Monthly Archives: April 2013

A Word to the Lingering Left Labourites

By Chris Witter

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Should we of the Left support the Labour Party, even in their Post-Labour (i.e. neoliberal, pro-austerity, anti-worker) form? A common attitude on this question goes something like this: “We have to be realistic and compromise: if we don’t vote for Labour we will end up with the Tories back in power.” This is usually followed by a stream of citations of Labour polices which, four or more years ago, had some generally positive effect. Undeniably such accounts are erudite, but they are also conspicuous in avoiding both the many manifest failures of the Labour Party and the general trajectory of the Party, which is increasingly rightwards. Not only are Labour Councillors currently facilitating cuts, but even in opposition the Party has taken to attacking immigrants, welfare claimants and unions, whilst determinedly approving anti-worker policies (e.g. the public sector pay-freeze). Rather than presenting an alternative, Labour takes all its cues from the Right. But, even those who do see the general picture often fall back on arguments based on pragmatism and realpolitik in order to justify the necessity of voting for the Labour Party in the name of compromise (e.g. the whole SWP).

This question of ‘compromise’ must be addressed, for it presents itself in a somewhat mystified form. What is said to be important is the relation between the political parties (i.e. “Better Labour than the Tories”). The paradigm here appears to be consumption rather than political struggle (i.e. “I prefer this brand to that”). Indeed, perhaps the commodity form and commodity fetishism have subsumed politics? One way or another, the typical Leftist objections to this are:  1) “You might vote for Labour and still end up with the Tories” or 2) “Labour basically are Tories.” Both contain some truth, but both are inadequate. The real point is that the relation between parties is not the crucial thing. What is crucial is the relation between political parties and individual and collective subjects.

In this light, the question of compromise unravels itself. The Labour Party is currently in a position where it must prioritise the interests of capital. This is so because the balance of the class struggle is currently weighted against the working-class and its allies, who are currently quite weak. Meanwhile, despite the economic crisis (or perhaps even because of the crisis) the capitalist class is really doing very well (see: http://www.leninology.com/2013/03/the-actuality-of-successful-capitalist.html). It faces all sorts of difficulties, but it is more than coping. Whilst this situation persists, whatever the hopes of the few Lingering Left Labourites, the party is not going to be reformed and reclaimed. For the problem is not simply the internal/institutional problems of bureaucracy, factions, ‘middle-class’ members, ‘Blairite cadres’, &c., but the whole state of the class struggle in the current conjuncture. In sum, what ‘compromises’ can be wrung from the Labour Party entirely depend upon the state of the class struggle; whilst the capitalist class has the upper-hand these offerings will be very scant.

That is the problem of the relation of the Post-Labour Party to collective subjects (the fundamental capitalist classes). Let us now come to the question of individual subjects’ relation to the Labour Party with regards the question of compromise. The fact is, Labour cannot be reformed in the current conjuncture. You approach the LP thinking you are compromising with it (“I like that, but I don’t like this”) but you are not. The Party hears nothing of what you say as an individual. The experiential basis of this is the frustrating to-and-fro and endless back-stepping any individual who sets out to reform Labour will encounter. Eventually, tired of this fruitless fight, you think you are compromising with yourself (“Well, I don’t like it, but this isn’t an ideal world”). However – even here you are wrong. For your compromise is not a tragi-heroic stand but a complete capitulation.

On these last points, I am reminded of those young children who have newly discovered duplicity – i.e. the ability to lie. They think they are possessed of a secret ability, a secret cunning: the power of manipulation. They try it out on adults. In truth, whether the adult sees the duplicity or not (likely the first), they decide to humour or scold, to accept the wheedling demand or ignore it, independently of the child’s will. Meanwhile the child triumphantly flatters themselves that they are able to wield power and control over their elders, though in truth the reins are kept well clear of their hands. So it is with the ‘socialist Labourite’, who ‘plays the part’ of Labour supporter whilst ‘really’ nurturing socialist view. The truth is somewhat the other way around. They think that they push, but it is they who are pushed. Their failure to realise this is merely a self-flattery born out of the defensive need to protect themselves from the plain truth: that they are lending their energies and support to something they rightly detest.

