The pathway to Utopia

Horace Camp has a plan to relegate the empty faux outrage to history...

If all has gone according to plan, then on this very day our own political version of AC-12, the Scrutiny Committee, will be interviewing the organised committee group known as P&R.

The SIO will be Deputy Yvonne ‘Ted’ Burford and I expect she will as usual be sucking diesel.

Odd given her green credentials.

As is usual for AC-12, the interview will take place before an audience which in no way can involve itself in the unfolding drama being performed in front of its eyes.

‘Ted’ Burford – that’s Burford as in the battle (yes, there really was a sort of battle of Burford in 1649, which was the last stand of the Levellers) – will be running the show and is certain to dismiss any nonsense from Deputy Ferbrache that he can only be interviewed by someone one rank higher. This will obviously imply that only God can ask the questions and it is likely that Jonathan Le Tocq will ponder if the Mother of God also outranks Foxy while at the same time praying to God to give him strength.

With Yvonne as the Gaffer, I don’t think the fella, Foxy, will be able to go around the houses and down the bloney drains as they discuss the Government Work Plan. And one thing we can be absolutely certain of is that the investigation will be carried out to the letter of the law. The Letter.

Yes, you’ve guessed it from the piece of whimsy above that nothing has happened in Guernsey politics in the last fortnight that has sparked any outrage or even any interest for me. The world is going to Hell on the Covid handcart and yet the most interesting, pressing and outrageous incidents in Guernsey are the rugby bloke’s visit and the naughty tweeting deputy.

I have already used up previous column inches on both subjects and yet commentators continue to pour out opinions on both subjects ad nauseam, much to my perplexed amusement.

Is so little going on that we have to create outrage to keep us ticking over?

I’ve also noticed a resurgence in dog poo, fly tipping and paid parking as social media topics. Is this a result of lockdown? Could it be that while locked away from reality politicians have lost the urge to irritate us with a multitude of annoying pet projects? Or have we just run out of things to do?

Perhaps we have all the rights we require or we have the single-use plastic bag under control? Surely there is something that can get our blood boiling and incentivise us to get out our green ink and pen long missives to this fine paper?

I’ve given this a lot of thought and I think I have the very thing to do it. Other than dog poo and flytipping, what is the greatest threat hanging over us today?

No, not sour fig.

Climate change, of course.

That’s why I’m campaigning for an annual climate change lockdown. We have proven that the community will accept being locked down and it needs hardly any enforcing to make it happen.

Evidence from around the world is also suggesting that lockdowns have been beneficial to the fight against climate change.

Who could argue against a regular, possibly year-round, lockdown when not only will it keep us safe from Covid, flu and the common cold, but it will also save the planet? Lockdown benefits are almost never-ending and take so little to implement.

A well-enforced lockdown would decrease marital infidelity, no bubble allowed, as well as reduce the opportunities for discrimination in public places. There would be no public places. And we could deem alcohol and cigarettes to be non-essential items and to all intents and purposes ban their sale.

Same with fossil fuels. No cars on the road means no emissions. Brilliant, eh?

What about the hidden positives?

As retail fades away, then lots of empty shops in Town could be converted into cheap – sorry, affordable – housing. Just a few sheets of plywood over the shop front displays and what do we have but instant, open-plan housing.

Lockdown is the pathway to Utopia. To paraphrase Eamon de Valera, ‘the ideal island that we would have, the island that we dreamed of, would be the home of a people who valued material wealth only as a basis for right living, of a people who, satisfied with frugal comfort, devoted their leisure to vacationing in the Bailiwick’.

Yes, what a load of tosh.

But no worse than many other weirdo causes that we have been asked to support to make major beneficial changes to our lives. And best of all, we get a new level of outrage to rail against such as we haven’t witnessed since the days of Extinction Rebellion.

What has happened to our single-issue politicians, pushing their outlandish ideas in such a way that reasonable people feel unable to speak against them in an emperor’s new clothes sort of way?

But the void has been filled with faux outrage, which serves no purpose but to waste the time of those who are doing their best to keep calm and carry on. I have been gobsmacked observing the number of fiscally conservative commentators who dismiss the half-a-million-pound estimated cost of a by-election as irrelevant to the disgraced deputy’s code of conduct outcome, which is a point of principle.

Principle is a wonderful thing, but it butters no parsnips, whereas half-a-million could be life-changing when shared amongst our most needy islanders. Hopefully I can get my perpetual lockdown to combat climate change off the ground and relegate the empty faux outrage to history.

I could be the next Greta Thunberg.

Or perhaps I need to stop sucking diesel.

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