David Thompson
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May 25, 2013

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sackcloth and ashes

'Were I Empress of England, I would order them, and their show-off neighbours, to do so. Sadly, it won’t happen'.

So a self-proclaimed socialist admits that the only way she'll get her way is for her to somehow be given the powers awarded to a despotic monarch. And her solution involves expropriating the money and property of the residents of a part of the capital renowned as the residence of choice for the affluent left. The kind of people who read the 'Guardian', in fact.

How fucking mad is that?

rjmadden

Shove your ostentatious wealth up our noses, why don’t you?

My wife and I regularly walk past some really nice houses (they're much bigger and more expensive than ours) and yet we've never been envious or angry about it. We sometimes stop and stare a bit longer than we should but we've never wanted the people who live there to be unhappy. But then we don't write for the Guardian.

David

rjmadden,

…we've never wanted the people who live there to be unhappy. But then we don’t write for the Guardian.

Yes, it’s remarkably easy to walk past, and even admire, other people’s things without wishing misery, misfortune and even fear upon the owners. Which makes me wonder which comes first. The obnoxious personality or the obnoxious politics?

Decnine

Socialist levels of tax are not about redistributing wealth. They have gone far beyond that. Socialist levels of tax are about redistributing the poverty that socialist levels of tax so efficiently create.

sackcloth and ashes

Some clown on that thread is referring to the fate of the Ceausescus as a warning to the 'super-rich'. I'd like to know who teaches politics and history at his school, as the tutors concerned seriously have their work cut out for them.

Sam Duncan

Decnine, I was about to say something like that, but not half as well.

John D

Michele Hanson might be less 'upset' if she wasn't so hung up on what other people do with their own money.

Anna

That’s why she’s looking forward to misery being inflicted on people she knows nothing about, beyond the amenities of their home.

People who will have helped an army of architects, joiners, plumbers, decorators, painters, fitters, electricians and retailers pay their own mortgages. The bastards!

David

Anna,

People who will have helped an army of architects, joiners, plumbers, decorators, painters, fitters, electricians and retailers pay their own mortgages. The bastards!

Quite. Just as the lovely Zoe Williams wished injury and hardship on people who were giving millions to help Romanian orphans.

She cares, you see.

carbon based lifeform

The owners could probably save the Victoria Baths with their pocket money.

Alan Rusbridger earns half a million a year. Maybe he could chip in?

Sanity Inspector

Always disquieting to listen to the ragings of a powerless deity.

Rafi

Envy, spite and stupidity.

sackcloth and ashes

'Alan Rusbridger earns half a million a year. Maybe he could chip in?'

Yep, and Polly Toynbee and George Moonbat are not short of a bob or two. Maybe the GMG could also actually pay its UK taxes rather than hiding its assets in the Cayman Islands.

David

Rafi,

Envy, spite and stupidity.

I don’t think it’s about stupidity; there are plenty of clever socialists. Or rather, clever people who like to think of themselves as socialists. In the developed world, I think it’s more a matter of unrealism and dishonesty - a willingness to pretend. See, for instance, this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or… well, pretty much anything in the archives.

JuliaM

Cheers for link!

There's been a lot of this lately, in the 'Guardian'. Barely concealed lust for the revolution.

And tomorrow's 'Indy' front page mourns the 'intense pressure' MI5 put the savage who murdered the soldier in Woolwich under.

It's all our fault, you see.

Spiny Norman

Because Socialism is Never About Envy and Spite

Oh, it's barged right through that queue and kicked in the door to Bloodlust and Hatred.

On both sides of the Pond.

pst314

According to Wikipedia, the Victoria Baths are in the process of being restored.

Rich Rostrom

pst314 | May 25, 2013 at 21:49: the Victoria Baths are in the process of being restored.

Yes. The work is being carried out by the Victoria Baths Trust, with money from the Heritage Lottery Fund and private donations.

However, the cost is not trivial. The initial stage was to cost 3.4M GBP, with 15M-20M for the rest. But that first stage was over 6M, and if the rest was comparable, the total should be around 40M. I can't think of many people for whom that is "pocket change", not even the likes of Richard Branson. (It's about 1% of his net worth, or 20% of a year's income, which is a lot to blow on a whim.)

Sorry abou the garble above. You need a preview window, please? Ms. Stoaty Weasel has one.

Tim Newman

I learned to swim (when I was 23) in the Manchester Acquatics Centre. It was astonishingly cheap, something like £35 for a course of 10 hour long lessons.