None of this, of course, excuses the Post-Labour Party ministers and their cronies. They are deeply implicated not only in facilitating austerity but also in the weakness of the Left whom they have historically attacked and betrayed. What these insights do provide, however, is a little light to help guide our strategy. Two key points emerge: first, we must cease ploughing our energies into reforming the Labour Party; second, not only is Labour a valid target, but it must be attacked constantly from without if it is to be shifted. Change will come, but in the current conjuncture this will not come through an internal struggle within the Labour Party. Accept it and move on.

———————-
This article was provoked by the convergence of several things, including:
[1] This shamefully shitty statement by Ed Miliband on the death of Thatcher, in which he demonstrates once again that he can do nothing but follow the cues of the Right.
[2] The as yet ambiguous, but nonetheless hopeful emergence of Left Unity, whose appeal for a new Left party has so far been signed by around 7000 people.
[3] This very insightful article by Richard Seymour, cited in the body text.

No Papers No Fear – Migration and Human Rights in Fortress Europe

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by Will Taylor

In December 2012, the European Union was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize[1], in recognition of “six decades of peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.” Emboldened, the EU looks down on the nations of the global south from a high pedestal. Over and over one hears calls for “development”, admonishing them for being so poor while marvelling at the wealth of Europe – whilst carefully never drawing a causal link. Angelina Merkel was in Oslo with the great and good of the EU to receive the award,[2] however throughout the autumn, underneath the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, refugees on hunger strike shivered under the meagre shelters of umbrellas.[3] They had brought a tent, but the Bundespolize – fearful of anything tent shaped post Occupy – tore it down. The circumstances of this group of wretched figures, dwarfed by one of Berlin’s greatest monuments, demolish any claims by the EU to be advancing human rights.

The refugees were part of the “Berlin Refugee Strike”[4] protest movement, which in turn is one struggle within in a spontaneous movement of refugee activism that is currently sweeping the Eurozone. With next to no main stream media coverage, asylum seekers and immigrants across the EU are organizing, launching popular marches, setting up camps in plazas and town squares, occupying churches and going on hunger strike. The largest mobilisations have been in Germany and Austria,[5] where protest marches from across the country converged on Berlin and Vienna to occupy public spaces.

Their demands vary from country to country, however essentially they are demanding human rights and human dignity. In France the hunger strikers of Lille demanded regularization, the right to be considered a legal person.[6] In the detention centres of Poland, Eastern Europeans went on hunger strike for fair treatment during incarceration.[7] In Finland hunger strikes began in protest to deportations to Afghanistan.[8] In all of the cases people who have become uprooted exiles for a chance of freedom are seeing their one desire taken away by the countries they thought would help them. They see the border policies of the EU as authoritarian and with many migrants facing the prospect of death if they are deported to their home country or unlimited periods of detention, they have resorted to the hunger strike as a last resort.

The fact that this option need even be considered, in what is supposed to be one of the most “developed” regions of the world, aptly demonstrates the levels of persecution suffered by refugees in Europe. Since the end of the cold war, political and media rhetoric towards refugees has shifted. They were portrayed as “clandestine migrants” or “asylum cheats” rather than exiles from tyrannical regimes. Despite colonial legacies of integrating different peoples, it suited some in the political class of Europe to scapegoat migrants for their own failures. They made a conveniently weak target to be blamed for unemployment levels, lack of housing and increasing inequality. Then came 9/11, and a disconcertingly popular discourse of “clash of civilisations” between Muslims and Christians. In the aftermath of the Arab Spring, with regimes across the region collapsing into political turmoil and an upsurge in people fleeing their homes, the situation became a major humanitarian crisis.

The EU solution has been to treat this humanitarian crisis as a security threat. It is monitored, policed and kept under control. An Iron Curtain has fallen over Europe (again). Instead of dividing east and west, it cuts north from south. As the EU did away with internal frontiers and controls via the Schengen Agreement, it consolidated its external border. Much of this is the Mediterranean sea, where European reluctance to assist refugees in unseaworthy vessels has led to untold numbers of deaths at sea, over 1500 in 2011 alone,[9] and chilling incidents such as the “left to die” boat, which left Libya with 72 people on board and drifted for 14 days. By the time they had managed to limp back to the Libyan coastline, only 11 people were left alive. This despite being sighted by 3 separate NATO aircraft and one Navy ship during their ordeal.[10] The EU is pouring millions into its EUROSUR surveillance project, which will see the use of drones in hunting humans trying to make the crossing.[11]

