Archive for the ‘Labour (who deserve the ‘bloody’ less than the Tories)’ Category

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.

Trigger warning; rape, rape culture, victim blaming, rape of a child.

HEREBY WE WILL SEE AN INCOHERENT OUTPOURING OF RAGE AND OUTRAGE. Actually I’ll try to make it coherent. BUT TFGYFRGTH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Councillor William O’Rourke, you are the scum of the Earth. I have no words. A care employee is accused of raping a nine-year-old child, and you ask if there was force involved and when told that there was not, you say, ‘So she wanted it to happen?’ ?!!?!?!?!

Get a clue. The child was nine. At nine, you cannot consent. AS IS ENSHRINED IN OUR AGE OF CONSENT LAWS AND WELL AND TRULY AGREED BY ANYONE WHO DESERVES THE TITLE OF HUMAN BEING. At nine, due to the horrendous power dynamic and the lack of understanding, there is no such thing as consent.

But let’s just shelve the child’s age for a moment. Not being forced doesn’t mean a person wanted it to happen. The only thing that means a person wanted something to happen is a clear, informed, understanding, enthusiastic YES. Which coincidentally COULDN’T HAPPEN, since the child was NINE. The absence of that makes it rape, and no-one wants to be raped. (His attitudes are suspiciously akin to those of the politicians, mainly Republicans, in the US who brought H.R.3 to the table. H.R.3 would redefine rape as ‘forcible’ for the purposes of abortion coverage.)

I can’t even imagine what the other inappropriate comments were. Actually I can, because I’ve heard them and seen them come out to play about adults before now – but I can’t believe anyone would say that kind of shit (and that includes what is known to have been said) about a nine-year-old child.

Why the hell hasn’t he been sacked from every office he holds? He’s certainly not fit for public office, if he can say that sort of thing about a nine-year-old child. He’s obviously a staunch supporter of rape culture. By supporting rape culture, you support rapists. And I can’t even see how his statement could have been intended as anything but ‘Yes, I love rape and I love rapists. Especially child rapists.’ What. the. hell. is. this. man. doing. anywhere. near. a. position. of. power.

I hate this world sometimes. I’m off to scream and hit my head on a wall somewhere.

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.

Well, Mr Miliband, it would be really nice to hope that you actually care about us. There’s some ideas I’m not comfortable with – I’m not sure what you mean by this expectation that each generation will be more prosperous and have greater chances than the last, but the first part especially sounds suspiciously capitalist and… capitalism has failed. Also not sure about this ‘British Promise’ – sounds ominously nationalist, which does no-one any favours and is quick to lead to xenophobia. I hope you’re also going to try to show that you care about the other groups that have been thrown under the bus, like the non-conventionally abled and anyone legally or socially classified as female.

Oh, Mr Clegg. Do me a favour. Look at your life, look at your choices. Actually no. Do that, then play your words back at yourself. You want an economy not built on debt? Why the fuck are you making debt unavoidable for a huge proportion of the country, then? The economy is built to a large extent on the citizens. If we’re in debt, then yes, you have got an economy built on debt. The only difference is, you can argue that it’s not your problem because we should have been more careful. Oh wait we can’t. Because of you and your pals the Tories. Well what to do about that. Oh right – talk about intergenerational theft like you’re not doing it. Because taking away our futures and our services and our resources isn’t fucking intergenerational theft. And investing in education? Well, that would be nice. But I think we’re working off different definitions of investment, Mr Clegg.

And Mr Cameron, your pet scheme isn’t working because of your pet policies. I wonder how that happened. Oh yes, you’re a Tory. Seriously, if it wasn’t that it was me that’s going to be screwed by all the shit you’re pulling rather than you, I’d be laughing at you.

And on a much lighter note, good luck, Wales. You’ve got the Old Enemy tonight. It’s bad that there’s loads of injuries and that you always get the Friday night games, but hey, most of the country still watches.

Oh noes, there was contact between Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and a participant in the protests on Thursday. Really? Is this what it has come to? That we are more worried about two people’s frightening experience than a young person’s brain injury, and an utterly over the top reaction? (see comments for a news report about actions committed against Jody McIntyre.)

