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We shouldn't mock consumerism because we'd all be jobless without it, says truck driver Lucy Radley

2nd October 2008, Page 12
2nd October 2008
Page 12
Page 12, 2nd October 2008 — We shouldn't mock consumerism because we'd all be jobless without it, says truck driver Lucy Radley
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The end of the world is, apparently, nigh. Not only are we all supposed to be jobless and destitute by the end of the year, but if we survive beyond that we'll have no oil left and most of East Anglia will have returned to the North Sea. Were all going to hell in a handbasket and should be ashamed of our wasteful and greedy lifestyles.

It's the rank hypocrisy of the whole thing that gets my goat. How on earth can anyone expect me to get worked up about my personal mode of transport when I'm using it to get to a truck that will burn several of hundred litres of fuel moving consumer rubbish from one end of the country to the other just to enable people to run up yet more debt acquiring it?

The very same greed and wastefulness is keeping me in a job, for crying out loud if I wanted to gather wood to cook, dig holes for the toilet, and catch rabbits for dinner, I would move back to the travellers' sites where I spent the first five years of my adult life.

The thing is, having a whole lot of nothing for so long did me a whole lot of good, in that I never really got into the material thing. We have everything we need in our house, but very little that we don't. My kids are well used to hearing the word "no". When you've seen the inside of so many warehouses and know that the fancy goods and the cheap rubbish all look the same when they are covered in dust up on racking, there really isn't any glamour left in "stuff" any more. But I can't bring myself to tell anyone that, because if people didn't fall for the combined efforts of the marketing men, we wouldn't have an industry built around delivering it.

And so I'm proud to announce that despite my indifference to flatscreen TVs and refusal to spoil my children, I'm still doing my bit. We aren't just a two-car family, not even a two-gasguzzler family, we're a two-4WD family. One of which mine is more than 40 years old and kicks out more emissions than the chemical plant we live next door to. Long live excess consumption and everyone who benefits from it Including every single person reading this magazine.

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