Archive for the ‘Lib Dems’ 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.

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Soft

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

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.

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.

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.

I know this Government isn’t great, and I can’t say I trust them all that much. However. Linked to in this article is a survey for trans/non-cis people to fill in to provide feedback for the Government for the publication of the Transgender Action Plan. I guess this is our chance to try to make it the least faily possible. I believe the deadline is 6th May.

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.