Archive for the ‘Finance’ Category

I have been gone for a while; offline life decided to gang up on me a bit with heaping on ALL the academic pressures as well as continuing to give me health crap. I shouldn’t be doing this now because I have an important deadline on Monday, but I made the fatal mistake of reading the paper. My wrath was aroused.

I am fed up to the back teeth of the go-to means of getting more money is ‘cut benefits.’ (been reading about this in the Times as well.) Yep, that’s a great idea. I mean, where else to turn for more money but the people who are struggling to get by as it is? /sarcasm. Because here’s the thing. These top politicians, with their expenses claims and their wealth and their privileged backgrounds, may not realise it, but some people actually rely on their benefits to survive. And yes, that does matter. And no, we can’t use the demon-in-the-lower-galleries* spectre of ‘benefit fraud’ to justify it, which is something I’m also fed up of. Same with the ‘but people on benefits spend more,’ which was what someone quoted in the Times said. (as an aside, isn’t ‘people spending more’ a key thing for the revival of the economy? Yeah, great logic there, folks /sarcasm. And I’ve never taken economics or found myself in a position to run an economy.)

About the fuel increases – I think it’s more complicated than ‘rich people in their Chelsea tractors;’ transport is vital for a lot of people in this age of living areas being mostly separated from workplaces. Fuel costs do put a hole in a lot of vulnerable people’s budgets, and it’s not really feasible to wave that away with saying, ‘just drive less;’ while that’s a good aim and often possible, sometimes it just isn’t. But politicians really like presenting us with these dichotomies, and they know – especially in this case – that their demon-in-the-lower-galleries fallacy is going to reduce sympathy for people on benefits, while fuel costs is something that even people who could afford to pay the increase comfortably will oppose.

It’s not fair that people are suffering pay freezes as prices rise either. Let’s face it, it’s not fucking right that people on the low end of the income scale are the ones feeling the squeeze. It’s not right that as a result of that, the marginalised are becoming more marginalised. It’s not right that the rich politicians who seem to be about the only flavour of politicians there is at the moment are both out of touch and contemptuous of our plight. It’s not right that our rich make money off the exploitation of the poor elsewhere in the world while making everyone else dependent upon a system of exploitation and abuse. The world’s not right.

* Demon-in-the-lower-galleries fallacy – term is from a work of fiction, and a hundred points to anyone who knows which one. Basically, it refers to a created threat, fostered by the powerful in the marginalised and used to exploit them.

Soft

Posted: November 5, 2011 in Bloody Tories, Capitalism, Finance, Kyriarchy, Lib Dems, Politics
Tags:

The system is far too soft? The system is far too soft, David? What the hell country are you living in, because it certainly isn’t the same one as me. (and yes I realise he said this in Australia. Unfortunately I don’t think we can blame this one on the bite of some poisonous animal or another…)

The crucial fact being completely missed by these rich politicians is that a lot of non-rich criminals commit crime out of necessity. I suppose when one moves among such exhaulted circles, one forgets that there are other motives than greed for criminal activity. In the current capitalist system, measures like this are entirely likely to create spirals of criminality and are generally pretty self-defeating. Actively support the capitalist system, deprive people of money and then deprive them of yet more if they commit crime to pick up the shortfall. THAT MAKES SENSE /sarcasm.

Sigh. Another example of the powerful attempting to divide everyone else by creating scapegoats among the marginalised. The kyriarchy ensures that those on benefits do not represent a cross section of the population, with marginalised groups disproportionately affected, which in turn makes the privileged feel easier about demonising them.

I’m not doing much posting at the moment (just stating the obvious there). I think there’s a couple of things I can post, but posting will probably be slow. I’m – well, I’m tired/weary in so many ways and there’s a lot going on offline at the moment and I’m struggling to find the words for anything. Apologies.

Newsbag.

Posted: September 21, 2011 in Bodies, Capitalism, Education, Finance, Health, Science, Sexuality
Tags: ,

Okay, I’m going to attempt to be back now even though I’m still having trouble using a computer comfortably.

