Reflections on #FucktheTories

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Photo credit to Oscar Webb

To those who are arguing that people don’t have a right to protest against a government that was “democratically” voted in: Yes we do. This is a government which is waging war on the poor, the homeless, the disabled, immigrants, students, single mums and the unemployed, with devastating consequences. If you think that a party who was voted in by 24% of the electorate should somehow be untouchable to criticism, then you seriously need to reconsider what the hell you think democracy is. Not to mention the fact that some of society’s most vulnerable (e.g many people without citizen status) aren’t even allowed to vote. We need to abolish this ridiculous attitude that the sum total of democracy is a broken, unfair and exclusive voting system, which is headed up by an elitist group of predominantly white men. Representative democracy? Give me a fucking break.

To those who are arguing that high levels of anger are “unnecessary” and an “overreaction”: Fuck you. Do not belittle people’s genuine despair and fear at the general election result. This isn’t just people being mildly annoyed that a party they don’t like won, this is people publically and vocally saying that they cannot and will not take 5 more years of this life-destroying shit. This is people terrified at their future prospects and that of their children. Of course people are fucking angry. We’re talking about a party that has literally driven people to suicide through their brutal cuts to public services. And you want people to calm down? We live in the sixth richest country in the world, yet hundreds of thousands of people can’t even afford to feed themselves. There were 66 active foodbanks when the coalition came to power, and there are now 421. Homelessness has gone up by over 50% in the last 5 years. That’s right; one of the richest countries in the world has thousands of citizens who are starving and/or have nowhere to live. If that doesn’t make you angry, why the fuck not?

To those of you arguing that direct action and protesting “makes no difference”: This is just painfully incorrect. Pretty much no social movement in history has been successful without some form of direct action. To just focus on one relevant example, it was the hugely confrontational poll tax riots of 1990 which played a fundamental role in the demise of Thatcher and her brutal attacks on the working class. These tactics are effective, whether you like it or not. Why do you think politicians are so scared of direct action? Why do you think the new Government is looking, as quickly as possible, to implement a Snooper’s Charter which will require internet and mobile phone companies to keep records of customers’ browsing activity, social media use, emails, voice calls, online gaming and text messages for a year? This insidious idea that the only way people can legitimately strive for change is by spending the next 5 years quietly persuading others to vote differently in the next general election is the worst kind of liberal bullshit. It’s also a really fucking privileged thing to say when there are so many people whose lives will genuinely be in danger over the next 5 years. If you think that our current system of “democracy” will ever adhere to the voices of the people without being forced to by mass collective action, it’s time to wake up.

To those of you who are furious about the “Women of World War II” graffiti: Yes, one person did this, and the vast majority of protesters in no way supported it. But using this act to vilify an entire movement is ignorant and simplistic, and a dirty tactic being used by the Tory-controlled right wing media to draw attention away from the point of yesterday’s protests. Surprise fucking surprise. It’s also absolutely laughable that Tories are crawling out from all corners of social media to condemn this act in the strongest possible terms, claiming that it’s “disrespectful to the women of the past”. Such indignation coming from Tories, who support a party which is inherently anti-woman, is sickening. From a Prime Minister who openly mocks women in the House of Commons, to cuts of 30% to support services for domestic and sexual violence survivors, not to mention the fact that austerity in general disproportionately affects women and particularly single mothers. I’m pretty sure that the women of World War II would have something to say about that. So self-righteous Tories, pipe the fuck down – you don’t have a leg to stand on when it comes to defending women. Furthermore, (and I can’t believe how many times I have had to reiterate this in the last few months), if you’re more angry about someone spray painting on a memorial, than people being physically brutalised by the police, you need to sort your fucking priorities out. If you think that respecting the dead is more important than respecting the living, what do you stand for?

