A Helot Society 307


So we are back with a vengeance to notions of the undeserving poor. Electronic cards are to ensure that the poor can only spend their benefits on basic necessities like food and clothing, and not on a lifestyle of alcohol and illegal drugs.

Having lived a rather spectacular life encompassing both ends of the social spectrum, I can state with utter conviction that consumption of illegal pleasure-giving stimulants is far higher among the very wealthy than among the very poor. The notion that only the rich should be allowed to have any enjoyment in life is deeply offensive. It is fine for the Bullingdon Club to get plastered on Krug and cocaine and smash up restaurants. That is all jolly japes and high spirits. For a desperate man to seek solace in four cans of Tennant’s strongest or a bottle of Buckfast is however a dreadful sin and sign of social irresponsibility.

The high streets of our poorest towns are strewn with betting shops, bargain booze outlets, pawnbrokers and payday lenders. For anybody to believe that state compulsion of the patrons is the answer to the problem is the ultimate counsel of despair. Forget giving people a better hope, a greater chance, more socially useful pleasures. Just ban the little solace they have now. We have a government which holds a large section of the population in contempt; which cannot imagine that given a different birth, these people might have been sitting next to them in the Bullingdon Club; in short, which has no notion whatsoever of human dignity.

This latest move against benefits claimants is consistent with the entire development of the modern British economy. High wage economies generate a self-sustaining high domestic demand which keeps the economy growing. Our three main political parties postulate a low wage economy, with a minimum wage below the level which can sustain a family. The low wage economy is defended as a guarantee of strong international competitiveness and thus export performance. In fact Britain’s low wage model is entirely different, and the vast majority of those on low wages have no relation to exports. What Britain has developed is a model where a thin layer at the top are on extremely high remuneration. This of course includes bankers and the financial services industry, but also through the cult of managerialism, CEOs and directors have vastly increased their remuneration. For the multiple between the highest and lowest paid in a company to be 70 – the cleaner on 15,000, the core level majority on 20,000 and the CEO on 3,000,000- is now absolutely routine.

Even the public sector is ruled by this pretence that executive work is harder, more stressful, more uniquely difficult than core work. Well, I have been an Ambassador and a barman, and I can tell you which was hardest work. University vice chancellors are on over 300,000. Local councils regularly have a score of people on over 100,000.

We have no media willing to take on the triumph of greed. The most “left wing” of British newspapers, the Guardian, pays its editor total remuneration of over half a million per year and “star” columnists 300,000, while exploiting interns and junior staff, and squandering 35 million pounds a year of C P Scott’s great endowment in losses – straight into its senior staff’s pockets.

Britain has developed a new kind of low wage economy – one where the bulk of those on low wages work to provide services to those on very, very high remuneration. In a sense it is very old. We have become a helot society. It should be stressed that low wage is a deliberate policy. There is absolutely no reason why those in work could not be paid more. The economy would not crash. In Norway the median wage of the lowest 10 percentile is over 20,000 pounds, while the multiple between the lowest ten percentile and the top ten percentile is less than one third what it is in Britain. The UK’s astonishing and accelerating wealth gap is a result of deliberate ideological policy, founded on a notion that those at the top are possessed of rare and extraordinary abilities – whereas in truth, in the UK more than anywhere, their main achievement was usually to be born into the right family.

The concomitant of that worship of the rich is the belief that money measures worth; that if you have a low income then you are scum. That is the attitude that underlies these benefit smart cards. It is truly disgusting.


307 thoughts on “A Helot Society

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  • YouKnowMyName

    That the Guardian pay their own staff more than the Prime Minister is indeed a scandal, but the (previously) respected German journalist Udo Ulfkotte in his latest book “Bought journalists” goes so much further!

    He claims the German media is corrupt in width and depth. Dozens of lobbying organizations, dozens of companies, politicians of all stripes and countless journalists from virtually all German “mainstream media” are subverted, he names all the afflicted newspapers, magazines and TV channels.

    Can we believe that it is any different in the UK?

  • Tony

    YKMN

    I agree the expose by Udo is interesting and I am sure replicated here as well, but Germany offers another insight into how successful economies function. I believe that the gap between highest and lowest in the average German company is about 40-50 times (this from memory, but I am sure this is approximately the figure). Similar to the statistic from decades ago in the UK. We have become a society (reinforced by the corrupt MSM) that these “Masters of the Universe” are somehow more deserving than everyone else. Pure farce, of course, but this is the Establishment “norm” that is the real battle.

