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[personal profile] godricgal
So yesterday, I was chugging across the M27, on my way to my parents' house, when I couldn't help but notice that no one on the motorway was speeding. This made me wonder what all these other people knew that I didn't: Police car about? Speed Cameras on every lamppost? Regular patrol zone? And then I somehow stumbled onto the idea that perhaps, en masse, people were trying to conserve petrol, with the aim of saving money, and pondered on the idea of an unforeseen bonus for the environment in people needing to look after the pennies. Then, just for fun, because the M27 really is a rather uninteresting road, I tried to come up with a headline for the imaginary research I'd do, and started with, "Carbon Footprints Reduce As Unexpected Side-effect of the..."

And then I stopped, because, to my horror, I found myself almost saying 'economic downturn' and even worse, I can't say that the words 'credit crunch' weren't lingering threateningly at the back of my mind. Happily, the proper word, 'recession' was but a second behind, and my headline was complete, but my near-miss gave me something to think about for the Southampton to Junction 1 leg of the motorway, which exceeds the other half for dullness.

"Economic Downturn" is invalid in every sense. First of all, isn't 'downturn' a bit of a temporary noun? Is not a downturn only a downturn at the moment it happens? After that event, the trajectory can only be down, forward, or up, another turn only being present in the latter. If you're already going down, you can't turn down again, it's just varying degrees of downness, but there's no turning involved.

It sounds silly, I'm sure, to be getting my knickers in a twist about this, but why has there been such a pointed effort to avoid calling the status of our economy by its proper term? It's a recession. Call a spade a spade. I'm fully aware, of course, that these terms emerged from media hype, but it has been perpetuated at every level.

Every politician who refused to acknowledge that we were heading into a recession, by avoiding the proper term, now looks like a fool for their inability to recognise the signs (whether they did or not) and if they were unable to do that, why should I trust that their predications of when we're going to get out of it are worth their salt, or not just being blindly and foolishly optimistic?

But this isn't really about honesty. It's about being realistic. Politicians and journalists are not the only ones guilty of this. How can we expect to make relevant and successful responses to troublesome situations if we refuse to accept the reality of them? And this doesn't just stand for this situation, there is evidence of it everywhere you look. People avoid inconvenient truths because, in the short term, it makes their lives easier. And that is never going to do anything but make a bad situation worse.

Right, now I've got that off my chest I can get back to writing my [livejournal.com profile] metamorfic_moon fic.

Disclaimer: this is not intended to start a debate about the recession. Yes, I'm looking at you, [livejournal.com profile] patriot_jackie. ;)
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March 2011

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