Would people please try to look up the meaning of “Dickensian”?

However, underneath this modern miracle of convenience lies regression, as our undercover reporters in a Sports Direct warehouse revealed this week: agency workers harangued by public address system for not working fast enough, sick children left at school by their parents for fear of losing their jobs, lengthy body searches and lists of prohibitions for staff, enduring casualised hours. This used to be the stuff of Dickensian fiction – yet it is the daily experience of many workers in the UK today.

Do fuck off dear. “Dickensian” means starving before the hypothermia or the TB gets you. As in timidly asking for another bowl of gruel.

People doing shitty jobs in a warehouse at £6.75 an hour are not living in such conditions.

Actually, if you’re on UK minimum wage you’re among the top 10% of all wage earners across the globe. Yes, after we adjust for prices differing in different places.

100 comments on “Would people please try to look up the meaning of “Dickensian”?

  1. Tim, you know perfectly well that accuracy in adjectives is for little people. What is important to Guardian readers is the self-righteous rush of knee-jerk indignation at the Capitalist system. Can you give a reference to your UK minimum wage claim? A Dilettante would like to know.

  2. Well, not sure why there can’t be two ways of using Dickensian as an adjective.

    One as an actual description of what life was like working in a blacking factory in 1820s London and the other as a description of working conditions that are below the acceptable standard in the time and place you happen to be. So Dickensian conditions in 2015 UK would be different from those in 2015 China.

    You’re just missing out on use of a rather good adjective otherwise.

  3. @ Shinsei1967
    Having a faulty radiator in the office so you need to wear a cardigan is Dickensian by your definition.

  4. “You’re just missing out on use of a rather good adjective otherwise.”

    No, you are using language precisely. Why stretch the meaning of a term to permit rhetorical inflation by hysterical libtards?

  5. “…and lists of prohibitions for staff…”

    I’m confused, aren’t ‘lists of prohibitions for staff’ precisely what the SJWs are demanding in every other area of work?

    ‘No banter, no smoking, no disagreeing with the settled science on warblegloaming, etc, etc’

  6. These people tell us that we should return to the halcyon days of British manufacturing. They never worked in a factory, steel mill or down a pit otherwise they would realise that working for SD is a relative doddle.

  7. The usual pig ignorance this time of Dickens ! “A Christmas Carol “is not a purely personal study of grumpy old Scrooge but a critique of those who believe in a minimal state, with minimal welfare run in the interest of business.
    “Bah Humbug . Are there no work-houses?.Are there no prisons?
    Are there no tax credits? (NO ) Are there no homes only for those who can afford them but not live in them? (YES)
    Dickens was a critic of society (Bah Humbug “Society does n’t exist “says Thicky Thatcher. Only Chemistry exists . Facts ! Facts!! as another Dickensian villain insisted about education)

  8. A chap I used to work with (middle management IT) got bored after a couple of years of retirement. He took a part-time job at that other Dickensian workplace, the Amazon distribution centre near Dunfermline.

    He enjoys working there. He says he’s getting more exercise with all the walking and has lost a couple of stones. Management rules are clearly set out: as someone said on the previous thread, it’s not unreasonable to expect people to do the job they are paid for and not steal from your employer. Because some people do steal then security checks are needed.

    He also said the guys who complain most are the ones who do the least. They’d be moaning whatever job they were doing.

    A lot of the complaints are driven by the expectation that people doing low-skill jobs should be able to afford large houses in nice areas, large families, two foreign holidays a year etc.

  9. “Dickensian” would suggest that putting food on the table is a problem for the workers.

    The media coverage of the SD warehouse shows that there a lot of hugely fat people working there.

  10. The rail unions recently complained that their members suffered “Dickensian” conditions, merely because they earned slightly less than train drivers in SE England.

  11. K.R. Lohse: for the Guardian, accuracy on anything is for other people, not just adjectives. Their latest missive is saying “Basic Income is supposed to reduced worklessness, this is why it won’t”. Err… Basic Income is *not* supposed to reduce worklessness, it’s supposed to reduce basic staying alive-lessness. It’s not supposed to do *anything* about worklessness.

  12. Having a faulty radiator in the office so you need to wear a cardigan is Dickensian by your definition.

    It’s sexist, too, apparently, because women in their strappy tops will shiver with their female metabolism.

