Tuesday, 22 June 2021

Once again the Tories are hiding their own culpability behind vapid 'culture war' nonsense


Boris Johnson's Tory government have opened up a new front in their nauseating culture war, by trying to blame the term "white privilege" for catastrophic failings in the educations system, that leave working class kids (white and non-white alike) at huge disadvantages in comparison to kids from wealthier backgrounds.

I'm going to give a non-exhaustive list of other factors that are infinitely more damaging to the prospects of working class kids than this term, but first I'll briefly explain what "white privilege" actually means.

The term certainly doesn't mean that all white people are wealthy and privileged, only a fool or someone who is trying to fool you would try to argue that.

It means that in a still-racist society there are advantages to being white.

White people are obviously less likely to suffer institutional racism like being harassed by the police or denied painkillers when seriously ill; we're less likely to have our CVs immediately thrown in the bin for having non-white sounding names; and we don't have to face disgusting examples of inter-personal racism like the majority of non-white people have experienced in their lifetimes.

This obviously doesn't mean that life is a bed of roses for all white people, because there are all kinds of other forms of discrimination such as classism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of anti-queer bigotry, ageism, persecution of the disabled, persecution of the neurodiverse ...

Only those with malicious intentions would even try to portray recognising that whiteness is an advantage in a racist society as some kind of attack on poor white people, which brings us to the Tory government, and their woeful efforts to hide their own catastrophic failings behind yet more culture war bollocks.

So here are eleven things that are infinitely more damaging to the prospects of working class kids than the existence of the term "white privilege".

1. Education cuts

Ever since the Lib-Dems enabled them back into power in 2010, the Tories have been inflicting brutal cuts on England's education budget, with the worst cuts of all concentrated in the poorest areas of the country. This means that working class kids have borne the brunt of this deliberate Tory strategy of under-funding the education system, and trashing the nation's future economic potential.

How dare they pretend to give a damn about the prospects of working class kids, when their own longstanding policy is to systematically underfund the schools these working class kids attend?

2. Tuition fees

When the Tories and Lib-Dems colluded to triple university tuition fees, and bring in rip-off new repayment terms (inflation +3%) they ensured that kids from poor and ordinary backgrounds would need to drive themselves tens of thousands of pounds into debt just to get their degrees, and that the vast majority of post-2012 graduates (83%) would never be able to pay these debts off despite making entire working lifetimes of repayments.

Is it even possible to think of a better way of putting working class kids off academic attainment, than telling them they'll have to suffer an entire lifetime of unpayable debt if they aspire to go to university?

3. Youth service cuts

Anyone who claims to give the slightest damn about kids in deprived working class communities should be championing youth services aimed at honing kids' talents, giving them social skills, and keeping them away from crime and drugs.

The Tory government has been relentlessly slashing youth services budgets to the bone (70% cut in less than a decade).

4. Sure Start

If you want to give kids the best possible opportunities in life, it's crucial to begin the positive impact as soon as possible, which is why, despite their many other faults, the 1997-2010 Labour government did a great job in setting up Sure Start.

Despite the overwhelming evidence that Sure Start is extremely beneficial to kids' prospects, the Tories have slashed it to pieces since 2010, resulting in 500+ closures, and once again, the worst cuts have been reserved for the most disadvantaged areas.

5. Free School meals

Anyone who claims to care about the prospects of working class kids wouldn't hesitate for a second over providing free school meals during a global pandemic, because there's mountains of evidence that well-fed kids concentrate better and get better grades, while starving hungry and malnourished kids often fail to live up to their academic potential.

But we've all seen how the Tory government repeatedly voted against providing free school meals during the coronavirus pandemic, and had to be shamed into action by the footballer Marcus Rashford, on more than one occasion.

6. Social security cuts

Since 2010 the Tory government has implemented round after round of savage social security cuts. It hardly takes a genius to understand that policies like slashing working tax credits and cutting entitlement to child tax credits and child benefit would end up having profoundly negative consequences for children in the poorest families.