To those who are dismissing yesterday’s protests as nothing more than a “one-off kneejerk reaction”: Sorry, but you’re wrong. Society’s most vulnerable are at breaking point, and this anger and desperation (as history has shown) is certain to manifest itself in the streets as inequality rises and the Tory cuts keep on coming. What we saw yesterday was a new-found sense of fearlessness among protesters, and the Government hadn’t even been in power for 48 hours. Protesters demonstrated what community and solidarity really looks like, as individuals were forcibly freed from arrest and lines of riot police kettling protesters were forced to retreat. The road ahead is by no means easy, and will undoubtedly be full of state violence and repression, but after yesterday, the government will be expecting resistance – let them quake in their shit. Now is not the time for mourning; it’s time for organising. No to 5 more years of austerity, inequality and oppression. Tory scum, here we come. traf-sq1

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36 thoughts on “Reflections on #FucktheTories

  1. shame for all those people who werent so angry they wanted to take direct action, and who only wanted to march peacefully, in what was supposed to be a peaceful protest. if people want to take direct action it shouldnt effect those who do not. there is no right and wrong, apart from the fact direct violent action has now branded many of the peaceful protesters as fringe extremists, a point that has been brought up on people assemblies own page about the event in the comments – how to stop radical elements doing something like this and ruining it for everyone (http://www.thepeoplesassembly.org.uk/stop_the_tory_coup#addreaction)

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  2. This won”t go down well, but I’ve really got to disagree with this post.

    First of all our voting system isn’t perfect, but we voted for it in 2011. We had a choice of going for AV but the country decided against it and we stuck with FPTP. Seen as the people decided the system of voting they were going to use only 4 years ago, your argument that democracy is broken doesn’t really hold up. One of the reasons I’m proud to be British is that our voting system is probably the most democratic in the world.

    I’m not a Tory and I agree with a lot of what you say about how they’ve negatively affected people’s lives, but the people have made their voice heard and voted them in. Deal with it. It’s fine to have protests about the policies, but when war memorials are spray painted, smoke bombs are thrown and police are attacked (I was there – it was not a peaceful protest) nothing constructive happens. The protests didn’t advance the argument against austerity or contribute to the debate, they just tarnished the left wing by giving it the same old image of angry, reactionary thugs.

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  3. you know some people get alienated if you say things like f*** the Tories. There are other ways of saying things powerfully. Swearing every other word conveys the fact that you are angry, but a lot of people see “fuck the Tories” and won’t get any further than the title. That said I agree 100% with this sentiment towards this current vandalistic regime.

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  4. The problem is, that your understanding and respect for the other side can seemingly summarized by “Tory scum, here we come.”, and not much more, and this, in my eyes does lots of demage to your image and credibility. You only pick the actions of the Tories you can interpret and label as bad, ignoring any other detail – like that he apologized for that bad joke in the Commons, or that there are more women in the Commons and the new Goverment than before. You say “24% of the electorate”, obviously playing with the numbers, and not 36.9% of people who actually cared to vote. I bet, if you were talking about a party more in line with your views, you’d use the bigger figure. Lame. Farage has the same problem with the voting system… (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/article-3075982/DOMINIC-LAWSON-Sorry-Mr-Farage-voting-unfair-DOES-work.html) Anyway, there is sense in what you are saying, and your criticism is valid sometimes, in my view too, but by presenting it in a so obvioulsy biased way, your cridibility will only stand within a small circle of your supporters.

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  5. Just a few questions I have on this passionate message; would hugely appreciate some clarification, and/or a little open discourse on these issues, as I am myself undecided.

    1. I worry for the safety of people involved in these violent protests. With the human trauma both for frustrated disenfranchised voters, and the poor policemen being thrust into such an emotionally and violently charged atmosphere as their day job. Is violent protest the best way to get a message across?

    2. Was it really just 24% of voters that gave the Tories a majority? The figures I’m reading put them at 32% with a little over 11 million votes out of a 31 million electorate ?

    3. Is there any separation for you between 1. Democracy and 2. the electoral system of first past the post ? For me democracy encompasses far more than the current voting system, we are all guaranteed fundamental rights and freedoms under democracy, ironically those you engage to question it, can you fairly consider the two as synonymous and condemn democracy in the UK as ‘broken and unfair’ ?

