Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again..."

When the hated Blair regime seized power 13 years ago, the Daily Mail (The Paper That Supported Hitler) fairly wet itself with joy because he said that the free ride was over, and that he would cut unemployment benefits for those who refuse to work. ("We'll make them work" was the headline.)

This morning, the Daily Mail ("Hooray For the Blackshirts!") is fairly wetting itself with joy because David Cameron has said that the free ride is over, and that he will cut unemployment benefits for those who refuse to work.





It need hardly be said that it has always been a condition of claiming unemployment benefit that the claimant can prove that he is making a reasonable effort to look for work, and that he doesn't turn down any reasonable job offer. It should also be said that unemployment benefit -- £60 a week -- is (rightly) calculated as the very minimum that anyone can be expected to live on, so if you were really going cut people's benefit, you would, by definition, be creating more homelessness and crime.

But the scary, scary, scary thing is that both parties, to appeal to the Daily Mail continue to make laws, or at any rate, policies, intended to slay fictitious dragons: fictitious schools which have fictitiously banned competitive sports; fictitious human rights laws; fictitious health and safety laws and fictitious legions of lazy unemployed people living in luxury during the kind of recession when there are thousands of and thousands of jobs for them to take, even though the fictitious hoards of fictitious immigrants have come over here and taken them all. British jobs for British workers! Hooray for black shirts! Vote for nobody!

16 comments:

  1. "Vote for nobody!"

    I am planning to vote Lib-Dem. Does that count?

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  2. The Greens seem to be the only party promising to increase taxes and public spending. Mind you, they'd probably blow it all on homeopathy and biodynamic agriculture.

    I got a mailshot from Gordon Brown's office the week before last. Apparently he wants to get tough on crime, clamp down on immigration, and keep taxes low. I'd cheerfully vote Lib Dem now if they weren't third place in my constituency and if I didn't think Sadiq Khan was a generally useful MP.

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  3. Mike: The Mail today (online at least) has the most excellent set of smears against Nick Clegg & the Lib Dems. It's like they suddenly realised they'd missed out on years of mudslinging and tried to get a whole barrel of mud slung in one go.

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  4. I am particularly impressed by the way Call-Me-Dave is trumpeting that it would be a bad thing to vote for Clegg because that will let a weakened Grodon back into Downing Street.

    The Opertunity to give Cameron a bloody nose while kicking Brown in the nuts? Who could ask for more?

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  5. The Daily Mail's scapegoating of its usual suspects is a classic Fascist tactic. It's a way to avoid pinning the blame on global capital, the super-rich, the IMF and the rest. Now that all the big parties are signed up to unfettered capitalism they have no choice but to side with the Mail.

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  6. If the Mail actually was run by fascists they'd be all to keen to blame "global capital", surely? They're more like kulaks, really.

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  7. "But the scary, scary, scary thing is that both parties, to appeal to the Daily Mail continue to make laws, or at any rate, policies, intended to slay fictitious dragons.

    I tend to think appeasing the Daily Mail at all costs is more a Labour tactic. The Tories reckon they can pretty much rely on it's support.

    After the worst recession in a couple of decades, blaming unemployment on the unemployed is like blaming the government if a volcano explodes in a foreign country.

    Oh wait, they did that too...

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  8. "They're more like kulaks, really."

    So are you advocating the extermination of the kulaks? That could take up to five years!

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  9. Read what "kulak" meant under the Tsars and tell me that doesn't describe the Mail demographic of people who only just made it into the bourgeoisie and want to pull the ladder up after them.

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  10. Comparing anyone one doesn't like to a kulak is arguably an act in very poor taste indeed.

    Now, if you want to say that the world seems to be suffering from an infestation of Poujadists...

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  11. I don't see the poor taste, myself. Stalin applied all kinds of labels to his imaginary enemies, so why is "kulak" any worse than "counter-revolutionary"?

    But, yes, the Poujadists are a better fit.

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  12. Sam, I was really just kidding around! I didn't mean it to sound as if I was criticising what you were saying.

    However, while I take your point, I'm not sure that your description quite fits. At least if you're making an equivalence between 'kulak' and 'fascist'. The term which would get used in my gang is 'petit-bourgeois', which doesn't sound very catchy but does the job. (Not least because it doesn't limit it to one historical group.)

    That group might have a general tendency to turn fascist, but they're not the only group to do so (the SA were formed from the jobless poor) and it's not their only tendency. While I'm all for reminding Mail readers of that 'Hurrah for the Blackshirts' headline whenever possible, of course I'd agree that they haven't printed a similar headlne lately.

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  13. PS If you weren't trying to make an equivalence between the two, I shall shut up!

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  14. Millions of people got killed for being "kulaks", whether or not any such social group ever even existed, and I'll stick my weak liberal neck out and say that most of them probably didn't deserve to die. So comparing a bunch of people you don't like to the kulaks seems deeply tasteless to me.

    Do you mean that the kulaks really existed as a category, and that they were bad people? And if they were bad people, were they bad enough to deserve Stalin? If so, do your "modern kulaks" deserve to be exterminated in concentration camps? If the original kulaks were bad but didn't deserve Stalin, couldn't you find a less tragic bunch of people to compare the modern group to?

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  15. I'd insert an emoticon of an embarassed cough here if I knew how one went. I think in my last comment I was guilty of mixing Martin and Sam's comments in my mind, and so replying to something which no-one had actually said! And it's not as if they were even particularly long comments... Apologies to both gentlemen concerned!

    After such an outbreak of dunderheadedness, I am perhaps better keeping my mouth shut. But I have to admit finding Phil Masters' comments a little odd. It's normally understood in polite society that when you express yourself as at odds with a particular social group, you are not actually calling for their extermination.

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  16. True, but when the one thing that a lot of people know about a social group is that they were exterminated, their name is a rather tricky thing to use. Almost anything else is a better choice, most of the time.

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