But there's just something in the Tory mentality that gives them a perverse sense of pleasure at the idea of punishing the poor for their poverty, and ensuring that their kids grow up even poorer too.

7. Adult education cuts

Since 2010 the Tories have relentlessly attacked adult education spending, even though any sane government would be investing in adult education in order to ensure that the economy has a skilled and flexible workforce, and so that workers have the means and ability to retrain should they lose their jobs.

The Tories clearly don't want a modern, flexible, highly-skilled workforce, they want to minimise retraining opportunities, and ensure working class people who lose their jobs end up languishing in exploitative low-pay gig economy jobs, working for capitalist mega-corporations, because their retraining options are so severely limited.

And to make things even worse, despite all of his cheery rhetoric about investment and upskilling, Johnson's government is pressing ahead with yet another round of cuts to adult education spending.

8. Wage repression

After the Tories came to power in 2010 they imposed the longest sustained period of wage repression since records began

There's basically no better strategy to erode the prospects of working class kids, than to spend the best part of a decade systematically eroding the real value of their parents' wages, and ensuring that when these kids do eventually enter the workforce, they'll be earning less in real terms than those who were entering the workforce a decade previously!

9. School privatisation

Since 2010 the Tories have been overseeing an extraordinary programme of school privatisation in England, to such an extent that 75% of English secondary schools are now controlled by private profiteering pseudo-charities called "Academy Chains" (many of them owned and operated by major Tory party donors).

These profiteers aren't allowed to leech profits out of the education system in shareholder dividends because of their so-called charitable status, but there are loads of other ways of soaking cash out of our kids' education budgets into private pockets, not least vastly inflated six figure salaries for profiteering academy chain directors and their cronies, and endless tides of massive untendered supply contracts handed out to their friends and family.

If you think that the existence of the term "white privilege" has more to do with working class academic under-achievement than this widespread looting of education budgets by Tory party donors and assorted other spivs and profiteers, there's something seriously wrong with the way you're looking at the world.

10. Soaring child poverty

Several of the aforementioned issues, like social security cuts and Tory wage repression have combined to drive half a million more kids into poverty over the last five years, with a shocking 75% of all the kids in poverty, now living in a household where at least one adult works.

It's utterly obscene for the Tories to pretend that they give a damn about working class kids, when their own policies have resulted in hundreds of thousands more kids growing up in dire poverty, and literally millions of kids learning the very early life lesson that 'work doesn't pay', because they see their parents struggling in destitution, despite having jobs.

11. Classism

Britain has one of the most rigid and persistent class hierarchies in the world. The wealthy privately-educated 7% minority are vastly over-represented in politics, corporate media, the judiciary, corporate boardrooms, and the top-paying public service jobs.

Two of our last three Prime Ministers went to the exact same elitist private school, which charges vastly more than the average annual salary in yearly fees.

People still use ludicrous anachronistic terms like lord, baroness, and sir in all seriousness, and we've still got unelected hereditary peers in the House of Lords for pity's sake.

The evidence shows that people from working class backgrounds, with regional accents, are routinely paid thousands of pounds per year less than the posh, for doing exactly the same work.

And the current Prime Minister is a hateful elitist, who used incredibly derogatory language to attack working class children as "ill-raised, ignorant, aggressive, and illegitimate" in a disgusting tirade in which he also derided working class men as "drunk, criminal, aimless, feckless, and hopeless".

Is it any wonder at all that society is geared to fail working class kids, when we insist on picking sneering elitists like Johnson to run the show?

Conclusion

If you look at their actual track record in government, it's obvious that the Tories have been conducting class warfare against the working class. 

They've slashed education budgets, handed control of schools to a bunch of sleazy profiteers, gutted youth services, ruined sure start, smashed the adult education system to pieces, and imposed rip-off unpayable student debts.

Beyond their outright vandalism of the social ladder, to make it so much harder for working class kids to escape poverty, they've also been actively making the poverty worse with their twin agenda of wage repression and social security cuts.

And these Tory vermin think that they can just hide this dreadful and downright malicious track record behind a smokescreen of vapid and divisive culture war bollocks about the term "white privilege".