David

Rich,

I can’t think of many people for whom that is “pocket change”

It’s a strange article, even by Guardian standards. Taken at face value, Ms Hanson is enraged that an obsolete building in Manchester hasn’t yet been given the £40M or whatever needed to make it fit for use, despite the fact its original function has been moved elsewhere, to more modern amenities around the city. Ms Hanson is also enraged that, 200 miles away, someone has built a house with an indoor swimming pool, which, for reasons that aren’t clear, is apparently some kind of moral scandal. Unless, that is, we’re supposed to assume that people who can afford indoor swimming pools are somehow, by definition, unworthy of their own money. Presumably, no-one should be allowed to have indoor swimming pools or other expensive things, paid for with their own money, anywhere in the country, until Ms Hanson’s list of personal grievances has been dealt with at whatever cost to others.

You need a preview window, please?

Ahem. You see that button - the one right next to ‘post’?

Joan

What a nasty cow.

Rob

Me Hanson disses Hampstead, the spiritual home of Guardianistaism. Have they found her body yet?

Charlie Suet

I never understand the lingering desire in some left wing circles for revolution. It doesn't quite fit with their worship of the welfare state, which is the sort of thing that can only really exist in a stable country. Obviously one can object to particular aspects of society and hope to reform them, but thrilling to the sound of broken glass one moment and uttering paeans to the NHS the next requires a certain cognitive dissonance.

David

Charlie Suet,

…thrilling to the sound of broken glass one moment and uttering paeans to the NHS the next requires a certain cognitive dissonance.

In my experience, socialism appeals most strongly to a certain kind of personality. Say, the kind of personality that wants to indulge in petty resentment and authoritarian spite but doesn’t like doing it without an excuse – ideally, a pretence of altruism or moral indignation. What’s needed, then, is an ideological license for being coercive and unpleasant. Which may explain why Ms Hanson gives her readers the impression that Manchester has been left devoid of public swimming pools, despite it having more than most cities outside of London.

It may also help explain why so many of Ms Hanson’s readers want to tell the world, quite proudly, that they “abhor the rich,” that the rich should be “hammered” for being “parasitical,” because wealth can only ever come from “exploitation,” and therefore “rich people are shits” and should have their earnings “redistributed” “aggressively” by people like themselves who care so very much. Another Guardian reader insists “we need compassion and kindness to our planet and its beautiful creatures” and therefore – therefore – people deemed too rich (by some unspecified measure) are “selfish morons” who will have to be dealt with by, oh yes, “revolution.”

As rational, factual statements, they leave something to be desired. But as expressions of an emotional attitude, a personal disposition, they communicate quite effectively. It may be dissonant and juvenile, but the urge to make readers resent and punish people who aren’t sufficiently leftwing is a Guardian staple. See this lofty example by Kevin McKenna. Or just about anything by Zoe Williams, who seems to relish her own vindictive sentiment. George Monbiot’s views of non-leftwing people are quite revealing, and Kalle Lasn, the founder of Occupy, tells us that his movement is all about “antagonising people and slapping them around a little bit.” They’ll be slapping us around for our own good, obviously.

Steve 2

David, I like how Kevin McKenna describes his failing the entrance exam to get into a good private school as a "narrow escape". But his subsequent conclusion that private schools should not be "allowed" to exist isn't bitterness because he was too thick to get into one, oh no, it's high minded principle that leads him to presume he should be allowed to dictate the educational choices of other parents.

David

Steve 2,

oh no, it’s high minded principle that leads him to presume he should be allowed to dictate the educational choices of other parents.

Well, it’s odd how Mr McKenna’s principles just happen to coincide with less edifying motives. Because thwarting bright children is what good people do.

Bart

"I never understand the lingering desire in some left wing circles for revolution. It doesn't quite fit with their worship of the welfare state"

Not to mention the fact that leftists are the most enthusiastic cheerleaders for civilian gun confiscation and are irrationally keen on encouraging a general atmosphere of hysterical hypersensitivity to the most ridiculously innocuous, and often completely imaginary of offences. Like the incident where pupils were encouraged to make use of the school phsychiatrist because one of their fellows inadvertently bit his pop tart into a shape that somewhat resemble a pistol.

