So Dominic Cummings, De Pfeffel Johnson’s key adviser, sacked Claire O’Neill from leading the UN climate talks later this year in Glasgow as President of COP26. In response O’Neill told the Today programme that De Pfeffel Johnson had admitted to her that he didn’t get climate change.
For some this has proved to be a shocking allegation, but for others it is a welcome clarification of what they already knew. It is important to remember. That if he actually understood climate change the 1% would never have appointed him to be the useful-idiot-in-chief. However this sacking did catch my attention for several reasons.
Firstly, and by way of opening with a joke, one of the tabloid highlights of Claire O’Neill’s political career was her famous remark about whether she needed to give the Speaker of the House a blow-job in order to be called on during debates. Answering this question might be easier if seen in the context of recent reports that the Prime Minister’s unelected girlfriend is conspiring to get his unelected special advisor fired over who gets to advise on cabinet reshuffles. I don’t know about the House of Commons, but if you want to appoint cabinet ministers it turns out getting a mouthful of De Pfeffel’s Johnson is as good a place to start as any. … [fast drumroll, followed by hi-hat] … you’ve been great, thank you and good night.
Where was I. Oh yes, the shocking allegation that the PM doesn’t understand climate change. It is probably a good idea to put this into some wider context as well.
Shortly after being appointed Prime Minister, De Pfeffel Johnson appointed several climate change deniers and climate change sceptics to his cabinet. This was entirely expected because the extended network surrounding the immediate De Pfeffel Johnson inner circle was always largely made up of the far-right of the Conservative Party and the US Republican Party, Neoliberal capitalists, the Colonel Blimp Brexiteers, and the 0.1%ers. And that is before taking into account all the various lobbyists and thinks tanks on the payroll of the transnational corporations, such as Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) who work for the carbon-capitalists and have got his ear.
But this current administration isn’t an anomaly, or even that far outside of the norm. The New Conservative party are simply continuing down the same path that the May, Cameron, Brown, Blair, Major, and Thatcher governments were already taking us. We are still following the same neoliberal fiscal model domestically, while our foreign policy is largely being defined by Washington.
In fact, the only major difference that I can see is in the cultural narrative that is currently being used to justify it. The story that they now tell us while they pick our pockets before pushing us into the gutter has shifted quite deliberately over several decades into a form of ultra-nationalist populism with nostalgic delusions of 19th Century imperialism. A very divisive theme, that historically tends to nurture far-right extremism and violence.
And as for all this ‘man of the people’ nonsense they keep trotting out, it really doesn’t matter how many times the 1%ers in the mainstream media repeatedly try to airbrush over the privileged upbringings of the ruling class, the truth is that the modern Tory party is as elitist as it has ever been. It still is overwhelmingly super-rich white and male, albeit with a couple of outliers to divert attention from the general theme.
And however much large sections of society try to delude themselves about this crowd, the fact is that the multi-millionaire PM De Pfeffel-Bunter went to Eton and on to Oxford to study classics, while the multi-millionaire Leader of the House, Lord Rees-Snooty, went to Eton and then on to Oxford to study history, but apparently wished he had studied classics. Out of the over six million people who come from the bottom 90% of UK society that voted for them, how many actually know how much the annual fees to Eton are, or for that matter what an Oxford degree in classics entails?
And don’t fall for the meticulously contrived and premeditated buffonery. These aren’t just a rabble of Oxbridge dilettantes slumming it as populists, they are the political wing of a highly oppressive and exploitative 1% which have maintained power for centuries. Before their privilege was disguised as the white man’s imperialist burden, the only difference now is that it is disguised as the invisible hand of the market. There is no superior race, and there is no imaginary force guiding the markets. Capitalism, as imperialism before it, is a socially constructed system for apportioning costs and benefits unfairly across populations.
What we understand today as the ‘free market democracy’ model is little more than a cultural pantomime distracting us from the reality of our situation. The role of the political arm of the ruling power bloc is to oppress the 99% in order for the economic arm to exploit the 99%. That was how it was 150 years ago, and that is how it is today. The only thing that has really changed over the last few centuries is how it is justified. The sets and the backdrop have changed, but the players and the audience largely remains the same.
When it comes out that De Pfeffel Johnson and his far-right cabal don’t understand climate change no one should really be that surprised. Their privilege is directly derived from the exploitation of the people and the planet. Let’s not forget, after being appointed Prime Minister, De Pfeffel Johnson and his special friend/advisor went on holiday to Mustique, courtesy of the Von Bismarks. The Guardian estimated that the carbon footprint of this little jaunt, not taking into consideration the private security detail, would have been in the region of 16.5 tonnes of CO2. The UK annual average per person is around 5.5 tonnes.
Of course people like him need to pretend that they either don’t understand it or don’t believe it, because admitting that they do would draw too much attention to their collusion. They know as well as anyone, that when the people that they have been prodding and provoking finally realise what sort of future the 1% have condemned them to, the likelihood is that they will redirect their anger towards the actual source of that future, the 1%. The question isn’t whether this is likely to happen, but when is it going to happen. The lifestyle of the 1%, built on the exploitation and the oppression of the 99% is simply unsustainable.
For instance, every day I walk through the village I currently live in for about 40-50 minutes. Among the population of just under 9,000 people there is a disproportionately high number of 1%ers. For the last four weeks during the course of my walks, I have been counting how many 4x4s (SUVs) and high performance sports cars I see driving, and compare them to how many people I see on bicycles. On average I see between 4-7 high-polluting vehicles and have yet to see more than two bicycles on any one walk. I tried playing this game before comparing pedestrians with cars. But it was just too depressing. These are the same people that think they deserve a medal for carrying their shopping back to their 4x4s in jute bags.
At the beginning of the year Extinction Rebellion were included in an official report of extremist ideologies issued by the Counter terrorism Unit of the police. I wrote a piece for the Morning Star in response. This is the Morning Star version, and this the original unedited version.