There is no such thing as perfect democracy; particularly where elected public servants (have to?) continue to default-ly kowtow to anachronistic, irrelevant taxpayer-burdening institutions. I often wonder where some politicians really are on these; whether they are just playing the game to their own ends, keeping quiet in pursuit of high office. Or should we be grateful that we are governed by diplomats skilled in the art of compromise, who publicly temper their desire to say what they really think? Unlike Prince Charles from time to time, eh?
A lazy argument resorts immediately to insulting someone’s intelligence simply because they hold a contrary position/opinion. Charlie is sounding off to talk down something that is contrary to what he believes is right; not unlike some scientists defending their pet theory against opposing theorists. After all, he does know a bit about farming; which I don’t much (although I did spend some time in my youth labouring on a pig-fattening farm, which I guess could provide swill for a future blog piece), so I’ll leave the defence of the potential relative merits of GM crop production to those in the know. However, I’ll wager his knowledge of (for example) geology, paleontology, and environmental science is no greater than most of us. Which makes his pronouncement, “the biggest disaster environmentally of all time” all the more irritating: an apocalyptic anti-science appeal to cheap media journalism, which always provides him with a ready platform to spout off.
I’m sure Charlie is not anti-science per se; he doubtless talks it up when it accords with his view of the world. But that’s the thing – his worldview. We commoners can have little conception of how he sees things, intoxicated by the rarefied atmosphere he breathes. As wannabe ‘Defender of Faiths’ perhaps he feels duty-bound to invoke the GM-crops-as-intrusion-into-God’s-realm baloney; or maybe he rejects GM because it doesn’t chime with the lining of his voluminous pockets with the proceeds of his idyllic farm project. Either way, it’s another gaffe from a prominent public figure exploiting and bolstering the ignorance of citizens (subjects) who are primed to believe that earnest scientists are intent on evil-doing. But it’s alright for him, he can get away with this kind of thing because he doesn’t need to worry about getting elected. Instead, what concerns Chaz is his relevance. He needs to remind us all he is here, that he is important, that he has something to say (Does he blog?), while he continues to promote a beguiled foreigner’s eye-view of his country as some quaint pretty parochial village populated by happy smiling paupers (‘ ‘Cos tourists are money’).
“If that is the future, count me out”, said Charles. There is hope.
Much as I think some of Charlie’s views are silly (and this one in particular), I think it’s good that he does stir up debate by saying what he thinks. Hopefully he’ll see sense and decline the throne, deciding instead to keep the role of the eccentric uncle. I suspect in this role he doesn’t do a lot of harm, and at the very least gives us some entertainment.