Us & Them


See this man here with his sleeves rolled up and his tie tucked into his shirt? He’s got his sleeves rolled up and his tie tucked into his shirt because he’s the kinda guy who rolls his sleeves up and gets stuck in, the kinda guy who may wear a tie but doesn’t stand on ceremony, not when he’s meeting nurses and doctors and people who do real jobs, people who have real lives and real problems.

This man with his sleeves rolled up was Christened Gideon Oliver Osborne and he’s the son of Sir Peter Osborne, 17th Baronet Osborne and Felicity Alexandra Loxton-Peacock.
Like many of his class, Gideon was privately educated at top notch public schools and then went up to Oxford before being given a shoe in job at The Telegraph, then a shoe in job with the Tory party’s propaganda unit, then a shoe safe Tory seat in Tatton, then a shoe in ministerial job with his old Bullingdon Club toff pal, David Cameron.

That’s not to say Gideon hasn’t got talents and his entire non-career has been thanks to the archaic culture of deference and aristo worship that promotes its own and cosigns millions of talented kids to a zero hour, poverty pay welfare wasteland.

No, Gid is a magician who has conjured £2 billion out of thin air to invest in the NHS, the same NHS he and his Tory cronies have been running down and selling off piece by piece to their city mates for the past 30 years. Size of an elephant! Izzy wizzy let’s get busy! Alacazam! Just like that!

This is 2 billion that didn’t exist a few days ago but y’know, there’s a general election coming up and the Tories need to neutralise that boring old Labour charge that they don’t care about the NHS because they’re too rich to use it. Well, some people will fall for it, but then again some people will always fall for it and then again, some people will count on a Labour victory to save them from these evil parasites and these people will be sold down the river again by Labour politicians who have also largely been promoted and pampered in their own Party elites.

Blair and Brown rolled up their sleeves too when they wanted to show the media that they were in touch with normal people, that they too were the kinda guys you can trust to get a job done. Ed Miliband has rolled up his sleeves as well. He buys into the sleeves rolled up symbolisim of career politicians as honest brokers of change for ‘ordinary people.’

I’ve got an appointment for a routine scan at a hospital 10 miles away from my home tonight, when the local one is just up the road. Ah but the local hozzy is now for day patients only and the NHS Trust has targets to hit, so savings have to be made and fuck you if you’re half dead in an ambo with a heart attack cos A&E is half an hour away if you’re lucky.

The myth that ‘we’ can’t afford the NHS is the same myth that the Tories use when they want to cut benefits, cut pay rises, cut pensions, cut social services, cut education spending, cut the things they don’t use and can do without. But threaten to cut the obscene tax breaks to public schools or ban fox hunting or farming subsidies and then all of a sudden, those small government fanatics come crawling out from under their rural rocks and begin shaking their fists at the temerity of ‘class envy UK.’

It’s still ‘US’ and ‘THEM’ it always has been and it always will be.

Posh v Skint


There is a rule of thumb that all TV producers seem to follow when focusing upon the extremes of the British class system. The upper classes must be shown to be a charming, eccentric but essentially decent bunch who have lost their influence, power and riches and now have to make do by pimping out their castles and palaces to tourists. At the opposite end of the social spectrum the ‘underclass’ must be portrayed as foul mouthed, living in squalor, prone to crime, drink, drugs, prostitution and reliant on welfare handouts yet proud, patriotic and potentially ‘saveable.’

BBC2’s ‘Posh People’ and Channel 4’s ‘Skint’ both broadcast last night (Monday 24th November) were timed to clash with each other, so that viewers could perform their own crude ‘compare and contrast’ class analysis. Here’s mine.

‘Posh People’ followed Tatler magazine staff as they waltzed from one ‘society function’ to another; – a polo game, a fashion shoot, a royal Ascot meeting, a horsey side-saddle race, an arty happening and such like. People like Lord Glasgow showed off his stately pile that had been in the family since the Norman conquest. He jokily referred to one of his illustrious forebears who once threw a servant through and plate glass window at a party and told his host to ‘put him on the bill.’

