Wednesday, September 19, 2012

More Thoughts On The End Of The Journey

From todays news :

"UK Border Agency working on plans for priority passport lanes for rich travellers at Heathrow and other British airports"

"Heh heh heh ... I told you those Zil lanes would be useful"

"Ms Miller, who is also the Culture Secretary, argues that extending marriage to same-sex couples will ensure that the institution retains its importance and relevance in modern Britain, and that its introduction is a milestone in Britain’s heritage “of freedom and fairness”."

"The new definition of domestic violence and abuse now states:
Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass but is not limited to the following types of abuse:
* psychological
* physical
* sexual
* financial
* emotional **"

"George Osborne wants two-year freeze in state benefits"

"Heh heh heh ... you get gay marriage, and we get a "flexible labour market" .. heh heh heh .." 

So the journey continues - there's been for quite a while now an acceleration of the "left" social agenda in tandem with the "right" (read "rich") economic one - and did I mention that the pressing problem of racism in football's still not solved?

John Whittingdale MP, chair of the inquiry, said: "Recent incidents of racist abuse in the UK highlight that there remain significant problems." MPs also said homophobia may now be the most prevalent form of discrimination.

Steve Rotheram MP, a member of the Culture, Media and Sport committee, said a lack of ethnic diversity in management and boardroom positions at many English clubs was holding back the fight against racism.

A couple of points. While the plan may indeed be working, there's no need to invoke a conscious conspiracy. I had a couple of long debates (and a monologue) on this subject a few years back, before the economic poo hit the fan. Capitalists will just take advantage, if the culture lets them. It's what they do. Mass immigration may be a necessary condition for the impoverishment of the UK working class, but not a sufficient one.

While it's not a cheerful thought (especially in finding yourself alongside, for example, George Galloway), I have to surmise that the collapse of Soviet Communism may also have played its part in what we see now. While there was an alternative model, no matter how evil and corrupt (as it was in many respects) it may have been, Western capitalists couldn't take the **** too much. Now anything is possible.

It's true that in a rational economic world, a high-earning working class might be considered a good thing for a nation - and that therefore it's not in our rulers' interest to take us back a hundred years - but that would also have applied for the several hundred years prior to, say, 1860-1960. The post-1945 settlement is not the natural order of things. Before that it was the plebs and the rest* - and the will to power, even constrained by Christianity, was strong. Unconstrained, what limits are there?    

* read a couple of Jane Austens over the last week. Ordinary people just do not feature. Reminds me of "Friends" or "Four Weddings And A Funeral", where making a living is the least of any of the characters concerns and everyone, while always appreciating more, has enough money. Still, Lizzie Bennet's dad is a hoot, although while Lizzie's wonderfully witty and self-assured, I prefer an Ethelberta - or still more, her sister.

** financial abuse can apparently consist of not giving someone enough of the family income - by which measure EVERYONE in my family, myself included, is a self-declared victim. If that's the case, do you think sexual abuse might consist of not giving someone enough sex? I look forward to some brave lawyer arguing that in court...


Ryan said...

You have to love the way the Guardian bigs up its leftist agenda. It failed to point out that only foreign businessmen were mentioned - i.e. if you are the kind of foreigner that might be giving high value employment to us Brits, then maybe we should spoil you a bit (seems perfectly reasonable to me, otherwise those Arab oil sheiks and US "merchant bankers" might take their cash somewhere more convenient). It also conveniently forgot that if you have a business class ticket you can go through the "Fast Track" for security on the way into the airport - so why shouldn't you get a fast-track on the way out? I don't see anybody griping too much about the Fast-Track at security - you pays yer money and you takes yer choice (a business class ticket costs at least double the cattle class ticket). As for British VIPs I see plenty of then at the airport but never in security or in the passport queue - I have always assumed they have long had a special route in and out of the airport as Concorde passengers used to have.

Fact is if you have more money you should be free to spend it to get better service. What point would there be in having a free market economy if you could make more money but could only spend it the same way as the ragamuffins you thought you'd left behind through hard work? Sure the Guardian believes in Marxism by the back door but then the Guardian is decreasing rapidly in popularity and in 10 years may have ceased to exist altogether. I presume those that believe in total equality of outcome are slowly dying off.

abdul sami said...

education blogger

Ryan said...