Really, Government, really? Possible proposals to cut the benefits of terminally ill folks? This is obscene. We always knew that this government was incredibly ableist, but here’s another rock-solid indication. It honestly scares me that the people in charge of the country are so very contemptuous of anyone who doesn’t fit the conventional notion of ‘ability’, and that they are actually enacting this stuff (as with other benefit changes that have gone through).

If the data bears it out, which I think is likely, this is exactly as expected. EMA has proved important for many people, and scrapping it is always going to have an effect.

Aaand from a sciencey point of view, the information that deep-sea squid mate with no regards to sex is fairly interesting.

I’m sorry this is a shite post. I’m still trying to think of a way to make a post out of my recent health issue and how that has been complicated by my lack of gender, which is definitely interesting. I realise, however, that I’m probably saying nothing that other people haven’t said before so… Still need to think some more about that one.

The riots are spreading fast, and all the mainstream media can find for it is condemnation and demonisation of the riots as thoughtless thuggery, the breaking tide of feral youth upon the shore of respectable society heralded with fire, a force to be met with force. They’re being taken out of context, out of time, judged as an island of humanity when the contexts and explanations lie elsewhere upon the landmass.

Violence, especially violence of this type, is not something I can condone. It is – as so much else – hitting the less privileged more as their houses and lives burn around them while the more privileged sit in their white towers and play dice with the lives of the rest of us, demonising us as they go.

But I can understand. The shooting of Mark Duggan was a match in a flourmill, where the flourdust of alienation, poverty and hopelessness had long clogged the air, anger unexpressed, rage battened down. We should not have been surprised. Of course there is anger – people have been pushed into the margins, further and further, clinging to the edges. The rich have taken as theirs everything their sweet-tongued lies and economic tyranny can exact from everyone else. The sovereignty of the police has gone unchecked even as hundreds die in custody and our children are kettled in the streets. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, and the tunnel grows narrower every day until the daylight is cut off from a glimmer. Racial divisions fester in the heat of an economic meltdown, with young POC seeing themselves burned in effigy as demons in the mainstream discourse.

Of course there was anger! And when that was expressed peacefully, in marches and petitions, it was ignored. It is always ignored. Sometimes I think that if the whole country came to London and camped in Parliament Square, we would be ignored until someone threw a stone. It seems that our ‘leaders’ believe that the only time they need to pay attention to the existence of the non-rich populace is around election time, when they can throw us a bone and our starvation will bring us to heel.

So anger turned to violence. And violence is, as I have said, not good.

But there are other forms of violence. There is the violence of what our leaders are doing to our futures, there is the violence of contempt for our anger, there is the violence in ignoring our needs. There is violence in every dram of money-blood being taken from us to pay the debts we did not incur, and there is violence in entrenching the inequalities that divide our society like lightning in the stark midnight sky.

Besides that, we must look to the sweet poison capitalism has dripped into our ears from the cradle to the grave. Is it any wonder that looting is going on, when we have been raised from birth to believe that status is in capital? And is it any wonder we have been raised like this, when all the power is in the hands of the few who sit on thrones of banknotes, elevated above the rest of us with the power to match?

I hate that destruction stalks our streets, since the kyriarchy feeds upon destruction and the only way I can see to fight it is to build. I hate that some of this is communities lashing out against themselves. But these events cannot be looked at outside of the grim context they were born in, and in that context it is hard to argue things could have turned out otherwise once that match was dropped. I stand against violence, whether the violence of the powerful state upon the populace or the violence of therelatively powerless people – but I also understand the explosive power of bottled-up anger.

*    *    *

I’m pretty privileged in this issue, being lower-middle class, relatively economically secure, provincial and white, and while I can’t be certain I doubt the rioting will spread to where I live. But I’m fed up of seeing all the one-sided mainstream reportage, and I don’t think it’s all that difficult to hold the dual thoughts of ‘this is violence, and violence is bad,’ and ‘I understand why this happened,’ in one’s head. Basically I wanted to put in my two pence. And yeah, I’m aware I waxed poetic. I do that sometimes.

