Every time I see this, it shatters my heart into pieces.
oh hey there, classism! what a surprise to see you hanging around
you know what I see when I see this image; the idea that being poor makes you a bad parent. the idea that being stressed makes you a bad parent! being fat makes you a bad parent!
it’s also a good example of the ongoing erasure of poor, stressed, conventionally unattractive queer parents. It’s rather like all those posts about how it’s so sad that gay people can’t get married when dumb teenage whores can have as many kids as they want! as if there are no queer parents who were formerly in heterosexual relationships, or who became pregnant/fathered kids as teenagers, or who depend on welfare, or who are otherwise indistinguishable from out stereotypes of inappropriate parents. Nope, gay parents are well-dressed, well-educated, affluent, white, almost always male and cisgendered, and their carefully planned children are their well-behaved clones. Progressive!
Ugh images like this and the attitudes about parenting (or let’s be honest, mothering—there’s a reason the bad trashy mom is the parent they decided to put front and center, and the noble middle-class martyr couple are two men and not two women) are like a slap in the face to me every time
I don’t care what point you’re trying to make (because it’s not like this attitude shows up only in relation to same-sex couples raising children, that’s just one of many places people like to pull this shit), if this is how you decide to make it, go fuck yourself
and you can see it how the artist has chose to (gasp!) expose her bra! and make her fat, and conventionally unattractive, and screaming!
and lol I just noticed that the paper says “adoption request”. Do people really think low-income homes are able to easily adopt children? The major circumstance under which that occurs when they’re adopting underaged relatives whose parents have lost custody (and who would otherwise go to foster care), and that’s a completely different situation, in terms of both the process and public perception, from adopting an unrelated child via an adoption agency.
Reblogging for fantastic commentary.
"A white college student from a private college goes into a poor neighborhood and volunteers four hours a week and that’s considered exemplary. [Whereas] a poor kid who lives in that community and takes care of all the kids in that neighborhood four hours every day is not seen as a volunteer."
Patricia Hill Collins (via ellomaria)
Ha this is so relevant to people at my college who win “service awards” for tutoring a child a few hours a week versus people who live and work in those communities who don’t win them(via wretchedoftheearth)
but it’s not the free ride people think it is.
community service is required, job search is required, for some services, a JOB is required. unless you have a proven disability, there’s no way out of it, and if you’re like some people, you may not have ever even sought help for yourself except at the bottom of a bottle. you might have been in denial about needing help at all, and so when the time came to check the box that asks “are you or anyone in your household disabled?” you’d check “no,” and you’d be stuck with a pittance of a check until they realized you couldn’t do the things they ask you to do. and then you’re cut off.
and for those who can fufill the requirements, it’s not so bad. but even then, let’s be honest, the welfare system asks a lot of people who are asking for help.
how much money do you have. do you have a car. how old is the car, what’s its BB value. how many people in your household. are they pregnant, if so, how far along. who’s the father, where’s he live, no, we need a name so we can get all his info, too. that way we can collect child support for you. you’ll only get $50 of that, but at least he’ll be paying. yeah, i know, he’ll probably be paying closer to $600. you still get $50.
oh, yeah, we need SScards for everyone, k? birth certs, too. mailing address? can you prove it? copy of your lease. statement from your landlord. do you pay electricity? gas? phone? prove it. nope, open the bills when you bring them, doesn’t matter if we can see the date and address on the outside, we need to know how much electric and gas you use. never mind why, that’s not important. do you have bank statements. no no, we need a statement to show your banking activity.
how much cash do you have on hand? how much? $200? okay that’s fine, but that brings you over the acceptable amount of cash and bank accounts, you have to get rid of that. spend it. bring receipts to show what you spent it on.
then you have to sell your car. can’t have you driving around. if you really needed help, you would be willing to sell that. we’re looking for complete desperation here, you’re not really fitting the description. what do you mean you need that car? driving kids to school? looking for jobs? pfft, if you can do that, you don’t need us. nope, sell it. wait, you have a 401k? saving for retirement? if you have retirement money, you have assets. your application is void until that money is gone. ooh, an IRA? look at you trying to be fiscally responsible, that’s so cute. nope. close it. i know there’s a penalty. we don’t care. close it. oh, and bring some receipts, would you? we need to know you actually spent that money and that you’re not just sitting on it.
