For reasons that are not even clear to me, I am sat up at 3.21 in the morning reading a Mumsnet Thread about Kids Company.
Those who tolerate my blog will know I have had concerns about Kids Company, which it seems were not just valid but the tip of the iceberg. The environment created in Kids Company, as with most personality cults, appears to have been quite harmful and one doesn’t want to really contemplate the harm this charity has done to the families it exploited.
The whole sorry saga demonstrates why it is that celebrities and their self image should not be the driving force in social policy provision, and the demonstration of how dangerous it is to liquidate accountable services with professionals who are trained, working from an evidence base, to replace them with the cause celebre du jour and occasionally charity for the feel goods. Patrick Butler currently on fine form demonstrating how abuse is covered up, as he uses the Guardian to continue to protect this charity from accountability, claiming he cannot see what the scandal is.
What struck when reading the thread was not actually about Kids Company per se. It was about the standard of online and offline political debate around Westminster and the faux lefty politics that has developed in Westminster focused media cultures. Before I was a gobshite on twitter, before I was a writer, I was a member of a baby website. In the years where I was trying for a baby and those early years when I had one, I used the same online community and argued and debated with a massive variety of women.
I read this Mumsnet thread and am reminded of that. The discussion is wide ranging, eloquent, forensic in places and is a discussion with lots of perspectives coming together and knowledge growing as a result. I have experienced that level of debate in Higher Education Institutions, my own life, work, or in those discussions with all those women but never in the cultures who see themselves as serious politics.
The imposition of left right discussion on what has happened since the financial crisis, has prevented ALL rational debate about the brutal transmission of a financial crisis to a social and political crisis, and of the actual institutions and people involved and affected by that. Several years ago I wrote a piece for the Guardian with Kate Belgrave asking when the real debate about our public services would start.
That conversation never happened. It never happened because in a few small institutions, the Guardian, the New Statesman, the Oxford and Cambridge and London colleges who populate our ‘radical’ left, they dont know how to have that conversation. Instead we get bogus pretend radical left nonsense, because being a lefty is the glass floor for these people. Its what you do when you dont know anything, you have no skills and nothing to offer but you are still ambitious. The glass bubble they live allows us to see how monstrous tribal nonsense supplants rational and reasoned discussion.
The imposition of the left right spectrum on discussion of the exploitation of inequality austerity required, was only ever intended to ensure that culture dominated discussion so reasoned discussion could not happen. THat is the purpose of the radical left.
There is no scope in a male dominated tribal debate for the bringing together of perspectives. That’s not what it’s for.
Today Richard Seymour, faux class warrior from the I Shagged Laurie Penny and know Owen Jones School of left wing politics, had this to say about Simon Weston, a Falklands veteran who suffered serious injuries during that conflict.
This was ok because Weston criticised Jeremy Corbyn and criticising a man who intends to run for Prime Minister of a democratic country is not acceptable to these people. The so called Corbynites he is currently in the same tribe with(any bandwagon will do) decided it was a witchhunt that people would object to this. This toxic bubble are the reason that noone needs to examine Jeremy Corbyns economic, foreign or social policy. This bubble are the reason he will become a funny footnote in the history of the Labour Party. Whatevr the merits of his candidacy for leader.
Tribes using terms like left and right who dont even know the difference between right and wrong define political discourse. And yet on this mumsnet thread, I dont think anyone needed to start a post by identifying themselves as a member of a left or right tribe. Or by declaring they read Lenin at university and therefore knowledge of reality was not necessary. The likes of Richard Seymour and the ‘radical’ lefties who read Chomsky instead of doing their elite degrees before graduating to their places in the political media establishment, and working their way through the ‘radical’ fringes, they dont know how to have this conversaton. So instead we get toxic adolescent echochambers who would fight tooth and nail to prevent a group of women having a conversation lke the one demonstrated in that thread.
Its the type of women involved in that conversation who understand our political economy, they live in it, work in it, raise families in it, and to the likes of Richard Seymour, their eloquence and intelligence is inferior to his sub Wolfie Smith shit. And an entire toxic culture would back him up.