This week has provided telling evidence that when nature declares war on humanity, people turn to The State to counter-attack.
As per usual, the Environment Agency and Local Flood Authorities will have done everything themselves. They will have extracted and refined the raw materials that they require to manufacture everything they need: sandbags, rescue helicopters, flotation devices, boats, diggers, amphibious rescue vehicles, medicine and first aid equipment, waterproofs, warm clothing, temporary shelters, torches, batteries, canned foods, propane stoves, disposable plates and cutlery, maps, tools, mobile communication technology, repair supplies, and pretty much everything you see being used to help respond to the floods.
The fact that they are able to do this in a space of days is remarkable and a true testament to The State.
Even Ed Miliband’s wellies were personally manufactured for him, when he was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, by civil servants using nothing more than a rubber plant that was growing on the grounds of the Palace of Westminster. And where would we be without him marshaling resources to guide him and his press team around the devastated area?
Anyway, this all goes to show that my theory of the cappuccino economy has much going for it. Now, I am aware that the cappuccino economy is actually a metaphor for a frothy insubstantial economy, but I want it to highlight the importance of The State. So, being a non-pompous self-deprecating sort of lefty, I will distinguish my cappuccino metaphor by calling it the Lefty Cappuccino economy.
The foundation of a cappuccino is a strong shot of espresso. That’s The State.
It is the foundation on which the private sector economy, the milk is based. It’s essential job is to remove the bitter aftertaste that you would get from drinking straight espresso and to make the whole drink palatable to the general public.
Yes, the milk might be a good source of calcium, protein and plenty of vitamins and minerals. But it is essentially the vile produce of an evil neoliberal female.
What my metaphor proves is that success comes only from combining the espresso, milk and lots of hot air.
And when crisis arrives we resort to a black Americano as we are right now. I don’t think that a single drop of milk is required.
Well, when my wife is out tonight, I will be hunched over my desk, thrashing it out with myself, trying to produce an outcome of how creamy a Lefty Cappuccino should be when things come to a head.