Psychology as Political Propaganda: “Employment Resistant Personality.”

First I have a confession, I hate psychology. (Not all psychology, that would be pointlessly absolutist.) I studied it at A-Level and grew to despise it. A vast chunk of psychological research is simply pure junk. It is very often sexist and racist, hell the very foundations of the field are based on gross sexist and racist assumptions. The research is rarely robust and is prone to biased interpretations on the part of the researchers own bigotries. (Evolutionary psychology always induces vomit.)

The biggest danger is that iffy, take with a pinch of salt research tends to be presented as fact when the media reports on it, and to a somewhat slightly lesser degree in A-Level Psychology. The result of poor understanding and critical analysis allows bigots to use highly contested research as an absolute capital FACT to justify their prejudices.

The piece I’m discussing attributes to the welfare state, the creation of “Employment Resistant Personalities,” and to me this signifies everything that is wrong with the field. The author, Adam Perkins, a Lecturer of “Neurobiology” at King’s College London is releasing a right-wing bait book, “The Welfare Trait.”

Judging by the content of his article designed to promote said book, I’m going guess the entire book is an attempt to spuriously argue that welfare is creating an “employment resistant personality” time bomb that gets worse with each generation. No doubt Iain Duncan Smith will be wanking furiously to it as will the right-wing media.

My background is in Political Science, where, among other things, we research and discuss power relations at different structural levels. The sort of arguments that blame people for their own poverty aren’t new but they’re mostly discredited everywhere aside right-wing newspapers and Think-Tanks that are owned by rich old white men.

Attempting to fix faults within people who are trapped and locked under a glass ceiling isn’t going to solve a damn thing. It will always lead to failure. What does work is redistributive policies which narrow inequalities, along with an open social landscape. You can’t fix systematic failure by blaming the victims.

Now I’m going to comment on the article bit by bit:

“Few debates raise blood pressure more readily than those about the welfare state, especially those regarding the personality of those on benefits. Welfare claimants are both stereotyped as being genetically hardwired as un-conscientious and disagreeable, as well as the helpless victims of capitalism.”

Yet your research precisely entrenches the former.

“As I am both a personality researcher and former claimant of unemployment benefits, the issue of personality and the welfare state is of special interest to me and is the focus of my new book, The Welfare Trait.”

Oh good a #notyourshield/ “I’ve been there, done that.” defence. Just because you had to claim doesn’t mean anything. You, as a presumably “ex-scrounger” doesn’t mean you speak for “scrounger kind” then or now.

Personality is an area of psychology which is heavily filled with iffy assumptions and is rooted in ever changing social norms. Therefore it is structured to support existing hierarchies and oppressive social structures. Which we see on the next line:

“My research has led me to an alarming conclusion: the welfare state increases the number of children at risk of developing personality profiles that make them less likely to get a job.”

Personality and the welfare state is constructed in relation to the system, namely the ability to get a job. People are valued on their ability to be job ready for employers, the very people who are the gatekeepers, they are the ones who have the ability to control the system and who chooses who becomes a valued member of society or not.

No questions on the effects (or even existence) of structural inequality, nor on racism and sexism are ever brought up. Let’s think for a sec, for the young lad who didn’t pass the job interview because he has a funny accent and didn’t go to the right school, or the black person whose CV was thrown in the bin because they have an African name, or the woman frozen out of roles because she cannot be one of the boys.

“Research on personality and the welfare state is rare, but in the papers that have been published, the message is clear. Individuals with aggressive, rule-breaking and antisocial personality characteristics are over-represented among welfare claimants.”

We aren’t stupid, we know structural inequality exists and when you’ve been undermined, belittled and bullied constantly by systematic social oppression, anger and disillusionment is normal. In fact it is healthy. Only a totalitarian hellhole requires people to be “well adjusted” and “happy” towards their oppression.

“We also know that conscientious, agreeable individuals tend to make good employees. And epidemiological studies have shown that each generation living under the protection of the welfare state had lower work motivation than the previous one.

Viewed as a whole, this data suggests that willingness to violate norms concerning work and social responsibility is increasing, generation by generation. It’s as if the welfare state is gradually warping the personality profile of the population so that more people in each generation are resistant to employment.”

Again a person is only valued insofar as they support and fit the requirements for those who control the system. Here the underlining propositions gets creepier. I don’t have to repeat myself but this line of thought is very dangerous. It ignores a system which is highly unequal. A system where there’s not enough jobs, and no social ladder. Where youth unemployment is very high and where all the top positions just happen to be occupied by the same old aristocracy. Inequality is real, it is generational because those on top have blocked access to anyone who isn’t their own. People aren’t resistant to employment, the system is resistant to equality.    

As for connecting these problems to the welfare state, it is an attempt to chip away at the only lifeline people have at a time where ominous right-wing elites would love nothing more to exploit people or to throw them out onto the streets like trash. By justifying it as individual failure caused by peoples only safety net makes it easier to carry on with the brutality and violence. It is victim blaming.