    4. Of course I think we all agree that help should be provided to people who genuinely need it, but do you agree that the inflation of a welfare state is merely a short term answer ? I believe that ideally everyone should have the opportunity to feed and house themselves by virtue of their own hard work, not be perpetuated by an unsustainable framework of benefits.

    5. How exactly does ‘austerity in general disproportionately affect women’ ?

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    • 1. If you worry for their safety, tell that to the Met. I saw it; people were violently tackled to the ground for TRYING TO LEAVE. They sent in the truncheon-thugs in on people for doing nothing more than chanting. The Tories can wash out any dissent in the right wing press; but- and read the fucking post by the way- direct action is much more difficult for millionaires with soft hands, expensive shoes and no grassroots presence to deal with.
      2. 24% of the electorate. Turnout was bad.
      3. Read the fucking post (I could preface every point with that but won’t). When you don’t own a fuck-off massive printing-press with corporations lining up begging for an advertising slot, getting your point across is more difficult. The sense above is very clear that the author means PARLIAMENTARY democracy is ‘broken and unfair’; and- fuck it; this is as good as stated up there- we need to ‘abolish this ridiculous attitude’ that the first-past-the-post system is democracy. Democracy doesn’t mean sitting back and taking the shit for five years until you make a frantic decision a week before polling day. That was the post says. No-one’s saying abolish democracy; don’t make difficulties where there are none.
      4. Tell that to the profiteers. They don’t work. Don’t glorify wage labour; especially the kind you’ll get just off the dole: doing useless grunt work without employment protections- they’ve worked out ways around them now, what a triumph for pro-business types and ‘working people’!- and selling your soul day in, day out without security, a wage that lets you enjoy life or working conditions good enough to let you to fight off the tears. And the Tories trying to get people who can barely work into work through *ahem* ‘incentives’ is nothing more than an attempt to starve them out; since they’re forcing people who CAN’T work to work in this way, that’s deciding it’s cheaper to starve them than keep them.
      5. If you haven’t heard this before I have no idea how you’ve found yourself in the misty backwaters of the anti-austerity internet. I see you’ve missed out ‘and particularly single mothers’, which would have given you a pretty stiff idea what it all means. We live in a patriarchal society. That means that the bulk of what support the welfare state that’s coughing up blood at the moment provides goes to women. Women are more likely going to be the ones left with a kid on their own to look after. Also, when your bloke’s aggressively insisted he’s the breadwinner you don’t have much of an independent income. Then there’s the fucking obvious issue of the pay gap- women are paid less, and since everyone’s pay’s floundering at the moment, they suffer without support. I could go on; but if you wanted to know you could just Google ‘austerity affects women’ and I imagine you’d find out enough- if you cared.

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      • I fear this is a classic case of someone firmly entrenched in their views… A few even handed rebuttals:

        1. I think we can all agree that in the heat of these emotional and physically charged protests, we cannot place sole blame on the police trying to restore order, they fear for their safety just as much as citizens.

        2. 24% of the electorate (registered) 36% of people who actually bothered to vote, I think we all feel this is a cheap spin on the figures

        3. But parliamentary democracy seems to be working just fine, we get laws through, we have some degree of flexibility in our constitution, I just feel that we should be aware that the first past the post voting system is not indicative of an entire political system, and in fact the public actually voted for it in 2011.

        4. If a job is not working for you, why is the first avenue of reproach to demand a better one? why don’t you get up off your arse and make provision for yourself and your future, the jobs are out there

        5. So you’re saying women get more support from welfare benefits? I’m sorry but slapping labels of patriarchal societies and wage gaps simply is not indicative of the overall picture, women are treated as equals in this country by law.

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    • Hi David,

      Please read the replies, the numbers correlate to your points.

      1) The protest against the election was not violent. There was a minority group, official count states 1 person held on suspicion of assault and 14 others bailed on civil disorder (this could be continually shaking the barrier), who decided on violence. The majority of the people at these events are peaceful and wish for everyone else to act in such manner as well. There are a few videos circulating that show the police making the first move as the protesters were marching away and then a kettle began to happen. These tactics force protesters to lash out as instinct, the content of the videos show material which would have scared the protesters and that fear for their safety would have caused some to lash out.

