Who/what/where/why is the Left circa 2013? Unwisely, the Bemolution is going to have a go at answering that. But before we start banging on about fairly insular aspects of present-day left-wing politics, it’s worth meditating on the big issue underlying all of what will follow – namely the environmental bottom line. Are you sitting uncomfortably? Then we’ll begin.
The world we live in is often crushingly, self-parodyingly bleak. It’s ridden with preventable misery and wobbles on the brink of ecological catastrophe. The minority most capable of doing anything about it – the section of affluent Western societies who aren’t forced to spend all their time and energy just trying to scrape by – has sunk itself in a mire of ignorance, short-sightedness, and unquestioning, mindless excess. And, as a result, addressing either the misery or the catastrophe couldn’t be further from the mainstream political agenda. Hurriedly nut-shelled, that’s the problem we’re faced with. Like a newly-qualified boy-racer who crashes the family Ford Escort on his first run out of town, humanity has squandered its planetary inheritance, doing more damage to the ecosystem in a few hundred years than trillions of previous careful owner-organisms had done in over a billion. Continue reading
Kirsty Williams, Francis Maude, the top of David Dimbleby’s head, the side of Chuka Umunna’s and the back of Leanne Wood’s
After last month’s bloated horror, the Bemolution offers a more svelte entry into its mainstream-monitoring initiative for increased readability and the sake of its own continuing sanity.
The Place: Cardiff, Wales
This week: one-time Lib Dem leadership hopeful turned Coalition energy minister Chris Huhne and his ex-wife Vicky Pryce were sentenced to eight months in jail for perverting the course of justice; David Cameron killed off cross-party talks on how best to put Leveson’s proposals on press reform into action; and Work & Pension Secretary Ian Duncan-Smith was forced to exempt soldier’s families from his spare-room-penalising Bedroom Tax. Continue reading
If you’re over about twenty, you’ll probably remember 2005’s Live 8 concerts, the Bob Geldof-orchestrated anti-poverty events in the lineage of 1985’s Live Aid.
The day itself was a decidedly mixed bag. Yes, it brought a sudden, massive burst of publicity for humanitarian crises across the world, not to mention a deluge of popular compassion. But that global awareness was depressingly short-lived, and the aid promises it wrung out of world leaders ultimately proved hollow. It was a good-natured stab at changing the world and a bumper day for record sales. Having ticked the altruism box for another decade, egomaniac Bono-and-Madonna types could cheerily go back to raking in the dough. Continue reading