Research like this is used to support the removal of social security support. But does anyone think that removing support is going to make people suddenly more employable? If anyone out there honesty thinks that, put your ideology into practice and go hire all the homeless people you see. After all removed and weaned from the corrupting influence of the state and made to survive in a Darwinian, dog eat dog existence, surely must make them employment ready?

As for inflicting psychological manipulation (torture!) on social security claimants, in order for them to be in line for employer’s expectations , is not going to change a thing (aside the suicide statistics) when the number of jobseekers outnumbers the number of open positions available to them. Remember most positions are filled by people job hopping.

Early years key to personality

The Nobel Prize-winning economist James Heckman has carried out research showing that intensive preschool tutoring before age five – not done by the parent – significantly improves the life outcomes of disadvantaged children.

Heckman and colleagues showed that intensive preschool tutoring achieved its beneficial effects by altering the personality development of the children: disadvantaged children who received tutoring developed personality profiles that were significantly less aggressive, rule-breaking and antisocial than those of the untutored children.

Since the children were randomly assigned to receive the tutoring, Heckman’s work showed that exposure to childhood disadvantage is the active, environmental, ingredient in promoting the development of those personality characteristics that make people less likely to get a job.

Well-prepared by my own experience of unemployment to appreciate the power of the welfare state, it struck me that if the welfare state increases the number of children born into disadvantaged families, it will increase the proportion of individuals in the population who possess personality characteristics that make them resistant to employment, as a result of having been exposed to disadvantage during childhood.”

I don’t have much knowledge of the study quoted above, but observing from what’s said, still proves my point, children who have been supported to narrow the gap of their unequal circumstances do better, what a revelation, I’m shocked.

Now it gets cringe worthy, instead of concluding that equality is something to aim for, we nosedive into #notyourshieldism*. Equality can only be achieved by redistribution of wealth along with the freedom to move about wherever on the social landscape without discrimination.

Here, instead we get a spurious conclusion, that inequality is blamed on the welfare state itself. Of course in ever narrowing conditions, more children will face systematic discrimination and pressures that go with it. The existence of the welfare state is not the cause, it is a safety net of an unequal society. In a way it shouldn’t exist as it currently does but it exists as it does simply because we don’t live in a fair equal society. Those at the top don’t want to share or play fair.

And again people have every right to be angry, to not comply, to question a system that denies them opportunity and calls them scrounging scum at every chance it gets. It’s not a personality defect, it’s a reaction to having a door slammed in your face everywhere you go.

“This happens because people with these characteristics are over-represented among welfare claimants and so are unlikely to manage their welfare money conscientiously to benefit their children. They are also unlikely to give their children the necessary attention for adequate personality development.”

Of course these perfectly normal traits are found in a lot of welfare claimants. Systematic oppression doesn’t make people happy bunnies.

People can’t spend money they don’t have, children can’t access resources they don’t have access to. Stressed and oppressed people also aren’t going to spend their days skipping around merrily, holding hands and singing songs about how joyful things are.

“This seems to explain the tendency researchers have observed for work motivation to decline in each generation living under the protection of the welfare state. Each generation will contain proportionately more children who are exposed to disadvantage. In turn, the dysfunctional personality characteristics that result from this disadvantaged upbringing mean that these children will have a greater risk than average of becoming welfare claimants themselves and neglecting their own children, thereby perpetuating a cycle of personality mis-development.”

Again no shit, classism, racism and sexism etc. do tend to be entrenched from generation to generation. We don’t live in a meritocracy. We can’t escape the welfare state if we can’t escape being shat upon by those on top. The only way to the break the cycle, to create a healthy and happy society is to dismantle systems of oppressive power and share power horizontally instead of vertically.

More children born to welfare claimants

I began investigating the effects of the welfare state on how many children welfare claimants have. Through a freedom of information request I obtained government data from the Office of National Statistics on reproduction and employment in England and Wales for April to June 2013. These are split into three groups: working households, where every 16 to 64-year-old is employed; mixed households, which contain both employed and unemployed adults; and workless households, where all 16 to 64-year-olds are unemployed. It shows that the number of children born into English and Welsh households rises in step with the proportion of income from welfare benefits.

graph article

The implication contained in this is that the welfare state means more children are being born to welfare claimants than to employed citizens. But raw, census-style data such as this take no account of confounding factors. For example, this finding could also be an artefact of the greater material needs of larger families, leading to greater reliance on welfare benefits for reasons connected to poverty rather than personality.”

Oh boy, now it just gets very stupid. Yes impoverished women will likely have more children than those who have access to more resources. It’s a basic fact anyone who has ever researched poverty in world will know. You know what reduces the birth rate? Access to decent education. Do you know what access to decent education means? No really, take a guess…. It means equality, it means redistributing wealth to pay for resources a disadvantaged family/community couldn’t afford themselves.

