Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Institutional Snobbery

One of the best and most entertaining political writers ever in my opinion, even while as an elected politician himself, was Tom Harris as I've mentioned a few times before.

Now, however, freed from the shackles he loosely carried as a Scottish Labour MP, his writing just gets better and better. He let rip quite beautifully in the Telegraph yesterday about his party's incredibly stupid decision to ban McDonald's from the Labour Party Conference. Here are some highlights.
Snobbery towards McDonald’s is nothing new on the British Left. You only have to mention their name on Twitter to provoke a deluge of self-righteous comments from people living in London who wouldn’t dream of letting little Marcus or Louisa sink their perfectly aligned incisors into a Big Mac or a McChicken Sandwich.
Snobbery is a perfect description of this kind of thinking, as I've termed it myself when talking about the vile, mega-rich, smug, oleaginous, distended, blown out sweatsock Jamie Oliver and his poor-bashing sugar tax.
Osborne didn't usher in any new success for 'public health' yesterday - for the simple fact that a sugar tax has never worked and, as admitted by those who favour it, never will - but he certainly delivered multiple orgasms to the most deranged and repugnant in our country; the type you would hide behind the sofa to pretend you were out if you saw them park outside your house. If pandering to the vile and intolerant was the purpose, the upper class boy Osborne did exceptionally! He enthralled his fellow pompous and snooty middle class minions and stuck it to the less well off good, so he did.

Or, as Alex Deane succinctly describes it in The Telegraph.
Virtue-signalling politicians, bureaucrats and celebrities feeling tremendously good about themselves because they’ve bossed the rest of us around, and imposed a stealth tax on those least able to afford it.
It's not a step forward for the health of the nation, but instead a triumph for repulsive anti-social snobbery and the most obnoxious human faecal matter we have the abject misfortune to share our everyday lives with.
Yes, it's quite plain that middle class snobbery is at play, and Harris goes on to object to his chosen party trying to pretend it is something to do with health ... which it isn't.
Lastly, there’s the handy, media-friendly excuse for stopping McDonald’s having access to delegates when they meet in September under Labour’s banner in Liverpool: health. That a Big Tasty with bacon and an extra large side of fries followed by a Cadbury’s Caramel McFlurry is not classed as health food will be as big a shock to diners as the revelation that the Pope does not practice the Protestant faith. 
But to defend the existence of McDonald’s in our local High Street is to invite accusations of being an enabler of childhood obesity. It’s not up to poor, ignorant parents to tell their kids “No” when they ask for a Happy Meal; rather, it is up to McDonald’s themselves to offer only non-fried, non-meat-based, non-tasty food, probably in a safe space…
Quite. If you try to inject some semblance of proportion into debates on fast food, fizzy drinks or any other substance which attracts wild exaggerated scaremongering from snooty middle class pricks who just like looking down their nose at their perceived inferiors, you'll inevitably be met with Lovejoy's Law.

This is because, as Harris points out, it is very important for privileged snobs to always divert attention from benefits of the things they are selfishly and pompously trying to demonise.
When a branch of McDonald’s opens up in a local area, particularly in one with few amenities and even less economic activity, the erection of the yellow arches is an unalloyed blessing. New jobs are created, new skills are learned and parents, often harassed after a long day’s work and often with little time to prepare a full family meal, have access to food that – oh, heavenly miracles! – their offspring will actually eat
Such people, the people who work there, who buy food there, who can give the occasional treat to their children for less than a tenner, these are the people Labour is banning from their hallowed precincts. 
Labour can probably live without the attention and affection of former US presidents; it cannot hope to survive if it displays such narrow-minded prejudice against popular high street chains, their customers and their employees.
Nope, but then Labour long since discarded any pretence that they were interested in defending the choices of working families; in practice their policies in the past ten years have focussed entirely on sneering at, restricting, banning and destroying everything which working people - their core support - favour and enjoy.

However good Harris's article is though (do go read it all), it's not a solely Labour fault. We now have a hegemony of political parties all over the world who seem to think that pandering to middle class snobbery by contemptuously shitting on the choices working people make is perfectly acceptable.

In Australia, for example, eye-watering tobacco taxes have been correctly described as "the insatiable greed of governments underpinned by middle class snobbery", leading to "the poor, indigenous, prisoners, and mentally ill, paying for the untargeted spending which is of most benefit to the middle classes", which effectively means "robbing the poor to pay the rich".

Likewise minimum alcohol pricing - considered by David Cameron himself and aggressively pursued by left-of-centre Scottish Nationalists - which even its most ardent supporters admit is a tax on the poor which will not affect the better off one iota.

We are faced with this new political landscape where snobbery about the choices of others has become entrenched as policy by all parties as somehow acceptable. An institutional snobbery at the heart of government policies worldwide and the theft of resources from the less well off endorsed as perfectly fair.

Simon Cooke sums up the vile principle very well here.
People who drink beer (the cheap session beer they sell in working mens' clubs and discount supermarkets), smoke, vape and enjoy fatty burgers or sugary sweets, these are the people who aren't welcome in today's Labour Party. Indeed, it's hard to think of anywhere that these people - millions of them - can find a political place that doesn't treat them like some sort of pariah. It's a sad state of affairs when the persistent lobbying of a few - a tiny few - fanatics has resulted in the lifestyle choices of millions being condemned as unhealthy, unsightly and unfavoured. 
The 'few' dictating to the overwhelming majority of the public who make their choices quite clear by buying the legal products they enjoy. Snobbery as government policy; snobbery institutionalised and encouraged to empower the most disgusting and condescending in society.

I have nothing but contempt for the rancid people who hold views such as this. Anyone who is such a snob that they think it acceptable to dictate to the poor about their choices - and deliberately punish them on that basis - are the lowest of the low and I hope God rots every one of them.

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