Monthly Archives: September 2016

The truth about Migrants

TV sometimes shows people saying that one of the biggest problems is ‘bloody migrants’, though why migrants should be an issue at all is still a question without a clearly rational answer.

  • Has anyone PERSONALLY suffered from immigration? (i.e. had their job, hospital bed, or house taken from them by a migrant).
  • Isn’t it more likely that we don’t have enough housing because there’s not been enough investment in it, leading to exploitative prices and rents?
  • Is it not the case that most migrants either do jobs other people don’t want, or specialised work that local people are not skilled/qualified for?
  • Is it not the case that wages drop not because migrants work cheaply, but because employers exploit them so as to force down overall wage levels?
  • Is it not the case that the NHS depends on migrants simply because the demand on the system means we cannot keep up with the need for doctors, nurses and ancillary staff (from the medical training system in this country)?
  • Isn’t it the case that recent governments have made potential doctors and nurses think twice about joining the NHS because of very long hours, poor morale and unhappiness over pay? I could do on.

People seem to be concerned about immigration because it’s easier to be worried about ‘the system’ than to be openly anti-migrant. Nevertheless it hints at a kind of latent bigotry. This may be socially unacceptable these days, but it doesn’t stop some from feeling or thinking that way.

There are times when I just wish people were honest about their prejudices. Just bring ’em out in the open. Then at least we all know where we stand.

Better British Values

I have some Better British Values:
+ Politeness
(Just like your Mum taught you)
+ Take responsibility
(If you did it, own up. If you created the mess then clear it up)
+ Treat people as ends, not means
(Don’t exploit people, manipulate them, or use them for your own ends)
+ Share
(We are all in this world together, and unless we get used to sharing it then we’re finished as a species)
+ Think before you speak
(That insult you’re about to write or say may well be more damaging to others – and you – than you think)

Wakey, wakey!

The Labour Party Rightists are not just a function of the LP’s troubles, but part of a fundamental sickness of democracy itself: managerialism. This is endemic throughout society and our social structures. We (by we, I mean every single one of us) have let managerialism take control. It is now extremely difficult to unseat.
It is problematic not just in politics, but in industry, education, health, security, etc. —  indeed all the major aspects of social activity in the (supposedly) democratic nations. Managerialism maintains the status quo in the interest of the minority. It denies that change is possible, and places us in a quandary of dealing with seeming inevitabilities (privatisation, austerity, Fordian choices, etc) that cause cynicism and despair. Managerialism organises a ‘front’ of democracy that sustains its authority and legitimacy. It puts on a show of elections and pseudo-political discourse that masks the invasion of the social sphere by its propaganda.It hypnotises the public with a smoke-and-mirrors show that plays on people’s insecurities.
When alternatives come along, managerialism defends itself by instilling fear (e.g. “We can’t change, Ofsted wouldn’t like it!”) or ridiculing the change-agent (“this is all 1970s thinking”, “what they suggest is juvenile and unworkable”). In all cases, we are paralysed by our uncertainty. They have made us doubt our own sense of right and wrong, and in the process, create a society where cynical behaviour is seen as acceptable — even laudable.
Time to wake up.

A message…

A message to all those trans’ people who are on the verge of coming out or going ‘full-time’:

a) It’s less scary, and more empowering than you think.
b) Ridicule is quite rare; at least, to your face. And the people who do it behind your back don’t count.
c) There are advantages: you become memorable, interesting, fun, and generally much more popular. You also get let out of road junctions a lot more often.
d) You get to talk about beauty things, and can still talk about sport (if that’s your bag).
d) Growing boobs is interesting. Like growing rare plants in a greenhouse (though without the need for manure and greenfly spray).
e) You get a whole new range of problems… like, why do tights wear out so fast? And how come lipstick wont ‘stick’ to your lips but sticks to everything else?
f) It probably takes about five years to get your personal style right. During this period it’s a good idea to listen to ciswomen whom you trust. Ignore everyone else.
g) It’s possible to have a whole new set of relationships, and love can strike you when you least expect it.
h) You will find out who your friends really are.
i) You can do things you would never have done in your assigned gender — and get away with them.
j) Be honest. Especially with yourself.
k) But be open to new experiences. And I don’t just mean sex.
l) Remember your roots: who you were, how you were, and who you are becoming.
l) Have patience. You’ll need it.
k) The NHS is generally OK, but you have to be assertive about what you want. Don’t take no bullsh-t.
m) If you’re married, it’s possible for a relationship to transcend personal change. But the question to ask is: do you really love each other? I mean REALLY?
n) Don’t expect families to be sane. They often react in very selfish ways. Blood is sometimes thinner than water.
o) You will probably go a little bonkers, become obsessive, somewhat self-centred and quite out of your tree at times. Do not worry: it will pass.
p) Watch your mental health. Don’t drink too much.
q) Sparkle is good. But the real challenge is much bigger.
r) There are two ‘closets’: (1) when your are not ‘out’, and then (2) when you only associate with other transfolk. This is fine. But you will need to move on from closet No.2!
s) Take it easy. Stage by stage. You don’t have to ‘blend in’ if you don’t want to. You do need to become your authentic self, however, and that means deciding on how your personality and social identity actually work.
t) If you feel the need of help, go to counselling. It’s worth it, but ONLY if you find the right counsellor.
u) You will get hit on by blokes (if you’re a woman). Be patient, but take no nonsense. And remember: YOU are worth respect at all times!
v) You have every right to be in the Ladies loo!
w) People either are too interested in their own lives, or couldn’t care a damn who you are. The ones that do care (and want to let you know!) are usually quite unbalanced, and therefore should be strategically ignored (or reported, if they’re infringing the law).
x) Sex is different. That’s because you are different.
y) It’s quite possible to have a successful job/career as a transperson (I’m a teacher, so I should know). But if there are problems, they’re to do with other people, not you.
z) I haven’t a feck what to write for ‘z’.