Monday, 17 February 2014

Midgley... A cautionary tale.

 You have probably never heard of Thomas Midgley but I can guarantee you have not only felt the effects of some of his creations, your children & grandchildren will feel the scourge of this man for years to come.

Originally an engineer, and sadly for the world Midgley developed an interest in chemistry. Midgely was the man responsible for lead being added to car fuel in the form of 'tetraethyl lead' as it was found to reduce engine knock. The dangers of lead are well known, it is a neurotoxin and the companies behind 'tetraethyl lead' and it's inventor knew this even back then, however they decided to just call it 'Ethyl' as it was much friendlier and less toxic sounding than 'lead'.

Thomas Midgley
On the back of his success in poisoning people with lead, Midgley then went on to invent Chloroflurocarbons, something many will know as CFC's. CFC's are a volatile derivative of methane, ethane, and propane and are responsible for damaging the ozone layer, a region of Earth's stratosphere that absorbs most of the Sun's UV radiation, protecting us from harmful rays. CFC's are also greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

At the age of 51 Midgley contracted polio and to aid him he devised an apparatus made up of an elaborate system of strings and pulleys to help lift him from bed. At the age of 55 he became entangled in the strings of this apparatus and died of strangulation.

You may ask where the hell is she going with this. Well let me tell you, when you vote for a politician and as such their political party you give it & them a certain amount of power over your life, and sadly we then are subject to whatever poison they pour out into society. This could be in the form of cuts to services, the locating of an incinerator beside a residential area or the dangers of welfare reform without proper taxation being implemented.

And like Midgley's beasts 'tetraethyl lead' and 'CFC's' the impact of which will be felt for generations, the attacks on not only the most vulnerable in society but a wider society in general by those elected to represent people's best interests will impact upon you, your children & grandchildren for years to come.

And just as Midgley's inventions were claimed to be for the wider good, they really just made rich people richer. The lack of proper taxation on multi-national companies whilst attacking peoples benefits and front-line services will just continue to make rich people richer. The truth is that benefit errors cost £1 million a day. Taxavoidance and evasion cost £260 million a day yet the politicians continue to pour their poison, that these cuts are necessary.

The danger is without proper mechanisms for holding politicians and political parties to account outside of election times that the state will create apparatus to protect itself. The state will continue to make it difficult for people to highlight concerns or to challenge decisions it makes, and metaphorically similar to the unfortunate Midgley we will become strangled by the apparatus of the state, an apparatus people have helped create by voting for the political parties. And by then god knows what damage they will have done.

A question which could be asked is the lack of oversight an oversight or by design?

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