Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Snowed in?

Snow continues to dominate the headlines making a welcome diversion from Obama and the global financial crisis. Best to take our crises in order!

The widespread disruption caused, what by any measure, would have been pretty typical winter conditions a few decades ago, demonstrates the rather spineless state in which our society finds itself today.

No buses in London yesterday, schools closed across the country, no bin collections etc etc, as officials agree that snow on the roads could cause buses to slide into gutters and endanger lives. The country seems to be full of hi-vi-vested individuals standing around shying away from potential dangers as HSE rule books advise against taking risk, suggesting that to stay indoors is the safer option.

Clearly the world is becoming to scary a place as social psychologists have, through the media, made us fearful of it and the consequences. I see this as just part of a conditioning process to have us all live in a state of fearfulness. ‘Stay at home’, ‘Don’t travel unless it’s absolutely necessary’, ‘Don’t send the kids to school as they might not be able to get home again’.

During the winter of 1963 in the uplands of north west County Durham, the conditions we are witnessing now would have been regarded as an average winter day, while school buses would have run, albeit a bit delayed, despite the conditions with us ‘scholars’ helping to push the them out of snow drifts when necessary. I clearly recall all the boys in my year having to dig a trench just to the physics building at the bottom of the playground for our 'physie' lessons where the there was no heating. We sat there in heavy overcoats and scarves and just got on with things. At lunchtime we would go the local railway station and see heavy steam-hauled freight trains battle through the snow amid driving winds and blizzards. It was a challenge and we were all exhilarated by it. I remember my feet being continuously numb from cold from seven in the morning to the early hours of the following morning when the warmth of the bedclothes finally thawed them out. No central heating then just draughty coal fires.

Only when the drifts reached impossible heights did the buses stop running and then it was a case of bed down in the school gym, or for us more hardy souls, make the seven mile journey home on foot clambering over abandoned vehicles buried beneath the drifts and having the unique enjoyment of seeing the surrounding landscape from a newly elevated vantage point.

Such individualism and resourcefulness would be frowned upon today and actively discouraged as we are all expected to follow HSE’s guidelines and state ‘advice’ by remaining ‘safe’ in our homes.

And this is the way the state wants you, a dutiful ‘citizen’ following rules and regulations like watching the gap between the train and the platform edge or nor forgetting to take your luggage with you when leave it. Self-expression and initiative are not encouraged, only obedience to state dictat and political correctness.

So when the credit crunch turns into empty supermarket shelves, widespread poverty and deprivation, our movers and shakers having worn our nerves to be bone with stress and anxiety and deprived us of our spirit of self-sufficiency and survival, will we be expected, like sheep, to welcome with open arms their new world order, that dark prison they’ve got planned for our ‘own good and well-being’.

Or we will awake from this robotic mind-controlled state and start to think again for ourselves and cast aside the obstacles and those politically correct direction signs which are leading us completely down the wrong road.

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