I have a rather more optimistic take on modern capitalism, and I find it is one that is now being shared by the FT. Abundance. We have created rather a lot of it. Everyone has houses and plenty of food and a lot of gadgets frankly until the invention of the robotic ironing board they have run out of things to aquire. Give it another 30 years and everyone will have not only have paid off their remaining mortgage but they will also have inherited a home from their parents. We will have more wealth than we know what to do with. The Duke of Westminster and Roman Abromovich are not part of this particular game. We are about to have a social revolution forced on us by our home made reality that we as individuals have aimed for. It is in the face of this new reality that Marxism and Conservatism seem anachronistic to the point of outright derision. Polly Toynbee is an old woman ranting about a world rapidly vanishing in front of her eyes. Marxism had little to offer to the post-war consumer society where every industry was crying out for the working class to upskill to play their part in new industries and the prizse was to become lower-middle class. But in the post-consumer society Marxism will have precisely nothing to offer the working man that already has everything. What use to me is 1/60millionth of Richard Branson's redistributed swimming pool when I can go on holiday to Spain and get all the swimming pool a man could ever need on my own account?

The old Marxist/anti-Marxist political dichotomy that has driven political discourse in this country since 1917 is really very tired. People are getting restless with it. The people that supported it are in a generation that is rapidly dying off. Where will that leave us with regard to feminism, immigration, islam, human rights, justice, same-sex "marriages" and what-not? I don't know. But big changes are on the way. I just hope that being wealthier doesn't make us bored, because boredom leads to depression which leads in turn to the demand for change but without the willingness to fight for it. Unfortunately that is what I see with our generation - a lot of boredom leading to depression and a desire for change but no action. The next generation are an entirely different kettle of fish. I think I will leave our future to the new generation, as nature intended, because our generation is a busted flush. It has been raised from birth to take the path to nowhere - and has only got as far as realising it might be going in the wrong direction.

joe90 said...

We're all going to live like movie stars!!

Anonymous said...

"We're all going to live like movie stars!!"

I think that is the real problem. More ordinary people are buying gas -guzzling German supercars then flying out 4 times a year to their retirement properties in Spain. It's no wonder that Marxism has evolved into environmentalism. They have given up trying to curb capitalism by the direct approach because ordinary like the material benefits too much - no they are trying to put us all on an enviromental guilt trip instead.

joe90 said...

Marxism has not evolved into environmentalism. Crossover between the Leftist and Green movements has always been limited and unstable. Leftists accuse Greens of lacking a 'class analysis' or even just of being middle-class, bit ironic considering.

Better-informed Leftists understand that many of the roots of ecology, environmentalism and conservation tend towards the right, not the left. Better-informed environmentalists know that some of the worst environmental damage in the 20th century took place in countries under communist rule.

joe90 said...

As for the predictions of ever-expanding wealth for everyone - which parallel universe is this going to happen in?

The recent trend for low- to middle-income earners has been one of stasis while the top few per cent pull further away from everyone else.

For all sorts of reasons - mass immigration, social atomisation etc etc - there doesn't seem much chance of returning to the post-war period where wages advanced steadily across the social classes.

Ex-Lager Lout said...

The old Marxist/anti-Marxist political dichotomy that has driven political discourse in this country since 1917

Has it?

Apart from upper class Cambridge traitors in the 1930s and 40s, I think Marxism is a baby-boomer annoy-daddy pose that many have never grown out of.

The Labour movement owed more to Methodism than Marxism.

In 1906, when the first 29 Labour MPs were elected, when asked what book had most affected them, a majority said John Ruskin's Unto This Last.

Martin said...


The whole redefinition of domestic abuse thing seems to serve no purpose other than to make teenagers wary of each other. I wouldn't be surpised if the total number of teenager on teenager cases that will be prosecuted under this law turns outto be vanishingly small, but it will certainly act as a retardant to the development of relationships.

Anonymous said...

Faschinating thng about domestic service ont eh telly at the moment. I only caught a bit but It was going on about the complaints of th servant owning class - not a tiny number of people -that the plebs wouldn't go back into domoestic serice post WW1. The solution - bring them in from abroad. Methinks they did something similar after WW2 on a grander scale.

Anonymous said...

Ryan - you've been reading too much Izabella Kaminska.