In short, the Guardian Massive is wishing for a revolution against the state by people who they also wish were dependent upon the state for their very existence. By people who've got no weapons as they also want the state they're fighting against to confiscate them all beforehand. And a revolution fought by people whom they've deliberately encouraged to fall into jibbering hysterics at the slightest provocation and to have nervous breakdowns at the sight of anything that vaguely resembling a gun.

With a battleplan like that, how could they fail?

Rich Rostrom

David:


> You need a preview window, please?

Ahem. You see that button - the one right next to ‘post’?

With Javascript on, I do. With Javascript off, I see only one button reading "Submit".

I leave Javascript off 90% of the time, because many sites take forever to load otherwise. Javascript is used for a lot of advertising and site-metering widgets which call sites I have blocked through a "hosts" file; my ancient browser will hang for several seconds on each nulled site.

There are some sites which have Javascript things that hang my browser, but load fine without it.

But relatively few sites use Javascript for content, so I rarely miss it. This site, for instance, doesn't use it for content, and allows posting comments without it. Many other sites use the standard Google login for commenting, which requires Javascript. I know one blog where the main page hangs if Javascript is on, but not the comments page, which uses that login if I want to comment.

(Before anybody mentions it - yes, I know about NoScript, but I can't use it.)

Well, now I know and will use the Preview button.

David

Um, wow. Okay. I’m glad we sorted that out. :)

Mike Dawson

Michele Hanson: 'Nobody seems able to stop the rich doing as they please'

Translation: 'Someone has built a house with a swimming pool in the basement. WHY IS NO ONE OUTRAGED??!!'

dicentra

Hey, if you don't like ostentation, don't ostentate.

Oh, that counts for moral ostentation too. So sorry.

dicentra

More indoor aquatic ostentation:

Lazy river INSIDE the house

Master bath

Culled from my Pinterest board "waterworks."

WARNING: Pinterest is a dark vortex of obsession that will devour your soul.

Captain Fatty

course of 10 hour long lessons.

Blimey! 10 hour long sessions! That's illegal or something, isn't it? And how many of those lessons did you have Tim? :)
Cheers,
Fatty

David

Mike,

Translation: ‘Someone has built a house with a swimming pool in the basement. WHY IS NO ONE OUTRAGED??!!’

That’s pretty much the nub of it. Ms Hanson doesn’t make a logical case for her own, rather dramatic indignation. Perhaps she doesn’t see the need to make a case at all. Maybe she doesn’t do facts and arithmetic, her sour disposition being somehow self-justifying. Luckily, she writes for the Guardian, so plenty of her readers will agree anyway.


dicentra,

Hey, if you don't like ostentation, don’t ostentate. Oh, that counts for moral ostentation too.

Bingo.

Watcher

Oh the joy of swimming pools. In the 70s Sheffield built a swimming pool that the council, being the good lefties they were then, were insistent that it wasn't competitive so it didn't conform to internationally accepted measurements. Children could learn to swim there but not compete, as that was nasty.

This lefty-vanity project didn't last long and eventually was pulled down (or filled in) and the internationally accepted Ponds Forge swimming facility built a few yards away. There, apparently, children can learn to swim and if they get good enough, compete. People -- yes, ordinary people -- even come to Sheffield now to participate in events or watch, and probably the city benefits enormously.

Of course not many lefties rushed to save the old Sheaf Valley baths but perhaps there were no private swimming pools to be seen in the People's Republic of South Yorkshire. Either that, or no one cared as they hadn't been educated to care and froth at the mouth.

Bandit 1

The extract at the top of this post needs a second [sic], btw. "It has long since past the time [sic] when aggressive redistribution of wealth were [sic] government policy."

Actually, it's so badly-written you might as well just start again. Is the author trying to say that the aggressive redistribution of wealth was once government policy and is no longer? Cos that's how it reads.

Bitter, misanthropic and inarticulate! What a winner.

David

Bandit 1,

Fixed, thanks. Given the context, I’m assuming he means that the “aggressive redistribution” of your earnings is long overdue. But yes, as you say, it’s more angry than clear.

Bandit 1

David,

Oh yeah, I got that. It just makes me fume when self-appointed holier-than-thou types can't even express their evil schemes properly.

Re the evil scheme itself, what is the guy's problem? The state already aggressively confiscates and redistributes an unsustainable amount. His rant reminds me of anti-smokers who still aren't happy even though smoking is verboten everywhere. Almost makes one suspect that the real problem is a psychological one.

David

Bandit 1,

Almost makes one suspect that the real problem is a psychological one.

