On this Bank Holiday Monday, as the present UK Labour Government crashes and burns before our eyes — no comet was ever so spectacular or so portentous — it’s good to see they have not lost a sense of the ridiculous.
Just when the United Nations admits its “carbon trading” scheme has been systematically looted by rascals in Asia and elsewhere, losing billions of our dollars, our ruling politicians declare that soon we may all be granted “carbon allowances” which we can trade among ourselves if we don’t use them all up.
The UN program — strongly promoted by Brown and his colleagues — was doomed from the start, partly by the impossibility of policing it, but mainly by the eagerness of developing countries to gobble up largesse from the rich West. “Money for nothing, chicks for free”, as the Dire Straits song went.
The individual carbon dole scheme carries the same death-knell flaw as the UN program: it’s over-engineered by people who are not engineers.
The problem with the European Left is that it attracts converts who are completely bonkers. Tunnel-visioned intellectuals with a poor grasp of reality who have been sheltered in universities and public sector jobs from the trials and squalls of the real world. They have always had a soft spot for semi-mythical creatures called “the poor” who are said to be gentle, meek and mild and are preyed upon by those who stand over them, principally the Left’s political opponents.
Thus, the French philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau — doyen of the Marxist Left ever since — invented “the noble savage “. The trouble was, the only savage Rousseau had ever known was himself. He it was who gave away at birth all five of his children, conveniently produced by his live-in washerwoman. The Foundlings Hospital where he deposited them was run by the state. Almost every child there died before the age of one. Rousseau’s brood was no exception.
Later, as a famous salon philosopher, he excused these brutal acts by concocting the principle that all children must be raised and educated by the state. The doctrine became an act of faith for the Marxist Left. Even today, in the British Parliament, there are MPs who demand that private education must be outlawed. Presumably they have no idea where the principle they hold so dear originated.
Now they have another stick to herd us with: carbon emissions. Our civilization is being shriven in pursuit of yet another utopian ideal, this time a carbon-free world — never mind the awkward fact that all life on Earth is carbon-based. History tells us that in their hands utopia soon tips over into dystopia.
The new Nasty Party even in its death throes still has the power to amuse us with its earnest proposal of carbon allowances for all. Happily we can safely laugh at them in the knowledge it will never come to pass.
Carbon allowances, of course, mean carbon limits, something we don’t have now. Wrapping up a diminishment as a must-have product is the Marxist Left’s idea of good business practice.
As Jane Austen might say to Gordon Brown, were she alive now, “Mr Brown, you have entertained us long enough.”