The reason they think they can get away with pushing this absolute gibberish is that they're confident that the majority of the lower orders (as they see us) have been leaving the education system with such under-developed critical thinking skills, that we won't even notice that we're being duped into blaming "woke teachers" or whatever, rather than the powerful elitists who actually run the country, and are obviously to blame.


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48 comments:

Anonymous said...

But their parents are still Gammons for voting Brexit, aren't they Thomas?

Anonymous said...

"So here are eleven things that are infinitely more damaging to the prospects of working class kids than the existence of the term "white privilege".

At least he's willing to confirm that the concept of "White Privilege" is damaging.

Anonymous said...

Christ, another scathing review of the current Tory Government. I wonder if the answer to all our problems is ... Socialism?

Didn't see that coming.

Unknown said...

Damaging to whom?... asserting that "white privilege" doesn't exist is like asserting that"class privilege doesn't exist... working class kids don't benefit significantly from "white privilege" 'cos the "class privilege"trump's it... still a real thing tho.

Anonymous said...

@Unknown

Prove white Privilege exits in the UK.

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Anonymous said...

@Unknown

Telling white working class kids that underperform non-white working class kids they've got white privilege ... isn't damaging?

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap*

Oh Icarus, lest you fly to close to the sun.

Vivien Markham said...

The class system is here to stay inder this Tory governmemt Boris Johnson is a true blue Tory despite all his appeal to a lot of working class Tories. Don't forget he drscribed the white working class as work shy scum and black people as having water melon smiles. Muslim women who wear the hajib as looking like letter boxes and criminals. Boris Johnson only cares about the super rich and his ilk. The dysyem is geared to suit people like him and he rest of the country can have the system says they can have jobs, education whatever. Some people might do better but too many or the crap jobs won't get done.

Anonymous said...

@Vivien Markham

I mean if by true blue you mean; Wedded to corporate interest due to decades of cross party (both Labour and Cons) lobbying then yeah - but somehow I get the feeling you're going to start sounding the rallying call to abolish capitalism.

Vivien Markham said...

I am not against capitalism at all or private profit but it seems to me that the those least able to bear it have shouldered the burden of the pandemic for example the disabled and those in low paid jobs. Why did the Tory government gladly give millions to chums for dodgy PPE but had to dragged kicking and screaming to give 15.00 food vouchers to poor school children last year whdn the schools were closed last year? Or workers who lost their jobs with the promise of 500.00 from local councils they didn't get?

Anonymous said...

"I am not against capitalism at all or private profit"
Uh huh, but you want to have the government control stuff like power, food, the internet. Y'know, have them print off billions in bonds to nationalise them, for a few hundred million in assets a year and cause massive inflation for everyone don't you? I mean we can only hope that if such a fanciful economic approach were enacted the government would play completely fair and not repeatedly bail out each sector with tax payers money and ... more bonds: *Cough* France *Cough*.


" but it seems to me that the those least able to bear it have shouldered the burden of the pandemic for example the disabled and those in low paid jobs." No, we all have. It fucked the economy, caused massive inflation and put us in a position of authoritarianism. Something the opposition party argued for more of.

Why did the Tory government gladly give millions to chums for dodgy PPE but had to dragged kicking and screaming to give 15.00 food vouchers to poor school children last year whdn the schools were closed last year?" Er ... lobbyist interests as I stated before mate, the same one's Labour have.

"Or workers who lost their jobs with the promise of 500.00 from local councils they didn't get?" They've gone on furlough and Universal Credit and they'll be stuck on the latter for an age because, again; Lockdowns ruin an economy.

I hope there's something coherent from you in terms of a point but I suspect it's going to be: Labour would have done better organising the economy then the Torys under Corbyn.

Anonymous said...

@ Vivien Markham

Do you understand how Government Lobby's work?

Anonymous said...

Another Angry Voice and his various socialist, communist, anarchist, whatever followers spend the best part of ten years demonising the working class for such things as voting Brexit, protesting grooming gangs or even, heaven forfend; not voting for socialism and now's as good as time as any to defend them?