yup, every penny.
and once you do that, we’ll get back to you in 30-90 days.
yeah. everyone wants to go through that every six months. it’s fun and enjoyable, you see?
and then standing in line to buy anything. ANYTHING. lots of stores accept the EBT card for transactions these days, and they don’t just deposit food stamps anymore, your cash benefits go on there, too.
you damn sure can walk into Popeye’s and use your EBT card to get a 3pc. McDonald’s? yeah, some of them. and if that’s what you want, what you can afford, go ahead, do the damn thing! but hide it, cover the card with your hand when you swipe it. people will be over your shoulder to make sure that’s not what you used, because obviously anyone who has food stamps should be eating at the soup kitchen. and everyone in line behind you is judging you, some of them not even silently.
never hang too long near the steak when paying with EBT benefits. obviously shouldn’t be buying that. never mind that your oldest son just graduated college and is coming home. oh, your middle daughter is turning 16? no cake and ice cream for her. in fact, you should be in the Approved Welfare Foods aisle. don’t leave that area until the cart is full. anything else in there will be subject to inspection by every other customer, employee and manager in the store to make sure you aren’t wasting taxpayer dollars on healthy foods, so they can look down your noses at you if you are.
i see you, over there taking the bus. it’s only 7 stops, you should be walking. you don’t have money for that. oh, it’s your last pocket change? okay then. just make sure it’s some crumpled, over-folded bills and some change that you can drop, so that everyone can see how destitute you really are.
wait, didn’t you say you sold your car? what are you driving? sure, you say it’s a friend’s car. your mom’s car? why didn’t you just go live with her? i’m sure she could squeeze your 5 person family into her 2 bedroom apartment, you should get on that, otherwise, you can’t possibly need assistance.
um, excuse me, how come your child appears to be wearing Nikes? shouldn’t she have some Airwalk from Payless on her feet? how can you afford that! Dooney & Burke bag? Gucci sneakers? better head to Target and grab those Converse One Stars and a Merona purse. it was a gift? please, no one gave you that for Christmas, you’re a liar, you don’t need help. besides, it’s already February, that stuff should look worn down by now, but it’s so clean! you’re so clean! i thought for sure you’d be like, conserving soap or something. and you had time to get you and your daughter’s hair done, too. and hey, where are the little ones? i know you had some… NEGLECT! wait what? how can you afford day care? after school programs? this is unconscionable. i don’t know where this comes from, but i’m reporting you for fraud.
that is what that welfare life is like. that’s what it’s actually like to be on assistance.
no one wants to go through that unless they have to.
"But Conservative think tanks like the Koch Brother-funded Heritage Foundation work hard at dividing America by demonizing the poor. Last year, they postulated there really isn’t any such thing as a poor person in this country because of the “things” they have. So, I was wondering what ‘things’ the poor had that made them not poor. Turns out it comes down to things like refrigerators, microwaves and coffee pots. Uh huh. Poor people aren’t poor because they can both store and cook the meager food stuffs they have. It would seem that if poor people aren’t spooning cold beans from a can, they’re not poor enough. And televisions. A television is a luxury items. I would think that lady raising three kids on her own is grateful for the presence of a television. If she can’t afford to treat her kids to a night out occasionally, a movie or an amusement park, a few pennies of electricity hardly seems like excess. Not to mention the “new poor” who purchased their televisions when they had jobs. I gave away a television, a VCR and a DVR player to a family last Christmas. Does that mean they are no longer living in poverty? Hardly. And possessing a coffee pot makes you not poor? Did the Heritage Foundation phone that slur in from Starbuck’s?"
I see “poverty envy” all the time. Privileged people honestly believe being poor is fun and easy. “If Obama gets reelected, I’m going to quit my job and live off government entitlements!” Sure you are. Let me know how that works out.
