Classic TV news footage: a line of white people in hi-vis gilets sitting in a line across a motorway. An angry bloke waving his arms strides forth from the gridlock and starts dragging some old dear along her arse. Glorious, nay Great Britain.
Today a bunch of people from something called Insulate Britain disrupted traffic for a while in the name of combating climate change. These are the same strand of protester as that Extinction Rebellion rabble and here they come again, messing up normal people’s lives, nobody supports it, the whole thing defeats the object, just go and get a job you workshy scum, and so on.
I’ve not asked a protester but I don’t think their ideal day involves sitting on a motorway. Like you, they’ve got better places to be. Maybe, therefore, let’s take the time to work out what they’re trying to achieve, and for whose benefit.
Everyone’s benefit. Absolutely everyone’s benefit.
Mine, yours, theirs, all our family’s, all our future family’s and their families, all the little royal babies, all those people you like on Gogglebox and Bake Off, and Jeremy Clarkson. I mean how dare these spoilt middle class brats give a shit about your grandchildren?
It’d be nice if a few more people saw past their short-term interests, by which I mean literally no further than where they need to be 40 minutes from now. But let’s get the early argument out of the way, oh let’s. What would I think if I got caught up in it myself? Would I like to have my day disrupted by the unwashed hordes with their poxy placards and beads in barnets?
In the moment, I suppose not. So would I take to social media and radio phone-ins to berate them, as seems to be today’s classic counter-protest? Unlikely. I do think I possess the self-awareness to understand that they’re the Obi-Wan Kenobi of this story, not Darth Vader. We’ve got ourselves to the point where these soppy fucks are our only hope. Well done us.
Sure, you could say the same thing about anti-vaxxers, that they’re just trying to protect us all. But they’re absolutely fact-free and utterly bloody insane, as are you if you don’t believe in climate change.
I don’t personally give a damn about climate change. The planet will be fine, indeed better off, once the Anthropocene is put to bed. I don’t have kids whose futures I need to care about; I have (had) holidays instead. I’ll have lived in the last age when climate change doesn’t really matter, and be dead just as it really, really does. I enjoy schadenfreude and hopefully my ashes will be tickling your sinuses before I’m forced to reckon for all those flights I took to places parents never see.
But luckily for you some people do care. There’s still this baffling belief that climate protesters care about trees and animals but are blind to the realities of the human condition. I’d counter that you must have been paying literally no attention to weather-based news in the last few years to think that. This is about floods, storms, snow drifts, heatwaves, drought and wildfires, not some hairy bastard chained to a tree in the 1990s
It’s always happened, they say, for millennia! No doubt. But an Eskimo could hunker down and ride out a harsh winter, safe in the knowledge that billions of other Eskimos weren’t going to pile over the ridge and try to cram themselves in his igloo – an igloo about to be flattened by a plane brought down by an electrical storm. This may always have happened. Just not on this scale, with this number of imbeciles, on a planet that understandably wants those imbeciles off of it.
Back to the M25, which as I write is still a car park, as ever was. What if someone’s urgently trying to get to a medical appointment, they howl? I struggle to see a thin line of protesters stopping an ambulance in a hurry, and if whatever’s wrong with you doesn’t need flashing lights and sirens it can probably wait a few hours. If it’s desperately needed surgery you’ve waited 15 years for under the great Tory NHS boom (as in detonation) then you have my sympathy, but even if your new hip makes you run like Usain it probably won’t save you from the Great Essex Wildfires of 2025.
The M25 is already inhabited by the angriest people on earth, but those are exactly the people we need to see steaming from the ears. The only way to change anything is to threaten the votes of a comfy government lining their mates’ pockets with the Brexit money they promised to us on that fucking bus while wiping their backsides with £50 mask filters. White van wallies are the main source of votes for the dickheads in charge. Maybe they might turn their cracked headlights on them, once they stop dragging Granny down the slip-road.
Target the school run next and we’ll have climate change sorted by Halloween.
The daft thing is the solution’s staring us right in the face: just give the usual oil-drilling scumbags all the contracts to turn everything into wind farms. If there’s no threat to their bottom line, why wouldn’t they do it? On your way Octopus Energy, piss off Ecotricity – hello Shell, here’s a few billion to fill the Saraha with solar panels, on you go. It’s not hard to work out is it? Give Philip Morris complete monopoly control over vaping and they’re hardly going to keep making Marlboro Lights are they?
Occasionally the cynic’s way out is the smart one, and you can thank me later as Esso pump clean power direct into your synapses via some completely harmless Elon Musk invention. Until then, don’t blame the young for wanting to fix the mess we’ve made for them by blocking a few streets to get our attention, and for Christ’s sake leave Granny be.
Sit there, shut your hole and just watch the fumes go by.