  • nigel

    Robert Peffers says:
    29 September, 2014 at 12:15 am
    @nigel says:28 September, 2014 at 10:51 pm:

    “… alas, I suspect the remainder cannot, or will not, “un-thick” their closed mindsets…………”

    Oh! Come on, Nigel! Think about what you are saying and put yourself in the position of an OAP on the basic pension – making the choice each week of whether to eat or heat and a knock comes on your door. There stands a bussed in, paid for English NO activist. He/she asks you what you intend to vote and you say, “Ah’m votin Aye! of course”, and this smartly dressed individual with an the English style accent you have always associated with the such things as School Head Masters, Housing Officers at the local Toon Ha, Bosses, Bank Managers and other people you associate with authority figures says, “Are you mad? Don’t you know that if you vote YES you will force the United Kingdom Government to stop your pension? How could a Scottish Government manage to pay for all the Scottish pensioners”?

    These old people are not thick they are terrified and imagine themselves starved to death in a cold house with not even anyone to bury them. Think about it – even big strong men have unreasoned terrors. As an MOD worker with Nuclear Radiation I had to have a medical examination every year. This was done with a couple of RN Surgeon Commanders and the workers all in the scuddy standing in a long queue. On one occasion I was right at the front of that queue when the surgery assistant came through the inner door with a tray of large syringes in one hand a a ready for action large syringe in the other. I heard this sound like a big collective sigh behind me and looked round as I heard a series of dull thuds. There was a line that now had gaps in it where these big hard Royal Dockyard hard-men were lying passed out at the sight of those needles.

    Get the message, Nigel? Abject fear is often irrational and nothing whatsoever to do with intellect.

    So, Robert, your implication being that the puir owld souls who have been intimidated on their doorsteps would have voted yes if they had not been intimidated?

    I think not.

    I wouldnt blame them though, as they have spent their long lives in a country which,according to the media which are 100% unionist in outlook, on a daily basis, has portrayed their country as being too poor, too wee(as witness the blatant downsizing on the weather map) , and totally incapable of making its own decisions. What, Scotland have its own parliament?? Your having a laugh-Hahaha!

    The constant battering of the Scots has resulted in their mindset being as I have previously described, i.e., timidity, fear(and this in a nation with an allegedly warlike history-haha!)

    Our imperial masters have subtly, or not so subtly, allowed the Scots a wee bit of self congratulation by allowing such programmes as the White heather Club, and numerous programmes mainly centred around singing and dancing themes. Any aspirations to go beyond that and make programmes containing any political theme, or themes which show the Scots as having an intellect, are instantly stamped upon.(Cant let the natives have delusions of grandeur, what??)

    I dont blame the English one iota for what we have become,they are simply taking advantage of a compliant race, however I AM shaken and appalled at the number of Scots who have been taken in, hook line and sinker , by the unionists propoganda,and the number who on a daily basis belittle their own country.

    I am reminded of the Chinese nationalist, Mao tse Tung, who, in order to change the mindsets of the older Chinese (not dis-similar to the older Scots mindset in many ways), having to order the cultural revolution,run by the younger elements, in order to expunge the older (imperialist) way of thinking.

    I see many many parallels here……….

  • MerkinOnParis

    How long till we see the equivalent of CDA, or similar, instruments devised by legal loan sharks under which The Company Store will swap fags or booze for a share of the prepaid ‘credit’ card?

  • glenn_uk

    It seems that we’re moving towards a society where the great mass of working poor will indeed be there to service the needs of the financially very well placed, but also will be deliberately be kept beholden to the government to sustain them.

    Working people are – in a large and increasing part – unable to provide for their “hard working families”. They must have housing benefit, child allowances, working tax credits, and various other assistance just to remain bumping along the bottom. But that’s not good enough. We – the State – will take away this essential support, if you fall foul of our rules. It’s not just about buying the right products (cheap food instead of cut price booze). Talk about removing assistance for people falling foul of social regulations, and failing to attend dubious work placement schemes, are what excites the governing classes.

    Will we have benefits consequences for, say, attending rallies that are not government approved? The police enforcers have long since taken mass surveillance of crowds of protestors. Will this become grounds for threatening the existence of struggling “hard working families” through the benefits system? Are we going to see far more life choices being restricted, not only in the choices of food and entertainment, but the political activity taken – not just for the entirely dependent, but for the working poor too?

