“We are in drought” say the posters. It is hard to believe as I write this with the rain hammering down outside, but everything is relative. Turn off your hosepipe in Berks. Carry on filling up the fishpond in Gloucs. Always remember that the problems are caused by gardeners and car washers, and bathers who could take a shower instead. Never mind the inconvenient truth that households account for only 8% of UK water consumption.
“In drought” is an interesting phrase. I don’t recall our being “in heat”, “in freeze”, or “in wind” – or indeed “in drought” at any stage in the past. The powers that be, and their professional spinners and wordsmiths, choose their words carefully. I have a feeling that “in drought” has been chosen to equate with “in recession” or “in crisis”. It is a way of not only enveloping us in disaster, but hinting that it is at least partly our fault.
It is as if we have had this long-running conspiracy with radio presenters and weather forecasters to get them to say “it’s going to be a lovely day”, when we should be wishing for “another ghastly rain-free day ahead”. Even if our car is always filthy and the garden is habitually neglected in favour of watching TV or going to the pub, we are potential hosepipe terrorists. No wonder the Coalition control freaks have imposed a £1000 fine for illegal hosepipe use, and encouraged us all to rat on our neighbours. Once the ruthless 8% start watering their roses again, the reservoirs will dry up. Industry? Agriculture? How could they be a factor?
As the glorious Olympic year of 2012 unfolds, keep an eye out for other crises, which will require sacrifice and the acceptance of swingeing retribution should we stray from the path of rectitude.
Even now the ‘Government Communication Centre’ (COI as was – the new body has a title borrowed from similar bodies in Cuba and the DDR) will be briefing agencies on poster campaigns, including:
• We are in obesity
• We are in alcohol dependency
• We are in sex