To read the papers at the moment is to get a most unsettling feeling of being in an uncontrollable vehicle hurtling towards something bad. Now, I have been and will almost certainly remain rather quiet about this because I am not an economist and my understanding of this boils down to the words, ‘Not good…’ It’s possible that in a year or two, when we’ve found out a bit more about how screwed we are, I’ll fully understand and be able to dissect the issues with a fishknife.

At the moment though, I’m wondering how this is all going to affect normal people. If there is another massive problem, will it be us who will be called upon to clean up after capitalism’s worst excesses again? If we are – is that possible? Or will the rich and the powerful’s attempts to use us to pay their debts drain us dry – and if so, what will happen then?

I’m too good at predictions of doom. But right now, we’re seeing capitalist systems again careering too close to the edge. And that, combined with the frankly frightening trend towards regarding people as more expendable than capital, could be disastrous.

They’re saying that Britain is a ‘safe haven’ because we’ve kept our AAA credit rating – but are the British people safe? Is that safety only for British finance, while British people find themselves paying for it? And anyway, in a globalised world we can hardly be said to be safe; our involvement in other countries’ finance is already affecting us, and many people are predicting a greater effect for it. It can be said that virtually all countries are intricately, inescapably linked to each others’ financial fates, since the global market has tied us all together so effectively in a complicated web of borrowing, lending, imports and exports. At the same time, we still think of ourselves as separate and think that problems can be contained in a single place. The excesses of capitalism in this globalised economy are fast waking us up to the fact that they cannot.

Uh-oh. The group of overprivileged capitalists who are supposed to be running this country wants to relax the rules on redundancy, thus making it easier for employers to fire workers. They are also concerned about discrimination compensation, because apparently the ‘high levels’ of it mean that people are filing speculative or ‘vexation’ cases in the hopes of a big payout.

Juust when I thought they couldn’t get much worse. Notice that all the concerns are coming from the employers? At least we know who they care about. But so it has always been, with them.

This is an all-out assault on those who work for others, for money, and it’s directly related to profit. If you can hire and fire workers easily, you can say, ‘Don’t like the wages/conditions/other? You’re fired!’ and get in someone else who will settle for those wages/conditions/other. That’s exploitation. This kind of idea culminates in job insecurity and oppression as workers find themselves unable to speak out against this. And it’s especially awful in the current economic climate, where many people are unemployed and benefits are being cut, making people more and more desperate. In a capitalist economy – which this is, and getting more so with every piece of legislation introduced by this Government – money confers the ability to live. Which means that people will be forced to cling onto any way they can of getting money, even if that is an insecure, badly-paid job in bad conditions with no long-term prospects, and thus employers’ power over them is increased.

That is wrong. Every bit of power to exploit awarded to the capitalist employers is an erosion of the rights of the worker. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights talks of the right to ‘work, to free choice of employment, to just and favourable conditions of work and renumeration, equal pay for equal work.’ Free choice of employment? Can we call it that when benefits are being cut below a livable level and people find themselves having to take any job/s they can to survive? Just and favourable conditions of work and renumberation? Can we say we have that, when people are being fired and then brought back, but forced onto a lower wage, and when our Government plans to make that even easier?

And what does this Government know of discrimination? Predominantly white, rich, male, cis, straight, conventionally able, educated, etc – who are they to decide that the people who bear the brunt of the kyriarchy’s wrongs under capitalism are being over-zealous in their claims? They are closing their minds to the fact that discrimination happens, that it is widespread, and that it has a major effect on the already-marginalised. They are closing their minds to the fact that we marginalised are human too, that we have the right to be free of discrimination, that we have the right to live.