“These problems have been addressed by studies in the US and UK that explored the causal links through follow-up interviews with people who claimed welfare. They found that claimants used less contraception when there were increases in the amount of benefits available and the number of children born to welfare claimants rose by 1% for every 3% rise in benefit generosity.”

Because I don’t have access to the studies behind the paywall, I can’t really comment. I don’t really know what they refer to, their data sets, what’s being claimed, length of unemployment, how the studies were conducted etc. Added note: The US and the UK are two of the most unequal countries in the Western sphere due to various discriminatory factors in play. They are also some of the least generous countries out there. According to his proposition, most of Europe must be breeding like crazy and is full of highly aggressive unemployable people.

The so called “generosity” (nice tabloidism there) of the welfare state doesn’t change why people need it in the first place. The truth is people need money and opportunities. It’s that simple.

Plus denying people basic human needs may make the birth rate higher. People in poverty who lack social resources do tend to have more children. (Source: Much of the world, history etc.) Unless state sanctioned murder is on the cards?

“This raises the alarming possibility that the welfare state has become a production line for dysfunctional, employment-resistant personality characteristics. In order to verify if this is indeed the case and, if it is, come up with reforms to change it, we need more coherent scientific research on personality and the welfare state.”

That last piece of language says it all. “A production line”. The impoverished are yet again dehumanized and compared to manufacturing terms. This is no different to Lord Freud referring to people as “stock”. The non-privileged are yet again viewed as having no inherent worth in their own humanity. Their only value is being productive economic units for those who have privilege.

The welfare state is not to blame. The welfare state does not cause these behaviours. I question whether these behaviours should even be considered innately negative. This is real suffering caused by a complexity of systematic abuse that the victims cannot entirely control. When a system excludes people to unjustly benefit others, of course people get angry, of course they don’t care about the system. When it goes too far, it’s this same anger that leads to revolutionary change. Maybe that’s what is feared, but no matter how much you pathologize anger as abnormal, you’ll never fix it, you’ll just make people angrier.

Lastly, these personality descriptors are only a problem because the disadvantaged display them. One could easily make the argument that the average Bullingdon boy is aggressive, rule-breaking and antisocial, yet those “defective” personality traits are perfectly normal, even celebrated in the rich. It doesn’t come into question because the Bullingdon boy, from the day he was born, never faced systematic discrimination. Employment, leadership has always been reserved for him.


(*If you’re wondering what I mean by #notyourshield, it is thus a term a hate group uses to defend against accusations of racism and sexism. They argue as they have female and PoC on their side, they couldn’t be racist or sexist. But the mere presence of Female and PoC members doesn’t make the group’s actions any less racist or sexist. Here we see the author is using his own experience of unemployment as a means to shield himself and speak for those he is harming. )

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Part 2: Wealthy White People Crying Racist Wolf

I wrote the previous post before the Fuck Parade Cereal Killer incident. I’m not getting into the debate whether it was right or wrong. But of course wealthy people, outraged (but not outraged when a disabled man was made homeless a few days ago) that a café charging like £3- £5 for a bowl of cereal got graffitied up a bit. Of all the insults to use, they of course went for “racism”. Despite no obvious signs of racism in play.

Notice how they bring up racist groups out of nowhere and fight in the name for poor Bangladeshis:

anti racism re edit

anti racism 2

anti-racism q1 reedit

anti-racism q12 re edit

Hipsters are now an oppressed racial group:

hipster cereal cafe

Then the comparisons go full Godwin:

natsoc

I assume this person is decent human being who loves and respects everyone and is totally not a racist himself right guys?

natsoc3

“The nature of the people he governed.” Oops. Steve is also a gator, you know that hate group against women and PoC getting better representation in video games.

As we see, the wealthy critics decided that the protesters were UKIP/EDL/Britain First types because like I pointed out in Part 1 unemployed types are now the only racists in town. Just as we are all fag smoking, Stella chugging lazy scrounging scum with 20 kids, we are all now automatic members of Britain First. The same Britain First who clearly love people on benefits by the way:

bigots

“The Unemployed Are All Racist” -Wealthy White People Part 1

There’s something that has been irritating me for a short while, see a Facebook friend of mine linked to a video which called out racists but in turn insinuated that only unemployed people could possibly be racist, because the likes of Farage and Griffin are of course council estate boys or something innit.

This isn’t the first time I’ve came across the phenomena, I used to follow an anti-EDL page that mocked their gross stupidity but there came a time I had to stop following that page due to the violent and harassing nature many of the posters had towards unemployed people. They stereotyped all the unemployed as thuggish racists and ironically engaged in the same kind of violent language the EDL frequently used against Muslims. At that point the Conservatives had been in power for a year.

So I left and never thought about it until recently when I’ve started to see the same kind of dehumanizing language used again by wealthy white people towards the unemployed. Implying that we are all innately racist thugs. We being the beasts who wealthy white people need to slay in order defend helpless racial minorities.

These wealthy people have clearly observed that it’s not right to judge people by traits they cannot help and yet they stereotype all the unemployed as one mass of lazy racist scroungers.