  • Republicofscotland

    Excellent article Craig, and to add the madness the (ONS) says that the UK GDP is on the up, this time around the figures for prostitution and drug dealing are included in the GDP, and they even admit the amount people who are on the game, the number being 60.000.

    The state broadcaster the BBC has been pumping out the news of how the economy is in good health, of course many will know whatever the BBC proclaims 99% of the time it just isn’t true.

    Meanwhile as you say Craig IDS and his sidekick Esther McVile, are introducing a type of payment card, along with Universal Credit, which incidentally has already cost the taxpayer millions due to failed software, it would appear the Tories haven’t been phased one little bit, by 45% of Scottish residents voting yes, roll on the EU Referendum.

  • Republicofscotland

    It didn’t take long for the war in Iraq to spill over in Syria, who’d have thought it.

    US led coalition warplanes bombed IS group positions across four provinces, hitting a grain silo and a gas plant

  • Republicofscotland

    As you rightly point out Craig not only are the majority of UK wages low pay, there’s a 2 million standing army of unemployed people who fill the gaps which keeps the wages low, I wouldn’t be surprised if the low wage agenda, helped maintain that army, and vice versa.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Republicofscotland (14h14)

    Please stay on topic – you had plenty of opportunity to talk about Irak and Syria on previous threads.

    Please show some respect towards Craig and other commenters.

  • Anon1

    Sorry, Craig, but there are huge numbers of dossers in this country who are perfectly capable of work but are able to shirk because the benefits system allows it. Absolutely anyone who denies this is lying. The result is that the jobs that otherwise should have been theirs are eagerly snapped up by low-paid immigrant workers brought in by successive government policy of mass-immigration, supported wholly by yourself. You are effectively in lockstep with big business and the drive for lower wages by supporting mass-immigration. Your support for unrestricted access to labour from across the EU is driving down wages in this country, while government is content to let British workers rot on benefits so that big business can make more profit from cheap labour.

    You are totally distant from this, of course, having been in state employ for your whole working life and seeing the great benefit of the EU as being the ease with which one can move around Europe on one’s holidays. You ought to know better living in the part of the country that you do, but sadly you seem to think the low-income earners of your constituency are turning to UKIP because they are ignorant and racist. You never miss an opportunity to call them Little Englanders – you have exactly she same disdain for them as the establishment classes. Though you don’t realize it, in many ways you are really a part of the cosy metropolitan establishment you like to think you are opposed to.

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    Difficult to argue with anything Craig has written here.

    I would however very much like to read/hear some further analysis of the situation in which the neither working poor nor stinking rich find themselves: I’m thinking of those families between, say, twice and three times the average and median national wage, ie, those families on £50.000 – £75.000 pa. (I assume that most of those families would already be on the housing ladder).

    As a further question, can anyone point to statistics showing how many millions fall into various income bands?

  • Keith Crosby

    Britain has been stuck in the position of Germany in 1932 since the late 60s, which is based on the fascist electoral system.

  • nevermind, there's a future, still

    ” however I AM shaken and appalled at the number of Scots who have been taken in, hook line and sinker , by the unionists propoganda,and the number who on a daily basis belittle their own country.”

    Indeed, Nigel, add to that the pressage provided by business and public service alike, challenging and threatening the choice of their employees with inuendo and fear, people are just not knowledgable enough of the political system to see through this concentrated last minute political machination.

    I’m sure that Craig would agree when I say that this is also true in english FPTP elections, as experience shows. One could be as bold to assume that all their election victories are based on manipulating voters resolve. Hence my like for a lottocracy.

    Fear and money go hand in hand, they are married to each other and are the two most powerfull puppet masters in the western world. Udo’s alarm bell revelations, re: journalismn in Germany, marks another of their many tools and we can expect that these Leviathanic relations fostered under NATO’s umbrella, also apply here in blighty.

  • Ba'al Zevul

    The first thing to remember is that ‘growth’ is a term so all-embracing as to be meaningless. If I sell you a ham sandwich for £1, you sell it back to me, and we repeat the cycle a million times, we have grown the economy by £1M between us (and the sandwich is probably inedible).