      While I don’t condone violent action I have seen this first hand where a peaceful protest has had members turn to violence when the police, literally, start forcing us into corners.

      2) The votes for Tories was 36% with 66% turnout meaning roughly 46 million voters (see the BBC website)

      3) Democracy means different things to different people. The Tories need less votes per MP than any other party, some parties needing nearly 113 times more votes per MP than the Tories. This, in my eyes, is not a fair justification. With only 36% of the votes going to the Tories it leaves 74% of the electorate who didn’t vote for them, is it then fair to say the Tories have a majority vote when the majority didn’t vote for them?

      4) That is a good point. If you look at foodbanks and other agencies dedicated to helping they only hand out short term help as they do not wish dependence on the hand-out. While the cuts are happening Government help and scheme target those most in risk who then fall out the specific audience by falling into harsher poverty due to these cuts. The amount of sanctions has increased for those on benefits, how can someone help themselves when they are facing eviction, homelessness, starvation and not even being able to clothe themselves? I also feel like shows such as benefit street do nothing to help, with rising stigmas and stereotypes does it make it any easier to help yourself when those you are dependent on (managers, employers etc) only see you as a label and statistic as ‘on benefits’ or ‘low to none work experience’?

      5) I really can’t answer this one for you. It may be because the office jobs, which are more female occupied, are under threat from cuts to businesses whereas construction and manual work, predominately male occupied. is starting to recover? There are 101 and one argument for and against this point and 60 million different views on the matter. I would suggest doing some research and making your own conclusion on this.

      Hope these points answer your questions.

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      • I’d like to reply too. I’m not a frequent commenter so I’m not sure if this’ll get to you, David, directly, but we can hope.
        First off, I’d point out that what I wrote was a response; so it’s structured according to what you had to say and what I think are the issues that mean the points you raised aren’t unsolvable problems with the article. As for your prefatory remark, to have a view is to have a view. That’s a tautology; it’s not helpful.
        1. ‘Restore order’- the job description of the police at a protest does not entail violently shutting it down. And the situation I was talking about occurred well away from any violence- even really from any activity. The police were lined up twenty feet away from the crowd who weren’t paying any attention to them; the ONLY thing they were doing was attempting to stop people from leaving. A friend of mine really needed to get out so we were over there being herded in when someone who tried to escape was tackled to the ground. I shudder to think what the police were doing in the thick of it. I’m not denying the existence of protestors- only saying that protesting isn’t an instigation of violence and the police are fully complicit in starting it.
        2. You asked where the figure came from. And 36% doesn’t look that great either; does it?
        3. Again, you said democracy is more than voting. I agree. I was drawing attention to that view in the article; and saying that protest has an important role to play in a real democracy.
        4. No there aren’t. Underemployment and poor conditions are rife. Know anything about employment protection? Zero-hours contracts? (They’re practically a cliché!) Being forced to work as ‘self-employed’?- even in the affluent south. Also, that was the subsidiary point- that work isn’t great and doesn’t guarantee a fair reward. What I was really worried about was the- literally- fatal effect of sanctions on people genuinely unable to work.
        5. Yes: I am. The law has been laughably ineffective in enforcing that. Again, a little research goes a long way.

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      • ‘denying the existence of *violent* protestors’ is what I mean. Shouldn’t have thought that coffee left me alert enough not to need to proofread.

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      • Hi Sam, are you the author of this article by chance?

        I appreciate the open dialogue, as I do feel there is a massive shift to the left in the wake of this election, and I really find it difficult to respect minority protests like this; shouting and screaming, labelling 11 million + tory voters as ‘scum’ is rude, arrogant, and profoundly un-democratic.

        1. You must agree the police have an incredibly difficult job in circumstances like this, I wonder how many of them voted tory given the austerity cuts to police forces across the country? Yet they do their duty and try to maintain order, police protocol for demonstrations like this is to isolate the group, you must understand that it would be incredibly impractical and difficult to assess person by person who is a risk to the peace / has the potential to incite violence, it is plain to see that some ( in the minority) amongst that crowd did have those intentions.

