Two things have become inexplicably popular during the last year. One is the Green Party. The other is the inscrutable witterings of Russell Brand. Both have been taken seriously by many people who should know better. And despite how easy it is to dismiss many of their claims on a point-by-point basis, both seem to be acquiring an ever-larger base of followers and a measurable impact on media and political narratives.
Utterly irrational appeals to feelings, fact-free and entirely speculative supposition and aggressive dismissal of critics through shouty sloganeering (when of course they cannot get away with direct intimidation), appear to be no bar to the likes of Brand or Natalie Bennett being welcomed onto primetime television and legitimised as part of the national conversation. What should we expect, though, of a media establishment that has no problem regularly providing milk and biscuits for Anjem Choudary and his views after every Islamist outrage?
If we must be subjected to their rambling incoherence, then let us at least take them at their word and treat them as if they actually mean what they say. And if they do mean what they say, what does that mean for us? Brand’s book is effectively his political and religious manifesto. The Greens, on the other hand, have a comprehensive set of policy documents online. In both cases I will consider five of their most destructive policies or ideas and then speculate as to which catastrophic coagulation of idiocy would lead us to ruin first. In this first part of the series, we’ll deal with the greens. Tomorrow, we move on to Brand.
1. Permanent Recession
Remember Marx and Engels’ Permanent Revolution? The Greens go one better. Never mind old-fashioned notions of hard work and success achieved through keeping one’s nose to the grindstone. No, the Greens would rather we had our noses pushed firmly into the dirt and our heads used to rake furrows in the soil to make way for strictly non-GM, though piously back-breaking, crop planting.
This would be achieved through a policy of negative growth. Because, in their minds, if we consume the planet dies. End of story. Therefore national economic activity must be stymied and it is not clear if the Greens actually have a floor at which they would be willing to stop. I suspect given their generally misanthropic mien that there is none. Several of their policy areas dovetail in order to achieve this goal, including strict import control and taxation as well as a commitment to “100% renewable energy by 2030.”
They also plan to soak the rich moderately well off slightly better-off than your neighbour. And VAT is to be replaced by a tax that reflects the true environmental costs of a product or service. The Greens do not appear to be aware that such a policy would make electric cars and windmills extremely expensive, as both are far from carbon neutral. They also require heavy industry and the mining and disposal of hazardous materials.
The attack on the evil capitalist hordes continues with levies on gift-giving. The policy states there will be exceptions but it is all a bit fluffy and the very act of allowing insertion of the state’s proboscis into this area at all is quite frightening. It could be especially pernicious with regard to philanthrophy, think tanks and any kind of activist or political grouping.
One might hope that it would be applied neutrally, so that businesses may not be allowed to give away copies of the Boy Jones’ book, or a Green Party membership with their products, for example. There is no doubt unfortunately that the Greens would carry out political interference at all levels (see their policy on the BBC). It may make life extremely difficult for any opposing ideologies to the Greens to even gather under a single umbrella. Goodbye Adam Smith Institute, the Institute for Economic Affairs and so on. Just Greenpeace and My Little Pony brony meetups will be permitted to prosper in the knave’s new world, it seems.
2. Dad’s Army Defence Policy
Our Green friends are so peace-loving and forward-thinking that they would run down our armed forces and rely on – at best – something like local militias. They would also leave NATO immediately. Now, I’m an anti-interventionist kind of libertarian, and extremely leery of military engagement that is not absolutely necessary. Yet I realise that we live in a complex, dangerous world and even in peacetime, the armed forces have an essential role to play. Maybe I’m odd or old-fashioned but I also cannot imagine living in a society that does not venerate warriors in some way.
Even if I were to agree with the Greens on avoiding potentially costly, disastrous and immoral foreign interventions, the UK still has key responsibilities that need to be upheld. The Greens would condemn British dependencies to their fates. The Falklands would be overrun by Argentina and who knows what would happen to the residents. Gibraltar would be wrested away by the Spanish and we would sit on our hands.
Then there are the commitments, implied and actual, to defend and protect neighbours and allies – assuming by this point that the UK has any friends or allies left. A disarmed Britain would surely encourage aggressors on the European fringe. There would be one less capable nation that would implicitly defend Israel in the event of another Arab-Israeli war. Russia might see these Islands as an ideal staging ground for forays into the heart of Europe and across the Atlantic. Altogether a horrifying, nightmare scenario.
3. Britain: the gift that keeps giving
Breitbart’s Virginia Hale has already penned an excellent piece on Green immigration policy. It is worth highlighting however, how this policy metastasizes into a whole new level of horror in conjunction with several other Green suggestions.
Living on British soil will be the litmus test for access to resources, not formally holding citizenship (they in fact want to do away with British citizenship). While the Greens may have temporarily backtracked on their universal income scheme, the remainder of their policies envision a high-spend welfare state. Education, healthcare and general infrastructure would still be essentially free at the point of delivery.
If we think we have a “free rider” problem now, just wait and see what the Greens have in store for us. People joke about the third world coming to live here, yet under Green policy the world’s poorest citizens would be irrational not to come – and, moreover, there would be nothing to stop them.
