Tuesday, 6 March 2012


There I was, enjoying an otherwise peaceful day, and along comes Luke Blackall's write up of the NPower survey.

Pfft, Luke, pfft. You should've been more critical. You should've treated this survey for what it is. Crap.

Did I say that? Was I quite so rude?

Yes, I could sweeten my reaction Luke, but let's not bother. If you're going to write without any critical or inquiring eye, then you deserve a rough-edged rejoinder.

This survey is utterly disingenuous; it's duplicitous and deceitful. Does NPower care about the experience of childhood lived in the environment? Really?

NPower need to sell stuff, Luke. They're advancing a brand identity and promoting business interests. To do that, they're maligning parents and presenting children as suffering impoverished modern lives, disconnected from simple pleasures like grandma would've known.

I can imagine the discussions with the ad agency. We need to promote NPower, and don't mention the nuclear power stations, the appalling record of customer complaints, the cost of energy, and the large-scale international operations of the corporate which is ultimately driven by profit (tax-avoided).

Let's use kids! Not only that, let's present kids as failing to experience anything worthwhile except how to program the DVD and open packets of crisps. Then let's attach a current cultural concern - the environment - to parental anxieties about their kids growing up. Combine the narratives of the disconnected generations, the lost, innocent childhood spent in the rural idyll, the inspiring, environmental, glad-to-be-green story, hint at the parental failings - you stupid misguided mother, who has colluded in teaching Tinkertop how to program the DVD player and search on Youtube for talking cats - and then wallop on the might of NPower! The brave pioneers and saviours who will lead us out of the dark and into the light with skills of shelter-building and rabbit-gutting.

Well, I'm pretty impressed the kids can program the DVD, frankly. And someone's got to open the family-sized pack of salt'n'vinegar.

Start from the premise that kids are perceptive, aware, and quick as a light. They're growing up in a world where the local tree is political, where someone seizes on their ability to read a map as part of the school data in an international educational league table, and where making a cup of tea means navigating your way as a consumer through the minefield of unscrupulous parties who would flog your personal tea-drinking information without a moment's hesitation.

Then let's present NPower's survey for what it is. A put-up job to provide the let's-be-anguished press release which they can capitalise on to present themselves as society's saviours, where the parents have clearly failed. Sold on the back of a child.

Yes indeed, NPower care so much about the environment they're prepared to support the dumping of nuclear junk in the ground as a happy legacy for all our kids to enjoy over the next 5,000 years.


I had to get that off my chest.

Stick to the celebrity lite, Luke. Please. It'll be better for my blood pressure.

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