Having a TV, a fridge, and a coffee maker doesn’t mean you aren’t poor. It means you live in an industrialized nation with a consistent power grid (thanks, government!). My apartment came with a fridge included, I won my coffee maker at a wine festival (true story), and my last TV was carted from my in-laws’ spare bedroom. And I’m not even poor! The Heritage Foundation is desperately in need of a reality check.
(via stfuconservatives) What these tanks fail to mention is that with the changing face of modern basic living and the continuing rise of technological infiltration into everyday life, what once seemed like a luxury item is now a basic requirement for existence on this planet. Maybe a refrigerator would be a luxury item…if many of us still had iceboxes in the garage to store our tinned goods in and the iceman came once every two days to refill it. But that technology is obsolete. The refrigerator is the new ‘basic living.’ And my favorite example of the deliberate omission of the new American life concerns internet access and cell phones. Poor people with smartphones become targets. Poor people with computer access become targets. And yet Internet access has become vital to finding jobs and filling out applications both for assistance and work. A cell phone becomes necessary to have contact with potential employers. We’re asked to believe that what was a luxury item in the 1950s is a luxury item in 2012 and that just isn’t true. Not to mention that I am positive that there are people who go without these goods too—part of the upswing in public library usage has to do with public access to internet for people who can no longer afford service…but still live in a world where it is necessary. But this demonization works because people are so fucking desperate to believe in the welfare myths, the hordes of poor people sucking the hard-working rich people dry of their hard-earned dollars so that they can buy cell phones! And coffee pots! And TVs! Oh my! Luxury is your tax break on your millions of dollars. Luxury is your multiple houses while people go without shelter. Luxury is knowing your millions are untouchable. Luxury is not a refrigerator. (via inautumn-inkashmir)
This is why I can’t watch TV news
The news is on the TV and for some reason I didn’t turn to another channel, and CBS aired this completely enraging segment on the poor pitiful white middle class and rising tuition costs.
And I just saw this middle class white woman saying (in reference to the middle class being the “forgotten class), “There are great programs for the poor…” - because she and her husband are paying a lot for their kid’s college tuition and fees.
[Image: A rage face comic face looking unamused with the caption “are you fucking kidding me”]
Seriously? More and more people are falling towards or beneath the poverty line, hunger is a serious issue here in the U.S., I’m reading articles about people who are living in their cars or on the street and can’t get money so they can eat or have clothes and this privileged fuckfaced woman is telling us that there “are great programs for the poor”. Millions are getting sicker and sicker or DYING because they can’t afford to get to the doctor or their meds or what little health care coverage they get isn’t enough.
But you think there are “great programs for the poor”.
Having a welfare and entitlement system doesn’t mean it’s great. And the fact that you don’t know how shitty it is in your own country tells me how privileged you are and that you’ve never had to try to seek help.
I swear to god I thought she was going to talk about everyone but white people getting college scholarships next.
man so I just got back from my grandparents’ place
(it was pretty awesome to just talk in mandarin for like three hours ‘cause I never do that)
my grandma made these pork chops that my brother likes, and she was packing up a couple for me to take home for him
and I was thinking about the whole ~*environmentalism*~ thing
because yes—of course we should conserve resources—of course it’s vital for us to be doing all we can to save our environment
but then I was thinking about how on all those DIY websites and on etsy and in like Real Simple and those other magazines, like—I’ve seen DIY patterns for how to make plastic bag holders and stuff, ‘cause apparently you can reuse plastic bags! what a novel idea!
and then I realized
if you’re white and you take your old t-shirts and make a plastic bag holder to hang in your kitchen, then omfg you’re so environmentally friendly how cool A+ 4u!!! u so hip & trendy omg I wish I could be like you!!!
but if you’re an 82-year-old chinese woman
who pulls a couple of scratched but clean styrofoam plates from the cabinet
and your 82-year-old chinese husband hands you a clean plastic grocery bag from your last shopping trip
and your 21-year-old chinese-american granddaughter slips the pork chops covered in those plates into the plastic bag and ties it off to take home
being cheap-ass asians.