All of the Green’s spending plans require a substantial tax base. It is clear from point 1 above that they are quite ready to kill this off. The Green Party leader Natalie Bennett, when asked by Andrew Neil what would stop the rich just leaving appeared to argue that they would stay because “they are human” and would not want to move their children from local schools, leave friends behind and so on. That kind of criminally naïve negligence would get you locked up if you were running a business, never mind the country.
Even without the citizen’s income as an incentive, the country would still provide a free ride for many essential services for masses willing to travel and plant their feet here. Combined with “negative growth,” anyone with even a modicum of intelligence can see that the country would rapidly – perhaps within weeks – contract into unmitigated and irrecoverable economic disaster.
4. Intermittent energy – if any.
The Green’s energy policy is probably their largest leap of faith. It coheres perfectly with their destructive visions in other policy areas. The only way the UK could ever hope to power itself completely, or even just mostly, through renewables would be with a dramatically reduced population and one that also did not require heavy industry or even the most basic facilities, not to mention food imports.
Wind would have to be the mainstay of the options available as other renewables options would, as they do now, only provide a tiny fraction of the energy mix. And yet, no matter how often they are asked, Greens refuse to address the fundamental intermittency of wind power. Presumably the country will continue to run on wishful thinking – just like the Greens seem to. Many claim that they would be willing to lead a genuinely low carbon lifestyle anyway so intermittent power would not be such an issue. None of them could possibly have thought this through and it is genuinely deflating to see how much these entitled people take for granted: things provided by innovations and industries that they routinely criticise.
They do in fact appear to fetishise a kind of backward, third-world lifestyle (even if, secretly, they do not want to live it). I propose that, being a fetish, we should perhaps cater for it and allow harmless indulgence occasionally to keep them out of the affairs of civilised and rational people. They can have some filthy chatlines set up exclusively for their use. Here are some ideas:
Call 0800 WHISTLESTOP and listen to listless factory workers sitting in a circle, tapping their sustainably-produced clogs and singing Kumbaya in between shifts. Hear them pant in anticipation of their next activity period, which could come at any time. Feel the rush when the whistle goes to announce that the wind is, once more, blowing and the magical machines move once more, infused with Gaia’s ever-generous breath.
Call 0800 ARREST ME to indulge and engorge yourself with the sounds of panic in an operating theatre as a sinful carbon-emitting unit goes into cardiac arrest. Enjoy the sexual spark of smugness knowing they lay there as a result of a lifetime of overconsumption. Feel the excitement as the staff stumble around in the dark when the power goes out. Gasp at the sounds of the nurse mounting the patient and applying organic CPR. Feel the surge when the power returns, a defibrillator is used and the unstable grid results in nurse and patient being instantly and fatally electrocuted.
Call 0800 PUMP ME to hear someone’s laboured breathing as they have to walk half a mile and then pump water by hand. Delight at the slops and grunts as they then struggle to carry it home. Hear the desperate scrubbing and sloshing as everyone in the family has to share the same tepid and dirty bathwater. Delight in the sounds of vomiting and loose bowel movements as everyone dies of cholera.
5. Cultural and moral relativism
The Greens “clarified” their policy recently, for the second time, regarding the membership of currently proscribed organisations, including some terror groups. The Telegraph’s Matthew Holehouse described this “clarification” as a “synonym for screeching u-turn”. In spite of this, the Greens remain resolute cultural and moral relativists throughout their policies and I suspect their attitudes to ISIS, the IRA and others will come back to haunt them – and us – again.
The original policy was disingenuously represented as a defence of intellectual freedom and prevention of state enforcement of thought crime. Caveats were supplied indicating that “of course” prosecutions would occur where any violent or otherwise criminal acts were carried out by group members. This highlights, yet again, the Green’s extreme naiveté.
As Mehrdad Amanpour is at pains to point out, one of the biggest challenges we face in the UK is that so called “non violent” islamists are not recognised as being a serious problem. Indeed, as I have written previously, these very people are directly involved with our political class in supposed “de-radicalisation” programmes.
The Green’s policies on terrorism and international security slavishly follow the narrative that terrorism is the fault of the West. In fact, everything is the fault of the West. Even their immigration policy assumes that Allahu akhbar-screaming nutbars will not attack the UK as soon as the country withdraws from intervening in world affairs.
This level of foolishness matters a great deal, since the Greens apply it to a whole constellation of issues. Many are debates that they appear to consider quite settled when they are anything but. Assisted dying and abortion are still, rightly, controversial issues and yet the Greens wish to fully liberalise both with no discussion.
Decisions that should be matters of conscience and not state-mandated pervade Green philosophy. Yet they can’t get anything consistently straight. They also propose that every citizen is gradually weaned onto a vegetarian diet. It is clear however that they will make exceptions for cultural and religious sensitivities. The state will therefore come down the hardest on cultural groups and belief systems that the Greens disapprove of – currently represented (for now) by the majority of the British population.
Meat-eaters and Christians can expect no quarter. Climate sceptics will be “purged”. It will be a free-for-all for everyone else… as long, of course, as you maintain your carbon emissions below a certain arbitrary and implausibly low ceiling.
If you think that was a horror show, wait until you get a load of Russell Brand’s torrent of clueless bilge – coming tomorrow!