    The second thing to remember is that the market economy, as conceived and implemented by financiers, is based on debt. The more debt, the more moolah for a faceless suit with an MBA and useful connections. How does that work? When a bank makes a loan, the cash value isn’t simply transferred to the borrower from the bank’s books; it’s added to the bank’s books, and (implicitly only) debited to the borrower thus becoming simultaneously available for the bank’s use and the borrower’s – real and imaginary money. Complex numbers…the imaginary portion being a multiple of the square root of minus sweet fuck-all. The real money is (hopefully) repaid, plus a nice lump of interest. The imaginary money has also been lent out at (real) interest, since the banks are allowed to do this; more moolah. Only if the borrower defaults does this go horribly wrong, and then only if someone spots that the bank’s books are unbalanced. Which they tend not to do, as this would destroy the punters’ trust in banks. But debts can be traded, and it is possible to recover the value of a debt before it falls due by flogging it to someone else. And see derivatives trading.

    Obviously this generates a lot of imaginary cash. In an honest society this would be regarded as inflationary. In a dishonest society the declining value of the currency is relabelled “healthy housing market” and becomes a property bubble. House price inflation soaks up the funny money- and growth increases. Or the money supply is augmented by borrowing. From banks. And there we go again. Or the difference between imaginary and real money is slightly (the difference is gigantic) and cosmetically adjusted by plundering services essential to the population at large, but which do not, literally make money.

    Growth, in this economy, equals debt. Time to ridicule any use of the word ‘growth’ in the context of an honest economy, I think. The Gods of the Copybook Headings are returning for another go. In my best copperplate hand, then, “neither a borrower or a lender be.”

  • Republicofscotland

    Please stay on topic – you had plenty of opportunity to talk about Irak and Syria on previous threads.

    Please show some respect towards Craig and other commenters.
    _______________________________________

    Habb.

    I see what you’re saying.

    As for respect, its a bit rich of you to even mention that word, no doubt just like me a few commenters will have had a chuckle to themselves at the thought of you using the respect word.

    Thanks you’ve just brightened up my day.

  • Republicofscotland

    As a further question, can anyone point to statistics showing how many millions fall into various income bands?
    ______________________

    Habb

    I know this making a comment thing is completely new to you, but do try and do some homework old boy instead of asking others to do it for you,its called incentive, there’s a good chap.

    I’ll help you out this time.

    http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/awe/average-weekly-earnings/index.html

  • Anon1

    Nevermind

    I often get the impression that your oppose the electoral system because you haven’t won any elections, and that your explanation for not having won any elections is because the public is ignorant. Is this correct?

  • Habbabkuk (La vita è bella) !

    RoS

    Thanks for that ONS reference. Can you help further – there seems to be a lot on bonuses but I was asking about how many people (preferably families, actually, but people will do at a pinch) fall into the various income bands. Ie, how many people (families) earn between, say, £10.000-£20.000, how many earn between £21.000-£30.000, how many between £31.000-£45.000 and so on. Can you give a more precise link or point me in the right direction?

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    This is just the beginning of the conservative push to privatize EVERYTHING including law enforcement. You may have heard the expression “What’s wrong with Kansas’ an historical nest of radicals tamed by false promises never delivered. Ask yourself; what’s wrong with Scotland, and you may see some parallels.

    http://www.newrepublic.com/article/119574/sam-brownbacks-conservative-utopia-kansas-has-become-hell

  • Republicofscotland

    Habb

    ______________
    A difficult one to pin down,Wiki does break the groups down to wages and amount of folk working.

    Range Number of taxpayers
    £4,745 to £6,000 1,440,000
    £6,000 to £7,000 1,160,000
    £7,000 to £8,000 1,590,000
    £8,000 to £10,000 2,950,000
    £10,000 to £12,000 2,760,000
    £12,000 to £15,000 3,650,000
    £15,000 to £20,000 4,950,000
    £20,000 to £30,000 6,000,000
    £30,000 to £50,000 4,090,000
    £50,000 to £70,000 859,000
    £70,000 to £100,000 410,000

    ________________________

    Here’s the link

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Income_in_the_United_Kingdom

  • Kenzie

    “The UK’s astonishing and accelerating wealth gap is a result of deliberate ideological policy, founded on a notion that those at the top are possessed of rare and extraordinary abilities – whereas in truth, in the UK more than anywhere, their main achievement was usually to be born into the right family.”

    You only have to look at those two donkeys of the apolcalypse Cameron and Gidiot to see the truth of that.