Well, I repeat my earlier question: which comes first - the obnoxious personality or the obnoxious politics? If the politics is chosen because it appeals to, and gives license to, an existing disposition – or nasty little urge - then things like arithmetic and causality are unlikely to have much impact. It’s hard to imagine any amount of evidence or reasoned argument swaying, say, Seumas Milne or Polly Toynbee, both of whom are all but impervious to correction. And much the same applies to many other Guardian contributors.

If you read, say, half a dozen George Monbiot columns in one afternoon, you’ll be struck by just how often our so-called “liberal” wants to ban something, or restrict something, or punish people for doing something (usually something fun). Anything from Top Gear to jet skis and expensive saucepans can send him into a fit of authoritarian harrumphing. It’s as if poor George were troubled by personal demons. If only he could tax people enough and take away their stuff - their foreign holidays, their own spare rooms - if only he could control what people want, then, just maybe, the voices would stop.

But if a person’s political and moral ideal is rooted in egalitarianism and ‘correcting’ what other people want - then what can you expect? A recipe for coercion, envy and petty malice will tend to appeal to a certain kind of person. There’s always something to confiscate and “redistribute,” someone to scold, someone to reposition in the New And More Virtuous Social Order™. And so you get Polly Toynbee and Kevin McKenna wanting to thwart children who are brighter than them, and Zoe Williams conjuring scenarios in which people would be humiliated for being slightly too rich (though not as rich as Zoe, and not as rich as Polly).

That’s where socialism goes. It’s a boat ride to bedlam.

mojo

Interesting. Socialism as a mental disease. Or is it simply that socialism attracts the mentally deficient?

Jonathan

David, Bandit 1
Above all, it's about power and control. The desire amongst large numbers of lefties to control every aspect of other peoples lives: smoking, drinking or having a nice house or car. They don't really care about your health or wellbeing, they're just angry that you haven't had to seek their permission to do whatever it is that currently exercises them.
It's also surprising just how conservative most self described progressives are; Ms Hanson seems to believe that once a building has been used for one purpose, a public baths, it can never be used for anything else.

David

mojo,

Interesting. Socialism as a mental disease. Or is it simply that socialism attracts the mentally deficient?

Neither. Nothing quite that lurid. It’s just interesting how certain dispositions are excused and given scope by some political ideologies more than others. For some people, their politics can offer a socially acceptable pretext for feeling or behaving in a way that might otherwise seem obnoxious.

mojo

"Seem"

Ah, of course. Silly me, drawing unwarranted conclusion. And without official sanction, too.

I denounce myself.

David

mojo,

I suppose what I’m getting at is this. If I suddenly started banging on about some random family that lives down the road and happens to be richer than me (but about whom I know nothing else) and what ought to happen to them because they’re rich, and then went on about how much their house, which is bigger than mine, drives me into a “foaming temper,” you might think me unpleasant, petty, possibly unhinged. It wouldn’t be a flattering look, for sure. But if I were to say the same thing as a socialist in the pages of the Guardian, that same envy and bonkersness might be viewed sympathetically by quite a few people. I might even be regarded as righteous -- despite my still knowing nothing at all about the people on whom I’m wishing fear and misery.

mojo

David -

I tend to agree. Not wanting to "Keep up with the Jonses" is one thing, but wanting to drag the Jonses out of their swank digs by their Capitalist Oppressor heels and string them up from the nearest streetlight (so you can take over said swank digs) is quite another. I personally would call it psychotic, but I'm not a psychiatrist.

Ah, well - that's what you get for reading commie trash like the Grauniad.

Ted S., Catskill Mtns., NY, USA

I wouldn't call it psychotic; I'd call it sociopathic.

Spiny Norman

Our friends on the Left call it "edgy".

David

Ted & Spiny,

I’d call it sociopathic.

Our friends on the Left call it “edgy.”

Apparently, it’s a grey area.

Ms Hanson tells us that, “You surely can’t trample people into the dirt forever. Eventually, they blow.” She “can’t wait” for this to happen. She can’t wait for other people to be made “not so happy.”

The thing is, we’ve seen what happens when people like Ms Hanson - who take pride in their envy, spite and pretentious victimhood - do “blow” and do make other people “not so happy.” We’ve seen dozens of examples. And even if we set aside the opportunist rioting and arson, and set aside the razor blades, baseball bats and people cowering behind shattered glass, we still get lots of lovely moments like this. Where people who want us to believe they’re all about “social justice” delight in mob coercion and the moral anonymity that mobs make possible. Because trapping and taunting a disabled woman is how you prove just how daring and edgy you are.

