Many a good blog has been triggered by the stuff I read from journalists in (what they perceive as) the "real world". None more so than the daily ramblings of The Economist and The Financial Times. I have no particular reason to single them out. If I were in the USA I could have been talking about the Wall Street Journal. What I see there is the world from the viewpoint of a constituency of wealth, privilege and power. How the world must look through their eyes? Oh for a minute in their shoes - and I am by no means a poor man nor a lefty. But it makes you wonder...

Back in the 1980's when I was as Tory-as-they-came I believed that to be worried about inequality was rubbish. Inequality was a natural outcome of the competitive spirit of a free market enterprising nation. It was what drove capitalism to create wealth. There would be winners and losers. To say otherwise was imply the "politics of envy". Thus it was that Margaret Thatcher made every appearance of trying to make everyone 'middle class'. We would all own homes and shares. For a while, it almost seemed true. Then something else started to happen. It was nearly twenty years before I really noticed.

One day I realised it wasn't sustainable. It wasn't built to last. It was heading into the direction of chaos simply because wealth doesn't trickle down and raise all boats. It could do. But it doesn't. The uber-capitalistic system I had hung my hat on hand ended up corrupted. The entire playing field had been oddly slanted. No longer was greed "good". It was now eating itself whole and going "yum yum"! It was corrosive. It had lost its way but it had gathered such a pace that it seemed unstoppable. It had taken over every Government and had consolidated its power-base until we all accepted it was normal. Because it was.

Now I look at the world through the other end of the telescope. I still believe in everything I did in my teenage years and my twenties. But I feel betrayed. We no longer have a sprawling middle-class of "haves" with a few at the top (who mostly deserved it, ie the entrepreneurs) and a few at the bottom (who mostly deserved it through poor judgment - a lesson to us all and a deterrent). In between there were simply those who fell on hard times and bad luck for whom we supported until they found their feet again. That seemed the natural order of things. Sadly that is not the economy my children will inherit.

Now we have a moneyed- and political-class who hold most of the resources. More or less everyone else, including the middle classes, are slowly slipping into a bizarre form of modern serfdom. It is not a system that can be resolved by neo-socialism but it is a system that needs reform unless we simply end up with neo-fascism. This is what could happen if power becomes too remote and centralised away from our communities in a time when traditional resources become restricted. It is a recipe for disaster. Is there not someway we can simply return to the few home truths of the Thatcher years? A nation of shopkeepers, ie, local small businesses? Where hard work and education got you to the top? Or was meant to.

Nowadays the rulers of the universe are a narrow crowd and they read the FT and the Economist. Like journalists everywhere the staff who work on these rags know their audience and pander to their world-view. It is looking at things through a very disturbing lens. Whereas many of my compatriots would find it natural that the fledgling solar energy industry needs government support in the way that coal or nuclear used to (for national security reasons) the readers of the FT prefer their energy system to be soaked in fossil fuels. They like BIG capital projects. Big power stations belching out smoke. "Macho-energy" I call it. Remote. Inhuman. Readers of the FT get to read a continual stream of stories about the failure of the solar power industry. When their readership see stories of the rising price of oil it is passed off as a commodity bubble or down to bad luck - those oil companies don't seem to be able to find more oil this year, or next year, or ever....

Of course every newspaper has its constituency. No doubt Guardian readers are all ex-hippies who have beards, sandals and eat muesli. It may well be equally guilty of seeing every story through a distorted prism of resource depletion and climate change. They key difference is that the Guardian is read by people who THINK that, in a more just world, THEY would run the world for everyone's good. In reality the readers of the FT and The Economist rule the world - even if they are not elected.

So the Economist asks its readers whether public money should be used to boost the opportunities in the renewable energy industry. Half their readers voted "no". On the bright side half voted "yes", but you wonder where there-head-is-at of the other half. Of course the online debate stirred up the usual climate change denial trolls. But you can read their dullard anti-science rubbish in the Guardian too. However you get the feeling that it MATTERS MORE if half of The Economist's readership don't want taxpayers money given to build wind turbines - because they have the money and clout to make this happen.

Indeed this is what is happening. A recent study shows that our big Banks are still funding fossil fuel projects far more than renewable energy projects. There could be a variety of reasons for this but certainly The Economist and FT are doing nothing to help. They refuse to talk-up the prospects of a new gold-rush in thin film photovoltaics or super-batteries.

So I have come to imagine that the world may well be run by people like Montgomery Burns - the Nuclear Power Station owner in hit animated series "The Simpsons". It is he who I imagine is the reader of the FT and the Economist. In "The Simpsons Movie" (Twentieth Century Fox 2007) the town of Springfield is cut off from the outside world and he is their only source of electricity. He calls in the Chief of Police Wiggum, the local Doctor and the local convenience store owner (Apu) to plead with him to keep the power on. Wiggum asks for the power to electrocute a prisoner on death row. The doctor asks that his patient's life support machines be allowed to run. Monty is interested but when it comes to Apu the convenience-store-clerk blows it completely. He asks Burns to "look deep down into his heart" so that he will know the "right thing" to do. At this point Burns unleashes the hounds on his visitors and they are forced to withdraw.

Clearly Apu reads the Guardian. The Realpolitik is with the Chief of Police. We shouldn't believe otherwise. So, is Burns a problem? Yes and no. We have to be talking to him more like the Policeman or the Doctor and lot less like the dime-store clerk. We need to up our game.

What do you reckon?

There is a better way.

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