Perhaps the biggest irony in the recent spate of road closures instigated by members of ‘Insulate Britain’, is that they share an impractically idealistic approach to changing environmental policy with the very same Government that they ultimately intend to antagonise.
Both the Government and the Protestors believe that by forcing change or imposing green policies unilaterally on the UK they can change the whole world without there being any consequences or impact for any of the population involved.
There is of course a regrettable element of truth to the group’s suggestion that the only way they can force government change is by causing us all pain. As a Country, we are now in the early stages of a massive crisis which will touch everything and everyone – yet none of us will accept that reality until the real impact of it literally hits our lives direct.
Unfortunately for Insulate Britain and for us all as we peer over a very steep cliff, the kind of pain that will change the way a whole Country and culture thinks will need to reach way beyond just a couple of issues and the inconvenience that closing a few roads or airports will bring. We are talking pain that touches numerous areas of our lives.
However, if you are one of those who believes there’s no such thing as climate change or has some agenda that flourishes by pushing that way of thinking upon others, it’s definitely time for you to start thinking again.
Climate change is real. Private, profit-making interests have been pushing a low-cost retail pricing myth for decades which is very lucrative for them but has imposed significant costs for the environment and for our planet. And that’s before we even get onto the subject of the damage this has all done to the way we think.
We are now a consumer led, retail obsessed, it-must-come-at-the-touch-of-a-button, increasingly entitled society.
On one hand, we will not give up those things we take for granted easily. Yet on the flipside, the way the system operates means that very few of us could actually afford to embrace change for the better, even if we were in a place where our thoughts had caught up with reality and made it clear that we should try.
We need to change the way we think, and we need to change our thinking quickly. But we also have to work with where thinking in the UK is now and the practicalities of a situation where the way our world works right now is anything but green.
But the world is already changing. Opportunities to do things a much better way will come. But not until we have lived through and dealt with a lot of pain.
Shortages are going to become more and more commonplace. Those shortages are set to increase across all parts of the supply chain as the months go by. Rationing of goods that reach far beyond diesel and petrol may not be very far away.
We are in the early stages of a massive period of crisis and change where a rebalancing of everything is underway. But no politician, activist or high-powered influencer can control any of it now in any way.
As things become increasingly difficult for us and each and every one of us experience our lives being touched by the challenges that lie ahead, we will become more and more open to new ways of thinking. We will see new ways of working together. New ways of living our lives are set to come.
It is when the challenges really start to hurt us and affect our own lives directly that the opportunities to change policy across government, the public sector and business sectors will present themselves in a very different and future-changing manner. They will allow us to move forward in a very different, thoughtful and considered way.
The timeline to all of this may well be incredibly short or may be years long. We really are at the thin end of a very thick wedge with empty shelves and driver shortages right now. And this compilation of different but equally serious crises is going to have major widespread impacts for sure.
Unfortunately, we have a Government, political class and establishment obsessed with maintaining a level of control that it doesn’t actually have.
The politicians involved have a track record of creating policy without thought and consideration for the wider consequences, and they do so as a knee jerk reaction to whatever is going on in the media.
On the face of it, there will be some who admire the way that ‘road closure’ protestors have applied themselves, not only with glue, but in the way but they are maintaining their protests, sometimes on a daily basis.
What Insulate Britain don’t realise is they’re running a risk of instigating a change which could have serious consequences for us all. Especially as everything else around us begins to deteriorate.
As the road-blocking protests go on and get more severe, the Government is increasingly likely to turn to legislation to help them deal with it in ways that will enable the police or perhaps even the military to stop protests like these.
Once the current problem is dealt with, this new legislation won’t be parked and put on a shelf. It is likely to be picked up applied and used on the people who are becoming increasingly frustrated, angry and upset about the way the Government is treating us all over their handling of Covid and the not so new, continually self-serving world that they are now trying to impose.
Never has the time existed when we have needed reasoned and considered dialogue between people on different sides of all the debates as we do right now.
Regrettably, as yet, people haven’t been affected seriously enough as yet to take part. They are not yet ready to talk to each other, communicate with each other and respect each other in the way that we all need to.
It is going to take the impact of the changes that are coming and the challenges that we face to touch all of our lives before we are collectively ready to embrace dialogue and change in a much more positive and forward looking way.
No matter what you’re passionate about or what motivates you in terms of the things that must change, the biggest risk to change is the fact that we are not even trying to come together today to overcome the very small number of things which divide us. We must focus on the things that we share in common that will allow us to deal with the problems we face tomorrow together and in a very different way.