You'd almost think relentless memes about peoples inability to spell and calling them Gammons or racist shite like saying we've all got white privilege would serve as a rallying cry for us to join a trade union. Except anyone with a relative over fifty five is going to remember the Winter of Discontent so there's that.

Wankers the lot of you.

Anonymous said...

Best part of 10 years? The brexit vote was only 5 years ago.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah and trade union membership has been increasing since 2016 too.

Anonymous said...

@Anon:

Well done mate, it was indeed five years ago. The lead up to it and the other things I mentioned in my post: Ten years. Nice to see how you've ignored every other point tho, lol.

@Anon

Trade Unions? You mean the 200, 000 increase in the public sector after the 100,000 decrease from the private sector? That's not exactly a rallying call for socialism, especially after the Labour party has now embraced it's neo-liberal/con roots ... Not to mention the Northern Independence party doing worse then Ukip up north. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Trade union membership has increased from 6.2 million in 2016 to 6.6 million in 2020. It has increased in the public sector and decreased in the private sector last year because of the pandemic. But I don't see what difference it makes whether they're public or private, union membership is going up.

Demographigics are shifting. Retired people voted more in favour of brexit and the Tories, working age people the opposite. Many former industrial, left behind towns have aging populations as younger people leave to find work in the city. That's market forces for you.

And while I believe it's counterproductive to insult the electorate I have seen plenty of insults the other way such as remoaner, not to mention the bile and hatred spewed towards those people (many of them working class) who voted for Corbyn in 2017.

Anonymous said...

@Anon

Just to recap my points:
-The electorate have clearly said no to UK socialism.
--AAV has done nothing but demonise the working class in his blogs from the last ten years.

Your response;

-Slight increase in trade Unions membership.
-People have insulted me by calling me a remoaner.
-Voting statics for Brexit. Which obviously ignored the results of the 2019 election.

None of this has anything to do with my initial points.




Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

"And while I believe it's counterproductive to insult the electorate I have seen plenty of insults the other way such as remoaner, not to mention the bile and hatred spewed towards those people (many of them working class) who voted for Corbyn in 2017."

You mean the one's who voted Tory in 2019 as well mate?

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous

"Demographigics are shifting." Not really.

"Retired people voted more in favour of brexit and the Tories, working age people the opposite." Actually it swings toward voting tory from 40+ and up, just check out the ol yougov on that one:
https://yougov.co.uk/topics/politics/articles-reports/2019/12/17/how-britain-voted-2019-general-election

"Many former industrial, left behind towns have aging populations as younger people leave to find work in the city. That's market forces for you." C'mon now man, you're just trying to sound intellectual. "market forces". Brilliant mate, you've just described a whole load of nothing.

I guess the only options to bring back Socialism eh?


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Anonymous said...

"It means that in a still-racist society there are advantages to being white.

White people are obviously less likely to suffer institutional racism like being harassed by the police or denied painkillers when seriously ill; we're less likely to have our CVs immediately thrown in the bin for having non-white sounding names; and we don't have to face disgusting examples of inter-personal racism like the majority of non-white people have experienced in their lifetimes."

---

This statement is part of the huge package of "why I'll never vote Labour".

You say "white people", but what you mean is "English / Scottish / Welsh people".

Try applying for a job when your name is Pawel or Krzysztof and see how far your CV gets. Where's the white privilege?

Talk to your mum on the phone (and pay extra for it, cause hey, it's international) and get stabbed - see Arkadiusz Jóźwik's murder in Harlow because some teenagers didn't like his language - and his family couldn't speak English. White privilege right there.

Just through hoops to get any sort of assistance - and I don't mean universal credit, I mean a GP appointment because first you have to prove that you've got the right to be here (even when you do). I have to show my passport to prove that I'm British every single time I apply for a job. I'll bet you don't - assuming that you ever had a job. White privilege.

