Posts Tagged ‘untermenschen’

Next Stop Ducking Stool

August 18, 2010

I must confess I am afraid. I went with my neighbour Nobby for our usual trip to Costa Coffee Shop. I ordered my usual mocha freshcato (primo), a drink that I am convinced contains about two hundred million calories. The only newspapers in the rack were The Daily Mail and The Express. Both had scream-out-loud headlines about benefit scroungers.  Lately, the right wing press have been getting their jollies by excoriating benefit claimants and it feels like a witch hunt.  Their efforts to whip up the masses into a frenzy of hatred against benefit claimants appear to be working if the comments section of The Daily Mail online is to be believed.  Everyone hates The Daily Express so only a couple of people have bothered commenting there.

Today, both The Mail and The Express are aiming their vitriol at those who claim incapacity benefit.  It is alleged that approximately 900,000 people have been wrongly awarded this benefit.  Note that they do not use the word ‘fraud’ but it is not so subtly implied.

Now, as I understand it, in the past few years new and stricter rules have been introduced in order to make it more difficult, and in some cases, impossible to claim incapacity benefit.  Those who claimed before this point, under the old rules, acted in good faith and cannot be said to be defrauding the system.  It would be illogical, not to mention hideously unfair, to accuse them of this.

Here’s a useful analogy: take a sports game of two halves.  If the players adhered to rules enforced in the first half which were then changed in the second half, it would be unfair to retrospectively penalise these players for failing to follow the newly introduced rules in the first half.  This is, in effect, what these two tabloid ‘newspapers’ are doing to benefit claimants.

I am becoming afraid of my own species, paralysed  by terror.

Because this feels personal.

Ich Bin Ein Untermensch Too

February 18, 2010

Seaneen over at mentallyinteresting.org.uk. 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

20090402_1309wilson_w

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.

Little Chav Brats

January 4, 2009

 Little Chav Brats

I bought my mother an electronic photo frame for Christmas. She unearthed an avalanche of old photographs. The photo above depicts my brother and I, aged nine and three, in the garden of our grandparents’ council house.  The neighbourhood consisted of  ‘streets of ugly 1930s red-brick semis‘.  And no, it’s not in Dewsbury.  They were however similar to the house that my parents spent most of their working lives struggling to buy.  Oh, Mrs Thatcher, you never told us that in your utopia, in your ‘home owning democracy’, you would still be despised if you didn’t own the ‘right’ kind of house. Respectable working class people.  Respectable but most certainly never respected.  Thou shalt not suffer little chav brats to live.

Just an afterthought: the Catholic working classes deter their brats from promiscuity by telling them that God is watching and, if he sees them behaving inappropriately, they’ll roast in the fires of hell for eternity.  Of course, in the long term, this tactic results in some seriously fucked up people but, in the short term, it is highly effective.

Say it loud and say it proud: ich bin ein untermensch.

Finally, oops there goes the neighbourhood.

P.S.  The times they are a changing: illustrated here and here.

‘Little Shannon’

December 5, 2008

The mood and temper of the public in regard to the treatment of crime and criminals is one of the most unfailing tests of the civilization of any country…an unfailing faith that there is a treasure if only you can find it, in the heart of every man – these are the symbols which in the treatment of crime and criminals mark and measure the stored-up strength of a nation, and are the sign and proof of the living virtue in it.

Winston Churchill to the House of Commons, July 1910

 ‘…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).

Auschwitz, the Nazis and the Final Solution, Laurence Rees

The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.

Ecclesiastes  1:9

Shannon’s mother, the now infamous Karen Matthews is, according to Detective Superintendent Andy Brennan pure evil‘.  If this is so then what does that make this man (Peter Tobin)?  His story barely registered on my radar simply because it was not front page news and my patience with the mainstream media is almost at an end.  If the mainstream media coverage reflects the severity of a crime then that would make Ms. Matthews more evil than Mr. Tobin.  Feckless, inarticulate and not exactly over-endowed with brains she may be but ‘pure evil’?  In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think so.  She sucks at being evil and is, at this very moment, awaiting a rejection letter from hell.  Satan himself wrote: “Evil?  We’ve got Hitler, we’ve got Pol Pot, we’ve got Stalin.  Sorry, love, but your name ain’t down here so you’re not coming in.’

Superintendent. Brennan also (most unwisely in my opinion) stated his belief that if the police hadn’t found Shannon and arrested Michael Donavon when they did then she may have been murdered.  There appears to be no concrete evidence to support this, only speculation.  One has to wonder why, if this is true, Mr. Donovan was never charged with attempted murder.  This:  ‘Little Shannon Matthews may have been just minutes from being murdered when she was rescued, senior detectives revealed last night. They believe Michael Donovan was poised to kill her and flee when officers burst into the flat’ sounds like pure conjecture to me. ‘ Supt Andy Brennan, who led the massive hunt for the youngster said: “I am convinced Donovan was planning to take Shannon’s  life rather than face justice.’ ‘

I am not defending the actions of Ms. Matthews.  I condemn them unequivocally.  I also believe that her treatment at the hands of the mainstream media is, in comparison to the treatment of offenders who have committed similar crimes, somewhat disproportionate.  And I have a feeling her sentence will be too.