We are seeing this culture of oppression-shaming step up its assault, and the opening shots across our bow have already been fired. Benefits claimants are being accused of being too lazy to work while there are no jobs for them to work, and those who are not conventionally able are having their abilities redefined for them so that they too can be demonised as lazy. Women are told that their struggle for equality is holding back equality, and people suffering from discrimination based on race, sexuality or any other factor are told that their struggle for compensation is an attempt to get rich quick. This is the typical view of the capitalist class, who reduce every action to monetary greed rather than monetary need, projecting their own values upon those who do not share them and erasing all problems they themselves do not face.

We are looking into the face of terrifying, blank contempt for us and our lives, our happiness, our health. They coat it in woolly statements about a ‘happiness index’ while they snatch our warmth and security from our desperate, clutching hands. They pretend to know our pain when they fly cheaply, when the very idea of flying is beyond more and more of our pockets. They claim that we are all in it together, when in fact they are the vampire with their teeth clamped to the people’s neck, draining us dry while they shed not a drop.

This is not a trivial matter.

…since I can’t get together a coherent post about evo psych and how much I hate it, hate being taught it, hate its kyriarchist apologism and hate being erased by it, I’ll talk about the news. News. That should make me feel better. Oh wait…

Forcibly retired West Midlands police have been invited back to work… for free. Yeah because that’s not exploitation at all. Discharge them as a cost-cutting measure then get them to work for free. Okay, some people might be financially secure enough to do that – but it’s not a given, and it’s still not a good policy. Some may want to and that’s fine – but it is not good to try to exploit them all like that.

TW: discussion of self-harm in this paragraph. The 2011 Children and Young People’s Wellbeing Monitor for Wales has come out, and reveals, among other things, that hospital admissions for self-harm were in 2006-8 approximately 138% of the levels for 2003-5, that chlamydia levels have risen but that this is thought to be due to increased awareness, that sexual health appears to be improving, that the numbers of 15 year olds drinking and smoking have dropped and that approximately one third of children in Wales are now living in poverty. A mixed bag, really.

It has also been pointed out that there is scope for the abolishing of EMA to be discriminatory. Now, in theory the individual schools might be able to target resources better – but in practice this is not going to work because of a little thing called KYRIARCHY, which is in teachers’ heads just like everyone else’s and will influence their decisions. It’s also problematic because seriously? Schools and colleges do not know as much about their pupils as this seems to assume they do.

Ooh! This seems somewhat better news! Leaked documents suggest that the Government is having second thoughts about outsourcing public services. Now, I can see what the supporters of outsourcing say, but 1. I don’t trust the private sector because of its capitalist values and lack of accountability and 2. just ask the MOD how outsourcing worked for them. With extensive outsourcing to private companies – not talking about cooperatives or other models, mainly private companies here – could come a massive opportunity for worker exploitation, irregularities in key services and ‘cost cutting’ measures that could easily lead to degradation of services. So I’d rather the Government kept services under their wing, even when the Government is less than ideal.

There’s a lot more that I could comment on, but… I’m still feeling terrible after being taught that bit of evo psych (luckily we don’t do much). Sexism, cissexism, binarism, heterosexism… urgh. Urgh. And scientific wooliness, to say the least.

Hello! I am writing to you from my computer! I am not a) getting ready to party in the streets, b) watching The Event on the internet, c) watching The Event on TV, d) camping outside The Event or otherwise demonstrating myself to be a good forelock-tugger. I am instead blogging about The Event, but not in the adoring way expected of one of Her Majesty’s loyal subjects.

The Event being, of course, the Royal Wedding. My criticisms run deep and will probably run on for a few dozen paragraphs. Let’s start with one very fundamental criticism.

The instution of the monarchy. Historically, I know why we have it (groups of people gathering more and more land, leader of those groups getting more and more power, finally calls himself (generally was ‘he’) King. Then one group becomes more and more powerful and replaces the monarchy of the other groups to that one group’s monarchy. Fairly simple. What I don’t understand is why we still have it.