Be demonised simply because you happened to be born elsewhere - see Brexit, where Eastern Europeans (99.9% of which are white) have been blamed for everything. Lack of infrastructure? Eastern Europeans. Lack of school places? Eastern Europeans! If a flood happened somewhere in Lancaster, it would no doubt be due to the sheer weight of the Eastern Europeans causing the island to sink. White privilege!

Millions of Europeans being threatened all throughout the Brexit process, before and after the referendum, being used as bargaining chips at best, being told they'll be ok to stay, but not really, hundreds of thousands of them being uprooted, nobody knows how many of them have been deported or how many kids have been abused in school and told to fuck off and go back "home" when they're born here. Nobody else, nothing else even comes close. Not even Windrush. White privilege!

Call the police when someone breaks into your car and be treated as the #1 suspect. Happened to me. Oh and they weren't white. Because, you know, your accent sounds funny. White privilege!

It's just my opinion that you (and the likes of you) are fucking disgusting, "mate". You talk about "white privilege" and "racism" and you don't know shit about white people. Only English people are white to you. The rest of us don't even exist.

Anonymous said...

..so yes, regarding my comment (the one at 17:54), there is an ongoing culture war.

On one side, there are people like you who are trying to play races and classes against each other. On the other side there are people like me who see right through your bullshit. We may not call you out every time you do it, but rest assured we'll be seeing you at the voting booth to teach you a thing or two about our white privilege.

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Anonymous said...

@anonymous

Wow, I've no idea if you'll see this comment as it's been some time but well done for the most unhinged, racist rant I've seen in quiet some time. As you've provided no evidence to your ramblings and merely fantasised then proclaimed "White Privilege!" at the end I'll counter with evidence and leave it at that:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/52890363

"So, over the last 10 years, a white individual who has been arrested was about 25% more likely to die in custody than a black individual who had been arrested."

There's a ton of other data I'm willing to spar with you over, but honestly do you think the above statistic is pertinent to you emotional outburst?

Just a couple of other points:
-Europeans have been offered the green card before the Brexit deadline by Mays government, it's now policy. Your ravings about them being used as a bargaining chip, etc; unfounded.
-I you're not a British citizen you need to show I.D: It prevents illegal immigrants from doing jobs. You also have to show your I.D for any number of other jobs, especially those requiring a DBS. It's standard practice; not prejudice towards you.
-"Talk to your mum on the phone (and pay extra for it, cause hey, it's international)" That's how international tariffs work. If my family emigrate to Australia its the same. It costs more money to link the call abroad. It s a long way away. It's not prejudice towards you.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous

"-"and get stabbed - see Arkadiusz Jóźwik's murder in Harlow because some teenagers didn't like his language - and his family couldn't speak English. White privilege right there." This one really gives an example of how you're drowning in your own egotism and prejudices; an individuals actions are not representative of their race. There are plenty of machete attacks by individuals towards the police, this does not mean yo should assume the colour of those individuals skin is representative of an entire race; because that's racism. Something you're mired in.
-"It's just my opinion that you (and the likes of you) are fucking disgusting, "mate"."
I' not surprised you find the fact that I was born this way disgusting at this point.
"You talk about "white privilege" and "racism" and you don't know shit about white people."
I never said I did. I've never at any point proclaimed my knowledge of an entire race and what I assume they are like because of their skin colour. Unlike you.
" Only English people are white to you. The rest of us don't even exist." Wow. Firstly: No. Second; fuck you.
Only English people are white to you. The rest of us don't even exist.

Anonymous said...

@anonymous

"so yes, regarding my comment (the one at 17:54), there is an ongoing culture war." No, just a bitter, prejudice individual spouting hate anonymously. You're nothing new.

"On one side, there are people like you who are trying to play races and classes against each other." Lol, you LITERALLY just stated; "Only English people are white to you. The rest of us don't even exist." Making up what I think and making up a phantom racist for your own aims. Oh Icarus, lest you fly to close to the sun.

"On the other side there are people like me who see right through your bullshit. We may not call you out every time you do it, but rest assured we'll be seeing you at the voting booth to teach you a thing or two about our white privilege." You'll be voting Labour then?

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