Those who make it into Europe alive mostly arrive in Italy and Greece, where their fingerprints are recorded on the EURODAC system.[12] This biometric technology records fingerprints onto a European database, and is used to enforce the Dublin II convention, which stipulates that refugees must claim asylum in the first European country that they arrive in, which serves to shield the rich northern countries from “unmanageable” levels of migration by deporting them all to the south. Despite deportation being outlawed by the UN 1951 Refugee convention,[13] the EU both deports refugees to their countries of origin, or uses internal deportation to keep them out of the rich north. Deportation is deadly; however not only by returning political dissidents to the arms of dictatorships – in 2010 an Angolan man named Jimmy Mubenga died on BA flight 77, due to send him from Heathrow to Angola. G4S private security guards suffocated him while he resisted, screaming “they are going to kill me.” To this date, none of his guards have been charged with any offense. [14] Internal deportation can be just as deadly, the fascist group Golden Dawn is now so powerful in Greece that the US Embassy warns its citizens visiting Greece of “unprovoked harassment and violent attacks against persons who, because of their complexion, are perceived to be foreign migrants”. [15]  There are regular cases of migrants who commit suicide rather than suffer deportation. [16]

The situation is no better in the detention centres. Although the exact conditions vary from country to country, human rights abuse is routine. The list of abuses tend to include racist treatment from prison guards, lack of respect for halal dietary preferences, denial of access to legal counsel, unprovoked attacks on prisoners and poor conditions overflowing centres. [17] The very use of detention centres for people who have committed no wrongdoing criminalises immigrants. If a refugee can bet past the external frontiers and avoid being trapped on the Dublin II conveyor belt, then she must face other borders; the ingrained racism in European society and social exclusion and depravation of minority groups that refugees are struggling to even join. [18]

The EU operates on the assumption of deterrence. “If we are tough enough then they will go somewhere else” However many of these refugees are from the most tyrannical dictatorships and the most blighted warzones; Eritrea, Sudan, Iran, Afghanistan or Syria. Tough migration policy will never deter them; it will only enter the EU into a race to the bottom against dictatorships. Meanwhile migrants are completely excluded from the public sphere – suicide, mental health problems and self-harm are all too common. Refugees in the EU are fighting for their survival – only time will tell whether they can improve their position in Europe, the continent of “peace, reconciliation, democracy and human rights.”


Why Rape Jokes are Never Funny

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By Little Baby Nothing

TRIGGER WARNING FOR RAPE

“Statistically, nine out of ten participants enjoy a gang rape.” This was, and remains, one of the most “liked” jokes of all time on a specialist sick jokes website. There is something really unfunny about this. This goes beyond just “not funny.” Knock-knock type jokes are typically not funny, but they are harmless. Rape jokes, on the other hand, are both unfunny and very dangerous. Whilst I don’t support and can’t support the active censorship of such material, I would like to speak briefly about why such jokes are so offensive, and argue why men must avoid telling them.

As part of my profession I have worked in the prison service and have worked with sex offenders. One observation I have made is that the offender can’t bring themselves to acknowledge directly what they have done. One of the most telling comments was from an individual who came to the conclusion that when he was offending, “He was really just raping himself.” His conclusion is, to be frank, complete bullshit. And it’s this bullshit that I wish to attack in this article. The reality is that the rapist, this individual in question and many others, was raping a woman. He was raping a girlfriend. A wife. He was raping a niece, a sister, a cousin. He was raping a daughter. He was raping a mother. He was raping a woman, nothing more, nothing less.

So what does a rape joke mean? What attitude does it express, what meaning does it carry? On a superficial level, it suggests that rape is funny, which it most certainly is not. Even the most outrageous “jokers” would back down when presented with that conclusion. So, what else is going on when people make rape jokes? I would argue that by joking about something it plants the seeds for denial of responsibility. When it is presented as a joke, suddenly the victim becomes less real, less human.  Because it’s “a laugh” the reality of the situation is denied and mentally obfuscated. And with something as serious and prevalent in society as rape such mental denial as this must never be allowed to happen. This is what makes rape jokes so unfunny. They allow a mental denial which, if taken to its logical conclusion, persists in the mind of the rapist. I am not suggesting for a moment that everyone who jokes about rape will go on to become a rapist. But the issue is that some people will, and by laughing and joking about this subject you are not tackling the issue. Rape is never “funny” and therefore jokes about it are never funny. Rape is real and rape is obscene.  If you are confronted with a rape joke, think of your daughter, your mother and your sister as the subject of that joke. Do you still find it amusing?

