Saturday, 13 September 2014

Playing at artisans

Amongst the bundle of Saturday papers on the breakfast table this morning there is a supplement from the Guardian this morning called  'Do Something'.

It is a series of articles of things people can try out  over a weekend - write a short story, do archery, or be a silversmith - or a printer. Obviously the last one got my attention.

Am I alone in finding it slightly nauseating that middle class people can now play at things that working class people used to be paid for ?

The same middle class people who in their own working lives as corporate managers and marketing parasites have overseen de-skilling and off-shoring of these activities as jobs that ordinary people can actually make a living from. The same middle class people who would never dream of their own children pursuing one of these trades rather than go to university. 

I know my response is  emotional and irrational. It's good to some extent that these skills are being kept alive in some way. But I do resent the belittling and disrespectful implication that the skills and values that took a time-served tradesman four or even seven years to develop are now reduced to a leisure activity to amuse people with too much time on their hands. 

Much as I also find it disrespectful when uber Tory-toff Kirsty Allsop presents a TV series encouraging yuppies homeowners to create a 'Homemade Home' by showing how in truth there is nothing to all those skilled trades and services that the middle class once paid the working classes to perform for them.

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

We're all Scots now

Right now, watching the ruling class scurrying to Edingburgh in panic with 'ten days to save the union' - I am wishing I was Scottish. 

What is happening in Scotland at the moment is nothing to do with Braveheart nationalism or  tartan sentimentalism. It is about ordinary people sticking two fingers up at decades of ruling class neglect and  of being ruled by far away toffs who have no understanding of the lives of a people.  In return  these ordinary people have consistently not given a political mandate to these toffs and are now serving notice on them.

I feel the same way - and I only live a few miles up the road from Westminster.

Once Scotland gains its independence - do you think there any chance of a plebiscite in North London for us to be annexed ?

Tuesday, 2 September 2014

A tale of two police cock-ups

The bizarre and tragic manhunt for Ashya King and his parents has got me thinking about the Rotherham abuse scandal and how the police respond to complaints. 

Let's compare the two cases:

In Rotherham over the course of about six years, 1,600 victims routinely suffered appalling sexual abuse. Much of this abuse was reported to the police and we now know that it was dismissed - and appears to have been covered up.

In Southampton a little boy with cancer was not able to get the radiation treatment available in some other countries and so his parents took him out of the hospital to seek the treatment abroad. As there was no court order to prevent this at the time, there is a legal argument as to what if any offence was committed. Nevertheless a much publicised police operation was launched to track the boy and his family to Spain.

In Rotherham the people making the complaints to the police were vulnerable  young girls. People from what is stigmatised as the 'underclass' - people who lack 'advocacy'. On the other hand in Southampton the people doing the complaining were taken from a group of people at the very other end of the scale - both in status and in advocacy - doctors and medical professionals.

And in both cases a smoke screen has been thrown up to obscure institutional incompetence . In Rotherham it is the suggestion that it was political correctness and multiculturalism to blame -  and in Southampton it was the fact that Aysha's parents are Jehovah's Witnesses.

In both  instances this smacks of lazy thinking at best and racism at worst.