I have made an important discovery today. It’s something called ‘relative guilt.’ The concept is quite simple. I think about something that I feel guilty about and then compare my actions to someone else and see if I still feel so bad.
And thanks to the workings of the U.K.’s Work and Pensions Secretary I reckon I’m now pretty much set for a guilt free life of waste and excess!
It seems that £425m has been spent so far and that much of this, including at least £140m of IT assets, will now have to be ‘written off’. (For those not in the know ‘Written off’ is U.K. Government speak for “thrown away.”) Now, we all have IT problems from time to time (see my ‘Frankenstein’ articles here) but really, £140 million? And that estimate may be conservative. Other observers put the cost, sorry, ‘write off’ at nearly £30 million.
So, I reckon I’m entitled to a little bit of laxity. Tonight, I’m going to leave the landing light on – all night! Yes, all night! Because there’s no way that my lack of frugality is going to knock up £3o million of waste. And I’m just getting started…
That left-over dinner parked at the back of my fridge? Will I re-heat it? Hell no! That’s going straight into the bin. As is that slightly soggy carrot that I was going to put into a stew – that can just be ‘written off’ with any other less than perfect vegetables or fruit I can lay my hands on.
While I think of it, I could probably afford to go shopping each week and put everything I’ve bought straight into the bin and I still think it would take the rest of my life before I’ve managed to ‘write off’ the £30 million that Mr. Duncan Smith has been so careless with.
The list goes on in my new, guilt free life! When it comes time to fix my car – what am I saying?! Mend? Fix? I’ll just throw this one away and go and buy one of these…
…and only ever use it to drive up the road to the shops. A hundred times a day. Up and down, full throttle – that ought to waste a bit of fuel. But I’ll have plenty of money because I won’t have bothered to have my home insulated this year, or to watch what I spend on electricity or lighting. No more anxiety about devices that remain on standby in my house! Here’s how I imagine my house to look every day and every night for the next 50 years –
Best of all, I can avoid all that hawking publicity about stopping smoking! All those comments in the news about how much smokers are costing the NHS every year.
Anyone got a light?
“But Seex, Seex,” I hear you cry, “If everyone thought like that the world would be in such a mess! Think of the impact it would have on the economy, on health, on our quality of life!”
Exactly. You’ve got me. If everyone did that we’d be in a terrible State (pun intended.) So we don’t. At least, I like to believe that most of us don’t.
We pay our taxes, don’t park in disabled spaces, re-heat our food, turn the light off when we leave the room, insulate our lofts, watch what we eat, (try to) give up smoking, walk if we can, use public transport if we must, plan our menus, put our litter in the bins, recycle, re-use and try to mend things before we…what’s the phrase? Oh yes, “Write them off.”
Why? Because that’s the way we were brought up. That’s the message we’re being constantly given by the Powers That Be. We’re going to save the planet, “one household at a time”. A little collective guilt over the way we live has had, and is having, a huge impact on the way we think about food, energy, waste and the environment.