House of Cards has jumped the shark

House of Cards has jumped the shark. The Tories are at war. Labour are at war. Our financial system is deeply unstable. I forget who we are at war with these days, or how long it’s been going on. A bonafide fascist is running for POTUS, the EU is disintegrating. The Murdoch press are irrelevant. The lefty press are dying. Only the right wing press remain, but they don’t set the agenda any more. We have no economic centre position and are a while away from getting one. If ever there was a time to Keep Calm and Carry On, this was it. I might have a cup of tea.

Each age is a dream that is dying, or a new one coming to birth. Someone pass me the pethidine.

Iain Duncan Smith Resigned

The state of play on welfare just changed. Several years early. For the first time since Beveridge condemned generations to misery. The race is on to find a new solution to welfare that uses our public sector institutions to manage financial instability and inequality and the relationship between the two. A solution that uses the welfare system to stabilise the economy and understands the nature of the market forces that shape it.


Ellie Mae O Hagan: A pound shop Laurie Penny

So Ellie Mae O Hagan has published a missive on class. Ellie Mae, whose contribution to the fight to prevent equality being rolled back for millions of women, was assisting Jessica Asato and Sunny Hundal in whitewashing consensus on the exploitation of gender equality under austerity,. by placing a smear in the New Left Project. Because we really needed an anti-cuts movement that didn’t discuss political consensus on welfare, social care, childrens services and equality being rolled back for working class women. And we definitely didnt want an anti-cuts movement that discussed welfare reform being undeliverable. Because Labour. It’s not like anyone died right?

Ellie Mae went on to use her friendship with Owen Jones to obtain a job in Unite’s Community Membership, because ‘class’ means that’s how trade unions work now.  Unite Community Membership took money from unemployed people’s benefits, under the pretense of representing them, before supporting Laboiur in welfare policies that targeted them. Ellie Mae understood these people were only decoration for campaigns, and attempted to outsource their confidential casework to unemployed activists ‘for credit’. Because that’s how confidential casework works. Her entire training to carry out this casework was ligging off the twitter feed of said activists. They paid money for this frepresentation, out of a pittance, in a country defined by food poverty. Ellie Mae, then went on to decorate her twitter feed with the tales of the hardship of the women she had worked with the pretend ‘anti-cuts movement’ to whitewash for Labour. A regular social justice warrior…

Who, in doing all this carved herself a niche as a mediocre Ciffer willing to tell Guardian readers what they want to hear for peanuts. So she could tell her friends back home she wrote for the Guardian and feel like a success. This Ellie Mae O Hagan, has written a missive about class.


Ellie is living in a city undergoing the greatest class cleansing in our history. In Hackney there is not a single room available for those on benefits, and communities across London have been displaced in a largely unreported expulsion. Not content with assisting in the whitewashing of austerity . Not content with exploiting the disenfranchisement of the working class, by using her own class connections to end up at the top of a trade union who are supposed to represent millions of actual working people. Not content with competing to assist in the race to expel journalism from the pages of the political press so it can be replaced with vacuous comment, at the expense of the working class people who have borrowed thousands to train as actual journalists with knowledge and skills. Ellie now wants to redefine class.

Apparently she was lucky, because she was read to as a  child. Yucky savage working class people don’t read to their children. That’s why the people she grew up with ended up doing yucky jobs that were not earning pennies writing mediocre comment while ‘enjoying a middle class lifestyle’. That’s why they lack aspiration and do productive jobs that contribute to their communities and economy. Anyway, Ellie wants us to know that the commentariat who can’t get paid anymore and the hipsters who cant get mortgages in a city class cleansed of its communities, are working class now. We are all in this together.

Ellie Mae wants us to know that because she hasnt managed to make a decent secure living exploiting austerity that killed people, and obtaining positions in trade unions she has never been a member of, she thinks we should redefine class. Discovering class in London now means misreading Bourdieu, being unable to afford theatre tickets, and not being able to get a zone 1 mortgage in the areas you assisted in cleansing of their original communities.

Anyway, I wanted to post this here as an example of why the left wing media are dying.

The transition of the political press to a digital landscape has had an extraordinary effect and the Guardian are crumbling. I thought this would make an excellent example to demonstrate why. This is what they offer now, instead of journalism, analysis, and news. Vacuous silly little girls, who build careers on shafting the working class, whining that they can’t get paid because what they do has no value. A pound shop Laurie Penny without the Oxbridge cushion to back it up.

