Surreal times

Is it just my own, erroneous, impression of the UK at the moment, or are we living in strange times that just don’t stack up if you apply even a smidge of critical engagement with the issues of the day?

This morning the BBC Radio 4 programme kept banging on in the news items about a speech Nick Clegg was going to make later in the day. Apparently, he was going to say something about the lack of social mobility in this country, and it needing to be addressed. When I looked for the speech after it had actually happened, it was no longer news. Extraordinary, what someone plans to say is news, until they say it, and then it is not.

There was also an interview about energy security and the need for investment in more power stations and the like. They always mention renewables at this time, but we know they are really talking about more of the same industrial scale generation or importation. If they weren’t, why would they care that China is now using more and more of the world’s gas… Now, despite the utility companies already having a licence to print money, there is a move to charge customers about another £100 a year as a hidden subsidy, so they can afford to build more power stations and charge us more of our own money that we can barely spare in the future.

I am not a fucking economic unit – I am a person. And, rather than cough up more money to British Gas or Npower or wherever, I would really rather generate my own, albeit variable supply of electricity, from a wind turbine on my roof, or whatever. But of course, the man won’t let me, because Planning says, ‘No’. And do you know what, Mr Expert on the radio? If my electricity runs out from time to time – I won’t care; in fact, it will be a relief. And do you know why? Because when the lights go out, I can be just me, the way I am meant to be and not some performing hamster running on the wheel of capitalist consumption.

And as I spent some time trying to get my head round the ludicrous nature of reporting things that haven’t happened yet, and us paying utility companies to build factories so they can sell us more crack, I mean energy, the IMF pops up with a forked tongue and throws me into complete cognitive dissonance.

The IMF say, on the one hand, that the UK government’s austerity measures are fine and dandy, and then on the other hand, and in the next breath, they say that the Bank of England must print more money for quantitative easing, consider cutting the interest rate even further (at 0.5% how low can you go before the shyster high street banks pass on the savings to customers, even as they increase mortgage interest rates this month), and the government should think about a lower VAT rate to help stimulate growth.

Nothing adds up, the world has gone completely cuckoo, and, yes mother, this is a rant.

The Lost Jockey by Rene Magritte: 1948 gouache on paper

Posted on May 22, 2012, in Consumerism, News, Politics and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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