Friday, 12 November 2021

Wealth, Comfort and Liberties

Eventually, those private jets will be off again, leaving us to our cold and tiny homes, to our cold and sparse food, and to our cold, if any, holidays. This is class war such as we have never previously experienced, and that is saying quite something.

Indigenous peoples and others are being used for divide and rule purposes. But the halting and reversal of our economic progress would also be the prevention of theirs, and they are being told directly, as we are being told only slightly more subtly, that the problem with the world is that there are too many of the people who do not have private jets, meaning that the problem with the world is that we exist at all.

In the words of Brendan O'Neill, "If it wasn't for humankind's liberation of the ancient sunlight trapped in coal, or our burning of the petroleum that accrued from chemical reactions in the seas of the prehistoric era, modernity as we know it simply would not exist. Fossil fuels gifted us the wealth, comfort and liberties we in the West enjoy, and they're doing the same right now for emerging countries like China, India and Brazil."

He adds, "Of course we could go beyond fossil fuels at some point, but only if we get serious about nuclear, about unlocking the awesome power of uranium." That, though, is far too unambitious. It is not either, or. It is both, and.

Yet where are we to make these points? From what base are we to fight back? For example, and while perhaps there was no practical alternative, the fabulous Durham Miners' Hall at Redhills has been handed over to a new charity in the arts and heritage sector, thereby banning politics from its precincts by law.

The politics in which the Brendan Coxes of the world engaged might be one thing, but not the previous activities of the Durham Miners' Association, which has hitherto retained a key organisational role from that citadel. Give it 10 years, or even five, and the Durham Miners' Gala will be held at Beamish as its enemies have been demanding for decades, with attendees donning Edwardian costume, all safely quaint and apolitical.