no one’s gonna write up a piece for a magazine about how environmentally friendly you’re being.%www.tumblr.come’s gonna look at the meticulously washed containers (jars from condiments—plastic tubs that used to hold various other foods) and the drawers stuffed full of plastic bags and think, “damn these are some role models for small things you can do around the house to cut down on waste.”
no one’s gonna look at the dinner table and see plates piled high with chicken feet and pig ear and tripe and think, “wow look at that, no part of the animal goes to waste; what role models—if we’re gonna eat meat, we might as well make sure that animal is fully consumed instead of just eating choice cuts and throwing away the rest.”
no one’s gonna see the tiny garden of tomatoes in our backyard, the little apple trees and peach trees that once a year bear fruit that’s not that sweet ‘cause we don’t bother to hardcore garden—no one’s gonna look at that and think, “wow look at that, farming in your own backyard!”
they’re gonna see my aunt and uncle, who have trouble speaking english, who dress in old t-shirts and cheap patterned pants, who take care of the house while my parents are out, and they’re gonna think—
“wow look at these immigrants and their backwater ways”
you know what, we’ve been ~*environmentally friendly*~ our whole lives, and it’s only when we get more and more americanized that we start wasting more. my dad’s recently been developing this giant hard-on for costco, and costco is like—you buy ginormo quantities of everything, ‘cause it’s cheaper, only do you actually ever use that much?
we buy more and we go through electronics faster and all of that because that’s what america’s consumerism has taught us to do.
so you know what—while I may adhere to many principles that environmentally friendly people do (reduce, reuse, recycle, all that good stuff)—I will never identify as environmentalist.
it’s a very white movement. it also like—it gives off imperialist/colonialist vibes to me too, what with people going overseas to ~*preserve the environment*~ elsewhere.
and it’s like—dude if y’all white ppl didn’t have such a boner for environment-destroying industrialization, if y’all white ppl never set that as the standard for ~*progress*~
half these places
wouldn’t even be struggling with their environment in the first place.
and then white ppl are all like ~*oh we have to have renewable energy*~, oh what about biofuel!!
iirc indonesia’s been struggling with its forests and such because people decide to replace the forests with crops that they can grow for ~*environmentally friendly renewable fuel sources*~
“environmentalism” just so often feels like a way for white ppl with extra money to circlejerk themselves into feeling better about the destruction they’ve wreaked.
until you look at my family and see environmentalism instead of cheap-ass asianness
until you look at PoC who ride their bikes to work as environmentalism instead of ~*oh well it’s probably because they have to*~
until you stop being gross about being ~*environmentally friendly*~
I will not identify as environmentalist.
I’m going to attempt to reply without overshadowing anything you’ve said (because I found it 100% right on point esp. with what I’ve seen in the diy/crafts reuse movement); I want to share two photos, and maybe a small story.
[Images: two photos of a collection of shopping bags.]
This is my mom’s bag collection. She has more in my dad’s workroom and in her car. I used to be embarrassed by it when my friends came over, laughing about things like, “omg, your mom is such a bag lady ololo” and I’d just sort of awkwardly stand there… “yeah, sure she is! crazy bag lady, haha”
she’s never bought a plastic bag for any of the garbage cans in the house, nor for the recycling. Her crazy old lady bag collection is precisely for that- to be used later as garbage bags. Sometimes, if she has an exceptionally pretty bag, she’ll use it to hand a gift over to someone, instead of going to Hallmark and shelling over 5 bucks for a decorated paper bag.
My favorite thing is, the shifty looks I’ve gotten from friends and co-workers when I bring lunch in the same styrofoam container, in the same plastic CVS bag that I keep in my desk drawer, drinking tea/coffee from the same plastic cup, and eat with the same disposable utensils for weeks on end (sometimes, I use the same napkin for weeks). Oh, and when I talk about buying things using coupons? OH MAN, THE LOOKS I GET THEN. Hilarious.
