So this is utopia?
I've been reading William Morris... you know, the tousle-headed socialist who was big on the crafts. News from Nowhere, published in 1890, was pretty hopeless at imagining life in the 21st century. Of course, Morris was being utopian: he didn't think of it as a prediction. So he dreams up a world without money, where men and women work for the love of it, making beautiful garments and tobacco pouches which they are pleased to give away, and working co-operatively at building and haymaking for the fun of it. Food is dispensed in communal halls, and all for free. TheHouses of Parliament have become redundant, because decisions are taken locally, by working people, and serve as a dung store.
Quite a lot of things have not gone right, according to Morris's prescription, since his day. He would have gone mental to see the way suburbia has sprawled around London. But actually, some aspects of modern life are just as Morris would have liked. He imagined everyone looking much younger than in the Victorian period -- and they do. The Thames is clean. Westminster Abbey used to be black with smoke: not now. Morris once said he thought electricity would be a good option to replace steam trains -- and look there are electric cars plugged into their charge points on West End streets. If that isn't a smidgeon of utopia, what is?