By Ben Pensant
There are many things to admire about pint-sized eco-warrior Greta Funbag, such as her courage, intellect, shiny locks, and cute-as-a-button nose. She also has an appropriately finger-wagging demeanour which is beautifully complimented by a cold stare so piercing it could make an make an organic onion cry.
But her two most impressive features have little to do with pigtails or principles. In fact they have little to do with Greta at all, as they exist purely to gift middle-class liberals a cast-iron reason to pretend environmentalism is the most important political movement of 2019 and anyone who disagrees is a cross between David Ike and Norman ‘Ripper’ Stebson. Because as we all know, the two bestest things about Greta are the fact that she’s a) 16. And b) a disabled. And not just any old disabled, but a mental one. Perfect!
At least it is for now. The older she gets the harder it is to suggest that criticising her is akin to punching a toddler, which should make us all the more grateful that her incurable autism will probably afflict her for the rest of her life. Phew!
But times change fast and one day her PR team may have to take steps to remain relevant by upgrading her disability and buying her a hearing aid or wheelchair. It’s not as guaranteed to boost her victim cred as losing an eye or a leg but Milan wasn’t built in a day: we can always wait until she’s finished having a protracted public breakdown before disfiguring and mutilating her.
In the meantime, the fact that she’s still a child – and a weirdo to boot! – is more than enough for left-wing radicals and salivating media figures determined to make her the public face of a movement more interested in promoting pie-in-the-sky socialism than saving the planet.
Because putting Greta upfront and centre has nothing to do with giving a voice to disaffected youth: the entire purpose of her elevation is to ringfence Climate Change activists from criticism. And it’s part of a long noble tradition that existed long before Ms. Funbag became the poster girl for vacuous green platitudes. Indeed, critics of environmental alarmism have been getting shut down and labelled right-wing shills or gas-guzzling lunatics since at least 10 years BG (Before Greta).
So you could 100% believe in Climate Change. (Or as it used to be called, ‘Global Warming’, a term quietly ditched around 2016, presumably after activists got sick of ignoring awkward data showing that parts of the earth were getting cooler.) You could be a passionate supporter of green policies. You could even be a decorated scientist who 100% believes in Climate Change, is a passionate supporter of green policies, and spends his days commuting by mountain bike and drawing knobs on the bonnets of Ford Transits.
You could be all of the above and more. But if you point out that numerous catastrophic predictions have failed to materialise then you’re a denier. Believe that much of the supposition-based alarmism is a tad over the top? You’re parroting right-wing propaganda. And dare to suggest there is still much debate in the scientific community about the extent to which human activity affects the climate and you might as well say the earth is flat, the sun isn’t real, and Stanley Kubichek filmed the moon landing on Blyth beach using Star Trek figures and paper aeroplanes.
Fortunately, thanks to relentless doom-mongering by the likes of former First Lady Al Gore and principled Guardian hack George Mondeo – whose desire to save the planet is matched only by his hunger for freshly-squashed M25 hedgehog – it was decreed long ago that Climate Change discussions must be conducted in the most intolerant, hysterical manner imaginable. A perfect backdrop, in other words, for the widespread movement to defend Greta – or rather, what Greta represents – at all costs.
Of course, when bigging up her crusade to save the planet by scowling at politicians and fannying about on a yacht, it’s important to remember which Greta you’re going to bat for. Because as anyone who’s observed the passionate, ultra-creepy way she’s discussed online knows, she’s either a sophisticated young adult perfectly at ease with her new found fame, or a vulnerable adolescent being harassed by nasty middle-aged white men like Julia Hartley-Brexit.
Luckily, she has an impressive roster of A-list support, with all manner of thick actors, thick musicians, and thick politicians gleefully shrieking “stop picking on the teenager!” the second anyone suggests her stroppy hellfire sermons are a wee bit extreme. Even more brilliantly, many of the blue tick liberals admonishing right-wingers for piling on a teenage girl were more than happy to pile on a teenage boy in January after a race-baiting lunatic banged a drum in his face.