We also got the standard shot of Oxford’s notoriously riotous Bullingdon Dining Club (y’know Dave and George and Boris and co whose photos have ‘mysteriously disappeared from circulation) who also indulged in thuggery, vandalism, whoring, drugging and debauchery but ALWAYS paid for any damage. Not to pay would be ‘bad form’ you see.

Whereas in Grimsby we visited a derelict trawler yard, a deserted fisherman’s alehouse, several unkempt households with fierce dogs and pregnant cats, bongs and grafittied walls. We met petty, pothead criminals on tags, drunken ex-sailors watching DVDs of the good old days, potty mouthed but patriotic fishwives defending the fucking Queen’s honour and a youth club pastor who gave the kids somewhere to expel their energy.

The kids who visited the ‘Shal’ (Shalom) youth club were as energetic and rowdy as their Bullingdon opposites yet were likely to end up on tags, in jail or crippled from a joy riding accident like their older brothers and sisters. Social mobility is a revolting term to throw at these young people, barely able to write, never mind afford 9k a year uni fees. What has changed from the times of Kez for those left behind in the undertow of the great meritocratic wave that washed across the land under New Labour? We’re all middle class now eh?

When words like ‘austerity’ ‘recession’ and ‘depression’ are used, media types always fall behind tried and tested formats that other media types then attempt to explain in terms of quack psychology and pseudo-political theory. Up will pop ‘Spirit Of The Blitz’ type nostalgia documentaries attempting to forge a sense of national unity, relentless royal propaganda packaged as history or culture, knit yourself a mansion, bake yourself a holiday home 50s hausfrau ‘lifestyle’ shows presented by minor aristocrats and WI types.

There will also be a glut of ‘reality’ show that are no more real than TOWIE or Made In Chelsea . Shows like this and many other that demonise one part of society – the poor – whilst delighting in another – the rich.

There will subtle or not so subtle editorial subliminal messages sent out and on ‘Skint’ it was obvious as a drug addled prostitute sobbed at the birth of her kitten while her own son was placed in care that a POINT was being made. You could just hear the viewers muttering ‘pity you never cared for your own kid as much as you for that kitten.’

Such examples of snide and cruel editing are often lost on the subjects themselves. ‘Informed Consent’ is a subjective and abstract notion to someone who is too busy getting men ‘to shoot their muck’ to make ends meet (as it were).

On ‘Posh People’ the sub-text followed the usual unwritten rules; there was no context offered other than that of the subjects apart from the thorny issue of ‘relevance’ – are posh people ‘relevant?’ a timid voice asked Tatler hacks at the end of programme 1. Relevant to who, relevant to what? The BBC’s line is that old money toffs (y’know ‘old money as in 1066 n’ all that) may be anachronistic and isolated from the real world but that’s not THEIR fault.

But it IS their fault. They have choices and they can refuse to follow the same ancestral paths mapped out for them from birth; boarding school, finishing school, Oxbridge, career in law, the city, on the ‘farm’ (as a custodian) or even as editor, fashion editor, contributing editor or can lad for The Tatler. The cycle of privilege, elitism, snobbery, power continues from generation to generation even if they admit a few new money billionaires to their select parties to sneer at every decade or so, be they Americans, Arabs, Russians or Nigerians.

These people have the luxury of opportunity. Those growing up on East Marsh in Grimsby will turn in a different cycle mapped out by poverty, poor education, benefits or low pay, pay day loans, prison and drug/alcohol abuse. Ah, but they have enough money to smoke weed, to feed dogs, to buy beer don’t they? They have choices too, say the self-appointed ‘Squeezed Middle’ of law abiding, pension paying, mortgaged to the hilt millions who watch these programmes in order to swoon at the toffs and sneer at the chavs.

Anyone who dares to have a pop at the toffs and their media propagandists are accused of suffering from ‘class envy’ but I don’t envy these people and their shallow, insulated existence, I pity them for their arrogance and their insolence as much as I pity the fishwife with the union flag tea towel and the royal tea mug for allowing such a state of inequality and injustice to exist in the 21st century.