I’m guessing these people are the types who think jobs grow on trees and anyone can get one if they click their shiny red slippers hard enough, blah…. something…. something…. bootstraps.

I guess these are the people who hold their fingers in their ears and go “lalala” when systematic inequality, structural unemployment and economic insecurity that is deliberately designed into the system is pointed out to them. It is so much easier to vilify the victims (while erasing the voices of those you claim to protect) than to actually make the effort into building a happy secure society. Divide and rule, truly a time tested formula.

If the unemployed are the only mean nasty racists out there, it stands to reason then that good upstanding employers couldn’t possibly be racist right? Surely the employment statistics for minorities in the UK show almost full employment?

unemployment statistics

Oh look a much higher rate of unemployment for non-white racial groups, I guess employers aren’t so saintly after all. Let’s not get into the baffling conclusion to this logic that suggests unemployed racial minorities are technically racist to themselves.

It shouldn’t need to be said that racists come from all walks of life. Racism needs to be tackled but you aren’t going to tackle by pointing at innocent people, dehumanizing them so you feel okay when you support measures that ruin their lives.

Now You Too Can Be A Shite Journalist: How To Write Your Own Benefit Bashing Frothbait

First you need the headline. It needs to feature the words “Benefits” “Jobless” and/or“Unemployed” plus what “luxury” these nefarious people spend their money on. You must put in a large sum of a few thousand ££££s in the title. If the thing originally cost £10, it becomes £10000. If they have kids include that, right-wing frothers in Britain absolutely despise kids. (Especially other people’s.) Then finish with words such as taxpayers, our money or YOU (It’s important that it is in CAPS). Lastly for the Cherry on top of the cake, add some other luxury that the specimen supposedly want YOU the TAXPAYER to pay for.

Your headline should look something like:

Jobless Scroungers On Benefits With 58 Kids Have A Birthday Party That Cost YOU The Taxpayer £10,000 – Including Specialized Food That Enables Them To Stay Alive.

[Your name]

The Sub-line: And Shockingly They Want YOU to give them MORE money.

That’s the headline done. Now you have your interview notes. You can’t use most of it, because you can’t possibly make your subjects look like a fucking human being with thoughts, feelings and sympathetic problems, now can you? That would be unthinkable.


So say your interview looks a little something like this:

You: So I’m here to share your sympathizing plea out to the world. Here is my boss with some starving children. *Shows badly imposed photoshopped image of Rupert Murdoch looking disgusted at some starving African Children.* I’m totally on your side, honesty, pinky swear bleh bleh blah and all that. *coughs to clear throat.* So how have you been struggling?
Them: It’s been really tight, really hard since we’ve lost our jobs. We’ve been trying to find work but there’s nothing out there. The Job Centre is more bullying than helpful. I had a job interview last week, I was hopeful but at the end they said they didn’t want to hire anyone after all, they did offer that I could work for them as a volunteer, unpaid without any expenses but I have kids to look after so I can’t afford it. Last time I worked was a few months ago, I had a temporary job for a few weeks but the work dried up.
You: Okay the situation sounds pretty dire. You have my full sympathy , seriously I’m not lying here, you can trust me better than even your own mother. So you know I’m doing a story about how to organize a fun birthday party on a tight limited budget, how are you going about that?

Them: Well we’ve cut down on luxuries for months. We already don’t drink and smoke, we’ve gone really bare bones, simple cheap food, tap water etc. We put the money saved into a pot, it’s not much, about £40. Mostly to cover a few small gifts for our youngest and to get a specially made gluten free birthday cake made at MrsPatties Bakery as she is gluten intolerant.

You: What gifts have you got her?

Them: The most expensive thing is a Frozen Queen Elsa doll, it cost around £12, the other stuff… well a small beanie plushie which was around £5, a £1 colouring book and crayons and other small little toys.

You: What about decorations?

Them: Oh that, we just brought a bunch of multicoloured paper from a pound store to make our own. Gives the kids something to do.

You: Okay I got that, I just want to ask some extra questions, no big deal, I’m totally not planning to stab you in the back and make you look like the most hated people in the country now am I?*clears throat, takes a drink* Considering we live in a highly unequal country , I mean just look at Royalty, people born into riches without doing anything to deserve it, therefore do you think the government should do more to help struggling families who didn’t have the same lucky accident of birth as say Prince George and Princess Charlotte? Do you agree that it would be beneficial for the government to provide extra money in order to allow your children to keep up in the race.

Them: Well since you put it like that, yeah. Though we’d prefer it if they would invest in creating jobs. We’d rather be working and it’s a desert here.

You: Thank You, I have what I need. It’s going to be a great article, trust me it’ll pull at the heartstrings of the readers. Last thing I need is for you to pose for the camera. We need you to change into these clothes and get you and your kids to hold up these giant empty boxes, is that okay?

Them: Erm… sure?


Now you, a god awful tabloid hack, notices that there isn’t all that much that you can actually use. So now is the time to get creative with the template, meaning not very much because you have deadlines and you aren’t exactly a bright creative spark or else you’d have different job.