I don’t get why all that stuff can’t be considered environmentally friendly either. It’s seen as cheap, or it’s seen as disgusting. In a roundabout way, here’s the story I wanted to tell- several years ago, when I was interviewing my mom about her time living in civil-war-infested Lebanon, she told me the most important thing I think I could have ever learned- “when you have nothing, you learn how to save everything”. You learn how to save oil from cooking and how to clean paper plates. On one hand, the above statement explains why my mom hoards all the free swag she can get (pens, toilet paper, toiletries, napkins, notepads, cups, tea bags, straws), and why she’s reluctant to throw things away. On the other hand, it also explains why she’s been accused of being cheap and tacky. I mean, how dare she reuse shit that you can just throw out, amiright?!?!
When you have nothing, you save everything.
When you have everything, you save nothing.
I grew up using old margarine containers as Tupperware for sending food home with people. No one called that environmentally friendly until white people started doing it too.
The thing that’s gotten me in the solar plexis; is ‘shopping bags’. Everyone these days wants their ‘cloth shopping bags’. Everyone’s so proud to bring their shopping bags to the grocery store. The grocery store will give you a little change back on your bill if you bring your own bags.
I have relatives who’d show up with those peppermint striped shopping bags; and see no point in repacking things in separate plastic bags. And I grew up hearing all this noise about ‘immigrants’ and ‘black people’ and even had those relatives not want me to shop with them, because ‘you’re young, no one needs to see you doing this’. As their way of protecting me from people talking.
From scarification to cloth sanitary napkins to herbal supplements and toothpaste to bags, to sewing your own clothes - NOTHING is ‘good’, until white people do it and focus it through themselves like an effing prism to ‘remove color’.
"Among other arguments made during the hearing were that the parents couldn’t legally obtain a driver’s license to take the children to the 75 appointments they average in a month; they are unable to understand fully the children’s medication needs and their medical conditions; and they lack help to care for the children, especially if both work. The children’s appointments include visits to doctors’ offices and horse and speech therapy. In the end Blaylock sided with the state. “It is the sad truth that neither of these parents will ever be able to meet the extreme special needs of these five children on a day-to-day basis,” she said. “They certainly love their children, but the children have not resided with them for three years. Debbi has never resided with them. The children are in need of, and deserving of, a permanent home.” MOUNTING COSTS Because the children are U.S. citizens, they qualify for services including Medicaid, which in Georgia includes nonemergency medical transportation services and home health care, according to its website. The children also need special beds with padding at a cost of about $8,000 each, which the foster parents got through the state program Babies Can’t Wait. The foster parents receive about $7,500 monthly — $90,000 per year — to care for the five children. If they adopt all five children, they will continue to receive financial ass"
do you see the irony here???
birth parents have to work. they don’t make good money, they can’t afford a car…so TAKE THEIR CHILDREN AWAY.
*foster parents* (who want to adopt)—make $90,000 a YEAR *JUST TO TAKE CARE OF THOSE SAME KIDS*.
do you see that??? do you see what classism looks like as it plays out against immigrant communities? do you see how nativism and white supremacy plays out there? we won’t give “illegalz” that same $90,000 dollars to take care of their own kids. becuz they’re illegalz. they don’t get benefits for being here in the US.
but US citizens can take those children and raise them—and get $90,000 dollars a year.
This doesn’t even make sense. The parents aren’t abusive or neglectful. They simply don’t have the resources to take care of these children on their own, but rather than giving the resources to the parents, the children are placed in foster care and resources are given to the foster parents. This is absolutely the most absurd thing I’ve read all day.
good job, amurrika.
"My father got sick when I was 22… and I was poor. And my father had an ulcer, and it exploded, and, you know, all these toxins get in your blood - and basically, my father died 50 days after his ulcer. So I had a father get sick while I was poor.
My mother got sick while I was rich. I don’t really wanna get into to it, but my mother was sicker than my father, okay? And my mother’s alive. My mother’s fine, okay?
I remember going to the hospital to see my mother and wondering, was I in the right place? Like, this is a hotel! Like, it had a concierge, man! …If the average person really knew the discrepancy in the healthcare system, there’d be riots in the streets, okay? They would burn this motherfucker down."