As for ‘Little Shannon’, she will probably wind up in care or spending what is left of her childhood in the custody of a seemingly endless stream of foster parents.  Until she is sixteen, that is, and the media lose interest in her and the cycle starts all over again.  Or maybe she’ll get the support she needs, compete school and even end up at university before embarking upon a high flying career.  In a parallel universe perhaps, one in which things actually make sense.

Predictably, this case is being used as a stick with which to beat the so-called ‘underclass’ and, even more predictably, it’s being used as a stick with which to beat new Mainstream Media Enemy No. 1: social workers.  No surprises there then.

You Want Collective Guilt?

November 23, 2008

Gravity Is Nothing to Me

Swandive
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?

A Product of My Paranoia?

October 10, 2008

What I about to write is so sickeningly cynical that I am reluctant to commit it to print. But it is something I simply have to articulate. I am compelled to. I just hope it’s not true. I hope it’s just a product of my own paranoia.

A couple of weeks ago I submitted a post entitled ‘A Conversation With a Friend’ in which I explored the unfavourable treatment received by those who have the misfortune to be diagnosed with any form of personality disorder. I had dealt with this issue on numerous occasions in my diary (the pen and ink variety). I came across an entry in which I described how a friend of mind had a ‘psychotic breakdown’ in her second year at university. She was hospitalised, sectioned and forcibly medicated. She tells me that, on one occasion, a senior male nurse sat on her while another nurse went to fetch the needle. The section was eventually rescinded and she returned to college. In spite of several relapses she managed to graduate. She resented the way she was treated in hospital but conceded that it may have been necessary. A few months after she graduated, as a result of her condition, she was allocated a housing association flat. Then, suddenly and inexplicably, all local authority support was withdrawn. She was told that she was no longer entitled to a community psychiatric nurse or even a twice yearly visit to a consultant psychiatrist. When she demanded and got access to her notes she found out why. She had been rediagosed. She was no longer ‘psychotic’, she now suffered from a personality disorder known as schizotypal personality disorder and, as this was untreatable, she was no longer entitled to any support. She had, overnight, become a member of a group regarded by the psychiatric profession as nothing short of untermenschen.

Since then I have come across many similar cases. These people have the same problems they have always had, the same low self esteem, the same despair, the same social exclusion but all the support that had hitherto helped them to cope with this is withdrawn. A diagnosis of ‘personality disorder’ supersedes any other diagnosis you have ever been given. At the stroke of a pen, at the click of a mouse, public expenditure on the mentally ill has been reduced. Now that’s what I call genius.

These people may well be ‘untreatable’ but I just don’t see how this makes them any less deserving of sympathy, if not empathy. If someone has a physical disorder that is considered untreatable they are not belittled, they are not scorned, they are not viewed as outcasts and, even if they do not receive ‘treatment’, they still receive ‘support’.

I have been told that ‘mental illness’ and ‘personality disorders’ are separate categories and require very different approaches. If this is so then why call them ‘disorders’ at all? Just chalk their problems up to plain old fashioned character defects but I guess if they did that then psychiatrists would have to section the entire human race, including themselves.

Some Bloke Called….

July 21, 2008

…James Purnell is getting tough on benefit claimants (a.k.a: ‘untermenschen’) in an effort to win the votes of Mail On Sunday readers.  He singles out drug addicts for ‘special treatment’.  They will be ‘punished’ if they do not attend rehabilitation programmes.  He read PPE at Oxford. So he’s been there then.  ‘I know the bottom, he says. I know it with my great tap root: It is what you fear. I do not fear it: I have been there.’  Heroin addicts are currently weaned off their drug of choice with a substitute called ‘methadone’.  I can think of a more effective treatment: a cocktail of phenobarbitol and an anti-emetic.  A single dose will be all that is necessary and they will sleep the deepest sleep of all.

Mr Purnell, here’s a clue
No matter what you say
No matter what you do
Those Daily Mail Readers
Will never vote for you
So turn and watch the few
Who still believed in you
Walk away, saying, ‘Et tu’.

This could be the realization of a revolutionary’s wet dream. The bloodier the better, I say.

Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like whisper
Don’t you know
They’re talkin’ about a revolution
It sounds like whisper

While they’re standing in the welfare lines
Crying at the doorsteps of those armies of salvation
Wasting time in the unemployment lines
Sitting around waiting for a promotion

Poor people gonna rise up
And get their share
Poor people gonna rise up
And take what’s theirs

And finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution. Hold on.
Yes, finally the tables are starting to turn
Talkin’ ’bout a revolution. Hold on.

Rest assured that if you declare war on me I will defend myself. By any means necessary.


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