A group of MPs has concluded that everyone will need to give up their motor cars in 2050 in order for Britain to meet its climate change targets. I’ll certainly be giving up mine on the near certain grounds that I’ll be long dead by then. Even electric cars will not be able to replace conventional vehicles because of the carbon footprint created in their production. I can see a few problems, here.
I am guessing that the government assumes that medical science will have advanced so much by then that old and disabled people will regain free movement and given the proliferation of new gymnasiums everyone will have their own gym which they can all run to every morning. As there will no longer be a care sector, as all illnesses from cancer to dementia will be cured, the hundreds and thousands of care workers will all be freed up to sign on at the dole office. And we shall all live happily ever after. Or not.
Whilst we can expect significant medical advances by 2050, I doubt very much whether old age can be reversed. It’s entirely possible there will be more people in care than ever before because apparently we’re all living longer than ever. And I doubt that we will all be out of our cars. Or not all of us.
Affluent politicians and millionaire media presenters can postulate all they like but we know how things work in this country. And I very much doubt that in 30 years time things will look very different. The reality is that the better off will still be able to drive wherever they want, unaffected as they will be by paying to drive in cities or buying expensive electric cars which will be unaffordable to anyone else. I very much doubt that the better off will turn their hand to domiciliary care. With many years of Conservative governments to come, those with no legs will be told to stand on their own two feet and everyone will need to fend for themselves as there is no such thing as society, allegedly.
It’s not that I am opposed to stopping climate change. On the contrary, I am desperate to ensure that we leave our world in a reasonable state for our children and grandchildren. As we are about to move into a post Brexit small state, low tax, deregulated country where market forces will control everything, a freakish version of Darwinism will apply where the the rich will prosper and the poor, who will not be able to adapt to a changing world, will starve to death. Margaret Thatcher would not be spinning in her grave: she’d be dancing in it.
In recent years, I have come across numerous care workers in a professional capacity and they are usually the best of the best. And the very youngest ones are, according to the government and their employers, £6.15 an hour. For assisting a disabled person’s bathroom needs, dressing them and helping them eat their food, I do not think this is a particularly generous sum, but then, I’m an old fashioned woolly liberal so what do I know?
The government will know what to do: nothing. They’ll kick it all into the long grass and let the following government pick up the pieces. The old and vulnerable don’t matter to governments, except when they are asking for votes, and their support workers certainly don’t.
The MPs have given their view. Now it’s time for everyone to ignore it. We’re all right, Jack.