Archive for May 3rd, 2012

The world will tremble

Because I can’t garden at the moment (too wet), I have time to think. Always dangerous.

In particular, I’m thinking about China. And I’m not liking it.

Today, a Chinese company bought a controlling stake in an old and much-loved British cereal brand. No doubt this is good for the company. It may even be good for UK jobs (though – call me a cynic – I doubt it).

A fairly unremarkable thing, on its own. But taken with the current Chen Guangchen story, and western nations’ general pusillanimity where China is concerned, it sends a shiver down my spine.

Napoleon was right: China has awoken, and the world is fucking trembling. Not in a good way, sadly. I’ve been to China, and I gotta tell ya: I didn’t like what I saw, and heard, and felt. Chinese people are delightful and charming. Their country’s politics, and some of its cultural precepts, utterly suck.

None of us can afford to ignore this, or wish it away – not any more. The unpalatable truth is that China’s economic power is so enormous that its tendrils are reaching far into our lives – wherever we live. In financial terms, China more or less owns the USA at this point. Chinese managers (and thus Chinese politicians) may already own the firm where you work.

Which means Chinese politics and Chinese culture are coming to your life – soon – wherever you are. Chen Guangchen is not some odd blind guy in a far away land with no relevance to you. In a very real sense, he IS you.

You may not be worried. Maybe you’re even ranting, as you read this, about western cultural imperialism and the terrible damage western nations did to China not so very long ago. In which case you have a point. We have much to be ashamed of.

But don’t rant too long, or too ardently. Above all, don’t be a fucking idiot and equate our sins with theirs as if there were some genuine moral/political equivalence.

Ask yourself merely this: How many Americans are queueing at the Chinese embassy in Washington asking for political asylum? Has that happened ever…. even just once?

[Postscript: This post may well condemn soilman.net to a co-ordinated hack, or at the very least a denial-of-service attack. This is how China deals with views it doesn’t like – within and without its borders. If so, thanks for listening… and you know who done it]

PS Since I’m on the subject, I’d like to note here formally that I value my membership of the anglo-saxon political club higher every day. However often we fail to reach them, we set the highest standards for human dignity and liberty the world has ever seen. In particular, I admire beyond measure the constitution of the USA. Just knowing that it exists, somewhere over the Atlantic, as a last refuge for lovers of freedom – whatever happens – helps me sleep easier.

Posted on 3rd May 2012
Under: Rants | 8 Comments »

Too wet for anything

Apologies for total silence on these pages. Reason: Some moron made the predictable error of claiming Britain was facing a terrible drought, and might face water rationing for years.

Consequence: The wettest April since records began. I’ve hardly been able to set foot outside for three weeks.

They really should know better. Look up the name Dennis Howell and learn from history.

Because they’re mostly morons, human beings forget that there is no such thing as an average year. No year is ever average. It’s above average in certain indices (sometimes well above) or below average (ditto). The average is an approximate halfway point between the normal extremes.

Sure, we’ve had two dry winters. But the year I moved into my my current home, the lawn was underwater from November until February. It will be that way again sooner or later. Probably – because of the law of averages – sooner.

Posted on 3rd May 2012
Under: Rain, Rants | 4 Comments »