Let’s all give a big round of applause and a vote of thanks to the bosses of HOME, Manchester arts cinema etc. In one easy move they’ve managed to-
- Shred the (admittedly limited) credibility of the Manchester Culture Awards
- Shred their own credibility
- Demoralise staff within the organisation who are trying to turn green words into deeds
How did they achieve this triumphant triptych?
By collecting an award about their environmental sustainability while simultaneously shilling for the aviation industry (among others).
By ignoring the fact ….
Actually, grok this letter in today’s Manchester Evening News – it does the job.
Right, where were we? Oh, by ignoring the fact that there have been long-running and successful campaigns to stop BP and Shell from laundering their reputations via the arts (see here, here and here), the managers of HOME seem incapable of reading the writing on the wall and getting ahead of – or even alongside- the curve (1). Perhaps they assume that Manchester isn’t London, and nobody in the desolate north gives a damn about hypocrisy and greenwash? They may be right, we shall see.
In the meantime, remember the following-
- There ARE people on the staff at HOME who understand what greenwash is, what hypocrisy is, and how refusing adverts from specific companies is not “censorship” (really, that line has been used).
- There ARE people on the staff at HOME who will be dismayed at this. So, if you are at HOME and you want to make your feelings clear (or you are deciding not to go to HOME until they drop the fossil-fuel shilling), then keep your comments to staff clear, concise and compassionate.
- The greenwash is not limited to HOME. One of its funders, Manchester City Council, has a far more horrific record. Of late, they’ve started boasting about a so-called 48% reduction in their own emissions since 2010, hoping that nobody will notice or mention that this is down to Tory austerity leading to staffing levels going down from 10k to 6k, services being cut to the bone and buildings being flogged off.
(1) Not the Keeling Curve – sadly, we’re gonna ride that sucker to Armageddon.