Posts Tagged ‘underclass’

Birmingham Halls of Residence

May 5, 2014

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Yet Another Repost

August 16, 2011

I came across this observation in Auschwitz, the Nazis and the Final Solution (Laurence Rees) (I am assuming familiarity with the context): ‘…the individuals who sat at the table at the Wannsee conference were salaried functionaries from one of Europe’s great nations, not back-street terrorists, though their crimes were to be greater than any conventional ‘criminal’ act in the history of the world. Equally instructive, when some still refer to an ill-educated ‘criminal underclass’, is that of the fifteen people around the table eight had academic doctorates.’ (My italics).


October 24, 2010

We were drawn together
Inhabitants of the underbelly
Of this great city. We witness
And perpetrate cruelty
In all its forms. Eyes narrowed
We look back once again
The stench assaults the senses
It is a silent death threat
We gather to confess
To a multitude of addictions
Withdrawal sets in

You sing of sweeter times
To me, the woman with no name
And no shame. We are
The afflicted and the powerless,
Estranged from the world
We have fallen through the cracks
Hands numbed, shivering,
In tumbledown shacks
It is a desolate scene
And the language we utter
Is quite obscene

Ich Bin Ein Untermensch Too

February 18, 2010

Seaneen over at launches a ferocious and passionate and eloquent attack on this article in The Daily Mail. And every missile hits its target. I see parallels between the treatment of the underclass and the treatment of the mentally ill.

They do not follow the rules.  They do not obey instructions.  They are weak, they are feckless, they are helpless.  Their very presence corrupts society.  The industrious middle class readers of The Daily Mail are the most hostile towards them.  It is not that they lack imagination.  It is not that they are devoid of empathy.  Far from it.  They possess those qualities in abundance.  They understand more than they want to.

The underclass and the mentally ill represent devastation.  Lives laid to waste by some invisible force over which they have no control.  Those Daily Mail commenters are afraid because one day they know it could happen to them.  Like aerial bombardment.  No one knows who the missiles will hit next.  But they will never acknowledge that.  Not in a million years.

A Burden on the Parish

August 1, 2009


I had to reread this article in The Daily Mail to establish whether or not it is satirical a la Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal. It is not. The fine specimen of the master race pictured above uses the extreme example of Theresa Winters, a woman who in her relatively short life has given birth to thirteen children all of whom were taken into care, to justify eugenics. He takes pains to emphasize that this is not what he is advocating. Methinks the gentleman doth protest too much.  He is more candid about his views in this article in The Telegraph:

“Eugenics, as advocated by kindly figures such as its pioneer, Sir Francis Galton, or its most eloquent exponent, Dean Inge, was simply the notion that the useful and intelligent classes should be allowed, indeed encouraged, to breed, and the murderous morons, who are never going to contribute anything except misery to themselves and others should be discouraged. No one need be killed.”

The article in The Daily Mail is replete with inconsistencies much like Wilson’s own life – he has oscillated between atheism and faith in God for most of his adult life and has pontificated endlessly about this in various right wing newspapers.  Indeed that is what he appears to do in this article.  It is the very embodiment of cognitive dissonance.

‘Human life is not for playing with. Human beings, each and every one of us, are of unique and equal value. And, as I will explain, it is precisely because I share this view that I believe women such as Theresa Winters should be sterilised.”

He then reduces each ‘unique and valuable’ human being to their economic worth and their worldly success.

‘If we pay for these children from the moment of their conception and through their whole lives – of being taken into care, through their early convictions for petty crime, through drug and drink problems, through healthcare and eventually to sickness and old-age benefits, state-funded housing and hospitalisation – why on earth should we not ask ourselves whether we wish to foot the bill?’

He also uses this case as a stick with which to beat benefit claimants. He does not seem to realize that if her children do not reside with her then Ms. Winters is unlikely to receive benefits on their behalf.  He also seems to be unaware of the fact that if these children had been taken from their mother from birth or before the age of two then it is highly likely that they would have been adopted.  By a loving, caring and probably middle class family.

The views expressed in this article are so repugnant that even the average Daily Mail reader would find them hard to stomach. The children AN Wilson refers to may also be future cannon fodder in wars started and sustained by their social superiors.  I wonder if that thought has occurred to him. ‘You are a burden on the parish’ Mr Bumble said to the eponymous protagonist of Oliver Twist.  It appears that little has changed.

Addendum: : Just noticed this: ‘As a society, we already accept abortion on demand, we already experiment on human embryos and we are on the verge of legalising suicide.’ This intellectual colossus is so dim that he isn’t even aware that it is not suicide that the law forbids but assisting a suicide. Didn’t they teach you basic research techniques at New College, Oxford? Or even how to make use of your minions (aka PhD students.) I’m sure your alma mater is very proud of you.