        2. I agree 36% is not ideal, but this is indicative of the wider problem with first past the post voting. I just find it difficult to listen to ‘informed’ ‘politically engaged’ protesters having such an issue with a one third ‘majority’ when Labour came to power in 2005 with the same proportion of the vote (36%) Where on earth were all these outraged electoral purists then??

        3. Protest has a role to play, but in this modern day and age where there are opportunities for citizens to run and make real changes to the system from the inside; why would you? all it seems to have done on this occasion is characterise the new left of labour and liberal ideals as childish, sore losers.

        4. I understand your point, but I feel that there is something of an unfair amalgamation of those actually in need of assistance and work, and those who are happy to subsist on benefits, zero hours contracts etc. Its a topic that is almost taboo to discuss now that they have become such buzzwords in the lead up to this election, but what is stopping these people from getting another job? As I say, i think very few in modern Britain see the inflation of the welfare state as an answer to these problems.

        5. Well obviously in such a vast beaurocratic machine there are always those who fall through the cracks, no system is perfect, but; from my own experience as a training solicitor in manchester, sex discrimination cases at work are nearly always justly set right, E.U. laws on discriminatory practices now give people in the U.K. rights to be paid and treated equally on grounds of sex, and I see every day these rights being enforced in U.K. courts.

        We have our own child support agencies in place to support single mothers, as well as provision to order payments from fathers, I just feel that rhetoric about women being unfairly treated within austerity is another branch of the anti bourgoisie, leftist argument against a ‘ruling class’ – It is indicative of people who would rather the rich be poorer so they may feel better off rather than raising the threshold of a whole social group

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  6. If every member of the butthurt, self-righteous anti-Tory brigade was really that utterly concerned, “compassionate” and morally superior to everyone else then why don’t you get off your arses and actually go and do something to make a difference? Go and volunteer, donate your own money, help the homeless and disabled. Stop wasting your time blaming the government and tory-voters for “ruining” the country. Stop wasting your time with useless protests, wasting police time. You go on about there being a drain on services, then you go and deliberately drain those services?! There could’ve been people in real need in London today, but because of the police being present at your “oh-so morally superior” protest, those people were left in danger.

    With the amount of support for the protest alone, all of that manpower and energy could’ve easily been channelled into raising money for a charity, or actually directly helping the people that you’re professing to be concerned about. But you won’t, because that’s the leftist mentality; blame it on someone else. Every tory voter I know is happy to keep themselves to themselves and just get on with life. Shit happens, if you don’t like it, deal with it or go and make a difference yourself, the power of the people is more than the government. There is nothing stopping you writing a cheque and sending it to someone. Sometimes I feel that Labour supporters are the selfish ones, using their alliance to profess to have the moral high-ground and brand everyone else as “evil”. Protesting is the lazy-man’s way of saying “I’m making a difference”.

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    • As far as we’re concerned, people shouldn’t have to rely on foodbanks or donations. This is a question of the right to dignity and a decent subsistence- solidarity not charity. Although I can say that on our campus (RHUL) we are running a collection and fundraiser for the local foodbank, if you leave it at that you let them get away with bleeding dry the welfare state while folks like yourself lambast people who are terrified of that. Charity is not security; and we cannot let it take the place of the right to life because the government doesn’t give a shit if we starve. Also, don’t assume that everyone you talk to who cares about it is in a position to donate anything. A fucking sizeable proportion of people on these protests are the ones having their living standards lacerated; what do you expect them to do? Going along to these protests is about aiding them in THEIR struggle.

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      • Hi Sam, are you the author of this article by chance?

        I appreciate the open dialogue, as I do feel there is a massive shift to the left in the wake of this election, and I really find it difficult to respect minority protests like this; shouting and screaming, labelling 11 million + tory voters as ‘scum’ is rude, arrogant, and profoundly un-democratic.

        1. You must agree the police have an incredibly difficult job in circumstances like this, I wonder how many of them voted tory given the austerity cuts to police forces across the country? Yet they do their duty and try to maintain order, police protocol for demonstrations like this is to isolate the group, you must understand that it would be incredibly impractical and difficult to assess person by person who is a risk to the peace / has the potential to incite violence, it is plain to see that some ( in the minority) amongst that crowd did have those intentions.

