Today’s news was supposed to be about the latest inflation figures. As you probably know by now, our prediction that the majority of economists’ predictions would prove to be wrong was proved to be correct.
All economists were predicting a fall in inflation to single figures, which was supposed to occur from February onwards. Unfortunately, the economy (the thing they are supposed to be experts on) did not play ball. In February inflation rose to 10.4%, the highest figure in the G20. Of course, they were unable to explain this blip. I think they blamed Russia. But it was supposed to be a temporary blip as good times could not possibly be far away.
Sadly, for you and me, it is easier to predict good times than actually make them happen. Just think of any night out with a friend which was meant to be “epic”. Inflation for March is 10.1%. Initial reaction in the press was “It’s down, this is great”. Then some party pooper pointed out that food inflation was at its highest level for 45 years. Officially at 19%, we know from our monitoring of budget goods that it is closer to 34% and we haven’t quite completed a year of monitoring yet.
Whilst inflation is important, so is the right to protest. By now you will be aware that Animal Rebellion protesters caused major disruption to the Grand National, whilst Just Stop Oil protesters managed to disrupt some people playing snooker in Sheffield. Obviously both sets of protesters have been roundly condemned. How dare they care more about the welfare of horses than people who pamper them just as long as they are worth something to them? Or, more heinous still, put the interests of the planet above the opportunity for adults to hit a ball with a long stick.
The Daily Mail, that bastion of reasoned argument (for the avoidance of doubt that is sarcasm), are apoplectic over what they term in today’s scruffy little rag “the eco-fanatics”. It’s an interesting choice of phrase. We would have thought that, as the globe teeters on the edge of being uninhabitable for life, let alone for playing snooker, the fanatics were those who were burying their heads in the sand and refusing to acknowledge that the climate emergency even existed. People like David Rose, author and journalist, who, by coincidence, works for the Daily Mail and has been criticised both by London School of Economics academics and the Met Office for writing misleading articles in the Daily Mail on climate change.
The Daily Mail is joined by that other well-known keeper of polite conversation (more sarcasm), The Sun, in calling for stiffer penalties for protesters who tell the truth so that their journalists can continue to tell lies with impunity.
The Sun is not only outraged that their ability to watch horses being run to death or snooker being played has been disrupted, but also that the people doing the disrupting may not even be poor. Yes you read that correctly. The criticism of the protesters is that they may come from well-off backgrounds. I’m sorry but we never got the memo that said coming from a well-off background prevented you from having beliefs. Indeed, we have tended to notice that “posh yobs” as The Sun prosaically describes the protesters, have far more influence than poor people. Here we mean the procession of posh yobs who frequent our media with their antediluvian attitudes. And often posh yobs own newspapers precisely to peddle whatever misinformation they choose. Of course newspaper proprietors do not consider themselves to be yobs. Almost certainly they know which fork to use as they hold business meetings whose sole intention is to maintain their pornographic levels of wealth. The Sun, we should recall, was heavily involved, along with the rest of the Murdoch empire, in the telephone hacking scandal in which they hacked the phone of murdered 13-year-old Milly Dowler. We would have thought that hacking the phone of a dead teenager was almost a textbook case of posh yobbery, whereas disrupting a sports event to bring attention to the fact that we might all soon be choking, and not just on the headlines, was not.
Lying is a means to avoid discussing issues. So instead of confronting the cruelty inherent in horse racing we pretend that horses enjoy being ridden and whipped. Instead of discussing climate change we spend our time telling outlandish lies about peaceful protesters who are supposedly planning to disrupt the London Marathon, something Extinction Rebellion have categorically denied. Meanwhile the rich, the powerful and the disinterested can carry on living their lives as normal and believe that it is the messengers who are the problem, not the message.