Right. First, interpersonal violence is a Bad Thing. Injury is a serious matter, and people should attempt to refrain from violence towards others where possible. That includes both civilians and police. Second, down to business. There is only one argument that should be standing right now over these protests – Dear politicians, we won’t stop breaking your windows until you stop breaking our futures. It’s really quite simple.

Yes, there’s a lot more to protest about. A sniffy letter-writer in a newspaper yesterday says, ‘In my day, we protested about wars and the environments. Today’s students protest about (their own) money.’ But many of the student protesters aren’t just protesting about fees. It’s about all of the cuts, it’s about the impact on our whole society. There are links being formed between other groups such as unions and the student movement.

And the media condemn the violence, and say it’s turned ‘disgusting.’ They say students should no longer be allowed to protest. They say that we’re making a fuss over nothing. (Yes, Thunderer, I’m disappointed in you. You’re normally so good. Can’t you see how all these drastic cuts, enacted by millionaires, are going to tear away at the fabric of our society, of our world?) They don’t even think to turn their sharp tongues towards the predominantly rich, straight, cis, white, able, male politicians who’re doing this stuff without even understanding the consequences. They don’t even think to condemn the appointment of super-rich tax avoiders as Government advisors.

I’m still angry. I’m angry for the people whose lives will be changed for the worst, even lost, as a result of all this reckless cutting. I’m angry for the chances lost. I’m angry for the protesters – and police, actually – injured. I’m angry at the thoughtless words and deeds that to their enacters are words on a paper, empty promises and the howl of the mob outside.

I’m angry for the condemnation that desperation engenders.

And yet more evidence that the university fees increase and the measures designed to prevent a decrease in social mobility won’t work. It is estimated that at fees of £6000 a year, 8333 students could be funded by the scholarship fund for free school meals students, which is a common measure of wealth – but last year, 10670 students who had been in receipt of free school meals graduated. This while the article about this scholarships scheme is still on the BBC Education front page…

The idea of diamond planets is intriguing and incredible.

Tis the season to be jolly and start looking back over the year, and so all the sexist, heteronormative, fucking misogynistic, belittling and horrendous articles on the year’s fashion, parties and gifts are out in force. First link is a load of fashion ‘shocks’, which engages in body policing, belittlement of women’s choices and gender policing as well as a whole load of other bullshit. Second one completely ignores the idea that just maybe, your partner might not be a straight member of the ‘opposite’ sex. Third one made me very angry indeed – it’s basically a men’s guide to buying lingerie. Yeah, I don’t think I need to say anymore…

On the subject of sexism, Miliband (Ed) is really not showing up well. That’s a whole load of casual, entrenched patriarchy in them there quotes.

It doesn’t make the rocketing university fees debacle right, but we finally have some information on what measures will be taken to help the poorest students. They don’t include keeping EMA. They include giving the poorest students the first year free. They don’t help those who are only just outside the free school meals boundary. They don’t address the sheer capitalist arrogance of the whole scheme.

The way some of those involved in these proposals are talking, you’d think the world was made up of a few very poor people and the rest of the world was as super-rich as our current Government, and by throwing down these sops to the poorest they can alleviate the wrongness of their ideas. For a start, a year’s fees taken off isn’t going to help all that much; there’s still living costs, which in some places are astronomical, and there’s still the other however-many years to pay for. Some courses take more than two or three years, and not every graduate of them ends up pulling in a high wage. And then there’s the others, who aren’t rich enough to not care about the increase or poor enough to qualify for the aid. They too will be put off university.

For a multi-millionaire Government, they do seem fond of making other people poorer. A disabled rights organisation in Wales has condemned the changes to disability benefits, saying – probably quite rightly – that they will sideline those reliant on the benefits still further and that the changes have been founded on flawed, reductionist research. Meanwhile, English patients still pay for prescriptions at a cost of £7.20, even for long-term illnesses such as MS; a cost that will already affect many of those affected by the changes.

And the expenses problem rumbles on, with MPs renting out homes they own and claiming for rented accommodation. In the first blast of the scandal, I was a bit more inclined to think ‘in a lax system, some of them may have been claiming because everyone did it and there was nothing to stop them.’ Now, after a huge news scandal and a crackdown, they’re finding ways to get around it. I think this is where we conclude they’re rotten apples.

So thanks, Westminster. We get to pay your bills and in return you take our money. How does that work? Oh yeah, capitalism, that’s how…