        2. I agree 36% is not ideal, but this is indicative of the wider problem with first past the post voting. I just find it difficult to listen to ‘informed’ ‘politically engaged’ protesters having such an issue with a one third ‘majority’ when Labour came to power in 2005 with the same proportion of the vote (36%) Where on earth were all these outraged electoral purists then??

        3. Protest has a role to play, but in this modern day and age where there are opportunities for citizens to run and make real changes to the system from the inside; why would you? all it seems to have done on this occasion is characterise the new left of labour and liberal ideals as childish, sore losers.

        4. I understand your point, but I feel that there is something of an unfair amalgamation of those actually in need of assistance and work, and those who are happy to subsist on benefits, zero hours contracts etc. Its a topic that is almost taboo to discuss now that they have become such buzzwords in the lead up to this election, but what is stopping these people from getting another job? As I say, i think very few in modern Britain see the inflation of the welfare state as an answer to these problems.

        5. Well obviously in such a vast beaurocratic machine there are always those who fall through the cracks, no system is perfect, but; from my own experience as a training solicitor in manchester, sex discrimination cases at work are nearly always justly set right, E.U. laws on discriminatory practices now give people in the U.K. rights to be paid and treated equally on grounds of sex, and I see every day these rights being enforced in U.K. courts.

        We have our own child support agencies in place to support single mothers, as well as provision to order payments from fathers, I just feel that rhetoric about women being unfairly treated within austerity is another branch of the anti bourgoisie, leftist argument against a ‘ruling class’ – It is indicative of people who would rather the rich be poorer so they may feel better off rather than raising the threshold of a whole social group

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      • Im not familiar with this site, but I really hope the author can see this and maybe debate some of these points as the more you read this article the more vile, opinionated and hypocritical it seems

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  7. 1. I can’t agree with that, no. Every protest I’ve been to in London- including the overwhelmingly good-humoured NCAFC Free Ed march last November- I’ve seen the police stir things up unprovoked.
    2. For one I’m no enthusiastic Labourite and second I was ten in 2005 if your asking where I was. But that’s just me; there are a lot of stories to tell. One thing I could point out is that the anti-tuition fees movement didn’t have all that much time to cut their teeth before the Tories got back in; so students were quieter certainly. The rest I’d hazard could be a good modern politics dissertation. That’s not important though; this wasn’t a protest against an undemocratic outcome in a general election but about the devastating effects of austerity. It would have happened if the Tories got 60% of the vote. But here’s me thinking that people going out and getting their voices heard is democratic. Perhaps that’s just me…
    3. Because not everyone can run for office. Party bureaucracies can also get pretty nasty and nepotistic. You don’t have to be a full time politico to want- and have a right- to get involved. Also if I were to think about the REAL political changes, I’d see that as a sick joke. Extension of the franchise had the Chartists and the Suffragists. The Ten Hours’ bill, repeal of the Combination Acts, and even the Welfare State came right out of the union movement. I could go on.
    4. We’ve dealt with two issues here so I’ll split it in two.
    (a) Since unemployment exploded after the crash, I think now’s a funny time to say ‘look at all this unemployment; feckless bastards! A little collateral damage is certainly worth getting this lot back to work’. Most of state welfare spending goes towards pensions and topping up the appalling wages some people get. The rest is a question of priorities. Unemployment benefit isn’t a big state expenditure; but if you’re willing to let people starve to get it down, that’s your call. I’m not- and will fight it.
    (b)The absolute lack of jobs with fairer conditions; especially after the crash. That’s what’s stopping people. The increase in the employment figures masks a huge amount of underemployment and a very real degradation of conditions across the board. It’s not that people *happen* to be in bad jobs. After the crash people were forced onto dodgy contracts- my dad’s supposedly ‘self-employed’ for one- or fired then taken on to positions poorer conditions. This happened to a lot of people. If it were as easy as ‘get another job’- a completely facile suggestion when the word ’employer’ makes it clear that the waged worker can’t magically conjure up their own employment- there wouldn’t have been such a problem for everybody. The recession would have gone unnoticed. If these jobs are hidden, tell everybody where. Again, the main issue here- if we want to keep on the topic of why this protest is going on and why it expresses a real grievance I feel needs to be expressed- is that people often aren’t paid enough in work to live off if they are employed. ‘Get a job!’ is not a solution to austerity.
    5. ‘Sex discrimination’ is different from systematic oppression. We still have a social milieu that oppresses women; people expect different things of women- different jobs, child-rearing housekeeping etc. And in professional areas especially there can be funny-business with job-titles and pay-bracket promotions that have men and women doing the same job for different pay. The different position women are expected to occupy in society does not go away with effectively targeted liberal legislation as much as I’d like it to- and the imbalance in what having kids means isn’t an aberration or outlier we can conveniently forget. We’d be putting our fingers in our ears for doctrine’s sake if we didn’t note that cutting welfare cuts support from under the feet of women more than it does men.
    Also, don’t mix sycophantic shit like ‘I appreciate the open dialogue’ with insults against the author. Pick one.