You Want Collective Guilt?

November 23, 2008

Gravity Is Nothing to Me

Ani Difranco

I’m cradling the softest, warmest part of you in my hands 
Feels like a little baby bird 
Fallen from the nest
I think that your body is something I understand
I think that I’m happy
I think that I’m blessed

But I’ve had a lack of inhibition
I’ve had a loss of perspective
I’ve had a little bit to drink 
And it’s making me think 
That I can jump ship and swim 
That the ocean will hold me
That there’s got to be more
Than this boat I’m in

They can call me crazy if I fail
All the chance that I need is one-in-a-million, 
And they can call me brilliant if I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me
I’m moving at the speed of sound
I’m just gonna to get my feet wet until I drown

I teeter between tired 
And really, really tired 
I’m wiped and I’m wired
But I guess that’s just as well
Cuz I’ve built my own empire 
Out of car tires and chicken wire 
And now I’m queen of my own compost heap 
And I’m getting used to the smell

I’ve had a lack of information
I’ve had a little revelation 
I’m climbing up on the railing 
Trying not to look down
I’m going to do my best swan dive 
In the shark-infested waters
I’m gonna pull out my tailfin 
And start splashing around

Because I don’t care if they eat me alive
I’ve got better things to do than survive

I’ve got the memory of your warm skin in my hands
And I’ve got a vision of blue sky and dry land

I’m cradling the hardest, heaviest part of me in my hands 
The ship is pitching and heaving
Our limbs are bobbing and weaving 
I think this is something I understand
I just need a couple vaccinations
For my far-away vacation
I’m going to go ahead and go boldly 
Cuz a little bird told me 
That jumping is easy
That falling is fun 
Right up until you hit the sidewalk
Shivering and stunned

They can call me crazy if I fail 
All the chance that I need is one-in-a-million
And they can call me brilliant if I succeed
Gravity is nothing to me 
I’m moving at the speed of sound
I’m just gonna get my feet wet until I drown

Underclass?  Why don’t you people use the word untermenschen because you know that is exactly what you mean?  And Mr Littlejohn, why don’t you tell us exactly what you do that is so essential to the survival of humanity? The existence of untermenschen doesn’t make you an ubermensch. And this is going to sound a little petty but who the fuck are you to call someone a ‘ghastly-looking woman’?  I suggest you purchase a mirror  but I can promise you that you won’t like what you see staring back at you.  

By the way, I know a war veteran who’d really, really like to meet you. He inhabits a ‘scruffy council garret’. I’d like to see you telling this 92 year old gentleman who fought in North Africa and Sicily and has lived in council accommodation since the ’50s just how ‘worthless’ you think he is. Go on, I dare you.  (Posted to the Daily Mail but will never be published on their site.)  He utterly despises Mr Littlejohn mainly because of the disparaging comments he made about the servicemen and woman taken hostage by the Iranians in 2007: ‘The international image of Britain as Churchillian bulldog has for ever been replaced by this bunch of hapless stooges grinning and waving for the cameras like [game show] contestants . . . I don’t blame the unfortunate human ingredients in this pawn cocktail. They were only obeying orders — which, ludicrously, amount to ‘surrender first and apologise later’.  When did he ever serve his country?  Nobby says he could have found a use for him during the war – cleaning up the Sergeants’ Mess. In short, he thinks Mr. Littlejohn is (to use his favourite epithet) ‘scum’. And I can’t help but agree. ‘Scum’ is an apt description of someone who acquired a criminal record for brawling outside a nightclub and then has the audacity to lecture those who dwell in ‘scruffy council garrets’ on morality. It is, quite simply, criminal.

And could someone please, please tell me why it is that members of the so-called ‘underclass’ are expected to be permanent ambassadors for their class and yet members of the elite are not.  Examples of the behaviour of the latter include this charming gentleman who shot his wife and daughter before setting his home alight and shooting himself  (I hope to God the two women were dead before the flames reached them because that’s a seriously nasty way to die*) and this lady who, while inebriated and driving, killed two innocent bystanders. Then, of course, there is Scott Peterson, respectable and middle class, who murdered his wife and unborn child and has been sentenced to death in the US. Why should guilt by association be confined to the ‘underclass’?  And nary a word of condemnation from the crusading journalists of The Sun and the Daily Mail. They seem to expect a higher standard of behaviour from those they deem inferior than they do from those they deem superior and that, to me, seems ever so slightly illogical.

When Nobby leaves the planet, I’m leaving too.

*See what I just did there?

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