A letter to the Harrogate Advertiser from Shan Oakes of Harrogate and District Green Party

19 July 2019

Dear Jean and colleagues,  

In response to the Harrogate Advertiser’s focus on our town, and several of last week’s letters: yes,  Harrogate is  certainly displaying symptoms of the international malaise - which will not go away with a few tweaks.  I call it the TMTF (too much too fast) syndrome.  Symptoms include debt, poverty, obesity, boredom, depression, waste food, wasted journeys - in fact waste of all kinds -  as humanity rushes faster and faster in its frantic search for new stuff and new experience, discarding all kinds of things (and people) on the way.  What’s causing the disease?  Human nature, wound up, exponentially,  by corporate greed with its clever advertising and political puppets – causing massive inequality.  The cure?  Slow down, stop running after status and stuff,  listen to nature instead of profiteers and their pawns, and do more thinking and acting accordingly.  Here’s an example or two: 

Some people worry a lot about ‘weeds’ - so they buy herbicide (from gigantic international corporations) to spray them to kill them.  Do they think the poison just kills the ‘weed’ but has no effect on anything else?  A moment’s thought would tell them it’s foolish to use the poison at all.  We know it is permeating our environment and our bodies.  And, anyway, why do we want everything to be so ‘tidy’,  to shave the Stray, for example,  to within an inch of its life?  Wouldn’t it be better to let parts of it grow long and graceful and to give homes and food to insects and birds?

There are different ways of seeing the world.  For too long we have been steered in a specific and dangerous direction.  I suggest we need to work on changing our collective vision.


Shan Oakes

for Harrogate and District Green Party