out, so why not spend now? People know this innately, so they control what little is left for them to control, and if all this is left is to buy all-in-one breadmakers until the walls bulge, why not? Third party payor systems forged by Socialism rots the minds of the average person, already disadvantaged by being economically illiterate due to socialist education.

  • Nick: “One of the defining moments of my life was when, as a little kid, two RAF Phantoms flashed very low over me on Bamburgh Beech in Northumberland. They were absolutely caning it and the sonic boom was amazing. I wasn’t scared, I had a mile wide grin.”

    One of the very earliest things that I can completely recall is standing at the very approach-end of the runway at Wheelus AB in Tripoli, Libya, on the roof of my Dad’s 1949 Ford, as F-100 Super Sabres came over the fence for landing. We were so close that the base police came out and told us that the pilots had asked that we be removed because were distracting them. The sound of those jets was just searing as we watched ‘em: looking back, I estimate that they were not one hundred feet over our heads.

    That stamped me indelibly, man. I’m fifty-one years old, now, and I still stop dead in my tracks and watch just about every single time I see an airplane in flight, anywhere, of any type. I don’t understand anyone who is not completely thrilled at the sight of an airplane.

    BTW: you regret not seeing a Lightning on takeoff. I regret that I don’t recall the F-105’s. Until just a few years ago, I’d always said that I never saw a Thunderchief in action. Then, I came across a photograph of me standing about two hundred yards off the runway at Wheelus, with a ‘105 about to touch down in the background. And I just don’t remember it. I was not five years old.

    I always remembered the Huns, though. I used to describe my memories to my Dad, who confirmed what I was recalling.

  • tranio

    As for the Bali conference, the Canadian blog site “small dead animals” suggested that the conference should be being held now in Winnipeg Manitoba, high today -12c, low tonight -23c. If so probably lass than 10% would have attended.

  • Who will protect Bunting and those of her tribe in the new dark ages? Who will defend her home during the food riots? Does the stupid woman imagine she stands a chance against the war lords who will rise from the already feral underclass?

    The Buntingistas will not be the rulers of the new society they will be lunch.

    If the was ever an obvious victim class after the revolution it is the Buntingistas,they will still be blethering as they are dragged out of the tumbrils and up onto the scaffold.

  • ian

    You are all at it again I see – using the writing of a raving loon as if it was evidence of anything other than being a raving loon.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    You are all at it again I see – using the writing of a raving loon as if it was evidence of anything other than being a raving loon.

    Wrong. Mad Maddie may be madder than hell, but then the likes of Monbiot, Al Gore, the whole eco-we-are-all-doomed-we-need-to-control-your-lives-now! brigade have influence, are affecting policy. Every time an aircraft tax goes up, or the price of petrol soars, etc, the Mad Maddy syndrome is a part of it. She may be one of the most nasty examples of the trend, but the trend is supported by large numbers of supposedly intelligent people.

    People once thought the Fabian socialists were mad. They had a big impact on our lives. I say we should take the piss out of these folk at every opportunity and show no mercy.

    So put that in your pipe and smoke it, Ian.

  • Nick M

    Billy Beck,
    Ah the good ‘ol Lead Sled. Those early area-ruled curves and the outrageously sexy swept-forward intakes. I am thinking of registering aviation-porn.com.

    RAB,
    Well, I decided to leave the Bali nonsense to others and your comment certainly didn’t disapoint. If this, say, increases aviation tax then I shall feel morally obliged to start hanging the fuckers from lamp-posts.

  • ian

    I don’t smoke so stick it back where the sun don’t shine…

    You have it backwards anyway – a lot of statists have seized on climate change as a way of promoting their agenda and from that you decide climate change is a scam. The two issues are not dependent on one another. Statists and authoritarians will use whatever mechanism is available to them. Occasionally they might even be right about an issue – in this case climate change – even if they are wrong – hugely – about the remedy.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    You have it backwards anyway – a lot of statists have seized on climate change as a way of promoting their agenda and from that you decide climate change is a scam.

    Do not put words in my mouth, Ian. Where have I said that the AGW thesis is a scam? For all I know, the world is warming up and Man has something to do with it; therefore, Man needs either to act to reverse it, or if not, handle the consequences. That does not mean supporting statist controls as there is quite a large body of literature these days about market-based approaches to AGW. You are of course quite right that statist nutters use AGW to support their power-lust; and naturally a lot of us are suspicious of AGW as a result. Hardly a surprise, is it?

  • ian

    Not you as an individual but you as the collective (yes I do know you hate the word but for the moment I can’t think of a more appropriate one) voice of Samizdata, where I think the general view is indeed that climate change is a scam.