UNITE Community membership

Pasted below is the email from the UNITE community membership campaigns officer to unemployed activists who will remain nameless. UNITE are a wealthy union who took money from unemployed people with the promise of representation and went on to support Labour’s election strategy which guaranteed to continue with the reforms destroying their lives. Apparently the money they took from unemployed people wasnt fro membership. That this work should have been confidential, carried out by someone qualified, and not farmed out to unemployed activists wasnot a concern…THat the only representation these people got was exploitation for Unite campaigns and unqualified advice gleaned from er…..twitter….
Anyway I need this email here for a blog post.
OK the reason I’ve been hassling you over the last few days is this:
When I’m not rambling away on Twitter or writing for CiF, I work for Unite the Union as part of their community membership programme. It’s the part of the union open to people who aren’t in work, be they students, the disabled, the retired, carers, or people who simply can’t get a job (because there aren’t any).
As you can imagine, we are getting bombarded with calls from people who have been put in workfare schemes, usually MWA, and are desperate to avoid them. I’ve been giving the best advice I can but most of it is just bits and bobs from your website and quizzing your twitter account.
We’d really like to write some literature to be able to give our members about workfare and possible ways they can get out of it, and how to deal with their job centres (many of which seem to be pretty economical with the truth about it all). You’ve done so much work on this that we’d like to be able to work with you: referring people to you, crediting you with the advice and so on – and, essentially, ensuring that what we’re saying is helpful and accurate.
Is this something you could help with? Do you offer workshops or anything so people can get more clued up about workfare (i.e. me)?
Also I was wondering if you could help me with a couple of people who have asked me for advice recently:
1. I had a girl contact me who has been unemployed for about 18 months. She’s currently volunteering for Sue Ryder and is now receiving management training. She has written to her job centre telling them not to contact her via any medium other than letters (as Consent advise), but she has nonetheless been told she has to go on MWA. I have told her to write to the job centre and ask them to explain exactly why she has been selected for MWA, as I thought the government guidelines stated that people who already volunteer should not be considered for MWA. Was that right?
2. A man who has been unemployed for a significant amount of time (about 2 decades) contacted me stating that he wrote to his job centre withdrawing his consent to share his details with third parties. The manager refused to accept his letter, saying it would make him ineligible for MWA and he would be sanctioned as a result. Is this right? Also, he’s in the process of starting his own business and has a business plan, bank account etc. Obviously the work programme would put a big spanner in the works for him.
Any help you could give would be much appreciated!
Ellie OHagan
Unite campaigns officer
Community Support Unit
Unite the union
128 Theobalds Rd
London WC1X 8TN

Why we can’t just pretend gender is something to opt out of

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history” – George Orwell

Gender is constructed. It is constructed and imposed on sex bodies and is a defining structural feature of the world. Conceptions of gender are reproduced through legislation, legislation which shapes lives, and it is reproduced through institutional structures, economics, market functioning, social policy, and it the reproductive labour it is designed to harness that mean that those looking after children slip out of the market sphere and have lives shaped by those conceptions.

Austerity used those conceptions and even though equality legislation was passed decades ago, the lack of application of equality legislation and market driven conceptions of gender equality to state benefits, child protection legislation, and courtrooms mean women’s lives are shaped by it while equality is rolled back

For the likes of Laurie Penny it’s nothing more than how she chooses to cut her hair. Because she is so privileged her life will never be shaped in these rigid ways. We can’t opt out of gender. If we could, gender inequality wouldn’t so damn persistent. We can’t just have fun with it cos courts, quasi judicial benefits processes, and entire global systems built around the need to keep reproductivelabour invisible will not allow it. We have to address those things. Describe them. Pretending gender is about how we get our hair done in the hairdressers we cant afford is and we can ‘just have fun with it’, while being attacked for  discussion of structural inequality, is insulting. It is how spoiled little girls like Laurie make sure women stay in their place.

The gender binary disappearing before gender equality was a thing, while those gender divides are marked out with violence, structural and physical, was always going to cause problems. Is complicated. Only in the world of privileged elite students it is not complicated.

We don’t care about your special snowflake status but we do care about the abuse of media platforms built on gender inequality, to erase that inequality from discussion. We cannot just sacrifice the language to describe our world, because it is offensive to silly girls who will never have to experience gender inequality. THat they want to take that is their problem and not ours. Denying us the ability to describe walls as they close in on us is not feminism, its abuse of women by the privileged under the guise of identity politics.

Gender is not a self realisable truth, its the walls around our world and we need to describe them to pull them down.


Davina Ayrton

I’ve written about identity and it’s limits before. The gender binary disappearing before gender equality is even a possibility was always going to cause trouble. Gender inequality is inequality defined by sexual violence. Gender is an awful construct, rigid roles and flawed conceptions reproduced through economics, social policy systems, media narratives and gendered relations in the private domain. Gendered power relations defined by violence.

The key difference between men and women’s sexed bodies, is that women’s reproductive organs produce society and that power is at the root of the subjugation of women. Sexual violence is one such means, with the penis as a weapon used to subjugate women and girls since forever.

How we define womanhood is complicated by the fact that is constructed around us, through performative roles in which we have little choice once our reproductive organs come into play. Trans women’s womanhood is as constructed through male violence as those of us made women through those gender roles. But here is the line.

Once you have used your penis as a weapon to construct someone elses gender identity through rape, once you have brutally raped a 15 year old girl you cease to have the right to ask to use the safety of segregated single sex spaces. You have chosen in that act that you are a man. Not just a man but perpetrator of sexual violence and a risk to women. If you have a learning disability which means you cannot help yourself but rape women then you are a man who presents increased risk to any woman and should be kept away from segregated female spaces. When you download images of child abuse, you are choosing to be a perpetrator of sexual violence against children and are a risk.

Davina Ayrton has chosen his gender. He chose to be a man, he chose to be a rapist, and he used his gender and his sex to rape a child and contribute to the abuse of other children. He can wear a dress. He can identify how he chooses. He does not have the right to have women identify a rapist as a woman or the right to shout transphobia when placed in a prison where he, as a rapist, may be at risk of the crime he committed against a female child.

Tara Hudson was a violent criminal who identified as a woman and would have been at risk in a male prison. Tara Hudson did not rape anyone and did not choose her gender by raping someone.

Once you have raped someone you have chosen your gender, and however you identify afterwards you have no right to have other people identify a rapist as a woman, to identify you as a woman. That is the dividing line between women and men. Women cannot use their genitals to rape women. They live on the other side of the gender divide starkly marked out by gendered violence.

The limits of identity. How he chooses to identify once he has done that is his business and noone elses concern.