Which does raise the question of at what point political grandstanding and theatrical role-play become a mental health issue.

Stuck-Record

It's the morning after the firing squads that these people never seem to consider. Which, perhaps, in itself is revealing. Since they've never actually thought about what they do after they killed their enemies. Presumably that's why they just carry on killing new enemies.

I keep asking the question on various left-wing sites: please point me to a document that contains a methodology, a real genuine blueprint for how day-to-day ideal communist/socialist would actually work. You know the sort of stuff; what kind of food can I buy, where can I buy it, what if I have an idea for a new kind of lawnmower, is it possible to buy something from a different country, who decides what job i do, what if I want to be a dance/architect/test pilot/writer, can I talk to people about alternate forms of government? All the petty mundane stuff.

To this day I have never had a single answer that even attempts this stuff – which is pretty remarkable considering the trillions of words written of Marxist theory. Every document pointed to is full of handwavium. When you burrow down they all basically say that various committees at different levels will decide what you need and what you are allowed to do. Oh Brave New World that has such freedoms in it.

So I think you're onto something here. It's the act of destruction that appeals to a certain kind of leftist. A desire to destroy. A death wish on your enemies. But the firing squad can never be big enough, and the body pits can never be deep enough.

To paraphrase The Handsome Family: “There's only so much wine you can drink. And it will never save you from the bottom of your glass."

Spiny Norman

Stuck-Record

“There's only so much wine you can drink. And it will never save you from the bottom of your glass."

Maybe that's why Ms Hanson and her ilk are so damned angry all the time. They've seen this, but refuse to accept it.

Teresa in Fort Worth, TX

Well, in all fairness, if I looked like Ms. Hanson, I'd probably be bitter, too.

Then again, all that bitterness tends to show up in the face, so it may well be a chicken/egg situation - hard to know which came first....

JKB

"Throughout socialistic literature there is the well-known insistence upon the materialistic interpretation of history - a conception based upon a hunger for things of material enjoyment, and for more and more of them. Fundamentally, they have as much centred their aim on an increase in material possessions as the veriest Napoleon of finance in Wall Street. An existence in which the acquisition of more material wealth is of very large - if not of chief - importance is in the thoughts of both. The ends sought for by the socialists are not, in effect, different from those of the mass of non-socialists who are striving to acquire wealth in order to have ease and leisure for enjoyment. Agreeing in their aims, their differences - which seem to most persons to place them as wide apart as the poles - really consist in choosing different means of accomplishing their ends. The ordinary hustler for wealth, without or within the stock market, may have no definite moral restraint except the fear of the law (in fact, he may even contrive to escape the law), and he accepts existing institutions; but he plans to gain his end, if honest, by productive processes and trade; or, if dishonest, by a thousand ingenious ways of transferring to himself the wealth created by others. On the other hand, the socialist proposes to overturn industrial competition and the institution of private property in the hope - vaguely outlined and not economically analyzed - of transferring the use of wealth from those who have to those who have not."

"Socialism a Philosophy of Failure", Laughlin, J.L., Scribner's magazine, 1909

James Graham

I believe the fundamental problem of modern Europe is pure unadulterated envy. It was the source of communism, Naziism and fascism.

The fact that an adult would actually publish her hatred for some strangers' possession of an indoor swimming pool confirms my view.

Piers Morgan has expressed his wonderment (and delight)about American strangers approaching him to express admiration for his fancy automobile. Euros simply cannot understand why we don't possess their "hate gene."

zmkc

Tim and Debbie understood about the spiritual destitution of the rich (at least Debbie did):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19eVC2TVWrA

Hal

Hullo all, coming in late here from the Reheated page, and being Very amused . . . And finally noticing:

. . . I was moaning on about it to another dog-walker . . .

Soo, she openly acknowledges that she supports and takes part in the blatant and ongoing enslavement of _animals_?!?!?!?!

Why, why, why, She is _Clearly_ mere middle class, bourgeois, running dog, oppressor and __Must__ report for processing and reeducation through labor, __NOW__!!!!!!!

Oh, wait . . . I'm over here in the US . . is it still New Labor, or is Labor sufficient?

Connertown

Didn't coveting thy neighbors' goods make God's Top Ten list?

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