There may be trouble ahead… & behind

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but while we still can let’s face the music & dance https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnfKmNRfLYU

By Elizabeth Lee Reynolds

Waking up this morning (early afternoon) to read about the devastating cuts coming into effect today and in the very near future [i] made my stomach turn a little (& desperately hope it was all a very bad April Fools’ joke). Mostly though I questioned for about the thousandth time how and why the tories think these disgustingly unequal policies will really help our economy, or society in general.

Of course the simple answer is they are posh deluded little bastards, drunk on power and entirely out of touch with the real world. But there is a much longer answer that traces an attack on the Underclass/Problem Families/Other somewhat derogatory term you wish to use that has been present in both this nation and others for a very long time.

The following piece is a not particularly edited essay written for John Welshman’s HIST277 course In Search of the Underclass: Politics and Poverty in Britain Since 1970. I do recommend this module to anyone who happens to do history at Lancaster. Although it is a little frustrating and I sometimes found the whole thing to be a little derogatory and also the majority of people who take it seem to be posh quasi-conservative prats who enjoying examining the “Underclass” as if they were another species, it is pretty interesting and reveals how there seems to be a Cycle of Misunderstanding in governments towards those struggling in society.

Even if you don’t read this I strongly encourage everyone to read some of the resources I used for it, particularly: Ruth Levitas’ enlightening explanation of where the government got their figures and facts for 120,000 Troubled Families (Ruth Levitas, ‘There may be ‘trouble’ ahead: what we know about those 120,000 ‘troubled’ families’, Poverty and Social Excusion in the UK, Policy Response Series No. 3 (2012) pp. 4-5 http://www.poverty.ac.uk/system/files/WP%20Policy%20Response%20No.3-%20%20%27Trouble%27%20ahead%20%28Levitas%20Final%2021April2012%29.pdf I slightly stole the name for this post from her, but she stole it from above song) & Richard Wilkinson’s ‘What difference does inequality make?’ which is a very straightforward explanation of how inequality is undeniably incredibly detrimental to society. Seriously everyone read it! It’s not very long at all & is possibly one of the most interesting things I’ve read in a while (http://www.thpc.scot.nhs.uk/Presentations/Wellbeing/Wilkinson.pdf). John Welshman’s articles are also pretty interesting in regards to a history of inequality and “Underclass”. & If you can be bothered to find it in the library I also found Frank Field’s Unequal Britain A report on the Cycle of Inequality an interesting read (historically wise).

This essay is written on David Cameron’s approach to addressing the issue he sees of ‘Troubled Families’ in Britain (of which there are supposedly 120,000) and how this exacerbates an unfair view of those who suffer most in society and who his current furore of cuts effect the most. Although this was written pretty recently the Coalition’s attacks have been so rapid in the last few months the examples given can sometimes seem a little outdated, apologies for that. & sorry for this unnecessarily lengthy introduction, so finally here goes… (oh & add your own witty caption as to what Cameron could be saying in the photo, I had a few but I can’t edit a photo to save my life)

In December 2011 David Cameron made a speech addressing the need for the Government to focus more on an alleged 120,000 ‘troubled families’ in England. This idea is certainly nothing new in Government policy or academic rhetoric on those considered to be at the bottom of society. The similar concept of ‘‘problem family’ became a preoccupation during the Second World War’ which itself ‘metamorphosed’ from ‘the search for a ‘social problem group’’ in the 1920’s and early 1930’s.[1] Since then, the ideas of ‘Underclass’ and similar concepts have become a focus of social science and national politics. There are multiple differing explanations to these societal issues; those who say it is an issue of individual behaviour and others who understand the problems as being rooted in larger structural issues. Here my focus will be on the latter of these perspectives and this analysis shall propose that the state is creating a sense of an enemy within society, through the concept of ‘troubled families’, to divert attention from larger issues of inequality across the population.