  13. GlenDorran,

    “He enjoys working there. He says he’s getting more exercise with all the walking and has lost a couple of stones. Management rules are clearly set out: as someone said on the previous thread, it’s not unreasonable to expect people to do the job they are paid for and not steal from your employer. Because some people do steal then security checks are needed.”

    These “investigations” are nearly always bollocks because big companies know the law and have bureaucracies to police it, and are well-managed in terms of productivity, which includes things like not pissing off employees to the point where they quit. I’ve done work in small and big places. I generally prefer small for the dynamism and can’t really get on with the bureaucracy of big places, but the worst places I’ve done work for are a few small places. You want to find a place that’s a potential deathtrap? It’s a small company, not a large one.

  14. @DBC Reed

    “Thicky Thatcher”

    I take it you’ve a Cambridge Natural Sciences degree and been called to the Bar.

    Accuse her of what you like, but thick? Don’t be so fucking daft.

  15. DBCR

    The old trope about Mrs Thatcher saying that society does not exist is so tiresome. Here’s what she actually said:

    I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand “I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!” or “I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!” “I am homeless, the Government must house me!” and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and[fo 29] there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbour and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations, because there is no such thing as an entitlement unless someone has first met an obligation and it is, I think, one of the tragedies in which many of the benefits we give, which were meant to reassure people that if they were sick or ill there was a safety net and there was help, that many of the benefits which were meant to help people who were unfortunate—“It is all right. We joined together and we have these insurance schemes to look after it”. That was the objective, but somehow there are some people who have been manipulating the system and so some of those help and benefits that were meant to say to people: “All right, if you cannot get a job, you shall have a basic standard of living!” but when people come and say: “But what is the point of working? I can get as much on the dole!” You say: “Look” It is not from the dole. It is your neighbour who is supplying it and if you can earn your own living then really you have a duty to do it and you will feel very much better!”

    There is also something else I should say to them: “If that does not give you a basic standard, you know, there are ways in which we top up the standard. You can get your housing benefit.”

    But it went too far. If children have a problem, it is society that is at fault. There is no such thing as society.[fo 30] There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn round and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.

    http://www.margaretthatcher.org/document/106689

  16. The only thing wrong with the company is the body searches, fingerprints and the “we own you for 6.75 an hour shit. The actual economic side is fine. The not-fine bit is down to the bad attitude of the times fostered by the general arrogance displayed by the corporate socialist state.

    Its nothing that a top quality beating couldn’t school out of the SD managers. And it would even be good for worker’s morale–“Come and watch your bosses get a professional good hiding to teach them basic manners and civility–proof that your leaders are held to even more stringent standards of behaviour then the shop floor–NB This event is to be regarded as one of your tea breaks”

    Reed: “Thicky Thatcher”???–Are you broadcasting live and direct –a la “Scrooged–from your school play?

  17. “Much of the growth in employment of recent years has been in this field: jobs that in fact represent the death of the real job. The idea that a company’s value and brand is built not just by its owners but by the labour of all its workers has become a lost paternalistic dream.”

    The people who complain most about the lack of “real jobs” are people who have never created a “real job”. You’d think that would give them some perspective, that maybe other people, including billionaires and giant businesses also do’t want to create jobs and like them would rather just pay someone a price for a transaction.

    I’m starting to think that the era from around the 1930s to the 1990s was a bit of an abberation, that companies wanted people to work on a lathe or in a shop and really, had to pay people by the hour, had to have them present at particular times, and this required a job. I do some work-from-home stuff for clients and they don’t give a shit if I’m working at 4pm or midnight. I’m not sure they’re that bothered if I don’t do 8 hours work for my “day”. As long as I deliver what they expect in the time, they really don’t care.

    And this isn’t about “neoliberalism”. It’s about technology. I don’t need to spend much time in order to find say, a German translator for a website. I can use the likes of LinkedIn to do it, or maybe call an agency, who themselves will use freelancers.

  18. Ecksy

    The not-fine bit is down to the bad attitude of the times fostered by the general arrogance displayed by the corporate socialist state.Its nothing that a top quality beating couldn’t school out of the SD managers.

    So the SD managers are part of the “corporate socialist state”?

    If they are arrogant and uncivil, that might be because parents and state schools have largely given up on teaching good manners and social skills and because most of the people they have available to employ are arrogant and uncivil folk themselves, only one notch above the underclass.