You could have done some investigative journalism into Job Centres, illegal unpaid work and the lack of job opportunities, but that would imply you were a real journalist, you don’t want that, being a *gasp* real journalist means you’ll never get that much coveted celebrity gossip column you’ve been dreaming of since you realised you were never going to marry Prince William.

So lets perform some Murdochian-Daily Heil magic:

I had a job interview last week, I was hopeful but at the end they said they didn’t want to hire anyone after all, they did offer that I could work for them as a volunteer, unpaid without any expenses but I have kids to look after so I can’t afford it. Last time I worked was a few months ago, I had a temporary job for a few weeks but the work dried up.

The above now becomes:

Mr Doe hasn’t worked for 5 years+ and Ms Doe hasn’t worked since she got pregnant with her first child over 10 years ago, they have had 57 since. Mr Doe recently turned down a job offer as it wouldn’t pay more than what he gets in benefits.
Next you point attention to their legal yet outrageous crimes against the almighty taxpayer and get carried away with the totals:

Well we’ve cut down on luxuries for months. We already don’t drink and smoke, we’ve gone really bare bones, simple cheap food, tap water etc. We put the money saved into a pot, it’s not much, about £50. Mostly to cover a few small gifts for our youngest and to get a specially made gluten free birthday cake made at MrsPatties Bakery as she is gluten intolerant.

The most expensive thing is a Frozen Queen Elsa doll, it cost around £12, the other stuff… well a small beanie plushie which was around £5, a £1 colouring book and crayons and other small little toys.

Oh that, we just brought a bunch of multicoloured paper from a pound store to make our own. Gives the kids something to do.

This is converted to:

Despite being jobless and on benefits, they are funding an extravagant birthday party, totalling £10,000 for their youngest, Mini Doe, 4, OUT OF YOUR TAXPAYER MONEY. They have spent £1800 on the latest 4K 65” TV, as well as spending another £1500 on the latest consoles, tablets and phones. Other gifts they have not brought but are planning to buy include a Mountain Bike (£700) and a specially made life size Frozen Doll (£650)plus another £350 to spent on decorations such as balloons and party hats. Outrageously, we can reveal these feckless scroungers have also, out of their Taxpayer funded benefits, booked to hold Mini Doe’s birthday party at an exclusive luxury venue called MrsPatties, said to be frequented by celebrities such as Victoria Beckham. An estimated cost of this is approx £5000 and includes a specially made cake (£500) as Mr and Ms Doe allegedly claim their youngest is gluten-intolerant.

When questioned about their “lifestyle”, they claim that while they are on welfare, they don’t want their kids missing out and they want them to have a happy childhood. But when many hard-working families are struggling, should the tax payer really be paying out for this expense? They claim they managed to afford this by cutting down on drinking and smoking. They said “We used to drink like 20 cans a day, now we only drink 2.” Although Ms Doe sneakily added “But the smoking is harder to cut down and I sneak myself a packet of fags every week.”
Now you add how much they get in benefits, you don’t have to be accurate because, well, it’s been a long day and you just can’t be bothered:

Mr and Ms Doe received weekly from the taxpayer, £345 in JSA, £4000 in HB, £2320 in child benefit as well as council tax paid, free prescriptions and glasses. Estimated around £ 360,000 a year from hard-working taxpayers.

Last point of call is to really stick the nail in and make your subject beyond redemption in the eyes of pure blessed taxpayers:

Well since you put it like that, yeah. Though we’d prefer it if they would invest in creating jobs. We’d rather be working and it’s a desert here.

Voila:

Astonishingly, these scroungers even demand more money from YOU the taxpayer as they don’t think what they get is enough. When asked about whether they’d like to get a job they replied with “Nah, we are good as we are, no job will ever give us a better lifestyle than what we have already have on benefits and we are grateful with live in a country that allows us to live like that. Still it would be good if the government could give us more money for the sake of the children, we are very squeezed for cash.”

*Add in the photograph of the Doe family looking stereotypical in front of a giant TV, holding large boxes.*

There, that’s the core of your shiny new froth bait article done. If you want that gold star make sure to litter the article with words like “incredibly” “shameless” “luxury” “astonishingly” “by the state” “bragging“ “… bonus funded by taxpayers” “scrounger “ “lifestyle” “lavish” “astonishing” “notorious” “taking advantage” “generous” “handouts” “outrage” “hard-Pressed families” “hard working taxpayers” “hard working struggling families” “moaning” and “feckless”.

And of course constantly write YOU, OUR, YOUR MONEY so that the reader who is likely so poorly paid that they don’t even contribute to the tax intake, thinks that their money is personally handed to these people.

Maximum frothage is achieved and you are now a shitty tabloid hack. Yay go you.  😀

The Conservative Party’s Bill of Rights

Let’s have some fun. You have:

The Right to life as long as you generate profits for corporations.

