What did the Industrial Revolution ever do for us?
The Monty Pythonesque demands for climate reparations.
Rishi Sunak signalled yesterday that he was open to the idea of Britain giving aid to countries hit by climate change in the form of ‘reparations’. The Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero, Ed Miliband, said it was ‘morally right’ that Britain funds loss and damage experienced by poorer countries, due to our ‘historical responsibility’.
Presenting Britain’s Industrial Revolution as damage that we must pay for, puts me in mind of the question posed by Reg, of the People’s Front of Judea, in ‘The Life of Brian’, when he asks, ‘What have the Romans ever done for us?’
What has Britain’s Industrial Revolution ever done for the world? I mean, apart from Watt’s steam engine, the Flying Jenny, the cotton gin, the telegraph, the locomotive, railways, the first factory, (powered by water, to boot), gas streetlights and light bulbs, the increased wealth of nations, improved life expectancy, warmer homes and modern conveniences?