Inequality

Inequality is a eupemism for power relations. Institutions which mediated power relations have broken down. We appear to be seeing crisis which expose that inequality is about power dynamics, that is interesting in itself. Can be seen in Westminster, Hollywood, and even in feminism itself.

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Westminster misogyny

Am watching a debate about sexual harassment being held in the House of Commons. Am not sure how this blew up, allegations followed the Harvey Weinstein revelations, there have been Whatsapp groups, maybe it was Jared O Mara, I don’t know. Anyway the obnoxious misogyny that Westminster revealed through twitter, is now threatening to bring down the government. We are all pretending we don’t know how this happened, all pretending we don’t know this is a cultural norm. I am bitter because I know the behaviour that defines these people and the pantomime they are playing out on screen is annoying. The policy created by these people reflects their misogyny. Its why we just used austerity to turn back equality for women and its why the UK was always a thorn in the side of the EU when it sought to improve conditions for women.

I don’t know if they know how their culture appears to us, they only care because they can feel the ground shifting underneath them. I don’t know how I feel about these people any more, but this pantomime they are playing out seems insignificant against the harm this misogyny has caused.

Mark Steel

THis is a blog post that cannot do the damage you attempted to do to Sophie Evans today, because I don’t have a national newspaper column, and I am not working on behalf of a political party. Sophie Evans has done nothing, she is a working class woman, without the privilege you have. She had the misfortune of going out with Jared O Mara and then she had the double misfortune of being abused by him in front of witnesses. Abuse which was publicly known about but which is normal for your comrades.

Today you used a national newspaper column to abuse her to punish her for being abused already. You did this because the behaviour she was on the receiving end of damages your identity. You identify as a socialist, one of the good guys, and that means you get to do as you like. So when your comrades abuse women, hurt them, your concern is you and your self image. So you seek to reabuse. So today you used a national newspaper column to call Sophie Evans a liar, as punishment for her being abused by an elected representative. Sheffield Hallam have no representation outside this violent thug because of your comrades, and your only response is to seek to abuse anyone he abuses. You have issues mate. You are a nasty, cowardly bully who abuses women with a national newspaper column on behalf of a political party and noone can stop you. Cos that’s what class means.

Interest rates

When I was 19 I bought my first house. We got a mortgage for 30k cos we could afford it if one of us lost our job, we got cash back on the mortgage, and I did overtime to pay for the legal fees. We got the vendors to say they’d paid the deposit and got a 95% mortgage. We were young and stupid and got a fixed rate mortgage of around 7% cos 15% rates were in recent memory. That was the start of the credit boom. Interest rates go up next week.

We are in the shit.

At least it’s not a Tory…

One of the useful things with the tribalism that defines elite media circles, is that is defined by the narcissism of small difference. When you see tribalism, look for the shared boundaries, consensus, similarities, the turf they are fighting over, and how they mark out difference between each other. How that tribalism marks out boundaries for others. Gang style. Prison style. You can only have the tribalism currently afflicting our political system, wit very serious levels of homogenity. The narcissism of small difference is to define the lines dividing the homogenous group. Like all narcissism it has certain characteristics. Each side will accuse the other of the things they do not like about themselves, will project those characteristics onto their opponent and classify them as the opposite. This is made worse by the identity as inherently good the left have chosen. Not only will they abuse welfare claimants and anyone who interrupts their false identity, they accuse their opponents of that very thing.

Apparently Abi Wilkinson would rather have a violent misogynist  in power than a Tory MP. Yeah. We know.

Jared O Mara

The first Momentum MP, the man who watched his bouncers assault someone, who was clearly and evidently a violent misogynist, and who the Sheffield Hallam Labour people knew was a violent misogynist, has shocked everyone by also being a racist and a homophobe.

The violent misogyny was fine. Watching his bouncers assault someone was fine. Insulting and abusing people was fine. Posts he made in 2004 which were also homophobic and racist were not fine. Anyway.

We are all pretending it;s shocking that a political ‘movement’ which actively rewards violent misogyny produced Jared O Mara. Whose other interests including fanatical views on Israel that allow him to express his racist side with impunity.

We have gone from pretending this isnt the case, to pretending it is shocking, to this just being youthful exploits, and today Jared is saying its about being working class.

A note to Jared. Your comrades are the ONLY culture where you could have gotten away with the hate you spout, you know the reason you have to hide your views is that working class cultures are not like this. The extreme violence with which you experience rejection suggestions you are a dangerous narcissist and you now wish to pretend your dysfunction is reflected in otehrs. It is not. It is a shame you were not posher, because the comrades now shitting themselves and ditching you are closing ranks away from you. I smile when I watch this, but don’t think that means we will pretend your views are representative of the working class. We are the most educated workingclass on record and only the Labour movement and the far right conflate your views with ours.

@debbie_abrahams on Peston today.

 

  • This is Debbie Abrahams lying on Peston this morning. Not obfuscating, not being vague, but outright lying. First of all it is important to acknowledge one truth, welfare policy is always subject to consensus, this has always been the case. Labour defined the working class by desire to abuse welfare claimants, and when welfare spending expanded to the working population this placed them in a bind. THis is why the Labour left were unleashed in 2010, to prevent us discussing that consensus.

 

The key differences between Corbynism and Blairism re: Welfare:

  1. Blair used the language of appeasing the markets, but the distributional impact was the poorest benefitted. The pursuit of asset based welfare turned out to have appalling consequences and is at the root of this crisis, but that is true, the transfer of welfare spending to the working population turned out to be flawed, but this still true.
  2. Blair contributed and upheld toxic media narratives which demonised the poorest, and reinforced perception of the working class as defined by not claiming benefits, and tax credits and progressive reforms were presented as something that was not benefits, but an evolution of your tax code.
  3. Blairism relied on managing a media message to triangulate.