This is the 21st century. We have spent centuries advancing the cause of democracy, forcing it on our colonies, advocating for it, believing in it. I believe in it. Rule by the people is in my opinion the only fair way of running things. The only way that ensures that everyone has a voice and should, if properly executed, ensure that those voices are heard. Elsewhere in the world, people are fighting and dying for it, today, now. And yet we still have a monarch. We still have a fossil of the days when one person held the lives of many in the palm of their hand, crushing and killing, in our political system. The monarch may not have much ‘true’ political power, but we still have one. And while we’re talking of power, the Royal Family do have power.

They have the power to oppress. They have the power to command the eyes and ears of the world. They are sent out on diplomatic missions. They have the power to command crowds, to leech our money away from us. That’s power.

They have no place in a country that dares to call itself democratic. They do not earn their huge wealth – they sit on the previous generations’ wealth, plundered with inhumanity and brutality from other corners of the world, and are awarded more of the people’s money. Abolish the monarchy, even with pensioning off one or two of them, and I imagine that most of our financial woes would be temporarily ended.

The institution is oppressive in its self. The only reason Queen Elizabeth II currently holds the throne is her parents’ lack of a CAMAB offspring. Sexism. And do you think that if an heir to the throne turned out to be non-cis (binary or non-binary) their role would be adjusted, their self would be respected? I don’t think so. Perhaps some have, and that’s why we don’t know about it. Catholics – and presumably any other non-Protestant/person who doesn’t mind pretending – are barred from taking the throne. I doubt anyone who isn’t straight, cis, white, conventionally able/appearing so or who lacks privilege in any other sphere would be allowed into public life, or kept out of the pillary if they found themselves there.

Besides this, the English monarchy forced its authority onto its colonies through force of arms, through brainwashing, through the eradication of cultures. Talking about my own situation, my country’s monarchs were deposed and often killed by their ancestors, and while I would hope that our own monarchs would have been deposed in favour of a democracy by now I resent that they were replaced by the authority of those who tried to wipe out our culture, damn near succeeded and may yet. I would imagine that English colonies and ex-colonies feel similar, having had their autonomy, nationhood and often culture assaulted, wounded, often killed – generally more severely than my own – on the orders of the English monarchy.

And now onto the specific wedding-related critique.

It’s all joy and everything over this marriage. He’s a Prince, she’s a commoner – although in my book, if she’s common I really wish I was – they’ve been together for years, with a couple of break-ups – so modern, isn’t it?-… it’s the stuff of the modern kyriarchy’s dreams. She’s just common enough to give an illusion of progress, but all the basics are unchanged. Think about it. There’s still the oppressive institution. The power differential reinforces the privilege differences between women and men. She’s still rich. Her self has been subsumed in the coverage beneath the weight of custom and royalty worship. They’re straight. They’re white. They’re cis. They’re conventionally able. Etc. Privilege! The joys of a privileged and a super-hyper-privileged person getting married! What would happen if he wanted to marry a man? Or if she had less privilege? One acquaintance of mine said, ‘They’d say, ‘Hey, why don’t you go live in Switzerland?’ and try to silence the papers.’ I imagine that would be at least somewhat true.

And who is paying for this? Us.

Us. We, who are suffering from the effects of a recession and the draconian cuts inflicted upon us by an overprivileged, contemptuous, capitalist Government – we are paying for the festivities of a monstrously rich institution that was not chosen by us. We didn’t choose to foot the bill. And a bank holiday has been declared, a day of wages that many people will lose, that will seriously impact on many people’s lives.

I am fed up with having it shoved in my face. I am fed up of knowing that resources earned by the people are fueling this extravaganza of forelock-tugging, pomp and privilege. I am fed up with the adulation being poured out to a group of utterly undeserving, overprivileged people who have often shown themselves bigoted, oppressive and awful. I am fed up of the adoration being directed towards an institution with so much blood on its hands.

Sooo, I’m back, very tired, and for some strange reason (if there’s weird typos here ignore them, I just wrote ‘straight’ for ‘strange’…) I’ve decided to write a post. Why? I’m sorry, I just can’t resist calling out one of the parties in coalition in our Government out on their bullshit.

