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03 April 2012

Is this the dullest video of all time?

Stewart Stevenson MSP,
 Minister for the Environment
and Climate Change
in the Scottish government
Anyone seeking to understand why politics increasingly bores people of all races, creeds, colours, political orientations, ages, intelligence levels, sexual preferences and income levels, and of both genders, would do well to watch this video of a Scottish politician who claims in the course of it to have walked two miles across Edinburgh rather than used the public transport, and therefore to have made a contribution to preventing climate change. This, he says, is “active travel” and he implicitly commends his mode of life to everyone else.
     The bottomless vacuity of this sort of political posturing is a much greater threat to the environment than an additional passenger on one of Edinburgh’s wastefully oversized buses. Russians should be aware of the expression “to talk a lot of hot air”. It means that when you talk, nothing comes out of your mouth other than warm breath—no sense, no information, no wit, no beauty, no music, no contribution to humanity’s desire to enjoy life, or help with its need to endure it. When hot-airing, the process of verbalisation is a complete waste of cerebral agitation. But global warming is about nothing if it is not about “hot air”. Is the Scottish Minister for Climate Change a closet global warmer? I think we should be told.
     But then again, maybe not. Who cares? Nobody, I suspect. Except him, of course. He cares. Stewart Stevenson MSP cares. He not only cares, he notices. Look at his Twitter account if you don't believe me. Almost every day, he advertises his climatological compassion by making a caring reference to what used to be known as the weather. He is so concerned to demonstrate his care for what we must all now call the “climate” that if he has nothing personal to say about it, he re-Tweets someone else’s important observation.
     Here are some recent quotes: “First lunch outside in Banffshire this year. Hats essential. Have returned indoors to escape heat!” (25 March), “Another v v warm day” (26 March), “Warm again” (27 March), “Warm again” (28 March), “Three month forward forecast mildly encouraging after a week of cold.” (2 April).
     Is Stewart Stevenson MSP the most hellishly stupid man ever to enter politics? Send me your views. And don’t forget to watch the even duller video than the dullest one of all time. This one is about cycling, another form of “active travel”, in case you didn’t know.


  1. A friend from Scotland who wishes to remain unidentified wrote to me commenting on this post in words which so exactly sum up the Stevenson Problem (which is an international issue) that I thought them worth recording here. He wrote: "A very good piece, Ian. Activity subsumes purpose."

  2. Not only do I notice but I also notice you noticing.

    But you have missed the most important point in my walking. And this is about my health.

    At 65 years old I continue to wear - for "best", thus infrequently - a suit I bought when I was in my thirties.

    Fitting exercise into your day does help the climate when compared with using the Ministerial car but even more it helps one stay reasonably fit. Perhaps as an asthmatic, I am obsessive about keeping my pulmonary system working.

    By the way I did use the bus to get to my appointment.

    But the activity did have a purpose. A vital and personal purpose.