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    • haha you can always tell how stressed a keyboard warrior is by how antique his language becomes; lets keep it legible:

      1. If you can’t put the police on an even humanitarian ground and agree that they do an incredibly difficult job in these situations, even where they may sympathise with the protesters, then we have no base to continue the discussion any further.

      2. I assumed we were talking concepts here not personal excuses. I simply pose the question of the timing of this moral outrage; if electoral reform has been such an injustice for so long why has it come to a head now as the conservatives come to power in a majority government ? Why not when Brown’s Labour government came to power with the same majority ? Why did these people not register their displeasure in the vote on the first past the post system in 2011 ?

      – And I’m sure most right thinking people in the UK would think that an angry mob going out to write off 11 million voters as ‘tory scum’ and throw their toys out of the pram because their party they did not win is profoundly UN-democratic

      3. Not true, although there is a £500 fee to submit an application, presumably to discourage people standing out of frivolity, anyone over 18 with British citizenship may stand as an independent candidate. I personally think that a well run campaign that engages with people and what they care about would do far more for a cause than tarring the legitimate frustration and disenfranchisement of these protesters with the brush of anti-democratic yobbery.

      4. I’m still on just the one issue; that I and many others believe that the inflation of a welfare state is not the right way to go about high levels of unemployed people and poverty. Now we can do all this melodrama about people ‘starving’ or we can tackle the problem; we need to create more opportunities for people not subsidise lifestyles they are obviously so unhappy with.
      – As a side note I agree that unemployment benefit is relatively small, but it is a snip of the picture of benefit culture; housing benefit, child benefit, these things need to be properly assessed and distributed as a last resort, not inflated to subsidise and deepen an economic recession.

      People seem to forget that austerity is not a social policy invested in out of choice, we have a national debt that costs more than all of the aforementioned welfare budgets combined in interest alone! We HAVE to sort that problem out.

      5. I’m not going to argue with you on society’s perceptions of gender, most right thinking people believe there should be no difference in treatment, there are however few who do not share this view, unfortunately it is a little beyond the mandate of the state to prevent them from holding this opinion. I’m not sure what you want a government to do that it has not already done to address thousands of years of ingrained gender perception, the laws are in place, discrimination is ILLEGAL, for me thats where the state’s mandate stops. – In absence of some particular welfare cut that will adversely affect women more than men, I’m really not sure gender discrimination is a fair angle to challenge austerity.

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    • People seem to be getting confused about this one, so I’ll just step in to clarify: 36% of vote cast, 24% of electorate (that is to say, people who could possibly have voted)

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      • Its a misleading stat to propagate the author’s message – the admins on this site seem happy to let their contributors mislead and spread hateful and unfair messages 🙂

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  8. Stop pretending CAFABs are the majority of victims of IPV or other forms of violence. Once you start using inventories instead of self-classification, the picture, and the gender kyriarchy model it informs, changes dramatically.

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