Dear Mr Cameron and spokesman. Jokes are funny. Telling a woman to ‘calm down, dear’ when she points out inaccuracy is not. IT’S PURE SILENCING TECHNIQUES. I am fed up to the back teeth and beyond of the Tories’ and their ‘partners’ blatant contempt for anyone who is not a white straight cis conventionally able rich male who is neither too young nor too old. Fed up. Fed up.

Let’s see, now. David Willetts on feminism in its ‘first round effects.’ Clegg and Cameron claiming to have nothing to disagree on. The Government deciding that the rights of ‘women’ (not sure what their definition was, certainly fucked up anyway) were negotiable. Auctioning off internships for huge prices. Dominic Raab insisting that (cis) men were underprivileged. The rich having a proposal for their taxes to be cut while the rest of us get to keep VAT at 20%. And that’s just in 2011, on my blog, that I remember… Oh yes, and I remember that time Nick Griffin approved of what Cameron said about immigration, and that was this year. Then we see their contempt through their policies, and what looks like their sheer arrogance and lack of capacity to listen to others.

Why aren’t we utterly terrified? These people are in charge of our fucking country. And they hate us! Everyone who isn’t part of their absurdly privileged, pigheaded crowd! How did they get there? Who let them in?

Make no mistake, these are reactionary times for those parts of the world mistakenly styling themselves ‘developed,’ using their own societies as a tape with which to measure the rest of the world and find it wanting. Look at the burqa ban in France! Look at the efforts by many USians to control the bodies of those with uteri! It’s not just Britain, we’re part of a deeply frightening trend in Europe, in Australia, in North America and elsewhere as well.

And now comes the Royal Wedding. Come tomorrow, anyone reading this will be subjected to me ranting about it, about the monarchy, about the kyriarchy and various other concepts. Today, I will say, this is part of the trend. The adoring masses, forelocks a-tugging – propping up the kyriarchy, the reactionary, increasingly radical right-wing politics of the day, propping all this up with their blood and tears.

In our leading piece of *headdesk* news today is David Willetts’ remark that feminism ‘in its first-round effects’ was probably a key factor in a lack of social mobility. Firstly, what does that even mean? What the hell were feminism’s ‘first round effects’? Secondly, if ‘feminism trumped egalitarianism’, women must not be human. Because women becoming more equal advances egalitarianism, since women are definitely human. I’m not one, but you don’t have to be a woman to realise women are human. Here’s a clue, Mr Willetts – rich white cis men and sometimes women with Tory political beliefs trumped egalitarianism. People like you. Blaming feminism gets us absolutely nowhere, and establishes it beyond all doubt that you, and by extension the Government you work for, do not give a damn about roughly half of the population. And that’s not okay. Women still have a huge battle on their hands for equality – the kyriarchy is trying to bring them down with its most subtle psychological tactics as well as more blatant ones such as the discrediting of a movement that advanced the equality of women. It’s not beyond criticism – feminism has been guilty of failing many people – but bigoted, anti-woman criticism is contemptible.

In today’s eek news, THE UK HAS FULL-BODY SCANNERS IN AIRPORTS?!?! Apparently they came in in early 2010. I honestly had no idea. And in more eekiness, I’m flying from an airport with them fairly soon. What the fuck, UK. What the fuck. I can’t even. And apparently it’s a legal requirement to go through if you get called on. Here’s an article from the Times at the time about them and their effects on people. Oh crap…

And now in today’s WHAT THE SLIMERIDDEN SHITCANNON news, a whistleblower reveals that many jobcentres are unfairly stopping benefits due to targets. I refer to this old post for more commentary – it wasn’t written about this, but it’s applicable.