    They are surely there by accidents of birth. What other reason could there by for two so bereft of ability.

  • nevermind, there's a future, still

    As usual you have got it wrong, Anon £1, and I feel no compulsion whatsoever to discuss the issue of a ‘crutch’ FPTP shoring up a wretchedly corrupt political system, with a non dom who feels the need to piss on anybody earning less than himself and who similar to the people of Yonkers, some time ago, feel threatened by a multilingual/cultural society.

    Thats enough answering to you for today.

  • Republicofscotland

    Further wage related data

    __________________________

    Percentile points for income of individuals before tax.

    1% 5% 10% 25% 50% 75% 90% 95% 99% Mean
    1999-00 £4,600 £5,630 £6,570 £9,260 £14,400 £22,300 £33,000 £44,600 £96,400 £19,600
    2000–01 £4,620 £5,520 £6,480 £9,280 £14,800 £23,000 £34,200 £46,700 £102,000 £20,300
    2001–02 £4,780 £5,850 £6,860 £9,910 £15,500 £24,300 £36,200 £49,200 £107,000 £21,400
    2002–03 £4,860 £5,960 £6,970 £10,000 £15,800 £24,700 £36,700 £49,800 £108,000 £21,600
    2003–04 £4,820 £5,850 £7,000 £10,100 £16,000 £25,100 £37,100 £50,600 £111,000 £21,900
    2004–05 £4,980 £6,070 £7,260 £10,300 £16,400 £26,100 £39,000 £52,400 £117,000 £22,800
    2005–06 £5,200 £6,350 £7,610 £10,800 £17,100 £27,400 £41,300 £56,200 £132,000 £24,300
    2006–07 £5,410 £6,600 £7,880 £11,200 £17,700 £28,400 £42,900 £58,500 £141,000 £25,500
    2007–08 £5,600 £6,870 £8,240 £11,800 £18,500 £29,500 £44,900 £61,500 £149,000 £26,800
    2009–10 £6,800 £7,970 £9,510 £12,900 £19,600 £30,900 £46,600 £63,200 £149,000 £28,400
    2010–11 £6,800 £7,990 £9,530 £13,000 £19,600 £31,000 £46,700 £63,400 £147,000 £27,400
    2011–12 (Projected) £7,800 £9,030 £10,410 £13,800 £20,600 £32,200 £48,600 £66,100 £153,000 £29,000
    2012–13 (Projected) £8,430 £9,690 £11,070 £14,500 £21,300 £33,300 £50,500 £68,500 £156,000 £29,900

  • Ben E. Geserit Muad'Dib Further Confounding Gender Speculators

    Socialism for Me, but not for Thee. Why do voters often vote against their own interests, as my example above indicates?

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/plum-line/wp/2014/09/29/socialism-for-me-but-not-for-thee/

    As you’ve heard, Tom Cotton, the GOP candidate for Senate in Arkansas, has tried to explain away his controversial vote against the farm bill by blaming it all on the Food Stamp President.

    Cotton was the only House Republican from Arkansas to vote against the farm bill, and Senator Mark Pryor continues to hammer him over it in ads and elsewhere. Cotton is running his own spot in response that claims he voted against the farm bill because Obama “hijacked” it and “turned it into a food stamp bill.” Cotton adds: “Career politicians love attaching bad ideas to good ones.”

  • DtP

    We’re not talking about people who’ve ‘fallen on hard times’ or unemployed people – we’re talking about people who present themselves through social services as having a drug, booze, mental health problem – diagnosed by ‘professionals’ who, as mentioned, cost the state £30 billion a year – in cash, not to mention the anti social behaviour they inflict upon their neighbours, crime, drug paraphernalia, violence etc etc. That’s before we even get to their kids. The cards won’t be issued to everyone on benefits – certainly not in-work benefits like housing, working tax credits etc but be issued to those who’ve had every measure of support that’s available and still don’t respond, still don’t engage. It dam well is about punishing people – society is a contract – and these folks despise everything that society creates – especially their own kids, neighbours, friends etc. As Rab C Nesbitt famously espoused ‘these aren’t working class, they’re genuine scum’ and sometimes the state does need to take control if people are unable or unwilling to take responsibility for their actions – geez man, if you pop your ‘it came from the Tories therefore it must be bad’ partisan blinkers off, I’d have thought your lot would love it.

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