Gillian Duffy is not a bigot but quite a lot of other people are

Gordon Brown didn’t deserve a lot of the flak that he got from the media. He deserved a whole lot of other flak:

for the 10p tax rate;

PFI to disguise what should have been much cheaper borrowing;

a barely progressive tax structure once indirect taxes like VAT and (unreformed since 1991) council tax are taken into account;

turning a blind eye to tax dodging on a grand scale with no discernible attempt to tackle the tax havens which keep poor countries poor, at war and creating refugees to pressure workers elsewhere;

the private sector bedroom tax (LHA);

using unsustainable house prices to massage illusory and socially useless GDP at unbearable cost to the poorer and the younger;

failing to build council housing when goverment’s low borrowing costs and very long-term ownership means that it returns a substantial profit to the taxpayer whilst cutting housing costs and stimulating demand in the real economy by diverting these monies from idle rentiers;

hiding behind the EU for failure to invest whilst allowing taxpayers elsewhere in the EU to profit from our utilities and exported industries;

no protection for differentials with the introduction of a minimum wage, and

a too low minimum wage making tax credits into massive unearned subsidies for disreputable employers which must be applied for at enormous bureaucratic expense by each individual worker that they are ripping off.

But I digress.

Gillian Duffy may not have expressed her concerns to Brown in language that he recognises as polite from mingling with the hypocrites who recognise identity only as a marker of a homogeneous blob of “other” who must be treated with superficial respect when any of them are around to hear you <cough> Owen Smith <cough>.

But she was expressing a genuine concern for millions. This has been explained well by others, I particularly like Larry Elliot’s take which links to a very accessible and thorough speech by Andrew Haldane, somewhat sobered by what he discovered when the Bank decided to look deeper than usual into the economy post-Brexit.

What prompted this post is pretty much nothing to do with any of the above. It was this cartoon tweeted from @TellMamaUK.

The old “I’m not racist. Islam isn’t a race.” <yawns>

As if hateful bigotry were just fine and dandy.

I use the word bigot a lot. It’s fully intersectional and doesn’t exclude class. The oppressed “other” of identity; not allowed in to the politics. And the over-arching oppression without which none of the others would matter.

So yeah. Let’s just call them bigots.

Including those Remainers still sulking because thick racists.

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