Thursday, 31 January 2013

Mr. Duncan Smith is either a fool or a fascist.

Mr. Duncan Smith has been talking about child poverty being a result of parental addiction to drugs and alcohol. Does he not know that what he says is pernicious, not to say toxic? If not he is a fool – and worse. But my betting is that he does know – and if he does, the public expression of those opinions marks him as the worst sort of elitist: combined with his power it damns him as a fascist (with eugenical tendencies)... (See also Part 2 of this post.)

Let’s be clear: there are no meaningful statistics to support the strength of his assertions and, having worked with hundreds of seriously deprived children in the poorest parts of London for over twenty years, I can say there isn’t even any great anecdotal support.

[A survey (which I saw in the Huffington Post today, but which is presumably published elsewhere as well): it is the public view, apparently, that the main cause of child poverty is parental addiction to drugs and alcohol. A shortage of money only comes fourth in importance as a cause of child poverty, according to the public’s perception!]

Well, we know that IDS has declared war: this latest wheeze is just an advance of his right flank. I think it now justifies what I’ll be writing in Part 2 of this post, which I had previously decided was beyond the pale...

It’s that public perception which provides the real object lesson for poverty campaigners, however.

We’ve got nowhere. And, in the present climate, we’re going to get nowhere.

That’s not intended to be defeatist: for me, it simply means that a new analysis, some completely new thinking, is required. It just vexes me that I – like so many on this side of the battle lines – do not have the mental resources needed.

(Part 2...) Talking of pernicious, I believe that any mention of the Nazis on the internet, and certainly any parallel drawn with opponents in argument, is regarded as pernicious and odious. Well, IDS has his gloves off, so here goes anyway.

(Don’t stop reading: there is a point to my madness.)

I do from time to time suffer abyssal nightmares, but on the whole such dreams as I have are pure escapism... In one of these, the other day, IDS appeared in a cameo role, resplendent in his glorious, jet-black uniform: SS-Oberstgruppenführer Duncan Smith. Boy, he looked cool. And he looked the part.

And others of that motley crew? Grayling (‘tough love,’ smirk), clearly a bully-boy SA-Mann, of comparatively minor significance. Kreisleiter of an obscure Pomeranian town, perhaps. McVey, she of the parroted speeches? A BDM platoon leader, I suggest, desperate to be noticed but wholly out of her depth. I don’t think Hague is really nicer than the others, but he somehow seems to be, so a captain in the British Army in the BEF in 1940. There’s nice. Cameron? So obviously an overprivileged public-school boy. but not, I’m afraid, a good officer. Alan Clarke? One of those foolish patricians who thought they’d be able to control the Nazis, sorry, Tories. I hesitate to compare Osborne with Hjalmar Schacht, since at least Schacht was good at his job. And Thatcher as Wagner, the great composer of the Herren-Volk legend.

Funnily enough, bar perhaps Thatcher, I can’t think of any of the motley who have the stature (!) of Uncle Adolf.

[Added 3rd Feb: Nick Clegg as Vidkun Quisling?]

Arbeit Macht Frei.

The point:

Odious to draw parallels between our government and the Nazis, almost certainly... but at a quite fundamental level, parallels do exist, however pale, especially between now and the first months of 1933: The outcasts, dictated by ideology; the demonising; the tame media; an ill-informed and submissive public in thrall to a half concealed fear; the steady ratcheting of the pressure; the willingness to let the untermenschen conveniently die...

You don’t believe it? I can assure you that what I write is felt by a growing number of the disabled and the dispossessed in this country. With my parents victims of WWII and distant relatives dead as political prisoners in Hitler’s camps (and in Stalin’s – megalomania is very equal opportunities), I don’t feel that the parallels I’ve drawn are so very exaggerated.

[Added 5th Feb: Medical assessments by doctors (!) who are serving the ideology of the state with no interest in the subjects of those assessments... Not exactly compliant with the Hippocratic Oath in either case... Maybe it's not such a pale parallel after all...]

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