Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Unforeseen consequences!

I saw on the news news film footage of looters in Florida and found myself wondering what the looters planned to do with the goods they had taken from the shops. If your home has been flooded, how much help is it going to be to have umpteen boxes of designer trainers? Surely the people you might sell those trainers to have other, more important, things they need to replace in their messed up lives.

And yet it happens all the time. Riots or natural disasters which leave premises vulnerable to illegal entry almost inevitably bring out an element of society that spots a something-for-nothing moment which they can't resist exploiting. Unforeseen but also foreseeable consequences.

Fortunately such situations also brings out the best in a whole lot of people; unexpected heroes pop up and communities pull together to put things right.

We have severe weather warnings in place for the Northwest of England; we are due for strong winds and torrential rain this evening. There is the possibility of flooding. Nobody has yet been told to leave their homes, so it can't be too bad.

There was already flooding yesterday; the Manchester to Huddersfield rail connection had to be suspended because of flooding on the line near Stalybridge. Vast amounts of leaves and silty mud are being washed down from the hillsides, clogging up drainage grids all along our road. I am surprised there are any hillsides left.

And there I was, hoping for a reasonably fine day. The weather forecast I looked at late last night suggested it would be cloudy with intermittent sunshine until the evening. It was fine when I went out running first thing. By midday though, rain showers had set in and the wind was already howling around the place. So much for weathermen's promises.

On a different tack altogether, here is a link to an article in the New statesman about Jacob Rees-Mogg. I have long maintained that the rise and rise of UKIP was in part the consequence of the inordinate amount of media coverage Nigel Farage received. He began as a figure of fun, the butt of lots of people's jokes, on a par with the Monster Raving Loony Party. But as he was more and more in the public eye, more and more people began to listen to him and suddenly he was a "serious politician". The same is happening to Jacob Rees-Mogg and suddenly hebis a contender for party leadership.

Mass media is a powerful thing. It can give publicity and encourage support or withhold it (the early days of Jeremy Corbyn's leadership, for example). If we are not careful we could have Jacob Rees-Mogg as Prime Minister.

Beware of unforeseen consequences!

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