Evan Almighty?

Evan Davis exclusive

Evan Davis is the type of presenter the BBC can wheel out to prove that they’re ‘diverse.’ He’s gay you see, and he reputedly has pierced nipples. How un-BBC! Yet, gay or not, Davis is typical of the BBC careerist, past and present.

He has risen through the ranks from a smug and patronising economics reporter, through a smug and patronising radio 4 anchor to a smug and patronising presenter of the BBC’s flagship ‘heavyweight’ news programme, ‘Newsnight.’

If you thought Jeremy Paxman was a self-satisfied, condescending lightweight punching way above his intellectual weight, then his replacement makes Paxo look like Plato. Last night he felt confident enough in his own intellectual abilities to take on one of the world’s leading political thinkers, Professor Noam Chomsky.

To prove how misguided and out of touch Chomsky was, Davis took to the streets of London in a typical shopping area where ‘ordinary people’ gathered to buy their dinner and bully people to donate to Great Ormond Street Hospital. It was probably right outside the BBC’s own building and Davis was set to prove Chomsky wrong.

Armed with a few isolated Chomsky quotes, Davis asked a total of six people, a middle aged woman in a yellow top, three embarrassed looking builders and two charity muggers if they agreed with the following statements :

“Neo-liberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralised and socially powerless.”

“Do you”, Davis asked yellow top woman, “feel demoralised and socially powerless.”

“Not really” she answered.

Stick that on yer CV Chomsky!

The three builders merely looked bemused and one of them just went ‘ha well, ha ha.”
One of the middle class chuggers said she felt Noam’s statement was ‘too negative but admitted she was from a little village, as if this had anything to do it.

Case Proved. Davis 1 – Chomsky 0

Next statement :

“The more you can increase fear of drugs, crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all of the people.”

“That’s a difficult one,” Yellow Top Woman replied, “because immigration is the biggest question.” (they cut her off before she no doubt expressed the very fear that Chomsky was highlighting)
The Chuggers agreed that immigration was what ‘they’ wanted us to talk about whereas the builders refuted the ability off anyone to manufacture fear because all these things – immigration, drug addicts, was ‘just natural.’

Davis 2 – Chomsky 0

Just in case the viewer wasn’t bright enough to catch Davis’s heavily edited, infantile drift the Great Man summarised thus :

“There is a time and place for philosophy and revloution but unfortunately that time and place is not now, well not until after Christmas atleast.”


If this may have struck many as a typically ‘balanced, impartial and fair’ BBC report, Davis went further and grilled Chomsky back in the studio. Sat in front of a backdrop of flames in Ferguson, Missouri, Davis began his ‘interview’ by asking Chomsky is he was disappointed that, at a time of anger with the elite, people were reacting by moving to the right supporting the tea party is the US and UKIP here, instead of moving to the left.

Chomsky answered politely that this analysis wasn’t correct and that there were other forms of protest such as the huge climate change rally in New York recently. Hmm. Davis seemed to think he had the old man on the ropes here.

“The difficulty of your position’ he intoned ‘is that you are telling people what you think is good for them.”

At this point I rather hoped Chomsky would lose his rag and butt Davis in his snotty beak but Noam kept his cool and replied that he was only telling people what HE thought based on y’know ‘evidence.’
Davis kept up his pathetic attack however.

“Isn’t it patronising to class people as consumers not citizens?” said the man who only minutes before had patronised ‘ordinary people’ such as the builders, by thinking the only thing they could possibly aspire to was a microwave oven.

Here Chomsky should really have walked off but no, he tolerated Davis’s insults and replied that the 70% of those on the lowest incomes had zero effect on government policy and the higher the income became the more governments created policies to suit the wealthy.

And so to the riots in Ferguson (hence the backdrop).

“We’re on a time budget” Davis stated as if his guest was an expensive luxury the BBC couldn’t afford.