Great, spent the last half an hour reading gloomy forecasts in the week’s papers for the economy (I got behind on my paper readings). NHS might need a top-up. Inflation going to fuck us all over. Savers being short-changed. Pensioners ditto. Unemployment set to continue rising. Meanwhile, certain MPs’ expenses rules are relaxed, Nick Clegg and David Cameron can’t find anything to disagree on and newspapers condemn the outrage over the cuts. Mr Clegg, if you are finding nothing to disagree with Mr Cameron on, you are doing quite a lot wrong.

But anyway. Outrage against the cuts. It’s justified. They are going to score themselves deeply into the fabric of our society, breaking threads, breaking lives. Already we’re feeling their bite. We – the general population of the UK. Not the absurdly privileged folks flexing their claws without noticing where they cut.

What has to be realised is that these cuts are not happening into a vacuum. They are happening into a social structure that already privileges some folks over others – so as the monetary freeze sets in, it will be the ones already on the outside who will suffer the most from frostbite. People’s existing prejudices will ensure that. So it’s not a case of everyone giving a little bit. It’s a case of the ones with much giving little, and the ones with little giving much.

And can we get through to the people in and around governance that a Government’s job should be the good of its people? We need to move past the outdated idea that was already being condemned in Britain in the bloody 18th/19th century that the job of a Government is to benefit the capital of a country, essentially benefitting the capitalists of a country. And who is going to be hurt by these cuts that are coming too deep, too close, too fast? The majority of the people who are not rich. Who is going to be barely affected? The rich. And they still moan.

I think that paragraph is wishful thinking, because we can’t get through to the Government at all. It seems to me that they haven’t listened – they’re not listening – they don’t care, as long as they keep their power and their money. And that scares me a lot. Democracy = rule by the people. Not rule by tricking the people.

Pick’n’mix

Posted: March 5, 2011 in Capitalism, Finance, Health, Science
Tags: , , ,

Auntie Beeb, nooooo… It seems that senior BBC staff have instructed journalists to use the word ‘savings’ rather than ‘cuts’ to describe the Government’s CUTS to public spending. I am now going to capitalise the word CUTS just to emphasise it. It seems that spokespeople for the BBC are denying it, despite reports from journalists. At least there is resistance within the BBC.

Hello, news does not mean euphemism. When you report news, you report it free of bias. You’re perfectly at liberty to then have opinion pieces, but you use the facts. And these aren’t savings. They’re CUTS. Public spending is being CUT to move the debt from the country to the people of the country. The word saving is applicable where you manage to provide the same things for a lower price. A CUT is where you take away needed money and force people to pay more for the same service, possibly privatising it into the bargain.

Ouch. Lovely. I really hate England’s system of charging for prescriptions. Hello, folks, NOT EVERYONE IS RICH. This is an incentive for people not to go to the doctor with minor complaints, instead letting the problem get worse until eventually the NHS has to pick up a massively inflated bill (and that’s just the economic argument. The human argument is People > Profit. People have a right to healthcare. Putting off getting medical attention for economic reasons risks lives.) Okay, it’s not as bad here as it is in the USA – that system, of billing for all health care and having to buy medical insurance, is absolutely unspeakably awful – but I’m still going to speak up against it because the cost is going up, and it could lead to a slippery slope.

REALLY, Mervyn? What a SHOCK! Why, no-one had noticed that banks were putting profit before people… /endsarcasm. And are you going to walk the walk, Mr. King? You’ve talked the talk – now walk the goddamn walk.

It’s dubious whether the European Commission’s recommendations about carbon emissions will be heeded at all, but… all this is pretty alarming. Cutting carbon emissions is probably going to help with global warming – I don’t talk science and the environment on here often enough, but a high-CO2 mix of gases heats faster than a low-CO2 mix with the same amount of energy, (and does anyone know how to do subscript on WordPress? EDIT – doesn’t seem to be working for some reason, never mind…) – and global warming is certainly going to be detrimental to the environmental. Ignoring that is something we do at our peril. We need to reduce our emissions, and fast. We’ve been ignoring the growing problem for too long.