Chris Rock, responding to host Bill Maher asking if he ever went to the emergency room as his primary healthcare provider, on Real Time (via cultureofresistance, inothernews) (via reagan-was-a-horrible-president) (via strugglingtobeheard) (via summoner-controller-kel) (via lizardwalk) (via theoceanandthesky) (via squeetothegee) (via glossylalia)
Let’s back up a second here. When did everyone become so bitter? And also, when did this become an issue of race? Because there is a black police officer in the picture? Its incredible the racism that exists on BOTH sides, and that the economy is color blind. It has been BAD FOR EVERYONE, I don’t appreciate it when people say that “Now we’re paying attention because the shit hit the fan for white people.” What’s that supposed to mean? That because I’m white I’ve been immune from financial difficulties up until now, and that even now, I’m not hurting as much as every black, hispanic or asian person in the USA? My WHITE MOTHER was on welfare for 2 years because my abusive father left her with me and my sick brother. We had to live in the worst part of philadelphia while she attended NIGHT SCHOOL so she could work and pay for us just to have shelter and food. And now, as a 20 year old WHITE citizen I live paycheck to paycheck with 30k in student debt for a school i didn’t even graduate from. I have bill collectors calling me already about over due accounts on medical bills for a suicide attempt and forced hospitalization in a facility not of my choosing that was not covered under my insurance. Insurance I almost LOST if it weren’t for the healthcare bill recently passed. So how about we stop bitching about color issues and see that EVERYONE IS HURTING. EVERYONE. And the protests in New York are not about color or race or creed or whatever, it’s about people and how people have mismanaged the wealth in this nation regardless of the color of their skin. So how about we stop doing this race bullshit and treat everyone as equals.
It’s a “race issue” because people like you see nothing wrong with saying shit like this: “We had to live in the worst part of philadelphia.”
What made it the worst part of Philidelphia, hm? How come the problem with that part of the city is that you had to live there? And not the poverty “that part” of Philly had to deal with for decades before you “had to” live there? What about the people there? Why aren’t you indignant about their suffering? No, you’re just mad you had to live with them. And that tells me all I need to know.
PS: “I don’t appreciate it when people say that ‘Now we’re paying attention because the shit hit the fan for white people.’ What’s that supposed to mean? […] that even now, I’m not hurting as much as every black, hispanic or asian person in the USA?” I believe that’s your guilty conscience speaking.
HA! this this THIS FUCKING THIS!
I will pull the racist card because this is overtly racist.
i am so completely sick and tired of everyone complaining about sagging pants as if 1) it is somehow their right to dictate where and how EVERYONE’S pants should be worn, and 2) it’s not just a roundabout way of wishing to have (more) control over black and brown male bodies.
newsflash: it’s none of your business!! no, really, it’s none of your fucking business. how bored are you with life if all you can think about as you walk down the street is how high or low someone’s pants rest and what that says about their status/attitude/activities. if the person isn’t bothering you, get a grip, get a hobby, and GET OVER IT
Yeah fuck this.
I get in arguements about this. People don’t have the right to tell others how to dress ever but for some reason (racism) this particular style of dress pisses people off. I mean I hate turtlenecks and crocs but I don’t rant about it and put up signs meant to demonize the people who wear them.
An Open Letter to David Cameron’s Parents
Dear Mr and Mrs Cameron
Why did you never take the time to teach your child basic morality?
As a young man, he was in a gang that regularly smashed up private property. We know that you were absent parents who left your child to be brought up by a school rather than taking responsibility for his behaviour yourselves. The fact that he became a delinquent with no sense of respect for the property of others can only reflect that fact that you are terrible, lazy human beings who failed even in teaching your children the difference between right and wrong. I can only assume that his contempt for the small business owners of Oxford is indicative of his wider values.
Even worse, your neglect led him to fall in with a bad crowd.
There’s Michael Gove, whose wet-lipped rage was palpable on Newsnight last night. This is the Michael Gove who confused one of his houses with another of his houses in order to avail himself of £7,000 of the taxpayers’ money to which he was not entitled (or £13,000, depending on which house you think was which).
Or Hazel Blears, who was interviewed in full bristling peahen mode for almost all of last night. She once forgot which house she lived in, and benefited to the tune of £18,000. At the time she said it would take her reputation years to recover. Unfortunately not.
