THESE past few days we have seen the terrible effects that a powerful drug can have on political reputations, careers, and the misery it causes the innocent.
No, I am not talking about Michael Gove and his little white lines, though I suppose at least they made a change from hearing about Theresa May’s red ones, which tended to disappear from view as fast as ‘charlie’ did up the Govian hooter.
I am talking instead of a drug so devastating it can destroy whole nations, wiping a trillion off national wealth. Coke, the supposedly ultimate jet-set, good-time high, pales by comparison.
The substance in question is dopamine, the naturally occurring ‘feelgood’ hormone that creates reward circuits in the brain and is linked to narcissistic behavioural patterns.
I write entirely as a layman on such matters, but I have long thought that the mentality of our new elites can be understood only in terms of some form of addiction, in this case the natural high of feeling good about yourself (and, of course, better than others). Only an insatiable craving can explain the insufferable smugness, the endless virtue-signalling, the ever crazier divorce from reality and the hysterical aggression when the stimulus is withdrawn, which is now so severe that whenever someone points out that reality is rather different from elite fantasies they are immediately labelled ‘far Right’.
Take Theresa May’s grotesque promise last week, signed into law without any debate, to make Britain a ‘net zero carbon’ economy by 2050. The terrible consequences for what remains of our industry and deepening social divisions could make the tragedy of the last two years look minor. Even more horrifyingly, no one in positions of power or authority demurred, including any of the Tory leadership candidates, or as far as I know Labour representatives of industrial constituencies.
As a little thought experiment, let us imagine that anthropogenic global warming is not only a certainty but accelerating at nightmarish rates even beyond the worst predictions. A ‘net zero’ policy would still not make any sense. Britain, accounting for just 1-2 per cent of global emissions, cannot hope to affect matters when countries such as China and India are rapidly building coal-fired power stations, increasing production at an astonishing rate. All we will create is deindustrialisation and the transfer of production abroad to less green jurisdictions. Surely a far better policy would be to invest heavily in pure energy research that the entire world could benefit from, which with our world-class universities we are well placed to do.
Doubtless this particular piece of lunacy is in part the latest expression of a deep-seated British Establishment snobbery towards commerce and industry that has caused huge damage to our economy and society for well over a century. But one suspects it is also something else: that it has now got to the point where our dopamine-addled elites impose such ideas on us not in spite of the fact that they are demonstrably crazy but because they are crazy; to cling to the impossible, to the unrealisable is a way of separating oneself from hoi polloi and their trifling concerns; to make oneself transcendent.
Marx wrote that religion was the opiate of the people. In our age adherence to his and other ‘woke’ ideals has become the opiate of the elites. Brexit, was, I suppose, a form of prolonged ‘cold turkey’ for them, but the patients are not rehabilitated and plainly yearn to return to their bad old ways. The dopamine-junkies desperately need a good ‘fix’, and green idiocy works just fine. Prepare for much more of it. Beyond Brexit, plainly another battle on the way we are governed must be had, if we are ever to return our country to some form of sanity.