Feeds

Tories pledge to flush away eco slums

Contemplating stools for Gaia

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Who would have guessed that in 2008, a pledge to give British people flushing toilets would be a shock vote winner?

The Conservatives this week promised to scrap the Government's plans for 15 "eco towns" which will potentially house 100,000 people. These have been heralded as a new era in design, but you need to take a closer look at both the theory and practice to see the full, grim picture.

Firstly, it's clear that "design goal" is enforcing patterns of behavior on people.

"What are the responsibilities we each must share in return for the freedoms we enjoy?" asked Town and Country Planning Association chief David Lock last year when introducing a report. Lock and his quango are advising the Government on the initiative. What does he mean? He means freedoms you previously enjoyed have been clawed back.

Almost every aspect of life in the eco towns is minutely regulated. The streets are too small to drive around, and if you must drive the mandatory speed limit is 15mph. Planners are particularly excited about installing eco toilets that don't flush. Because flushing is "the worst thing ever devised by modern man," (according to one advocate), compost toilets may be mandatory. You won't have a choice.

We took a look at one candidate loo, and the description gives us a whiff of this fragrant, low carbon future:

"The dry fecal matter is captured by a built-in teflon-coated bowl with a turning mechanism and is 'flushed' into wheeled bins in the buildings' basements. 'Flushing' uses sawdust, dispensed from the back of the toilet, instead of water."

Lovely.

Residents will also be required to pay a fine, mooted at around £2 ($4), each time they leave the town.

So these are really detention centres - with behaviour set down in advance by the Carbon Cult. Residents will not be able to vote on whether they want to have flushing toilets.

Another clue that they're about punishment emerged this spring, when ministers described them as "healthy towns". The eco-camps will aim to tackle obesity by encouraging lots of walking about, said Health minister Alan Johnson in April.

And being confined to such a grim existence means the end of social mobility. Forget about advancing along the precarious housing ladder. The houses will be far more expensive than they should be, because they're saddled with fashionable but useless totems of Greenery such as "micro generation" turbines, that can't even power a light bulb.

Nowhere in the glossy brochures that describe "what makes eco towns different" is employment mentioned. The new settlements are remote - several are on disused airfields - and "will become the eco-slums of the future if they are built without regards to where residents can get jobs or training," the LGA's Simon Milton has predicted.

Low resource use developments don't have to be miserable - but with the eco towns, this is the whole point. Marry old-fashioned paternalism (where the proles should be grateful for what they get ) to the Carbon Cult's misanthropy (where being alive is a sin) and what else do you get, but a boring, smelly slum? This time, by design. ®

Reducing the cost and complexity of web vulnerability management

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Saudi Petroleum chooses Tegile storage solution
A storage solution that addresses company growth and performance for business-critical applications of caseware archive and search along with other key operational systems.
Protecting users from Firesheep and other Sidejacking attacks with SSL
Discussing the vulnerabilities inherent in Wi-Fi networks, and how using TLS/SSL for your entire site will assure security.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.