So the Government’s still in a mess over its higher education plans. And how are they planning to offset this? Why, of course, by allowing the rich to take additional places through the means of admitting ‘off-quota’ ‘self-funding’ students. In a ‘socially progressive’ way, of course.

Hang on a minute. How does that work? These students are rich enough to pay tuition fees upfront. Ergo, they are from the highest-earning groups. Ergo, those from lower-earning groups are barred these places. This means not socially progressive. This means allowing the same system of upper-class advantage that has existed since the very idea of ‘education’ was introduced to continue.

I can’t find much information about this. It does seem to be a small proposal that is ‘up for debate’. Still, it can’t be written off as harmless, since I’ve learned not to treat anything this government says as harmless. Calling this socially progressive is either a severe case of dictionary deprivation or a supreme example of doublespeak – I cannot think of any way that the idea can be made socially progressive. The only way people like me would be able to afford fees of £9000 a year up-front would be by the whole family not eating or paying half the household bills for the entirety of their university career.

We’re all in this together, they say. Austerity, they say.

My arse. Yes, EVERYONE can afford £3000 on internships for their kids. EVERYONE can afford to work for nothing. Fuck you, rich politicians. Fuck you. I’m sick of your bullshit.

Look, here’s the ladder. Look how easy advancing up it is! (what we’re not telling you is that you have to pay a fee to get us to take the grease and the trick mechanism off the bottom rung) But come on! It’s easy! Why, I guess our kids must just be the best at this! (what we’re not telling you is that we paid their fee for the rung for them…)

This seems like a drop in the ocean, when half the globe is burning and our leaders are eating our money – but it’s not. This is where they’re shitting out that money. This is how they are trying to create a new aristocracy, founded not on titles but on parents’ wealth. And by aristocracy, I’m not talking about the general name for the ‘elites’. I’m talking about aristocracy as the word means, where it follows the same pattern as democracy, autocracy etc. Rule by the ‘best’, in a capitalist system, where ‘best’ is ‘most wealthy.’

We need to stop being taken in. If there is anyone out there still who really thinks it’s good to have this kind of distinction between our leaders’ dynasties and our own, you need to wake up and smell the blood. The people we were born to do not affect our worth. Their money does not affect our worth.

Trigger warning. I’m not sure whether this post may be triggering, so I’m putting a warning on it anyway.

Benefit cheats are a straw man. A demon in the lower galleries (bonus points if you get the book that’s from). Maybe they exist, maybe they don’t – and you know what, it doesn’t matter.

They are not the problem. We are not the problem. The problem is the decision of our elites to value their own wealth above our lives. We should not be paying for their capitalist greed. Cracking down on benefit cheats is going to mean clawing back a few quid of actual fraud, and quite a lot of money that was legitimately needed to survive. That means that those who have enacted these policies are literally saying that certain people deserve to die.

Think I’m being provocative? Well, maybe I am. But depriving a person of the money they need to survive in our broken capitalist system is not valuing them, is not valuing their life, is not saying that they deserve to have it. And depriving a person of the money they need for a decent quality of life is saying that they do not deserve a decent quality of life.

And we do. By virtue of our existence in this incredible tapestry of humanity, we deserve to live, and we deserve to have a good quality of life. No matter our needs, our differences, our beliefs. But none of us deserve to take others’ right to live. None of us have that right. No matter how rich. How powerful. How important. And we certainly do not deserve to take this from those in a less socially advantaged position than us. Just because someone is societally disadvantaged does not make them undeserving. We must not succumb to this idea; it has very uncomfortable echoes of Social Darwinism.

So much is wrong. David Cameron’s speeches are giving fuel to Nick Griffin and his ‘party’ of hatemongers. The normal people of the country are being victim-blamed for our leaders’ follies. Oppressions are running wild, unchecked, under the guise of contempt for political correctness. And there are people, our siblings, our parents, our children, our friends, our partners, our relatives, our acquaintances, ourselves – there are people who are hearing, through the bank correspondence and the newspapers, through the contempt of others and the world at large, that they deserve to die.

That’s wrong.