I was conceived during the second world war. I don’t remember it happening, though I guess I must have been there – if not at the time, then very shortly afterwards. At roughly the same time the German battleship Tirpitz was sunk. It seems a long time ago.
I don’t think I had a view at the time on the progress of the war, but if anyone had asked me, I’m sure I would have been quietly confident that we would win.
I understand that things were quite tough just after the war – rationing, bomb sites, national debts and so on. Everything seemed fine to me.
Some time later there was a bit of a crisis about Cuba, with alarmist prophecies about the end of the world and nuclear holocausts – not necessarily in that order. I was quietly confident.
The Cold War dragged on, the Berlin Wall went up, and in the 1970s scientists got very worried about a new ice age. I didn’t think it was likely. The Berlin Wall came down. I wasn’t surprised. There were disasters all over the world. People got shot. I wasn’t worried. Sympathetic, but not worried.
Now the heat is on. I’m still not worried, but I’m not having as much fun. I think technology is the problem. Partly computer modelling, which I wouldn’t trust to see me across the street. Partly all those cameras. And partly pressure groups with degrees in social media.
We used to just have elections, and then the people we elected governed us. Now we have unelected, trigger-happy groups constantly bombarding us and the Government with their own views. And the Government and local councils listening to them. Why? Pressure groups did not elect them – the people did. It’s just a form of bullying.
Did I mention cameras? We now have the police encouraging people with cameras – which is just about everyone – to send in videos of other people doing things they don’t like – especially drivers. This is another form of bullying. Cameras never get the whole picture. Laughable.
Meanwhile newsreaders are doing their best to frighten me. If it’s not a climate crisis, it’s inflation, energy bills and droughts. You’ve got to smile.
Some time between tomorrow and a quarter of a century in the future, I shall almost certainly die. I am optimistic about it. As St Paul told those guys from Corinth, I can’t conceive how amazing it will be.