The speech was made in the wake of the London Riots that rippled across cities in England over a few days in the beginning of August 2011. Like the aforementioned debates on poverty itself, the London Riots provoked a variety of commentators; the events began with a protest for Mark Duggan, a young man shot by a policeman, in Tottenham but quickly escalated to acts of arson, looting and other violence throughout London and spread through the country. Cameron himself recognises that for this escalation to occur the riots would have to be seen as ‘a boiling over of problems that had been simmering for years’. [2] Tottenham not only has a ‘history of riots’[3], such as the Broadwater Farm riot of 1985, but is also one of ‘London’s poorest boroughs’[4]. These facts point to the idea that for decades there has been something structurally wrong within this part of the country, yet whether this was what motivated the looters is another matter. While some commentators suggested that ‘the riots were more apolitical’[5] others stress there were some looters who ‘expressed a political rage – about the way the cuts affected communities, about having no route to social or economic mobility’[6]. It would be naïve to call either of these analyses wrong; the riots were a consequence of both behavioural and structural issues, but it must be remembered while some opportunistic looters grabbed television sets and trainers others grabbed less materialistic items like food, pointing to a sense of need rather than simply desire.

While acknowledging this issue of a fundamentally unequal society Cameron glosses over the issues at the top of society, claiming that action has already been taken, and focuses his attention on the 120,000 families he perceives to be the real issue. In his speech Cameron stated that ‘a relatively small number of families are the source of a large proportion of the problems in society’ (Cameron, 2011) making it evident he is taking an immensely behavioural approach to the issue and ‘the consequences of that behaviour for society’ (Cameron, 2011). It can be said that what Cameron achieves here is to demonise those who may be considered victims of an unequal society. The main point of evidence for this claim is where Cameron got the figure of 120,000 families from. Ruth Levitas reveals the source to be analysis from a 2004 Families and Children’s Study, which designates the families to be those with five of seven characteristics, being: no parent in work, overcrowded housing, no parent with qualifications, mother with mental health problems, at least one parent with long standing disability and showing a level of material deprivation.[7] These criteria clearly reveal families suffering from problems, rather than the image the Coalition creates of families causing problems. This is confirmed by the Communities and Local Government report which lists the criteria of ‘troubled families’ as having ‘no parent… working, children not being in school and family members being involved in crime and anti-social behaviour’, although this report also uses the original 120,000.[8] The report also fails to acknowledge where they have calculated the alleged £9billion that these families cost. It is evident that they are combining those that have troubles and those that are troubling to society into one, confirmed by Eric Pickles’ statement that they are ‘both troubled and causing trouble’ (Levitas, 5).

This failure in understanding the specific problems that people have is nothing new in government policy making, the New Labour government launched the Family Intervention Project which was criticised of failing ‘by targeting the wrong people for the wrong reasons… while failing to tackle the real underlying causes’, particularly in areas like mental health.[9] Much earlier governments proposed radical solutions to ‘problem families’ such as the suggestion of ‘segregation and sterilisation’ in the 1940’s.[10] Despite politicians often focusing on behavioural problems, academics and commentators can often take a more structural view. This can be seen by examining, for example, the difference between Keith Joseph’s concept of ‘Cycle of Deprivation’, which focuses on people’s inadequacy as parents and other personal failures, and the concept Frank Field raises of ‘The Cycle of Inequality’. Field marks the issues caused by the increasing gap between rich and poor making aspirations constantly out of grasp for those at the bottom of society, these problems range from income to health.[11] It is evident through multiple studies that there is a psychological effect of inequality and deprivation can lead to the behavioural aspects politicians often choose to focus on.

