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Inside Insulate Britain - by Aris Roussinos for Unherd

A fascinating glimpse into the mindset of those currently blocking our roads and plastering themselves to the asphalt. Aris Roussinos goes under (insulated) cover to find out a little more about those causing the current disruption. Their average age and background may come as a surprise given the vehemence of the protests:

"With a few exceptions, the activists were middle-aged or impeccably middle-class retired professionals from Middle England: as they hugged and grazed at the buffet, the atmosphere seemed more like a Church of England social than that of a radical protest group.

The advanced age of Insulate Britain’s activist base is striking, and judging from the tone of much online commentary, which snarkily portrays them as baby boomers who have enjoyed the most comfortable living conditions in world history now seeking to enforce eco-austerity on the downwardly-mobile young, it’s an Achilles heel for the wider movement. Why does their demographic skew to the old in such a pronounced way? “I’ve got the time,” answered David: “I’m here because I can be here, there are millions of people who aren’t in the fortunate position that I’m in, I’ve had my career, I’ve paid my mortgage. I passionately am concerned about humanity going down the pan while I watch.”

Yet all were united by a firmly-held belief that the climate crisis presented such an urgent, apocalyptic threat that the only course left was direct action. “I’m prepared to lose my liberty, lose my home that I love, not see my family, have everything taken away by the government,” Biff from Canterbury told the group, as they took turns introducing themselves. “Because I’m raging now. And I’m absolutely disgusted at the criminality of this government. They are condemning our children and our grandchildren to war and starvation. Our children are going to be the cannon fodder in what’s coming and what’s looming, and the Government are just lining their pockets, and blinkered to what’s going to happen to this country.”

Staring us all in the face however is one unalterable fact: if co-operation is not forthcoming from the Big Three, anything we attempt here will count for nothing:

"In reality, the decisions that will really make a difference on climate change will be made in China, America and India: British politicians’ time may be better spent focusing on building domestic resilience to the seemingly inevitable disaster than frittering away political capital tinkering at the edges of a process they are more or less powerless to prevent."

The full article can be read here with a link to the original beneath it:

Article for Unherd by Aris Roussinos - Inside Insulate Britain - 29.10.21
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