9 Jul 2007

Please, just stop buying so much crap

Here is a guest editorial by Penny Kemp. Penny says 'Please, just stop buying
So much crap'

Danny will be performing at climate camp!

The poem below was written by Danny Chivers and appears in a book of poetry celebrating the 10th anniversay of Corporate Watch. I guess it sums up exactly how I feel about The Green Party and ‘guilt free shopping’ Danny and his friends at the climate camp and corporate watch are our natural constituency.


I’ve always been seen
As a little bit green
In my cosy, middle-c;ass social scene
Ever since I made that lelntil stew
For Abigail’s birthday do
Wore Birkenstock’s to Brina’s wedding
And got those rainforest patterns for the children’s bedding.
My friends all think it’s nonsense
But I’m proud to be their conscious;
Their commitment may be scanty
But my bottles of Chianti
Ride the back seat of the Mazda to the bottle bank at Asda.
And the second home in Rome has such amazing double glazing!

But that young fellow on Newsnight
Keeps talking ‘bout the planet’s plight
And I get a niggling feeling I’m not doing this quite right,
Driving to the protests in a seven seater,
Discussing climate change under the patio heater.
I turn on Radio 4
It’s ‘You and Yours’
(which I adore)
But they’re discussing what’s in store
For the planet, with Jude Law
Whose made some films about a war.
And then they interview Al Gore
And I realise in an instant that I should be doing more.

Thank goodness ‘In Style’ magazine
Has a special pull-out section: 20 tips on going green.
And it turns out the solution
To global destitution,
Exponential air pollution,
Endless wars of retribution,
Isn’t global revolution,
Power devolution,
Wealth redistribution,
Or the long-overdue reform of our fundamentally compromised
International institutions:
Don’t listen to ‘experts’ who dare to proclaim
That our crazy mass consumption levels might just be to blame;
For everthing you need to know
About economic justice, you can ask ….Bono.
He knows the way out of this fix:
SHOPPING; It’s the new politics!

To halt our mad rush to consume our blissful way to eco-doom,
To build a worls not based on greed for things that we don’t really need.
The answer is – you’ll never guess
We’ll shop our way out of this mess!

Anyone who’s got the gumption
Can do ethical consumption.
And thus turn the global tables
Buying things with pretty labels

So now all my silk pyjamas
Come with shots of smiling farmers.
Our sound system’s been upgraded
But the box was fairly traded.
As I sit beside the hot tub to remove my sandals
I breathe the guilt-relieving perfume of organic scented candles…
They grew these pears with love and care, 5000 miles away
And I got these natural shampoos on the flight back from Bombay

The local shops are closing down
But there’s no need to panic:
That big new Sainsbury’s, out of town,
Does everything organic.

I’ve even managed to persuade my crazy uncle Rhys, he’s
Using eco-friendly bullets now to hunt endangered species.
As for the global warming warnings,
Here’s what I can do:
Plant a few plantations
For the carbon sequestration
(Based on flimsy calculation)
Strip the native vegetation,
Shift the local population
To some piece of desolation barely fit for habitation
And with misery and pverty: ‘offset’ my Co2,

Now, please don’t think this poem’s undfair:
I’m not saying it’s wrong to care,
To think about the things you buy,
To ask who made them, how and why:
But if you’re promised cheap salvation,
Easy wealth for every nation,
As an end to global poverty, Avert climate catastrophe,
It’s easy – it will be enough
To simply buy more of our stuff!
Don’t buy it – try to understand,
We need to change far more than just our washing powder brand.
The answer to our global woes
Won’t be found with shiny logos on a special aisle at Tesco’s.
We need to tackle head-on
Our rush to Consumaggedon..
Leave the shopping in your trolley
And resist this global folly.
We’ll fight back! – we’ll all play a part,
There’s much to do: but here’s a start:

To keep humanity
On the map
Please, just stop buying
So much crap

1 comment:

Danny said...

Hi Derek - thanks so much for this! It was great to meet you and Penny at Glastonbury - perhaps we'll see you at the Big Green Gathering?

If anyone's interested in hearing a performance of the poem, there's a recording at www.myspace.com/dannychivers (we really need an ethical alternative to myspace now Murdoch's bought it - anyone know of anything?).

The new book (and CD) of anti-corporate poetry ("This Poem Is Sponsored By...") celebrating 10 years of Corporate Watch can be found at www.corporatewatch.org. I'd also really recommend a recent issue of the New Internationalist magazine which was part of the inspiration for the poem ("Ethical Shopping - A Magic Bullet To Save The World?") - see http://www.newint.org/issues/2006/11/01/

Thanks again for the mention Derek!

Best wishes to all,

Danny x


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