“Does it surprise you that events like that in Ferguson are still happening in today’s America?”
“Do you? Y’boss eyed cunt?” Chomsky replied. If only. No, the prof again retained his cool and repleid that over 500 years of slavery, African Americans had only had a few scattered decades when they had a shot at entering the mainstream of American society.”

And that was that. Thanks Noam but we’re on a budget here.

Now, many people, especially those at the BBC itself, continue to believe in the myth of the corporation’s much heralded yet utterly fictitious reputation of ‘impartiality.’ If I had the time and the energy, I could analyse each and every news report, economics, social or historical programme and pull them to pieces, in fact I have done this but y’know I’ve got a real job to do.

Websites like ‘MediaLens’ and a few academics do this essential detailed critique every day, not that it makes any difference because there is a culture both of denial and cover up within the BBC, an absolute refusal to admit that they are either culturally biased by their own Oxbridge prejudices or coerced into obedience by their political paymasters, on whom their six figure salaries depend (or both). The BBC Trust ofcourse is filled with political and corporate placemen who are cut from the same cloth and therefore protect their pals wherever possible.

Davis is the type of right wing lightweight that has taken over at the BBC. These people, the self-elected ‘mavericks’ and ‘tough talkers’ of Radio 4 and Newsnight only operate in a narrow spectrum of accepted opinion. Chomsky is therefore treated with the kind of contempt that Russell Brand recently encountered for daring to take the likes of Paxman and Davis on.
As Davis said of his subject last night.

“Venerated by many, loathed by many, occasionally feared.”


BBC defenders argue that the alternative is Fox as if the BBC’s own propaganda is any better than Murdoch’s. Davis obviously has supporters in very high places within the corporation and bias against even the soft left is now blatant and sustained as the Scottish referendum coverage proved. Chomsky may be loathed by many, usually those with power and influence, people like Davis and his BBC pals for example.

Pay No Attention To That Man Behind The Curtain


Economics doesn’t exist. Like theology, economics exists as a word that has come to mean other words, like business, trade, capitalism, industry. It has become a word that people with a vested interest in the by-product of ‘economics’ – wealth – use to camouflage their greed.

These people will try to convince you that their con trick can somehow be rationalised into a science or, worse, a philosophy. They will produce diagrams and equations and invent new words and languages new symbols and technologies to bewilder us with but, deep down, behind the smoke and mirrors, there is only a big pile of cash being protected by judges, soldiers, policemen, spies and politicians.
Here’s an example of the way greed merchants try to dress up their selfishness as science :

An example of such a model is given by the comparative statics of taxation on the profit-maximizing firm. The profit of a firm is given by
\pi(x,t) = x p(x) – C(x) – t x \quadwhere p(x) is the price that a product commands in the market if it is supplied at the rate x, xp(x) is the revenue obtained from selling the product, C(x) is the cost of bringing the product to market at the rate x, and t is the tax that the firm must pay per unit of the product sold.The profit maximization assumption states that a firm will produce at the output rate x if that rate maximizes the firm’s profit. Using differential calculus we can obtain conditions on x under which this holds. The first order maximization condition for x is\frac{\partial \pi(x,t)}{\partial x} =\frac{\partial (x p(x) – C(x))}{\partial x} -t= 0 Regarding x is an implicitly defined function of t by this equation (see implicit function theorem), one concludes that the derivative of x with respect to t has the same sign as\frac{\partial^2 (x p(x) – C(x))}{\partial^2 x}={\partial^2\pi(x,t)\over \partial x^2},

Get that? There are people who study this shit, people who teach this shit, people who actually believe this shit. The ‘economics industry’ is a self-propagating model of its own invention – get enough people to believe in it, and it becomes true. So we have an entire global network of sorcerers, magi and sophists who churn out a familiar mantra; this stuff is ‘difficult’ it cannot be explained in simplistic terms that the non-economic minded could hope to understand but this too is part of the spell.
Perhaps the Wizard Of Oz put it best – ‘Pay no attention of the man behind the curtain.’ the one pulling all the levers, the one who has cast a spell over all of us, making us believe he’s all powerful when in fact, he’s just a tired old man clinging desperately to his position by using illusion and subterfuge.