Corbynism:

  1. Uses the language of socialism to uphold abuse of welfare claimants
  2. Uses the language of socialism to pay for middle class bribes, while upholding welfare cuts.
  3. Did this knowing that the working population are welfare dependent
  4. Did this knowing that the benefit freeze comes with a body count and is happening at the same time as inflation caused by Brexit is pushing food and fuel prices up
  5. Did this after seven years of brutal welfare cuts that have generated complete system failure
  6. Doesnt have a media landscape so relies on intimidation, abuse, and threats to women and jewish people to uphold this consensus, rather than media narratives. So in addition to suffering welfare cuts, anyone discussing them is at risk near this culture.
  7. Corbynism demands that trade unions and direct activism are used to prevent people discussing welfare changes that impact them and so removes every single means of democratic representation and means to challenge them.

THis interview demonstrates several things:

  • The dishonesty of Labour
  • That PCS and UNISON, who are part of Corbyn’s power base are not currently functioning and are not aware of this system failure
  • That Labour would uphold the neo liberal consensus till long after it was dead and the Labour left were a vital component for it for its lifespan
  • Labour are happy for the suffering the benefit freeze is causing and wish to use the casualties as decoration.
  • That the entire fake ‘anti-cuts movement’ was about selling welfare and local authority cuts. Which was clear to me here and which I have been abused for seven years for saying. This is what Corbynism is.

THis is a post about Universal Credit, which explains where we are and what we need to do. You will not find this stuff in the Guardian, New Statesman or Labour Press, because they have spent 7 years attacking anyone and silencing anyone who discusses it. I am disappointed in Debbie, I know behind the scenes she has tried to make Labour behave on welfare. Outright lying on Peston is unacceptable though, its just unacceptable.

Those emails.(Again)

I didn’t want to share the contents of those emails, certainly not publicly. I live in fear of my daughter reading them. I have had a few messages about them, and I thought I would say this., I know that stuff sounds brutal and am not going to lie, brutal does not even begin to sum it up and it wasn’t all the elite left, they compounded a problem. Shit happens. And it happened.

The reason austerity was always going to hit me hardest was I am a care leaver. I don’t have the same structures other people have and so when I hit periods in my life where I earn less, retirement, childbearing, I am more or less guaranteed to need state support. That decision was made for me a long time ago. I know that for some of you reading you think that what you read is awful but it’s not compared to other people. I have a brain the size of a planet I went into the family courts unrepresented yes, but not without a clue. I knew the legislation and familiar with those courtrooms even if my new role within them was a shock. In the nicest possible way, I was raised in abject poverty and my mothers poverty it turned out taught me everything I needed to know. I am not going to say the last seven years haven’t been grim, they have. But i ended them with a masters degree from LSE, because resilience factors like above average cognitive abilities did what they always do for me, provided a safety net and that was a fluke of biology. The question is not me, but what happens when that isnt the case.

Nothing described in those emails was uncommon, food scarcity, the family courts shit, poverty, homelessness, that’s what austerity did. Except it didn’t just do it to women with a degree, and te ability to climb out of it. It did it to people who won’t ever recover, it did it to people who never had a single chance to do what I get to do all the time. Austerity has given me a great deal, I understand my mother and feel like I got her back, I found out what am capable of and what I can withstand, and I managed to get to LSE and do that and we all know what that means. There are women I know who won’t see their kids again till they are 18, and people whose health won’t ever recover from the the way the DWP terrorised tem when they were sick, social workers working in situations  where they were utterly fucking helpless as their departments were destroyed and they watched their jobs become coercive. refuges turn away hundreds and hundreds of people, we should have refuge beds available and that’s the bottom of line of chaos. We should have entire systems functioning and we don’t. Every means women had to leave abuse was taken, that meant women were trapped and still are. The people who were already on the bottom they got squashed when people like me were thrown down there. The people already on the fringes who used the foodbanks got pushed out by the making of the mainstream food bank. They still exist.

I would like to be able to say that the stuff that is referred to in those emails is remarkable or makes me remarkable. In fact it makes me lucky, because there was never a question throughout that time of me not being ok and coming out of it ok, with many people there was no chance of making it through intact at all. What the left have done to me is savage, and that on top of this was unbearable sometimes. BUt by and large I was always going to be alright.

If you are shocked by those emails, I am sorry you shouldn’t be. That’s what happened to people. I wasn’t the only woman in the family courts, there was a reason I was in tears when Peter Kyle stood in Parliament. Most of those women lost and because they lost they got hurt or their kids did. The DWP is mangled and not functioning and I have to sleep at night knowing we really don’t have a child protection system at the minute and what that means for the children in it, and the children who need to be in it and the children who should not be in it. I may not have kinship arrangements like most people but am connected to those people and those systems. I do appreciate that you may have found those emails shocking reading but really they were not shocking, not shocking enough at all and the only thing shocking about those emails is the number of people whe lived this who won’t recover. Who won’t walk out with a masters or a child whose development wasn’t impacted. If you are thinking I’m remarkable for just making it through that, that was systems that did that and if I had to many others did. If I was remarkable then many were not as lucky. I can guarantee you that my peers from those systems, they didn’t fare as well. At all. They never got chance to be remarkable cos the hand they were dealt said drowning was all there was available.