It is well known that democratic societies are not quite as democratic as we like to think they are. Important decisions about the fate of countries cannot, of course, be left to the people. The people really don’t care about much as long as there is Sunday shopping and stuff. But the more you think about it, the more you realise that things are run independently of the popular vote.
The management of the economy, for example, is taken out of the hands, not only of the people, but also the politicians. This latter class, a bunch of buffoons and crooks claiming from time to time to represent the people, are just as unreliable as those that vote them in. So this is why Central Banks are politically independent.
Similarly, the “judiciary” is something which is meant to be politically independent. The institution which sends Fred down for benefits fraud was certainly not voted in by Fred.
There has been a recent proposal by Mr Hahn of ECX for the establishment of a European Central Bank for Carbon. A proposal rather similar to suggestions made by the Bustard on this site and in the august pages of Point Carbon over a year ago.
We can only hope that this proposal gathers steam. With promoters such as these there is there any plausible alternative?
As this column has suggested obliquely on various occasions, democracy is unlikely to deliver the changes needed to save the planet quickly enough. So indeed it makes sense, subtly and professionally, to ease control of the carbon economy out of the hands of the voter.
There will be a fine battle between the Central Bank for Money and the Central Bank for Carbon. The Money bank will be itching for economic growth, and the Carbon bank, once it gets the hang of things, will be quietly pushing gentle economic decline. As the cost of carbon begins to bite, folk will stay at home and read by tallow candle, and the gaudy lights of the shopping malls will stare at empty floors and, one by one, flicker out. The CBM will slash interest rates to get people out again and spending. We should have a ball before the sky falls in.
Dare we hope that an independent Carbon judiciary will also be established? Overcrowding of jails will hit new levels – Britain’s clinks will be bulging with Porsche owners; BA platinum card-holders will be two-a-bed. Presumably the many who overfill their kettles will have to be let off with a few hours community service.
It will be sad days for democracy. But the people have had their chance, and they flunked it. Perhaps in centuries to come the trees and the fauna of the forests will smile to themselves and remember almost with a touch of nostalgia the long-lost whirr of the chainsaw.