I’ve always preferred human civilisation to the raw, bloody, amoral processes of Nature.
Some of this preference was for the little things: only human beings wear trousers and put spinach into cans and it is only in humanity where (throughout the Anglosphere and some parts of Metropolitan France at least) the males use indoor toilets and with some degree of accuracy.
Only human beings come unasked to the aid of their fellow creatures in distress when those creatures are unrelated to them by blood or immigration into a new pack, pod or troop.
My preference is, I suppose, a prejudice: and all the better for that having been built upon the opinions of respected contemporaries and the inherited wisdom of ages, plus my own experience, as Dr. Dalrymple recommends in his awesome monograph In Praise of Prejudice: The Necessity of Preconceived Ideas.
But prejudice can also mislead.
My preference for what man hath wrought over the works of Darwin’s mad, fanged and clawed lottery fails, for want of intelligence worth the name outside our species, to come up with idiocies as profound and insulting to he human mind than does Mankind itself.
No bottom-feeding scavenger filtering through the vile organic sludge in the abyssal depths stoops quite so low in search of sustenance: no insect-paralyzing wasp that lays her eggs in the agonized abdomen of a poisoned butterfly is so indifferent to the hurt she causes to her offspring’s living nest and first meal, with anywhere near the intelligence-insulting, mind-denying and almost malicious indifference to the suffering of others as the spokesmen of Britain’s public sector trade union leaders on the latest ‘cost-cutting’ budget.
Here are some of the reactions to the government’s public sector pay ‘freeze’ (which gives the lowest-paid quarter of the public sector a £250 per year wage increase (and that means me, dear reader):
Trade unions accused the Coalition Government of “declaring war” on the public services, raising the prospect of 1970s-style industrial unrest.
Note the counterfactual belief that, outside fruit farms, money grows on trees. Oh, and the evaporation of any sense of public duty and concern for service recipients like temporary ponds after sudden rainfall in the desert.
Brendan Barber, General Secretary of the TUC, said: “Public servants did nothing to cause the slump but are being asked to bear an unfair share of the burden.
True. Most of us did indeed do nothing to cause the slump. Most of us ignored the slump, took the pay and the flexi time and the expenses and the pension and kept re-electing the same budget-busting political party that promised us good times forever, free of the elsewhere universal trade cycle, and watched our house ‘values’ grow faster than our ever-expanding mortgages, whose periodic and generous extensions lent by benevolent banks and credit card companies went as likely as not on foreign holidays and vehicles and school fees for children not bred to share classrooms with welfare cash-crop children, who are elsewhere so beloved of the public sector (in theory; just not near our kids, thank you so very much.)
Chris Keates, General Secretary of the NASUWT, the largest teachers’ union, added: “The Chancellor’s assertion that the public sector has been ‘insulated’ is an insult to all nurses and health service staff, teachers and support staff, police officers, firefighters and other public service workers.
Absolutely; we can’t use generous final salary pension schemes with guaranteed benefits irrespective of the state of the economy when we retire to retain the heat from burning fossil hydrocarbons in our homes. We can use special foam for that in the attic, which we can afford to replace with the lump sum from a pension we paid peanuts to ‘buy’ while everyone else who bothered had to trust their own money to the stock market, national government borrowing and, er, bankers.
“During this recession, they have worked tirelessly to deliver an even greater scale of service to the public in order to mitigate against the worst effects of a situation caused by the reckless bankers and financiers who have emerged from this budget unscathed.
Looking at the illiteracy rates and violent crime rates of recent years and the death rates in some of its best-resourced hospitals (adjusted for out-and out governmental lying), I’d say that education and policing and the health service aren’t giving very good value for money – where they are trying to do the core job at all…
And as for the local councils…
“In short, this is a dishonest budget on every level which will have a devastating impact on millions.”
So there you have it.
The leaders of Really Smart People who tell us what to eat and what to think and how to raise our young and where to put our rubbish and who ultimately decide who shall live and who shall die are utterly unaware of, or care nothing at all for, the causes of Britain’s massive debt.
I honestly don’t know which scares me most: that the public sector union leaders are unaware of the housing bubble and the massive and unfunded expansion of the public sector that accompanied it; or that they just don’t care about cause and effect; or whether they know and care and still expect their members to do nothing to help put it right.
So, dear Reader, ignorance and lack of moral responsibility beyond the family or nest typify organisms in the natural world, but which creature in nature is dishonest to and about its own kind on this scale?
Picture from here.