The everyday blog of Richard Bartle.

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8:58am on Friday, 1st September, 2006:



Yesterday, 38 demonstrators were arrested outside (and inside) the Drax power station near Selby in Yorkshire. They were protesting against it on environmental grounds, on the basis that it's Britain's largest single producer of greenhouse gases.

So, what did they want to happen? Should Drax be immediately closed, because then Britain won't have a largest single producer of greenhouse gases and all will be well?

This sort of thing happens a lot in single-issue politics. Official bodies are urged to tackle the worst example of something, rather than the conditions that give rise to it. It happens with with medical funding, with educational needs, with tackling crime, with censorship, ...

When I was a boy, we used to go and stay at my grandparents' house for our holidays. They lived in a small village northwest of York. I once overheard an elderly resident saying to another elderly resident that someone or other should be removed from the parish council by virtue of his being the rudest person on it. A good way of ensuring, over time, that there was no-one on the town council, I thought.

Yet when the world's oldest person dies, everyone seems to recognise that there's a new one right there to replace (usually) her.

Ah, people.

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Copyright © 2006 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).