On February 26th, regular readers of CSM will have enjoyed Roger Watson’s delightful spud-bashing memories of child slavery, reminding us all how comfortable UK life has become over the last seventy years or so. Without going as far as Monty Python’s funny Four Yorkshiremen sketch, things were harder then, but, because we are optimistic humans, two things happened. We have banned many dangerous and uncomfortable things and we have hidden those unpleasant realities from modern minds.

Our soothing forgetfulness and much improved conditions have had a cost, though – they are the seedbed of today’s hypersensitive wokery.  Wokery is nothing new – it’s simple feedback – nature’s governor, like that little whirly thing with two brass balls on top of a steam engine. It operates by spin, and slows things down when they go too quickly. In the same way that death is the way nature tells us to slow down a bit, so wokery, especially today’s greenwokery, is nature’s way of reducing our standard of living when we are consuming too much. That’s why wokery’s most vociferous greenwashers and finger-waggers are the very people who consume more than their fair share of the Earth’s resources, especially if they put little proportional effort into harvesting the high volume of money, resources and convenience that they enjoy. Wokery is their diversion, an attempt to avoid personal responsibility and, instead, stick it on other people.  The devil does indeed have use of well-fed, idle brains. 

Given its cause (soothing forgetfulness and material improvement), wokery is, unsurprisingly, characterised by ignorance (it ignores the reality of past hardships and overlooks any lack of real future alternatives). It also favours infantile bans (prohibiting anything uncomfortable or mentally challenging). Ignorance and bans are the two sides of the glittering coin offered by ultracrepidarian theorists of wokery who want to ban any uncomfortable “bad” or “immoral” things without regard to common sense or finding realistic alternatives. It’s a counterfeit bribery that brings us to the mess we face today. 

Wokery shows a lack of joined-up thinking. For example, for the millions who walk in ill-fitting green sandals, global warming is caused entirely by carbon dioxide and  carbon dioxide is entirely caused by burning coal. Therefore burning coal is entirely v bad.  So, we need alternative sources for heat and energy. Nuclear is also entirely vvvv bad, so let’s impose wind and solar on everyone. Job done. Sorted.

However, in the real world, our UK wind doesn’t blow 24/7 and our sunshine is pretty scarce for half the year, so instead of waiting for useful alternatives such as Namibian hydrogen like adults, green wokery bans coal and nuclear, declares ourselves “world leaders in carbon devoutness”, and then buys gas from Russia and nuclear electricity from France, simply exporting the responsibility of dealing with reality to other places.  

It works well in times of peace and plenty because it is caused by peace and plenty. Starving refugees are never woke. But it can go pear-shaped. Adolf Putin has had a brain fart and attacked Ukraine, and les grenouilles threaten to cut off our electricity supplies if we don’t let them scrump our fish. For most of us lesser folk, past woke greenwash has suddenly become present trouser brownwash as we contemplate astronomical household fuel and energy bills. 

High greenwoke energy costs, for example,  shut down the UK fertiliser factories, but that’s alright, because according to George Useless Eustice (Zac and Carrie’s green DEFRA parrot that’s been trained to speak fluent woke) our farmers can use organic fertiliser instead. Simples. Sadly (and I apologise if you are eating your breakfast, Dear Reader) this turns out to be bovine ordure in every sense of the words. Quite apart from the fact that there isn’t enough proper farmyard manure to go round, and apart from urban consumer fears about food grown in the alternative “biosolids” (sewer effluent) rather than nice clean chemicals, this malodorous DEFRA greenwoke instruction collides immediately with another opposing greenwoke instruction – the Environment Agencies Rules for Water – rules that prohibit autumn muck-spreading because it might pollute our rivers.  

Talk about a shit-storm – farmers end up with simultaneous instructions to use manure and not use manure at the same time, as Peter Knight explains in this video.  Meanwhile, I am sure none of this affects the comfy central heating or globally-sourced organic veggie box deliveries of Boris’ well-heeled garden party bubble-chums in the Westminster asylum. They probably have no idea that farm crops are subject to seasonal and input limitations. Parroting George Eustice, on the other hand, having spent all his formative years talking to fields of broccoli (perfect preparation for a life in Parliament), should know better, but he apparently swapped a tough, free life in the Cornish wilderness for the bright lights of a gilded Westminster cage some time ago. 

Meanwhile, in the other place, Slumberland, the upper house, God’s Westminster waiting room, the great and the good, sitting mumbling on their red leather commodes in Death Row, are as infected by wokery as the commoner lower asylum rabble. They were debating another woke ban (this one on importing fur, foie gras and hunting trophies) on 22nd February without the slightest degree of irony. Is ermine not fur, my honourable and noble myopics? There was the usual battery of noble yet rectal statements about “leading the world” and saving “thousands and thousands of endangered species” sagely answered, no doubt through clenched teeth, by Lord Benyon, DEFRA’s junior gimp on a short chain. He had to reassure those woke nobles who still possess a pulse that, when it comes to hunting trophies, there would surely be a CarrieZac inspired “ban on importing some 7,000 different species very soon”, whilst revealing, at the same time, that only “20 CITES imports were made in the whole of 2020”. 

Pointlessly banning the importation of 7,000 species when only 20 individual animals (not even species) were actually imported, is typical political wokery and a ridiculous waste of time and effort. The waste is particularly sad because the majority of trophy imports are not actually from endangered animals anyway – they are farmed like deer on vast ranches or conservancies of natural habitat these days. Once again, a woke ban without realistic alternatives will kill more wild animals, destroy more wild habitat and probably kill more remote rural people in Africa than a colonial invasion. 

A ban that will kill wild animals rather than save them, destroy vast swathes of African environment as uneconomic and unworthy of conservation, whilst making the lives of the impoverished rural people living in it measurably harder, is particularly rich coming from DEFRA, the UK government department responsible for (a) “safeguarding the natural environment”, (b) “supporting the world-leading food and farming industry”, and (c) “sustaining a thriving rural economy”. A woke UK ban will destroy all three in Africa, a brutal doublethink that is more George Orwell than George Eustice.

So what’s new? Coal, gas and nuclear energy are all typical greenwoke examples – we made ourselves vulnerable by taking the easy way – maintaining piety at home by exporting responsibility elsewhere. We exported our energy sources because they are mucky. We exported all of our smoke-stack industries to China because greenwoke made them uneconomic at home. We didn’t solve the problems – we simply exported our woke discomfort. Now we are likely to pay for the foolishness with our quality of life until right-side science, technology and private enterprise solve the actual problems, as usual.  

Remember the simple rule of political economics – the right provides, the left consumes.  If you let the woke left into any resource supply chain, that chain will promptly rattle straight down the pan. So the next time you hear some throttlebottom Tory minister parroting wokery, remember – it’s not really a green parrot, it’s a Norwegian blue parrot, nailed to its perch by Zac and Carrie, pining pointlessly for the pristine wokeness of imaginary fjords. 

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.