Tuesday, 12 November 2019

Why do so many people who benefited from social mobility now want the ladder kicked down?


As a result of the changes introduced by Clement Attlee's post-war Labour government the 1960s and '70s saw the greatest levels of social mobility the United Kingdom has ever seen.

There was full employment so that pretty much anyone with the desire to work could find a job with at least half decent pay. There were plenty of houses, and even if you couldn't quite afford a house of your own there was an abundant supply of social housing too. If you were academically smart, then university education was free, and it even came with maintenance grants to cover your living costs. If you lost your job or fell ill then the welfare state provided decent social security payments to stave off absolute destitution. The legal aid system ensured that the poor and ordinary could have access to good legal representation so as to tip the scales of justice ever-so-slightly less in favour of the super-rich.


Of course this period was no utopia, and plenty of people still endured poor pay, dangerous working conditions, and discriminatory practices (especially when it came to stuff like sex, race, class and sexual orientation), but since 1979 many of the factors that allowed these all-time high levels of social mobility have been deliberately attacked and undermined by the Westminster political class.
  • The current low unemployment figures that right-wingers love to brag about are a blatant fix which count anyone who does just 1 hour a week on a zero hours contract job as "employed". Additionally it counts anyone who has been thrown off benefits by zealous job centre staff as not being unemployed. Additionally people on unpaid workfare schemes are also classed as being employed!
  • Access to legal aid has been trashed so badly that hundreds of thousands of people are being left with no choice but to represent themselves in court, which not only shatters their chances of success, but also wastes vast amounts of court time and public money because they simply don't understand the legal processes.
It's completely understandable that the privileged classes and their pals in the Westminster establishment club have worked so hard and for so long to reduce social mobility. After all the beneficiaries of social mobility become rivals to the children of the upper classes.

The less social mobility there is, the more unearned opportunities there are to be handed on a plate to the children of the establishment class.

It's clearly a huge advantage to the children of the establishment class that their peers are lumbered with a lifetime 9% aspiration tax on their disposable income for their university education, while they avoid it because their parents can just pay the fees upfront. 


It's beyond obvious that an unaccountable political elite would increasingly selfishly rig society to benefit their own class if they found that they suffered no adverse electoral consequences for doing it (as the New Labour mob found when they first introduced aspiration taxes on university students from poor and ordinary backgrounds).

The establishment elitists who rig society to benefit their own class are undeniably the bad guys, but the truly despicable people are those who actually reaped the benefits of social mobility in the 1960s and '70s, who now desperately want to kick the ladder down to prevent the younger generations from climbing up too.

The people who came from poor and ordinary backgrounds and enjoyed the benefits of stuff like social housing and/or affordable house prices, full employment and decent wages, a decent social safety net, legal aid, and free university education, but who now vote in favour of denying these same opportunities to all future generations.

Perhaps some of these people have deluded themselves into believing that they achieved it all themselves, and the decent wages, affordable housing, social safety net, legal protections, and access to free university education had nothing whatever to do with it. That's called the self-attribution fallacy, and huge numbers of wealthy people love to imagine that they did it all by themselves.

On the other hand there are plenty who know perfectly well that they benefited from social mobility, but who want to kick the ladder down on younger generations for purely self-interested reasons. For example people who benefited from affordable housing in the past know that building more social and affordable housing now would slow down the inflating value of their own property portfolios, and reduce the profits from their buy-to-let slumlord empires.


Of course it was hard to avoid voting in favour of attacks on social mobility when Tony Blair and his ilk were running the Labour Party because both of the main parties were at it.

But now that Labour has a leader who is determined to reverse the trend and begin promoting social mobility again through policies like free education, house building, welfare reform, decent wages, regulation of the private rental market, and a crackdown on exploitative employment practices, there's really no excuse for voting for more Tory class war inspired attacks on social mobility unless you actively oppose social mobility.

The wealthy and privileged establishment class who have enforced four decades of neoliberalism, rigging British society in favour of themselves and their own are vile self-serving elitists, but the people who actually benefited from social mobility who actually vote in favour of the Tory war against social mobility are the truly despicable ones.

They're the kind of people who climb the ladder out of the flooding basement, then deliberately kick it down and let others from their own class drown, rather than risk sharing the benefits of not drowning with others.

They don't lose anything by letting other people escape, but it makes them feel important and special to look down on other people drowning, and feel superior.

Even those who have deluded themselves that social mobility is irrelevant and that they achieved everything in life themselves are guilty of class treachery. 


Perhaps they're too deluded to realise that voting in favour of the Tory war against social mobility is an utterly malicious thing to do? But since when was stupidity a defence?

Does the criminal get to avoid jail because he claims to be too stupid to have realised that robbing the Post Office was a crime?

Of course not.

So why on earth should Tory voters who came from poor and ordinary backgrounds get to claim that they're too narrow-minded to understand that it's unspeakably malicious for them to kick the ladder down to prevent younger generations benefiting from the social mobility they themselves enjoyed in the past?

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8 comments:

steve said...


اعالى الخليج تقدم افضل خدمات نقل العفش الدولى المتميزه باسعار متميزة ومنها :

شركة شحن عفش من الرياض الى الامارات
نقل عفش من الرياض الى الاردن شركة شحن عفش من الرياض الى الاردن

Anonymous said...

Hard to disagree, so I won't. My only very small correction is that it took until the late 60s early 70s to solve the previous housing crisis. At that point we nearly had enough council properties to house everyone. There were long waiting lists and you'd be housed in bad areas but still, better than on the street and they had inddor toilets, proper baths and electricity. That mind sound strange but the slums people lived in prior to that DIDN'T have those things. Even I remember living in a Victorian tenement with outside toilet, set in beds and a range for heating (no, not an Aga, a horrible dirty thing that gave the only heat apart from the coal fire and doubled as your cooker)

Many think, wrongly, that the situation we find ourselves in is because of the credit crunch or is some kind of mistake or necessity. No, this is Tory ideology, they blame the poor and sick for being poor and sick (easier than recognising their own hand in this) and punish them for being 'lazy' try to incentivise work by so impoverishing people who are disabled or made redundant that they end up living hand to mouth if they're lucky or destitute if they're not.

I speak from experience. I went from owning a semi detached house outright and having a nice car with no car-loan, working in a decent job affording a holiday every year to being homeless, going to a foodbank and being made to feel like I had to beg for the benefits to which I was entitled. I have a disability but am made to feel like I am a criminal. I paid in to the National Insurance fund for 30 years before having to claim on it, but I'M the scrounger?? Through no fault of my own I own nothing now and chances are I will never recover from this physically, mentally or financially. My 'punishment' for being disabled is to be looked down upon by society as they buy in to the government's propaganda aided by Ch5 and shows like Benefits St, carefully scripted and edited to show the story THEY want to tell.

Like Frankie Boyle said, "it was on the TV, it was the f*cking bankers" it certainly wasn't the disabled or the people made redundant as a result of the banker's greed. But it looks like the government has distracted us from it's own failings that led to this, blame the victim, not the criminal...

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