Thursday 4 August 2016

The Tory War on Social mobility

After she was anointed as unelected leader of the Tories Theresa May gave an excruciatingly dishonest speech about how much she cares about the poor, working class people, ethnic minorities and the disadvantaged. Obviously a lot of people were taken in by this utterly misleading drivel, thanks in a large part to the gushing uncritical mainstream media appraisals of her speech and the whitewashing of her entirely contradictory track record.

Contrasting Theresa May's inaugural speech with her appalling track record at the Home Office and her disgusting parliamentary voting record should have been one of the easiest jobs in journalism, yet the bulk of the mainstream press seemed intent on pushing the fact-free trope that "Theresa May is a safe pair of hands", which would have been severely undermined by even the most rudimentary examination of her political track record.

Theresa May voted in favour of one savage package of welfare cuts after another, numerous cuts to in-work benefits for the working poor, attacks on ordinary people's labour rights, the impoverishment of disabled people, huge funding cuts for local government services, and the tripling of tuition fees for university students.

To posture as someone who gives a damn about the people she spent the last six years helping the likes of David Cameron, George Osborne and Iain Duncan Smith to persecute and impoverish is such a brazen display of contempt for the general public it should make people sick to the stomach. Yet millions of people who are clearly ignorant of her political track record have lapped it up and willingly rote learned the "safe pair of hands" tropes the mainstream press have been drip-feeding them.

One of Theresa May's very first actions after being appointed as Prime Minister was to scrap the maintenance grants that are paid to university students from low income backgrounds.

It takes some bare-faced gall to use your inaugural speech as Prime Minister to complain that "If you’re a white working-class boy you’re less likely than anybody else in Britain to go to university" and then immediately set about confiscating the financial support that the tiny minority of poor white working-class boys who actually make it to university rely upon.

Another thing that Theresa May had the brass neck to complain about in her speech was that " If you’re at a state school you’re less likely to reach the top professions than if you’re educated privately" which is a situation that has been demonstrably worsened by the introduction of £9,000 per year Tuition Fees. The tripling of the Aspiration Tax imposed on young people from poor and ordinary backgrounds for daring to aspire to a decent education and a professional qualification has coincided with a significant fall in the percentage of state educated kids going to university.

It's absolutely staggering that Theresa May talked about the problem of inherited educational privilege after voting to make the situation even worse than it already was with the introduction of university Aspiration Taxes, and complained about poor white kids not going to university before deliberately removing the tiny bit of financial support these kids were entitled to. What gullible idiots people would have to be to not see this sickening hypocrisy for what it is.

Theresa May talks a good game on reducing inequality and improving social mobility, but the evidence of her actions (past and present) are absolute proof that she's determined to continue David Cameron and George Osborne's project of increasing the inequality between the super-wealthy minority (who bankroll the Tory party) and the rest of us, and she's determined to continue erecting as many barriers to social mobility as possible in order to maintain the wealth, power and for her own privileged class.

The important question is why people support this vindictive class war politics from the Tories. Of course lots of people are hopelessly under-informed and highly-gullible people who just vote based on idiotic crap like the mainstream media "safe pair of hands" trope, misguided party political allegiance (politics is not like football, if your team is playing shit you need to change it), how a guy eats a bacon sandwich, or simply because of the way their parents voted.

Other Tory voters must surely be politically aware enough to see how the Tories keep deliberately erecting barriers to social mobility and transferring ever more wealth from the majority to the richest people in society. Undoubtedly there are people out there who actively approve of politicians smashing the ladder of social mobility to bits and who celebrate every new barrier erected to damage the life chances of the poor and ordinary as gleefully as they celebrate every Tory tax cut for corporations and the super-rich.

I guess I'm an optimist in believing that the majority of Tory voters fall into the first (under-informed) category rather than the second (venal and selfish) category. I'm optimistic because, although difficult in itself, it's much easier to convince under-informed people to change their ways and vote against such blatant liars and their class war political agenda than it is to convince the venal and self-serving that there's something wrong with their greedy and selfish attitudes.

If the majority of Tory voters are under-informed then there's some hope that one day the social mobility barriers they are busy erecting will be torn down again. However if the majority of Tory supporters are venal and self-serving people who actively approve of the ongoing Tory War on Social Mobility and are terrified of anyone removing the barriers and giving "the lower orders" a fair chance in life, then as a nation, we're pretty much screwed aren't we?

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