Is being Green left-wing or right-wing?
I’m the son of a blue-collar upbringing and consequently a blue-collar view of the world. In many of the ways that really matter, I still am. It does give you a realistic outlook on life, which makes you wary of all politicians, irrespective of what their nominal politics might happen to be. You don’t particularly trust any of them, especially the ones you think might possibly be sincere, because that’s the same illusion they’re all peddling, and you may just be looking at someone who sells it better than the rest. You can only ever be betrayed by someone you trust, which is why you should always take a long hard look at them and especially where they came from, before investing any faith in them.
That is not an argument for cynicism about politics, politicians or for not engaging with political processes, but for being more realistic in terms of your expectations of what can be achieved by any of them. When too many people ignore politics, it falls by default into the hands of enthusiasts of either persuasion and a democracy inevitably drifts into unhealthy political situations.
Each side of the political divide wants to sell you illusions about themselves and the other side.
Left-wingers will paint themselves as protectors of the working person and the poor from ruthless exploitation by right-wing politicians, who are only there as puppets of capitalists determined to extract as much money as possible from the people.
Right-wingers will paint themselves as defenders of personal freedoms and wealth-generating free enterprise, against the stifling impulses of left-wing politicians, who because of their controlling tendencies, take away people’s freedoms and force them to become dependant on the state.
They deal in caricatures, both of themselves and their opposition, and while there’s a grain of truth in all of them, it is surprising how many people’s political thinking is nevertheless based subconsciously on those very simplistic caricatures. They tend to be the party faithful, whose vote can always be relied on, so they’re pretty much ignored by everyone.
You grow up and a combination of life experience and thinking about what you’ve seen, perhaps teaches you that the simple template of being right or left-wing simply doesn’t fit you. The choice you are presented with is between being a Montague or a Capulet, with not much in the way of a middle ground. If you have reservations about those choices, you tend to get into voting for whichever party most closely represents your opinion on what you consider to be the major issues of the day in an election. In a sense, you’re a thinking variety of floating voter.
On the issue of climate alarmism, no mainstream parties in the democracies of the developed world have actively come out against it, but since the whole issue of global warming dropped off the electorate’s radar, they’ve nearly all been busy distancing themselves from things environmental for the last few years. However, it’s only a matter of time until they will be forced to tackle that problem head on, because of serious domestic pressures, like for instance escalating levels of fuel poverty, bitterly known as heat or eat.
The spin put on their green policies reflected their respective caricatures of themselves. The Left said it would help people lead a greener pleasanter life, with the added bonus of doing some much-needed wealth redistribution to the poor of the developing world. The Right sold the greener pleasanter life idea too, but their added spin was that green policies would not only found a whole new green enterprise sector, but would also create new very profitable trading instruments, such as carbon credits. They both just extended their good caricatures of themselves to accommodate the new political issue.
At face value, it all sounded very laudable and plausible, but the reality has turned out to be the reverse of both of their intentions. You see, what we actually ended up with because of their green policies, is an unholy combination of both their worst caricatures of each other.
Green taxes, direct and indirect, are artificially raising prices and lowering the living standards of the poorest people in the developed word. Fuel poverty has now become a major problem not just for the poor, but for the ordinary person, many of whom are by now into self-rationing. One third of households in the UK are officially classified as being in fuel poverty.
The basic freedom to live your life as you choose without someone looking over your shoulder has been gradually eroded by the massive growth of a plethora of oppressive regulatory bureaucracies, each of which have painfully intricate Kafkaesque rules, regulations and official forms, all of which must be complied with or you’ll get fined or even imprisoned.
Across the developing world, foreign aid money is directed into inappropriate and pointless green initiatives, while at the same time, being discouraged for use in anything that could be construed as a move towards heavy industrialisation. Millions remain in abject poverty, while good money is wasted on harebrained environmental schemes, which are of absolutely no practical help to them.
The once nascent green industrial sectors are in their death throes and the trading in all those wonderful new green financial instruments is only barely kept on life support, because of regulatory obligations on companies to buy them and the occasional outrageously profitable foray into the market by organised crime.
The ordinary person is being ruthlessly exploited and stripped of money, which is going straight to the already rich. The snouts of every greedy pig of whatever political hue, are jammed into the subsidy trough and it’s a feeding frenzy. Every renewable power source is heavily subsidised, from construction, installation and all the way through its operational life, even when it isn’t generating any power. All that subsidy money is flowing straight into the bank accounts of big companies and wealthy individuals, and all of it is coming straight out of the pocket of the ordinary working person.
Being Green is actually both left-wing and right-wing. Unfortunately, it uniquely embodies the very worst excesses of both political philosophies.
That is the sordid reality behind the grand illusion people have been sold about being Green.
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