    I once worked in the care home sector as a regional manager. Most of the staff were superb, but far too many were lazy, thieving, rude scum who would pilfer residents’ cash, steal from the kitchens and deal drugs in the car park on their smoke break. It took me a year to get rid of them completely.

  19. I said it was the influence of the increasingly arrogant state ( which would include poor schooling of course).

    How many forms do you receive now that are plastered with threats about they will do if you dare to not kiss their arse?

    How many of their letters, posters etc have a polite or civil message. The last thing I got was from the electoral clowns re local elections and was full of bullshit threats about what they were gonna do if I didn’t fill it in etc. I sent it back –not filled to their specifications with a message or two of my own.

    SD may not be state-owned but they–like others–ape the police-state style of the political and bureaucratic scum.

  20. @Theophrastus

    You beat me to it. The “there’s no such thing as ‘society'” is one of the most miss-used quotes from Mrs T. It’s even used by annoying ‘right-on’ socialists like my nieces. respectively 2 years old and 1 year away from being born when Mrs T left office, they still ‘know’ that Mrs T wrecked the mining industry and invented greed.

    What Mrs T was saying was that people should not abrogate personal responsibility by expecting ‘society’ – as some sort of abstract concept – to do everything for them and solve all problems.

    What exactly is so wrong with that?

  21. Libtards (thanks, Theo, that one’s a keeper) love to make up these quotes as part of their straw man erection process. cf Powell and ‘Rivers of Blood’.

  22. Because of course the Right never deliberately misquote do they?
    See Corbyn’s “Bin Laden’s death was a tragedy” for just one example.

  23. “Witchsmeller Pursuivant
    Because of course the Right never deliberately misquote do they?”

    Did I say the Right never miss-quoted? Is it a defence of miss-quoting to say that the other side do it as well?

    it’s, the old “it’s not fair, Miss, the other boys were naughty as well” defence.

    I left that one behind when I left primary school.

  24. I am not going to be lectured by a Maths graduate about reading texts : many of my mates at Manchester University were Maths students and they used to go to lectures ,then to the bar to do some set problems which took a maximum of one hour,and would then complain that they had nothing to do. One tried to find a part-time job; another, my flat-mate ,started reading my literature books, which much impressed the panels at subsequent interviews for jobs.Good blokes, but they would not argue they were expert beyond their very narrow field of competence .
    In which regard: like many Dickensian characters, Scrooge is a personification of a group or class of people: in his case
    the truly anti-social, laissez faire, no interference with business class.So, the story (which I re-read ten days ago) is a call for the whole class to change its ways and for less of the hard hearted laissez faire attitude which left every town in England in the kind of barbaric mess carefully recorded by Engels in The Condition of the Working Class .
    @AC & Theo
    The quote of Thatcher transcribed by Theo is hardly ambiguous .Thicky says ” and who is society?There is no such thing.There are individual men and women and (fo29?) there are families…” exactly what everybody says she said.
    Well done: you haven’t read your own quote.
    Unlike my mates, Thicky did not recognise that she had no expertise outside her narrow field of Chemistry -which has been described as “just recipes”. In the same way, you might describe Maths as just sums.

  25. @ AndrewC

    My comment was directed to Chris’ immediately prior to my own; “Libtards …love to make up these quotes as part of their straw man erection process.”

    It’s not all about you, you know. Did they not teach you that at primary school?

  26. At the risk of feeding a troll:

    Thicky did not recognise that she had no expertise outside her narrow field of Chemistry

    So you missed the point about her being called to the Bar? 0/10 for comprehension…

  27. apricot77

    “Have you actually read “A Christmas Carol”?
    It is about personal responsibility (Scrooge’s).”

    Dear oh dear. Do you really think that? It’s such an obvious allegory that I’m a bit shocked you don’t know that, and then compound it with completely the wrong end of the stick.

    But then; consider the apricot.

  28. Ecksy

    I said it was the influence of the increasingly arrogant state ( which would include poor schooling of course).