  • Do not put words in my mouth, Ian. Where have I said that the AGW thesis is a scam?

    I on the other hand do indeed think AGW is (generally) a scam because I think a large number of its advocates support it as a means to an end, not an end in an of itself. It does not represent a conspiracy however, just a confluence of interests of people who advocate political solutions (i.e. force) rather than social solutions (i.e. markets) to problems.

    I also think the pretence that it is a scientific ‘closed case’ also telling. I do not reject AGW for ideological reasons and I would contend that belief in AGW is in no way incompatible with support for free markets, thus if I accepted AGW, I would be arguing that market driven solutions would be the ones most likely to work. No, I object to AGW because I think it is bollocks and most (but by no means all) of its supporters are motivated by what I can only describe as secular religious motivations.

    Not you as an individual but you as the collective (yes I do know you hate the word but for the moment I can’t think of a more appropriate one) voice of Samizdata…

    I don’t have any problems with collectives. For example Samizdata is a collective effort. If you want to be a communist and go live on a kibbutz, that is a collective lifestyle choice. What I have a problem with is enforced collectives (i.e. collectivism).

  • “Occasionally they might even be right about an issue – in this case climate change – even if they are wrong – hugely – about the remedy.”

    First you have to establish cause and effect,whether global warming is taking place,if it is man made,if it is simply one of the inexorable climate changes which have taken place on this planet for millions of years.It then has to be determined if global warming is going to be beneficial or deleterious .
    This is not going to be proved either way by 10,000 political hacks and pox doctor’s clerks flying off to a junket on an up market holiday resort.

  • “I also think the pretence that it is a scientific ‘closed case’ also telling.”

    Too true,it is a device used by all religions,in this case it is simply an extension of Marxist inevitability.

  • Ivan

    Johnathan Pearce:

    I don’t know about these two characters – but a lot of the early denouncers of the Industrial Revolution in Britain – Wordsworth, Southey, Coleridge, Ruskin, Cobbett, etc – were pretty keen on using the instruments of the state to suppress capitalism and enforce their own bucolic vision of an aristocratic led society on the rest of us. It is important to remember that much of the early reaction against industrialism and the market came from the upper classes, fearful that their way of life was endangered; they harnessed the state to prop up their own priviliges. But at least some of the early critics of capitalism at least claimed to favour abundance for the masses; this lot have given up that pretence.

    Yes, this is true if the characters you mention are what you meant by “reactionaries”. The problem is that this word has been thrown around by leftists as a term of abuse so much that it’s been left with little, if any coherent meaning. What I wanted to emphasize is that I perceive Bunting & Co. as crazed radicals rather than reactionaries in the original sense of the word. In the modern world, the technological civilization and a certain level of personal and economic freedoms are the established status quo, so a true reactionary should at least support their preservation at the present level. Bunting and similar characters would like to unleash an extreme program aimed at obliterating them, which is a position I would call radical rather than reactionary.

    It is important to remember that much of the early reaction against industrialism and the market came from the upper classes, fearful that their way of life was endangered; they harnessed the state to prop up their own priviliges. But at least some of the early critics of capitalism at least claimed to favour abundance for the masses; this lot have given up that pretence.

    That surely goes without saying. Just check out the coat of arms of the Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in which I was born! :-) (It was a federal state within the socialist Yugoslavia back then.)

    Bunting has done us a service. She probably is not clever enough to see this.

    Heh… unfortunately, you might be too optimistic here. The very fact that lunatics of this sort are being given a fairy prominent place in the media means that what they advocate might become an increasingly realistic political option in the future. After all, just look at all the statist policies that have been successfully implemented even in the most (classically) liberal countries in the world during the last century or so, and which would have seemed unpalatable just a generation before they were enacted.

    Or maybe (and let’s hope so) I’m just being too pessimistic these days…

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Not you as an individual but you as the collective (yes I do know you hate the word but for the moment I can’t think of a more appropriate one) voice of Samizdata, where I think the general view is indeed that climate change is a scam.

    Ian, that is dishonest debating; this is a group blog, not a homogenous grouping where we all agree on the same things or where there are no nuances.

    But I certainly do think that most, if not all commentators, take a dim view of AGW if only because so many other “we are all doomed” scenarios have turned out to be nonsense, and have been advocated by people looking to grab more power for the state.

    Back on the original point of your complaint about why I bothered to fisk the silly Bunting, it is that she may be a loon to you and me, but a lot of people actually might take her views seriously. Anyway, it is so much good sport shooting down such people!