Frank Field reports data from 1973 showing that at this point the richest 10% in Britain accounted for 99% of income (Field, 59). This uneven distribution continues today, for instance last year it was noted the richest 1,000 people had increased their wealth by £155bn, enough to pay off the current deficit with a meagre £30bn to spare.[12] In his speech Cameron acknowledged that ‘when one group in society seems to have a life apart from the rest, that can have a corrosive effect on others’ (Cameron, 2011); he lists some ways he is tackling the problems at the top of society but it is plain to see that in reality his policies have increasingly been focused on welfare cuts. One must question the government’s commitments to tackling inequality when their recent decisions include a ‘challenge on EU agreement to slash bankers’ bonuses’ and the bedroom tax, reducing benefits to people in social housing with “spare” bedrooms.[13] Academics have argued that this problem of inequality is what makes ‘some of the most affluent societies seem to be social failures’; these unequal relationships in society increase the feelings of anxiety and lack of trust as well as violent tendencies.[14] Despite these issues inequality has been proved to cause, it is unsurprising that David Cameron chooses to focus as little attention on them as possible, especially since his own fortune has been rumoured to be inherited from off-shore tax avoidance[15]. There is also evidence that these early head starts have given Cameron the boost needed to reach the heights of Prime Minister while others struggle to dream of such aspirations. In a study in India it was shown that children who previously received similar results in tests began to achieve differently when they were made aware of their social position, those from lower castes performance was substantially reduced (Wilkinson, 4), thereby the structural creates the behavioural.

Through rhetoric like the ‘troubled families’ the government not only reaffirms the social stratification of citizens, but also sustains a demonisation of lower classes that is propagated in some media, creating an enemy and threatening ‘other’ in society. This discourse is perpetuated by politicians and certain media outlets over successive generations, aggrandising the section of society who ‘choose to live on the dole’ and a creation of a ‘‘Shameless” culture’ (Cameron, 2011), has successfully shaped the public opinion on welfare. A TUC survey carried out at the end of 2012 showed a shocking disproportionately negative response towards benefits from the public. When asked how much of the welfare budget they believed went to those unemployed, the average answer was 41% while the true figure is only 3%. Similarly on average people believed almost half of those on Jobseeker’s Allowance claimed for over a year when the true figure is just over a quarter; overall the poll revealed an immense hostility towards welfare with 59% agreeing it had created a culture of dependency.[16] These kinds of opinions and their amplification by those in power continues a negative image of underclass and undeserving poor, which are concepts that have been present in the debate for decades. These types of ideas help to keep the marginalised of society away from the concerns of the mainstream, such that cuts to benefits and other areas of the public sector may be seen to only affect those who deserve it, because they refuse to find other means to sustain themselves.

However, as is increasingly being made clear, it is not just those who, for whatever reasons, only receive money from benefits that suffer from the severe cuts that the Coalition Government are making. For example, in February 2013 it was revealed that in certain areas of Lancaster and Morecombe, such as Heysham North, one in three children are living in poverty, with Councillor Margaret Pattison commenting that ‘[m]ost people that are suffering at the moment are working people’, proving that those effected are the deserving poor as well as those some may consider undeserving.[17] Again this approach to those in poverty is nothing new, politically it was agreed in the early 1950’s ‘that the problem was not poverty’, although, as it is today, many academics opposed this behavioural analysis and pointed to overarching structural issues.[18]  This negative image of those on welfare, no matter what their situation, can be seen to be continued in Cameron’s speech with lines such as ‘I hate the idea that we should just expect to pay ever larger amounts in welfare to an ever larger chunk of society… and never expect the recipients to change their lives’ (Cameron, 2011). It may be argued that influencing these ideas allows him to make the damaging cuts to welfare that he intends with little public outcry as so many people think it is pushing those who are idle to work, when in reality the damage is far more widespread.

By focusing his interest in families who are struggling at the bottom of society and failing to tackle the issues that are made at the top, extending the already immense inequality, the Coalition succeeds in averting attention from the source of the financial crisis that currently plagues the majority of the global markets.  Events like the London Riots can only be expected when those already suffering the most in society are put under further pressure because of a financial crash they did not cause. Even when some behaviour can be marked as apolitical and opportunistic it is undeniable that the spark for this violence is lit by ‘class-motivated, Cameron-led coalition initiatives’ (Scambler, Politics of Class). It is overwhelmingly apparent that Cameron, and his party as a whole, is one that is motivated by class interests. From its traditional ideological foundations there is an acceptance of inequality in Conservative thinking. Edmund Burke, regarded as the founder of modern conservative philosophy, asserted that social inequality ‘was part of the natural order’.[19] The supporters of welfare, the Liberal Democrats, have been absorbed and the Tory policies win out in an ideologically contradicting Coalition.