The Right to be degraded at the Job Centre if you do not generate profits for corporations.

The Right to have your life be policed by the Tories

The Right to live in the gutter as long as it isn’t in a posh area

The Freedom of unpaid workfare

The Right to a secret trial

The Right to be punished on Iain Duncan Smith’s whims.

The Right for the government to interfere in your private and family life

The Freedom to be spied upon

The Freedom of thought, belief and religion as long as it is approved by The Sun.

The Freedom of expressing right-wing soundbites

The Freedom to be beaten up by the police and sprayed by Boris’ water cannons if you dare to be uppity

The Right to marry and start a family only if you earn over £25000

The Freedom to discriminate, especially against the disabled

The Right for your property to be fracked up

The Right to education as approved by Tory supporting loons.

The Right to participate in free elections as long as you vote Conservative

Again, England Proves Itself As A Hateful Little Country.

See here. My bet is that when it is time to write an updated version in 2020, it will be far more heartbreaking.

Of course it’s not all the English, not even a majority of them. In fact it’s just a large minority of people who wield too much power due to this country’s ancient voting system. We’ve never had real democracy in this country, the Conservatives have just made the realisation more stark than ever before due to their extremist agenda.

Unless it comes out that the Conservatives rigged the election, there we have it, the powerful minority voted for more misery, hardship and homelessness on the most vulnerable people and to flush nearly everyone’s future down the drain. While I’m sure many of them will just be fine for now, some of the others are in for a cruel hard shock. To be honest, I don’t have much sympathy for them. If they ever need help, I would help them because it is the right thing to do, but whatever plight they’ll find themselves in, is their own fault. Despite our burning hatred of them, we cannot improve our society if we treat our enemies badly in their time of need. If we want to bring in a universal standard of respect and decency, it goes for everyone.

I’ve known for a long time that the divided British class culture is structured on punching downwards. The result is not necessarily surprising. Us, non-privileged people have been treated like a joke for years. There were/are TV programmes designed to mock us (Little Britain, Shameless, Benefits Street etc). The Thing. Newspapers constantly decrying how much of a waste of space we are.  (Although they won’t flat-out state it, the neo-eugenists don’t believe we deserve life. You can pry the subtle implications from them but they’ll never out right state it, for now anyway.) The assumption at the Job Centres (from the politicians)  is to assume that all unemployed people cannot write or do basic Maths. The job market in turn, is a reflection of disdain within society. It’s so full of useless badly paid crap (like sales jobs selling iffy financial services to people) at the bottom. Nepotism is rife because it’s the only way to get something half decent and the few quality jobs are already earmarked for those who go to schools like Eton.

British culture, especially in England, is currently heavily weighted on how much “better” you are compared to the other person. A person’s worth is tied solely up in their job, in their ability to generate profit, no other trait or role matters. When we have deep inequality and no ladder to climb, the discrimination becomes very brutalistic and entrenched.  It’s a nasty pride with an unhealthy obsession with dissecting and controlling the unworthy. They may live unfulfilling lives but as long as someone has it worse, so long as someone else is the target, a symbol for their frustrations then it’s okay. This is what separates us, those of us who are progressive are concerned with creating a better future for all, we want to seek out solutions to problems and implement improvements. Those who are regressive just want a punchbag, to obey their masters without question and to sweep all the problems under a rug.  England is a deeply regressive country.

I’ve always been treated like dirt because my family is poor, I’ve had nasty spiteful comments directed at me from “nice morally upstanding middle class people”, they give me dirty looks as if I just punched their granny and I constantly have people treating me like I’m stupid and incapable of even the most basic tasks.  Recently, I even had a wealthy woman assault me on the street because I happened to look a bit scruffy that day. (It was freezing and I wanted to wear warm practical clothing.)

I’m concerned also- and have been for years with the amount of political illiteracy in England. There’s way too many people who just don’t know anything about politics. The amount of utter bullshit I’ve heard coming from the mouths of people is just staggering. One regret about having a Politics degree is that everyone assumes they know better than you because of what they have read in the likes of the Sun and the Daily Mail. When I mention my degree, I find everyone tries to “prove” something to me but all they do is end up looking like a dumb smug git. Dear average person of England, I do know more about Politics, IR, Economics, (recent political) History and Political Philosophy than you do. Please stop embarrassing yourselves.

Examples of the horse-shit I’ve been exposed to:

“Oil won’t run out because it refills itself”

“You’re silly, there’s not going to be any crises over clean drinkable water, look our planet is full of water. The sea isn’t going anywhere.”

(Before workfare was implemented) “Stop being ridiculous and hysterical, of course the government isn’t going to do anything like that. You’re just paranoid. Shut up.”

“It’s all the immigrants fault. They took all the money.” You could also put “benefit cheats” aka anyone who claims benefits.

*Rants about Labour being Stalinist communists who will march Poor Little Tories to the gulag* (Because in their 13 years of power they clearly didn’t get around to it.)