Which taps into what it is about Greta that so excites both her allies and detractors. It’s not because she’s a young rebel with a cause: it’s because she’s a young rebel with the right cause. Or the wrong one, if you’re a Nazi. As a result, her treatment at the hands of internet trolls generated considerably more condemnation than that dished out to the smirking red-capped racist who melted fascist hearts eight months ago. And it’s patently clear that the alt-right cretins mocking Greta would put aside their uneasiness about child exploitation if she were supporting Trump, fighting for Brexit, or invading Poland. Similarly, if Greta were campaigning for any of the above her leftist cheerleaders would be demanding her parents’ arrest, insisting she’d been brainwashed by The Scum, and calling her a sour-faced slag with a voice like petrified sandpaper. (I know I bloody well would.)
Either way, whatever side of the aisle you’re on – decent liberal or right-wing shithead – we can all agree that exploiting, attacking, or unnaturally obsessing over children for political gain is undoubtedly a Good Thing. Indeed, it’s a shame the people who hate Greta and the people who think she’s Lady Marvel can’t put aside their differences and bond over how much they all want to fuck her. Or at the very least, stick her on stage dressed as a bright green vagina surrounded by 58-year-old male lesbians throwing crumpled fivers at her. Anything to avoid the boring stuff your average braindead teenage girl gets up to, like riding bikes, playing netball, and being force-fed vodka and roofies by marginalised Muslims in northern kebab shops.
Thankfully, Greta has avoided such humdrum rites of passage thanks to a principled cabal of politicians and public figures who’ve decided that, like non-binary child stripper Desmond Does Dallas, her every waking minute should be spent in a hyper-politicised bubble designed by her proud-as-punch parents. Because the modern left love nothing more than using children to score a point. Indeed, Twitter and Facebook are awash with mams and dads recounting heart-warming anecdotes about sage-like kids spouting the same bland orthodoxy as their kale-munching parents. “Look, even my 2-year-old daughter thinks Boris and Trump are Nazis! And she has a COCK too!”
Children also provide a perfect excuse for liberals to indulge their favourite subject: The Future. Because whether it’s post-Brexit Britain, post-apocalypse earth, or post-Handmaiden’s Tale America, progressives never tire of issuing warnings about stuff that hasn’t happened and probably never will. And why not? It’s far easier than addressing what is or isn’t happening now. Why run the risk of looking silly when it’s revealed that the modern western world is nowhere near as hellish as we want it to be? An awful future is way more politically useful than a fairly-okay present.
Still, we might obsess over The Future but that doesn’t stop us romanticising the past, particularly those mythical years leading up to the horror of Brexit and Trump, when no-one was ever racist and life in the developed world was one long multi-coloured Mardi Gras where everyone’s face was painted EU-blue and families celebrated each new day by holding hands and saying a prayer to St. Barack of Honolulu.
Which is why now more than ever we need young activists like Greta to make old activists feel relevant. And the fact that she’s gone way beyond mere environmental activism to become a bona fido far-left figurehead speaks volumes about how successfully she’s been programmed. But it shouldn’t stop here, as there are a plethora of other progressive causes that could benefit from Greta’s endorsement. Rest assured, if she ever gets bored of being a human shield for the most privileged protest movement on the (dying) planet, I’m sure she’d be more than happy to incite a gang of Islamic gents from Rochdale into grooming her. Why should dumb working-class girls from care homes get all the cred? She could even give a speech to the UN about her experiences and tell them how empowered she felt after her third abortion. I wouldn’t put anything past this formidable young lady.
It’s this kind of selflessness that has elevated her to star status. And the way her people have thrust her into a limelight she seems woefully unprepared for without considering the potential mental health implications amply demonstrates their deep love for this wonderful child. Because what happens to her when she’s older is unimportant: all that matters is what’s happening to her – and who she’s helping – now.
The Future of the planet – and more importantly, The Future of left-wing activism – will always trump the future of a disabled teenager.