The TUC have decided Britain no longer needs trade unions.

Not that we have had them for a while. This is the TUC’s statement with the CBI about unpaid work and workfare. I am going to explain what it means. We have had an expansion of welfare to the working population. Once a worker is welfare dependent, it doesn’t actually matter if they have a trade union because the government can tinker direct with the economy and their income without ever consulting one. The transfer of welfare spending to the working population, combined with the easy availability of credit, has driven wages to the floor. Now everyones wages will be depressed, and the percentage of the labour in the economy done for benefits and benefits alone will increase. Until we have a no wage economy of people with no democratic or legal representation.

The power of labour to challenge capital is to be absorbed into the benefits system. Trade unions are no longer necessary.

The TUC are umbilically linked to the Labour Party, who are umbilically linked to finance. The TUC now exist to undemine paid labour, and to drive down wages, so that the working population are disenfranchised, and unable to survive, so vulnerable to exploitation.

They did this because Frances O Grady is on 90k a year and why the fuck would she give a shit? The TUC have worked hard to prevent all opposition to austerity unless it can be harvested for the Labour Party and the finance sector it is done in the interests of. THey are vicious with people who challenge them. Old union bullies, They have delivered austerity for the Tories.

This is a message, The trade unions are fair game. The Tories never needed to ban trade unions or strikes, the trade unions are so locked into their fat trough they abandoned us years ago. Existing ONLY to steal our money, and provide lefty bullshit to prevent the discussing of our economic policy, its relationship to our social policy and inequality faultlines.

Israel, Gaza, and sticking your head above the parapet.

Israel, Gaza, and sticking your head above the parapet..

TUC Side With Bosses To Back Tory Workfare Scheme

Originally posted on the void:

“The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.” “The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.”

In an astonishing and genuinely sad day for the trade uni0n movement, the TUC have teamed up with the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) to issue a statement supporting unpaid work.

The TUC have sided with the bosses to sing the praises of the Tory Traineeship programme.  This unpaid scheme can involve up to five months full-time work, sometimes for giant profit making companies like BT or Virgin.  The placements are used to ‘prepare’ young people to be Apprentices, although there is no guarantee that they will be offered even this at the end of the scheme.

Just like Margaret Thatcher’s despised YTS schemes, Traineeships represent a wealth grab by greedy employers.  Once companies recognised they had to pay young people…

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The Idge of Reason. My new blog.

I will be blogging here from now on.

Me on inequality. Pieria

Here you go.

This article was started before I read Piketty’s Capital in the 21st Century, and was not intended as a review of the book. But hey ho.

Time for the twitterbubble to grow up.

There has been a misunderstanding, and it is time to correct it. I know for the journalists and

commentariat who moved into a giant chatroom and declared it their future, twitter was something

new, but I wish they had not in their arrogance christened it ‘media’.

Most of us are used to living in an ugly offensive world outside our comfort zone. The internet as a

realm where you see the world’s consciousness in writing is not a surprise. You don’t need to have

joined a dating website and ended up with an inbox full of penis pictures, or have been deceived by

someone with a fake identity on a forum, to understand the internet reflects a world that is often

more confusing, dangerous and offensive than you knew. Not a surprise that people are sometimes

not who they say they are, more vulnerable than they let on or that people behave irrationally. Few

of us expect to live in a world where everyone likes us, agrees with us or thinks like us. Most of us

are careful on the internet for this reason.

For a while it was fascinating watching our political media culture adjust to their internet paddling

pool. It was interesting to see how the dynamics within a homogenous tribal political culture

shape the newsprint we read and policies we live with, how these people behaved when reality

contradicted their needs. Watching ‘trolls’ hide disturbing behaviour underneath twitter storms

championed as political action, their views normalised by political narratives. The unpleasantness

that exists on the fringes of this digital culture is often nasty, but it is just a reflection of that

culture’s influence and output. It’s educational, and anyone with any sense keeps a good distance

from it if they want to have respectful and sensible conversations with people whose perspectives

differ from their own. The christening of twitter as ‘media’ by a culture who have never had to

reconcile themselves to the complexity of the real world, or their detachment from it, mean twitter

now occupies a unique place in digital history.

Twitter is the chatroom that can land you in prison.

Ludicrous tribalism and mob mentality are a symptom of the atomisation of the power of

mainstream media as we transition to a digital media landscape. Sometimes it’s funny. A tweet sent

while waiting for the washing machine during a JP Morgan PR exercise can land you in the New York

Times. Sometimes it is less funny, and drunkenly participating in a twitter storm against a media

figure can land you in prison for 3 months. Even if you were drunk, or your capacity was reduced

because of a learning disability.

The anonymity that allows keyboard warriors in their pants to vent their spleens, can also hide

extreme vulnerability. Vulnerability and being offensive are not mutually exclusive.

Twitter wars, as media feminists and lefties face demands for accountability from those they ‘speak

for’ while they grapple with the radical idea people are complicated, can be hilarious, but media

figures with publications and political parties behind them, are not arguing with equals. Defamation

by a media figure cannot be challenged by most people, nor can the swarms of acolytes who bite

in their defence. Media narratives do have power over people’s lives. Smearing and lying as reflex

do not translate to a medium where you are mixing with people who do not have your protection.

A spot on Newsnight demanding the force of the law be used to protect your internet experience

is not available to most. Organisations respond quickly to media pressure and if power is to be

enjoyed, it needs to be used responsibly. If your twitter row is resulting in someone being fired,

imprisoned or put at risk, it is time to get some perspective on your internet use and think about

logging off.

I don’t think free speech is threatened long term by recent ‘twitter prosecutions’,

digital culture evolves too quickly for legislation to keep up. I have always liked the

visibility of the vitriol on twitter, once it has been drawn out it can be challenged. I

am quite sure there will be a booming market in online ‘troll catchers’ before long,

but before twitter becomes the new myspace and ephemeral social media makes it

look quaint, it is time for those who have been part of this transition to reflect on

what has been learned. The most important part of the term ‘social media’ is ‘social’

not media. If media figures are going to mingle with ‘society’, it is about time they

got to grips that there are consequences.

Borrowed Nostalgia for a Half-Remembered Nineties


I think this probably saying Britpop was shit. Which it should because it was. But I got lost somewhere.

Originally posted on Velvet Coalmine:

You may be wondering why I haven’t leapt into the current wave of 90s/Britpop nostalgia with all the teeth-bared alacrity of a pseudo-academic Berserker, desperate to point out that the career of Alex James highlights everything wrong with the world. The reasons I haven’t are, broadly, that a) I desire a worthier opponent than Alex James; b) Britpop isn’t, and really never was, the problem. Anything I might want to say about Britpop is wider than Britpop itself and concerns the particular intertwined development of politics, culture and society in that weird and decisive decade.

The problem with the 90s wasn’t simply that “politics” (specifically, the recognition of class as a political identity) vanished from mainstream pop culture, but that it vanished from mainstream politics too. After the Tories’ scorched-earth approach to industry in the 80s, the 90s saw a salting of the ground though privatization of the railways and…

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