Then there’s the endless amounts of horse-shit soundbites from the papers that people parrot as they have the ability to memorize things but have no critical facilities to actually understand what they are saying. Anyone can repeat a big word, knowing what that big word means is another story.

Not to mention the recent high amount of ‘Poor Little Tories and their Sad Sob Stories’.  Somehow every Tory supporter has to back up their support with some comment about how they too have “suffered” under the cuts. Each Sob Story goes “But I’ve Suffered Too!!!!!!111!!!! It’s for the greater good, the Tories have saved the economy by making themselves richer at cost of the rest of us. But that’s okay, I’m happy to sacrifice my wellbeing because the economy innit.” They are devoid of any argument and evidence, so therefore they have to use dirty tactics instead. See, the right-wing have a long history of appropriating concepts and twisting their meaning (See the US with Liberal, Socialist etc) and using them against their victims. Tory supporters, by claiming they’ve “suffered” is just an attempt to shut up the voices of those who have truly suffered. They are saying, “I’ve suffered and I’m okay, so you’re just being hysterical.”   It’s perverse and frankly disgusting.  Simply put, if you’ve actually “suffered” you would not have voted for the Conservatives unless one of your hobbies is hitting yourself with a great big stick every night.

England is a mess,  the agenda is controlled by dodgy politicians and the media distorts reality by spewing lies with absolute freedom without any responsibility. Too many people appear to be happy to “suffer” as long as others suffer more. I’m not sure how or if England/the UK will change for the better. It is my suspicion that everything needs to get worse before it gets better. Even then, a sizable amount of people could choose to go full fascist.  It’s all destined to crash one day, just a question of when not if. Still, many of us continue to struggle for the future we should have.

Yes, You Are A Monster.

No, not you, the one over there, yes you in the middle there.

You know what the sickest thing is through all these austerity crap is? It’s the way people’s  lives are now just simply worthless.

They just don’t matter at all. Destroying their futures, throwing them out into the streets or if they die, are just not an acceptable matter of things, more than that, it is for the greater good, apparently. From the unlucky person getting a sanction from the Job Centre to well, almost the entirety of Greece; all completely and utterly worthless.

That woman who worked for 20+ years straight without claiming a penny until she got laid off. WORTHLESS. That man, who, like the woman, worked all his life before developing a regressive disability. WORTHLESS. That young graduate; keen, bright and intelligent but who lacks the correct “connections.” WORTHLESS. That child, born to single mother, who has dreams of making it out of poverty, who works hard at school despite being hungry and who is optimistic but doesn’t yet know they don’t have a chance. WORTHLESS.

There’s just no money left of course, because money, after all, is created from mythical money dust, rarer than a unicorn; it’s a finite resource, unlike oil – which according to UKIP, refills itself. A State just does not and cannot  create its own currency. Plus it is completely powerless in its ability to oversee that the currency circulates throughout society, thus ensuring that the economy is healthy. Hell no, that is complete bark raving lunacy.

A complete nutter who knew nothing.
A complete nutter who knew nothing about “economics”.

What’s this, evil commie traitors are saying? Something about financial deregulation, mortgage crisis, toxic debt, casino banking and corruption ? Pah what nonsense, let me tell you the real story:

Once upon a time, a tragedy struck the most morally upstanding gentlemen on this planet, the bankers. One day a money drilling rig off the coast of the US blew up, destroying much of the scarce substance known as “money.” This created a shortage of money and those nice generous bankers were beside themselves. They asked themselves. “ What will happen to the world if we, kind-hearted souls, end up poor? This isn‘t our fault, not in the slightest.” Eventually it became clear what destroyed the money rig. It was the fault of the unprivileged and of course, Greece. (Damn those Greeks.) The bankers, and their equally morally upstanding, chums, the politicians, at first thought that it couldn’t possibly be ordinary people like me and you, (no not you in the middle, the first one) but through careful examination of the disaster, it was discovered that our collective psychic brainpower destroyed half the money supply.

I forgot to add, only the elves with their
I forgot to add, only the elves with their “ancient secret techiques ” can make the rare substance known as “money”.

As money, a finite resource, was running thin, sacrifices had to be made. Bankers are like oxygen, in that the planet will die without them – and since  it was mine and Greece’s fault in first place, we of course had to sacrifice everything. The bankers and the politicians being such lovely courteous folk, forgave us of our terrible sins but not without penance. Thus austerity was born. What little money was left had to be given to the bankers, the politicians and big corporate middle men as they were the life-force of the planet, without them the planet would wither into a brown lifeless husk. It is necessary for the good of all that someone like Iain Duncan Smith has a £39 breakfast everyday while a diabetic man is left to starve to death. Death is sadly unfortunate but sacrifices are sacrifices, there isn’t any money left and it must go to where it is needed the most. If people like Iain Duncan Smith didn’t have an expensive breakfast everyday the world would be plunged into chaos and you wouldn’t want that now, would you?

