Or, just maybe, just maybe, 'Signs Preceding the End of This World?'
For anyone who may have envisioned the world ending in a gory blaze of '28 Day' horror, they will perhaps be likely to get away with things relatively lightly, or conversely they may even be a little bit disappointed? But for others, recognising '28 Days Later' to be merely an Alex Garland inspired piece of popular cinematic fiction, things are looking increasingly likely to pan out in a none-the-less irretrievably bleak fashion.
To everyday witness the nation's latest initiates hurrying along the city's streets, eyes seemingly compelled to view that tiny screen as if life itself depends upon the clipped message encapsulated within, a non-recyclable coffee-cup perhaps welded into a free fist, one might suppose ourselves as a species to have already long-surpassed the use-by date.
They, that is the initiates, should know that a Pacific 'island'- several variable locations and counting- awaits the casual discardance of the aforementioned cup. Will the pallid light from the screen be urging them ever-onwards to the consumption of yet more vacuumed plastic tat? Who knows, rainbow images of the globe's selfsame demise might instead be streaming directly into that space behind the eyes? Only another 336 shopping days to go until Christmas, and already some of last year's efforts are most likely colourfully adorning our beaches. But, for the most part, it's very much a case of out of sight out of mind... unless one happens to find oneself travelling upon any of a number of the Pacific Ocean's busy cargo vessels. "Fancy that!Look, isn't that an old Jif bottle? And, over there, a whole cluster of them- aren't they now collectables?"
With regards to the 'recyclability' of those 'fist-welded' discarded coffee cups, the depressing fact of the matter is that they can actually be recycled. It's more that the willpower to have them recycled is lacking. Currently there are two existing recycling plants in the UK- I guess that, in our interlocking society of mostly smaller wheels, the bigger cogs have deemed it financially 'unviable' to expand this scheme. In the 'bigger picture' economic growth demands that we prioritise in a manner always most likely to benefit the culprits.
Maybe our current best hope is that these imperishable slicks quickly evolve, so that they might as a 'species' somehow be always drawn to those beaches favoured by the globe's most business-minded CEOs, other culpable business-peoples and bought-up politicians- from tiny acorns and all that. But, whatever design this new life-form is likely to take, it had better get a move on, Ms May and her cohort have plans to get 'seriously' tetchy with any offending industries, sometime in the next decade (is it?). Ms May has danced her dance for the puppeteers, 'yesterday's' crisis having been deferred, yet again, for another generation to ponder, thus also to be remarketed as tomorrow's even-more-pressing crisis.
We have bigger fish to fry, especially now that we are again pushing to dredge those sovereign waters entirely free from edible life. Car sales are down, so those hazy horizons may still be somehow marketable, but conversely the motor industry's likely secretly-screaming out for more built in obsolescence. Knife crime has once again blighted the BBC's daily celebrity sales promotions; quite how to spin this one so as not to blight future knife sales? The future's no longer quite so orange, is it? If it all gets too much why not take a stroll out to your nearest retailer, to avail yourself of one of those newfangled drones? What, you thought there was going to be some sort of safeguard in place? "No worries, we just sold one to Mad Mickey! Of course it isn't armed, do you think we're stupid?"
And then, just when we thought things couldn't possibly plunge any deeper, Carillion went and jumped ship! "It's PFI or bust!" Well, I guess it's bust then, isn't it Mr Milburn MP? And, how's that deeply feathered nest working out for you and your 'good' wife? We all hope that the quills are not irritating your pristine white CEO backsides- is that a genuine porcelain implant? Health service provision, was it Mr Milburn, no longer MP, squaring that Circle? We should all let out one almighty sigh of relief that the CEOs at least will walk away, 'untainted,' intact, oblivious! But, as always, never any the less wealthy.
Bad news might well travel fast but it does not, these days, always quite manage to circumvent that very last hurdle, that of the actual delivery. Hermes, Parcelforce, DHL et al might fight their respective pathways to your door, but if circumstance should happen to drag you away for more than a minute, and you do not possess a large enough letterbox, or perhaps your own personal staff- "Our excellent courier service cannot guarantee a more specific delivery slot. Will you be asking your employer for a morning or an afternoon?"- you may instead have to settle for a 'Sorry we missed you' white card upon your doormat or other substitute.
If we were at all cynical we might, at this moment, be wondering if 'our' government's constant undermining of the former national postal service- subdivisions, sell-offs and closures of local Post Offices- were not being driven by 'other' financial interests. Or else perhaps successive governments are attempting to worshipfully mirror the Pacific's garbage islands with some entirely more local ones, those consisting of the nations undeliverable parcels and packages?
When the UK mistakenly thinks that the ghost of some Victorian Empire Nation might better negotiate its own way, and the globe's most powerful man transpires to be rather more a child-minded sociopath, the more elderly amongst us might truly thank the fictitious Lord above that we will not be around to witness the arrival of that new golden dawn towards which we are currently hurtling. Except to note that many of those who are closest to death actually chose this pathway for their closest and next of kin. Perhaps the bleaching of the globe's coral reefs is in reality simply a quicker means of getting those ocean souvenirs dried and displayed upon the sales shelves? Give it another generation and perhaps a bleached hunk of coral might sit alongside a beach-found fossil, upon many a classroom's themed 'Extinctions' table? Something for the unqualified teacher replacement service to discuss with her Year Fours?
If we should for a moment doubt the journey's trajectory we could instead chart this far shorter journey: Six months after Grenfel Tower burned to its present husk, prematurely ending the lives of (we are governmentally 'informed,' as few as) 71 people, already the monied corner-cutters are flexing their foie-gras stuffed muscles and demanding that residents of similarly clad towers will pay handsomely to see their homes made safe. Not so much seeking to make safe as exploiting death, in order to turn a tidy profit.
Property mogul Vincent Tchenguiz and Proxima GR Properties are insisting that residents of the next potential mass burning (maybe Croydon Citiscape) pay £31,300 per flat to have their tower re-clad with panels that are deemed merely fire-retardant. Currently Proxima are charging the residents £4,000 per week for the 'privilege' of fire warden patrols. Is this not truly breathtaking?
De-regulation! No wonder it's the 'unstated' Tory mantra. That and 'outsourcing.'