But, of course, this is different. This is just understandable confusion over the rules of how many houses you are meant to have as an MP. This doesn’t show the naked greed of people stealing plasma tellies.
Unless you’re Gerald Kaufman, who broke parliamentary rules to get £8,000 worth of 40-inch, flat screen, Bang and Olufsen TV out of the taxpayer.
Or Ed Vaizey, who got £2,000 in antique furniture ‘delivered to the wrong address’. Which is fortunate, because had that been the address they were intended for, that would have been fraud.
Or Jeremy Hunt, who broke the rules to the tune of almost £20,000 on one property and £2,000 on another. But it’s all right, because he agreed to pay half of the money back. Not the full amount, it would be absurd to expect him to pay back the entire sum that he took and to which he was not entitled. No, we’ll settle for half. And, as in any other field, what might have been considered embezzlement of £22,000 is overlooked. We know, after all, that David Cameron likes to give people second chances.
Fortunately, we have the Met Police to look after us. We’ll ignore the fact that two of its senior officers have had to resign in the last six weeks amid suspicions of widespread corruption within the force.
We’ll ignore Andy Hayman, who went for champagne dinners with those he was meant to be investigating, and then joined the company on leaving the Met.
Of course, Mr and Mrs Cameron, your son is right. There are parts of society that are not just broken, they are sick. Riddled with disease from top to bottom.
Just let me be clear about this (It’s a good phrase, Mr and Mrs Cameron, and one I looted from every sentence your son utters, just as he looted it from Tony Blair), I am not justifying or minimising in any way what has been done by the looters over the last few nights. What I am doing, however, is expressing shock and dismay that your son and his friends feel themselves in any way to be guardians of morality in this country.
Can they really, as 650 people who have shown themselves to be venal pygmies, moral dwarves at every opportunity over the last 20 years, bleat at others about ‘criminality’. Those who decided that when they broke the rules (the rules they themselves set) they, on the whole wouldn’t face the consequences of their actions?
Are they really surprised that this country’s culture is swamped in greed, in the acquisition of material things, in a lust for consumer goods of the most base kind? Really?
Let’s have a think back: cash-for-questions; Bernie Ecclestone; cash-for-access; Mandelson’s mortgage; the Hinduja passports; Blunkett’s alleged insider trading (and, by the way, when someone has had to resign in disgrace twice can we stop having them on television as a commentator, please?); the meetings on the yachts of oligarchs; the drafting of the Digital Economy Act with Lucian Grange; Byers’, Hewitt’s & Hoon’s desperation to prostitute themselves and their positions; the fact that Andrew Lansley (in charge of NHS reforms) has a wife who gives lobbying advice to the very companies hoping to benefit from the NHS reforms. And that list didn’t even take me very long to think of.
Our politicians are for sale and they do not care who knows it.
Oh yes, and then there’s the expenses thing. Widescale abuse of the very systems they designed, almost all of them grasping what they could while they remained MPs, to build their nest egg for the future at the public’s expense. They even now whine on Twitter about having their expenses claims for getting back to Parliament while much of the country is on fire subject to any examination. True public servants.
The last few days have revealed some truths, and some heartening truths. The fact that the #riotcleanup crews had organised themselves before David Cameron even made time for a public statement is heartening. The fact that local communities came together to keep their neighbourhoods safe when the police failed is heartening. The fact that there were peace vigils being organised (even as the police tried to dissuade people) is heartening.
There is hope for this country. But we must stop looking upwards for it. The politicians are the ones leading the charge into the gutter.
David Cameron was entirely right when he said: “It is a complete lack of responsibility in parts of our society, people allowed to think that the world owes them something, that their rights outweigh their responsibilities, and that their actions do not have consequences.”
He was more right than he knew.
And I blame the parents.
[Picture: Background: 8 piece pie style color split with red and teal alternating. Foreground: White guy with glasses and light shadow wearing a sweat shirt over a button down and short black hair. Has a smug, arrogant facial expression and crossed arms.
Top text: “ I understand the troubles of the working class ” Bottom text: “ I’ve seen Roseanne”