vivienne westwood asks, what the frack is up with our government?
Last Saturday night, the Godmother of Punk, the Leader of the Climate Revolution, the one, the only Dame Vivienne Westwood teamed up with London club night Handsome to throw the party of the century and raise awareness around the environmental damage...
The night was called Fracking Hell and saw only the most fabulous of the glitterati descend upon East London to show their support. If you don't already know what fracking is, then look it up because, as the wise old Lorax said, "Unless someone like you cares an awful lot, nothing is going to get better, it's not." Climate change is not a problem for our children, it is our problem and unless we address it now, it will be a fact for our children. Knowledge is power and the only thing that can save us is public opinion, so join the battle, become an eco-warrior and raise your voices against fracking up the British countryside. We spoke to the doyenne of protest fashion pre-party, and this is her manifesto…
What are you going to say in your speech tonight?
I've come to the idea that I should just keep saying the same thing to people all the time, which is to give people perspective on how the world is run. To tell people how the world is run, you have to talk about the central banks because they control everything. It's a kind of giant Ponzi scheme. It's so simple to understand but it's been hidden from us. Once you understand that, you can work everything out, you don't need to know all the details. That's what the news is all about - something you forget from one day to the next. At the moment, the world is being run by governments, banks and monopolies - oil companies in particular - it's this triad of power that controls everything. It's all based on oil, on fossil fuel, that's why it's coming to an end. The way it works is through debt. They print money and that is how they come to own everything. What they want is the interest. They don't want the debt to be paid off because as long as they own the debt, they own what it is paying for. The central banks own nearly everything in the world, because it's all in debt to them. The accumulation of the interest is crazy. They don't need to cyber-print money, because the money they make is out of all relation to reality. That money is all then invested in destroying the earth. That's what capitalism is. The plan is to license 60% of England for fracking.
Can you describe what you think the countryside will look like if that actually goes through?
Every kilometer there would be four of these things, the size of Trafalgar Square with a drill in the middle. It would bring the whole country to a halt. It hasn't even worked in America, it's poisoned the ground and the people who have invested in it are losing their money now, because it's plateaued. You have to explain, not just about fracking, but how everything is this kind of scheme going into disaster and creating debt. One day it will just crash.
If it keeps going this way, how long have we got?
You've got to realise that everything the government does is dangerous and we've got to find a way to fight them. The three main parties are completely of the same opinion, there's nothing to choose between them. You just have to try and do something, like go on demonstrations, understand what's going on and every time you get the opportunity you have to rebel. I think it was amazing what happened in Scotland and if they'd won the whole world would have been in crisis, they wouldn't have known what to do, because somebody stepped out of the system. Naomi Klein wrote in her book The Shock Doctrine about how we have to stop destroying the planet to save ourselves and how this could be the end of capitalism and an opportunity to change the system. It's not difficult, you just have to put people first and everything will sort itself out. What's good for the planet is good for the people, what's good for the people is good for the planet.
How can everyone here tonight help?
People have to engage with the world. We need people power. I vote for the Green Party. I vote for a minority party because we have to build numbers.
What books or newspapers would you advise people to read?
I just read one called The Week. There are a lot of alternative news things you can read on the internet, like Huffington Post. I just think that Julian Assange is the greatest hero and the most important person. He's the most wanted person in the world because he dares to defy them. He's building a whole library of truth against not just received opinion, but the official news, too.
Are you optimistic about how the world will turn out?
No, but I think information is power. That's why I've chosen to try and come at it from a perspective where people can try to work out the details for themselves. Once you understand how corrupt it is, then I think you can work it out for yourself.
Text Felicity Kinsella
Photography Christopher Sims