Cotton bags, public transport and socialism

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The other day I found in my mailbox a surprise freebie from our very liberal local Council: A cotton bag to be used in the supermarket in lieu of plastic bags. The seemingly innocent cotton bag initiative is a part of a larger campaign to turn us into environmentally responsible Londoners. Another objective is to wean us off our dependence on the automobile and to make us use public transport and bicycles instead. The centerpiece of that worthy project is the so—called 'congestion charge' which sets you back 8 ($14) every time you decide to drive downtown.

The dream of London's ultra leftist Mayor Ken Livingstone (also known as Ken the Red and this not because of his hair color) and his friends is to have us hauling our groceries in council cotton bags while using London's notoriously crowded mass transport.

But that reminds me of something. This idyllic image of environmental conscientiousness reeks strongly of socialism, a system in which I happened to grow up. Cotton bags and sweaty public transport were, of course, its life's indelible staples.

No one should make the mistake of assuming that this campaign is about the environment, since the environment is the last thing these stealth (and not so stealth) reds ever cared for. Their greenspeak is merely the rope with which to wrap us into a socialist straightjacket.

Vasko Kohlmayer   4 5 06

The other day I found in my mailbox a surprise freebie from our very liberal local Council: A cotton bag to be used in the supermarket in lieu of plastic bags. The seemingly innocent cotton bag initiative is a part of a larger campaign to turn us into environmentally responsible Londoners. Another objective is to wean us off our dependence on the automobile and to make us use public transport and bicycles instead. The centerpiece of that worthy project is the so—called 'congestion charge' which sets you back 8 ($14) every time you decide to drive downtown.

The dream of London's ultra leftist Mayor Ken Livingstone (also known as Ken the Red and this not because of his hair color) and his friends is to have us hauling our groceries in council cotton bags while using London's notoriously crowded mass transport.

But that reminds me of something. This idyllic image of environmental conscientiousness reeks strongly of socialism, a system in which I happened to grow up. Cotton bags and sweaty public transport were, of course, its life's indelible staples.

No one should make the mistake of assuming that this campaign is about the environment, since the environment is the last thing these stealth (and not so stealth) reds ever cared for. Their greenspeak is merely the rope with which to wrap us into a socialist straightjacket.

Vasko Kohlmayer   4 5 06