Monday, 26 November 2007

Ask Not for Whom the Dog barks

I posted this comment across on BG!'s blog. Not sure if there's a prize for the longest comment, especially when OP was only 4 lines long. I've repeated it here, and added in some hyperlinks.


Often the growling dogs are difficult to detect. Especially if the howls are across various streets. A comment here, a post there, and a dig somewhere else. If a wolf beys for blood, they should expect the huntsmen to come after them. A bite here, a nip there, a rip somewhere else.

Orwell was warning against the evils of the Soviet totalitarianism. Pastor Niemoller warned of the silent majority allowing the Nazi regime to grow. No-one was talking about people arguing about outdoors forums, blogs or magazines.

Unlike the world of the past, we are more at risk from getting snippy comments than being made to disappear by the NKVD or the Gestapo/Abwehr. The worst that happened to me was taking some snippy comments into the Cairngorms with me in the summer. The worst that seems to have happened on the Trail forum is that some jerk called up and cancelled a campsite booking. Hardly events that merit writings by a modern Eric Blair, is it?

“Each human mind’s an outpost
And the frontiers of Freedom expand
Conquering minds and hearts
Prelude to the conquest of cities and of states
Till the world is wholly free
And then?
We will strive for higher freedoms still”

Bob Cooney wrote that some years after his return from fighting fascism in Spain in the 30’s.

I await a report in TGO or Trail or Country Walking in to the conditions that factory workers in China and other non-EU countries are working in. The evils aren’t who said what on blogs or forums or magazines, but on the morality of outsourcing.

Then maybe, just maybe, the hounds could be unleashed not on the desire to pay less and less money for the goods, but on outsourcing work to countries where workers do not have the legal protection that EU workers have - one of the many reasons that the goods are cheaper. Perhaps then we will have “higher freedoms” instead of merely lower costs, higher unemployment and our own industry can start on equal terms.

Every time I hit return on the keyboard, another child worker has been crushed my machinery in a factory somewhere in the world (¥). Next time you buy your cheap jeans or cotton t-shirt, think on the kid cotton-pickers who’s hands have been scarred by the hand-picking techniques caused by the lack of machine parts to fix the post-Soviet era machinery.

Life is a bitch. Let’s not forget the true evils being hidden by the real growling mutts of the world. Not some keyboard commandos, but some people who don’t give a damn where products come from, and what hardships people went through to make them and ship them, so long as they’re a few quid cheaper than the ‘ethical’ ones.

But I’ve obviously missed these editions of the outdoors magazines that investigated these issues.

{¥   I made that bit up.}