Going green with rage

Cast your mind back a few years. To a time before the internet. Before the letter ‘i’ could be placed in front of anything to make it sound cool and sleek (the i-sausage, for example). Have you done that? Okay, now go back a little further to the dawn of civilisation.

I’m sure it happened a little more gradually, but essentially some primitative people must have woken up one day and decided to work together for everyone’s benefit. Rather than competing against one another for food and shelter, they found they could pool their resources and make collective decisions which would allow everyone to move on together. An amazing event which would ultimately bring us Starbucks, vote-based television shows democratic legal systems hundred of years later.

Inevitably there would be those societies who would safeguard this gift and value their cooperative above everything else, and there would be those who would use it as a front to bring in their favoured cronies as leaders under a smokescreen of fake democracy and a heabily-censored free-speech.

One of the great things about any society is that they all have their watchmen. People who are looking out for everyone else. People who give up their time to make sure the things that happen do so without damaging everybody else, and thankfully that happened this week.

I’m not sure if it was a slow week on Jeremy Kyle, or whether the economic disaster gripping the world has led to a catastrophic rise in the cost of needlework kits, but eighteen people complained about a television advert in which a Welsh d-list celebrity rides a bicycle through a supermarket and a thorough investigation was launched and reported its findings this week.

Now, I’m not the greatest fan of Health and Safety. It’s ridiculous that we can’t play conkers, throw snowballs or run with axes. A questionnaire for teachers this week suggested that children can’t build things out of egg cartons through fear of salmonella and teachers must wear goggles when using drawing pins. But for once, I don’t blame the helmet-wearing high-vis-clad steel-toe-capped goggle-wearing HSE.

What were those eighteen people thinking? There they were, outraged that Duffy was not wearing a high-vis vest whilst riding her bicycle. And wait. What’s that? I don’t think she’s got lights on her bike either. Presumably they’ve come home from a hard day at the office, put their feet up with a glass of chianti in one hand and suddenly found themselves so insensed that they just had to write in and complain with the other. Except, of course, they hadn’t had a hard day at the office – they’d probably spent all day polishing their Mary Whitehouse bust and waiting for something to come on that they can complain about.

A further 4 people complained that children may emulate the Welsh pop-princess. I’m fairly certain we weren’t going to have elderly ladies knocked over beside the frozen peas as dozens of tweeny-boppers raced laps around aisles 12 and 13 in Morrissons. But thank you. You are the Guardians of liberty and watchkeepers of our security.

At least they complained, of course.

Also this week people around the world where aghast at the situation in Iran, and hundreds of people turned their Twitter avatars green in a gesture of solidarity to Iranian protestors. I’m not sure how many people fighting on the streets for their democratic rights, and in some cases lives, will have taken time-out to logon to see people around the world changing the colour of their avatar to show solidarity with them, but it was at least some kind of action.

President Obama went from ‘showing concern’ earlier in the week to talking directly to Iran and today warning them that ‘the world is watching’.

The truth is that we have a leader in this country who will take time out to phone a slightly troubled singer from a television talent show who is in the midst of her fifteen minutes of fame, but who takes a far less radical and direct approach to the more serious and fundamental problems in the world.

But don’t worry. We can all turn out logos green and the twits will tweet about injustice from every last corner of the globe with uncensored and unblocked mobile phone reception, but I have a better solution. If we can get Duffy to rig a mock election and then embark on a genocidal rampage throughout some town in Mid-Wales whilst advertising a tasty beverage, we’ll see the world leap into action in direct response. Well, only if she forgets to wear the appropriate safety-wear.

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