The Coalition, or more truthfully the Conservatives, have focused on the 120,000 ‘trouble families’ because it allows them to perpetuate and extenuate the inequality within society. While events like the London Riots break out and there is an increase in movements against the cuts across the country the government realises some may be waking up to their hypocrisy. Against this, policies like the ‘troubled families’ programme help to keep the anger of the general public focused on ‘scroungers’ living off ‘the dole’.

[i] http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2013/mar/31/liberal-conservative-coalition-conservatives


[1] John Welshman, ‘‘Troubled Families’: the lessons of history, 1880-2012’, History and Policy, October 2012, http://www.historyandpolicy.org/papers/policy-paper-136.html 8th March 2013

[2] David Cameron, Troubled families speech, 2011 http://www.number10.gov.uk/news/troubled-families-speech/

[3] Karim Murji and Sarah Neal, Riot: Race and Politics in the 2011 Disorders, http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/4/24.html 8th March 2013

[4] Mary Riddell, ‘London riots: the underclass lashes out’, The Telegraph, 8 August 2011 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/law-and-order/8630533/Riots-the-underclass-lashes-out.html

[5] Graham Scambler and Annette Scambler, Underlying the Riots: The Invisible Politics of Class, http://www.socresonline.org.uk/16/4/25.html 8th March 2013

[6] Jenny Bourne, ‘The line between the political and the criminal can be a blurred one’, The Guardian, 26 September 2011 http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2011/sep/26/spaghetti-house-siege-1976-political-criminal

[7] Ruth Levitas, ‘There may be ‘trouble’ ahead: what we know about those 120,000 ‘troubled’ families’, Poverty and Social Excusion in the UK, Policy Response Series No. 3 (2012) pp. 4-5 http://www.poverty.ac.uk/system/files/WP%20Policy%20Response%20No.3-%20%20%27Trouble%27%20ahead%20%28Levitas%20Final%2021April2012%29.pdf

[8] Financial Report on The Troubled Families Programme by Department of Communities and Local Government, 2012, pp. 3 https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11469/2117840.pdf

[9] The troubled families agenda- what does it all mean?, Adfam briefing, 2012, pp. 6 http://www.drugscope.org.uk/Resources/Drugscope/Documents/PDF/Policy/TroubledFamilies.pdf

[10] John Welshman, ‘Troubled Families’: parallels with the past, http://www.poverty.ac.uk/articles-families-editors-pick/%E2%80%98troubled-families%E2%80%99-parallels-past 8th March 2013

[11] Frank Field, Unequal Britain A report on the Cycle of Inequality, (London: Arrow Books, 1974) pp. 62 (can be found in Lancaster University Library)

[12] Michael Meacher MP, The scourge of our wealth divide, The Guardian, 2 May 2012 http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2012/may/02/scourge-wealth-divide

[13] Nicholas Watt, ‘UK to fight EU plan to cap bankers’ bonuses’, The Guardian, 28 February 2013 http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2013/feb/28/uk-fight-eu-cap-bankers-bonuses

[14] Richard Wilkinson, ‘What difference does inequality make?’, Monthly Review, (2009) pp. 1 http://www.thpc.scot.nhs.uk/Presentations/Wellbeing/Wilkinson.pdf

[15] James Kirkup, ‘David Cameron’s inherited family wealth ‘based in foreign tax havens’’, The Telegraph, 21 August 2012 http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/david-cameron/9218119/David-Camerons-inherited-family-wealth-based-in-foreign-tax-havens.html

[16] Pete Murray, ‘Govt relying on ignorance to support benefit cuts- survey’, http://union-news.co.uk/2013/01/govt-relying-on-ignorance-to-support-benefit-cuts-survey/ 8th March 2013

[17] Nick Lakin, ‘Charities reveal pockets of high child poverty’, Lancaster Guardian, 28 February 2013

[18] John Welshman, ‘Troubled Families’: parallels with the past, http://www.poverty.ac.uk/articles-families-editors-pick/%E2%80%98troubled-families%E2%80%99-parallels-past 8th March 2013

[19] Frank O’ Gorman, Edmund Burke: His Political Philosophy, Volume 2 (London: Routledge, 2004) p.46 (Don’t look for this, Burke is a berk, as the name would suggest.. I really think he might be where the insult came from, maybe in a few years we’ll be calling people a cameron…)