Archive for the ‘Lib Dems’ Category

Posted: March 12, 2011 in Lib Dems, Politics
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Sorry for the abject lack of posting, folks. Life becomes overwhelming sometimes. I’ve had basically no energy at all. Finally got round to making some kind of a post, and it’s pretty pathetic. My apologies.

In the Times today, I noticed that Clegg at least has realised that not everyone in Britain is white and male. He says that his party is too white and male to be representative. This is true. They’re planning to introduce a quota system, I believe (the paper got recycled…), for women, ethnic minorities and non-conventionally able folks, which may or may not improve things, depending on whether they actually change the political climate. Right now, the political climate is not welcoming to anyone who isn’t white, male, conventionally able, straight, cis, rich or otherwise privileged.

Also, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the earthquake/tsunami originating in Japan yesterday afternoon. Google has a people finder, among other things. There are many organisations to which (links are just to some of them) donations can go to, although I would advise a quick Google of the organisation’s past activities; the Red Cross, for example, has an awful history with non-het/non-cis people. I’ve seen a load of really callous, racist, inhuman bullshit around on the internet about this disaster – it’s totally inexcusable. You wouldn’t have thought that anyone SERIOUSLY THOUGHT that WWII was an excuse for celebrating deaths today, but somehow people appear to.

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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.

Holy shit. The NHS is totally failing the elderly. The anecdotal evidence for this can be found by speaking to many, many people (although it isn’t universal), but it’s now being officially recognised. I really don’t think that sporadic random-attack checks are quite cutting it, though, as a solution; yes, it’s better than nothing but it doesn’t really change the culture of care. ‘Care’ should mean exactly that. Any system claiming to look after people’s health needs to do so with compassion and respect, or they are working against their own purpose. I believe that socialised health care is a great good for all – as long as it actually lives up to the title of ‘health care.’

Oh woo. We get the chance to look at and comment on new legislation. Y’know, that would be a great thing if those comments were actually listened to. However, the Government hasn’t exactly shown itself to be very good at listening to criticism. Tell me, Coalition – just how many of us normal folks’ voices = the voice of one big-money conservative capitalist?

On tumblr, I’ve been seeing a frightening number of bills restricting the bodily autonomy of those with uteri (for example, H.R.358 ) coming from the USA. Dear American politicians – you’re being shitbags. You’re also failing at this ‘pro-life’ business since you’re quite prepared to authorise the killing of living, breathing, human beings, and don’t seem to care about people’s prospects once you’ve coerced their uterus-having parent to incubate them for nine months at all costs. And you know what could help reduce abortion rates? Sex education. Greater availability of contraceptives. Free health care. A functional welfare system. Know what doesn’t help reduce abortion rates? Restricting abortion. That just drives it underground and makes it utterly unsafe.

And I have been sadly deficient in saying this for quite a while; to everyone standing up for their freedoms, wherever you are in the world, I admire you and hope that your stand is successful.

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.

Sarcastic rant alert.

Cut, cut, cut. Of course we can rebuild the NHS in the image of market forces while asking it to cut costs, and of course that won’t affect standards of care. Of course we can cut funds that are vital for the poorest students to attend higher education, and of course that won’t affect social mobility. Of course we can cut certain child protection units, and of course that won’t affect prevention of abuse. Of course we can cut education, and of course that won’t affect our people. Of course we can cut frontline services, and of course that won’t affect their quality. Of course we can cut disability benefits, and of course that won’t affect the quality of life of those who aren’t conventionally able.

Of course we can backtrack on things we promised. We’re in power now, who cares? Of course we can ignore the warnings of experts. Experts, who needs experts, we’re politicians! Of course we can gloss over the public’s concerns. They’re only the great unwashed, what do they know?

Of course we can continue to support capitalism. Of course we can continue to support kyriarchy. What d’you mean, that’s a bad thing? We’re mostly rich cis white conventionally-able educated monoamorous straight singlet age-privileged males or those who support us. We don’t need to work against the kyriarchy.

What d’you mean, we represent the country, and most of the country does need the kyriarchy ended? Hey, what’re you smoking? Right, it’s illegal now, whatever it is, since we don’t need scientific approval – COPS! Anyway, everyone just loves us! We’re really passionate about this! It gives us loads of money – no, sorry, we meant capacity for good, of course we did, but aren’t they the same thing really?

So we get to keep a lovely high VAT rate, but the rich will get their taxes cut again? Oh lovely. Thanks, Dave, George. You’re really dedicated, aren’t you? To your own fortune, that is…

This is a terrible thing to happen; a Democrat Congresswoman in Arizona and many others were shot by a gunman during a ‘Congress on Your Corner’ event to communicate directly with voters. Several are now dead, including a nine-year-old child. It’s thought that the shooting may be linked to a culture of violence among certain factions in America’s right, fostered by the violent rhetoric of some Republican leaders such as Sarah Palin. The shooter has been identified as a young cis white man, who will no doubt be painted as a fringe element where people with less privilege, especially people of colour, would have been taken as a representative of their group.

And more evidence of the tuition fees plans falling apart. Really, I can’t see any reason for continuing with them, except bloody-mindedness and Tory ideology, frankly.

I appear to be almost incapable of telling my family important things, and I’m wondering whether this stems from when I was getting picked on in primary school and I was told to stop being a soft target. That’s when I can trace my discomfort talking about my own feelings from, anyway, it may be where my problems talking about things with family comes from as well.