Now back to reality. This comes back to You. You, who believes everything that you read in that type of newspaper, the kind whose only worth is blocking up toilets. You, who believe the Conservative party and their Liberal Democrat lackeys did such a noble job in such hard circumstances, circumstances that are clearly worse than say 1946. You, who are in it together, except that you aren’t. You, who believes everything is alright because you are alright. You, who will put a cross beside The Conservatives, UKIP or The Lib Dems because austerity is the only way to pay off that debt, which is just like a household’s debt, and every other alternative is dismissed as silly fantasy that will end the world. You, who believes that Iain Duncan Smith’s expensive breakfasts are more important than a human being’s life.

Move over starving children, this is the worthiest cause of all time. *sniffs*
Move over starving children, this is the worthiest cause of all time. *sniffs*

You don’t like that last sentence, do you? Outrage is filling up your body now. You’re tempted to type out a message aren’t you? A comment to shout out, that how dare I make you sound like a callous monster, that I am the real monster for calling you one. Don’t I know, you’ve had a hard life, I shouldn‘t be so mean, I shouldn‘t make assumptions. Problem is, yes, you actually are a monster.

If you condone and support policies that destroy the wellbeing of others, that ruin the futures of millions, that cause death, you are a monster. And what is this all for? So that the elite are better off than ever, at the expense of the rest of us, even yourself?

Sorry your pleads that you are a nice person of the non-monstrous sort just doesn’t cut it. If you support austerity in any way, there is blood on your hands.

If you support austerity, you support privatisations of key public services, making it increasingly too expensive for people to use (or too expensive to run), while the service goes down the drain. You are happy to pay more in insurance than you would pay in taxes. For what? So private interests, in an unnecessary, unneeded middle man role, can take a large share of taxes that could be used to fund investment elsewhere.

If you support austerity, you support cuts, infrastructure left to rot and leaving vulnerable people without no support. Children, domestic abuse victims, adults with no one to support them and disabled people etc. You’re happy for them all to suffer. Hell you are happy for yourself to suffer, if you happen to have bad luck. You believe in tough shit, so if you end up, say disabled, you’ll be happy to beg on the side of the pavement for sustenance. The money does have to go to deserving causes like an off shore tax haven.

If you support austerity you support the ruination of the job market. Making people redundant, the normalisation of terrible working conditions, zero hour contracts and unpaid work. You support the idea that work’s value is in the work itself, a wage is optional and that an employer offering unpaid work, not a wage, is doing so out of the goodness of his heart. You may also support Iain Duncan Smith’s belief that the activity of profit-making work can cure every illness, even cancer! The way to building a successful economy is for millions of people to work unpaid at Poundland. That utopia will surely be glorious.

If you support austerity, you support the bullying of those who need support. You support fully functional human beings being treated like nursery age children at the Job Centre. You support law-abiding citizens being treated worse than criminals. You believe they are deserving of a community sentence longer than the longest sentences handed out to criminals. You support sanctions, meaning you support plunging people into debt, you support them going hungry, you support them being chucked out of their home and onto the streets. You support it when someone dies, starving of neglect, or when they’ve had enough of the bullying and take their own life.

YOU SUPPORT IT ALL.
Maybe you’re a foolish monster, someone whose lack of political and economic education or knowledge means that you believe what those nice gentlemen in those neat expensive suits say on the BBC. Those gentlemen from groups like the Taxpayers Alliance and the Centre of Social Justice are so intelligent and articulate, they must know what they are talking about! Well, yeah they do, just not in the way you think, thus you fall whole-heartily for the propaganda.

Maybe you are a monster and proud of it. There’s no end to violent twats on comment sections, wishing nasty things to happen to the unemployed, the disabled, people with “too many” children and immigrants.

Alternatively, you are a deluded monster, one that spends all your time with your head in the sand. You think you aren’t suffering so the suffering of others must just be an illusion spewed those silly commie papers like the Guardian. After all, you once saw a person, who you don’t know, but who you assumed to be “poor” with.. Wait… for it.. Gasp.. an iPhone. Since some people own iPhones, poverty is a lie, the people using food banks must of course be there for the freebies, not because they need it. You know the truth as a friend of a friend, who was at the pub saw a “scrounger” who went to a food bank. They saw this “scrounger” drink all the alcohol in the pub and saw them go outside to smoke ten thousands fags – oh yeah they had a brand new 50” TV on them too. Only bad people need welfare, you’ll never be in need of assistance because you’re a good person and nothing bad ever happens to good people.

Yes, you are a monster. You see no value in another’s life but your own and (maybe) your immediate others. Everyone else is surplus to requirement, we don’t matter and our existence is worth sacrificing for rich people to get even richer. We are worthless.

Our wellbeing must be sacrificed so that Iain Duncan Smith can have expensive food and underwear. Our futures must be sacrificed so that bankers and corporations can hog all the tax funds in their tax havens. Our lives must be sacrificed because it’s for the greater good – so I’m told. I mean ,what do I know? I don’t own an expensive suit.

If you don’t want to be a monster, the solution is easy, stop being one.