    Poor schooling is largely but not entirely the fault of the state — though bring on education vouchers and thousands of free schools, I say. The NUT (you like unions, IIRC, as they are anti-state) and parents are also responsible. Parents have a responsibility to ensure that their progeny are adequately socialised so that teachers can educate them. And, as for the NUT…

    My experience of dealing with the lower socio-economic groups is that they roughly divide into the ‘underclass + affiliates’ and the ‘respectable working class’ who are increasingly becoming middle class (my plumber rides to hounds). The former are almost incapable of deferring gratification, have no qualifications, resent the discipline of work, reject authority, have a huge sense of entitlement, and are prone to verbal and physical violence. (Not unlike you in some respects!) They also tend to be predators and criminals.

    How many forms do you receive now that are plastered with threats about they will do if you dare to not kiss their arse?

    Oh, grow up! Adolescent rebellion is tiresome. Electoral registration needs to be regulated and more firmly than now to prevent abuses — by postal voting by ethnics, for example.

    Any ‘threats’ I have received from the state are far outweighed by the actual threats I received when clearing out the Augean stables of that care home. Having served disciplinary notices on the staff concerned, their ‘partners’ (temporary) threatened me with violence, slashed my car tyres, and more. Long story; but I won, with the help of the police and some state agencies – even if others were obstructive.

    The state – minimal and democratic – is a good thing.

  29. @ DBC Reed
    “I am not going to be lectured by a Maths graduate about reading texts”
    Hoity- toity!
    in any case an inadequate response based on ignorance since in my day those taking maths and/or science ‘A’ levels had to take an additional “Use of English” exam as a prerequisite for university entrance even if we already had two good English ‘O’ levels, while Arts students could get away with one English ‘O’ level and no extra exam.

  30. Reed: Back to the Future again Reedy–I’ll have to dig my Dad’s old “Ragged Trousers Philanthropist” out of the attic next.

    Fuck Engels. The Condition of The Working Classes was still better in dark satanic mills than living in wattle-and-daub huts and wondering if the next crop failure was going to be your last. The agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life is prime leftist bullshit.

    Your take on Scrooge is as warped as the rest of your mental process:

    “Scrooge is a personification of a group or class of people: in his case
    the truly anti-social, laissez faire, no interference with business class”

    So old Fizziwig– a businessman –who gave so much happiness for a few pounds of mortal money was also a member of that class was he? After all –if its a class…right?. And Dickens himself who was shrewd enough to become wealthy by his own efforts and do some good through his message of compassion at the same time. More good than all the murdering pukes of socialism put together.

  31. Eggs

    Fezziwig was also an allegory, and an opposite of Scrooge.

    “The agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life is prime leftist bullshit.”

    No it isn’t. God you’re thick.

  32. @ DBC Reed
    You quote the unreformed Scrooge as wanting the state (or the local authority) to take responsibility for the poor. Dickens has the reformed Ebenezer taking personal responsibility for his employee and his family’s Christmas Dinner.
    Where is the bit I missed about Scrooge’s nephew belonging to a different social class from Scrooge? It must surely be in there since you read the book so recently

  33. DBCR

    What Mrs Thatcher was saying is simply that ‘society’ is not an agent, even though leftists wail that ‘society is to blame’. We can use it as shorthand; but ‘society’ consists of individuals, institutions and their (largely reciprocal) obligations, and personal and familial responsibility are paramount in a free society. Got that? Because leftists like you want to usurp the responsibility of the individual and family.

  34. The rail unions recently complained that their members suffered “Dickensian” conditions, merely because they earned slightly less than train drivers in SE England.

    Well that’s just the usual hyperbole that unions go in for in pursuit of wage claims, no one takes any real notice, including their own members in my experience.

    When I worked in mechanical signalboxes in the 70s and 80s they were often falling apart, most of them dated from a bit after the Dickensian period and they hadn’t received a lot of attention since. Cold in the winter, baking in the summer, rotting windows that let the rain in, outside toilets, not to mention the rodents, I once spent a diverting afternoon watching tiny mice scurrying up and down the phone cords in one box. No one including the unions, ever bothered too much about these conditions and I loved the places, it wasn’t the same job after they went. Now most signallers are in modern buildings with fridges, aircon, proper mess rooms and are much better paid, yet there seems to be more dissastisfaction with the job than there was in the past. I don’t mean to sound like DBCR but sometimes things don’t change for the better and people aren’t always unhappy in apparently poor working conditions.

  35. Dickens is far more enjoyable without an overlay of marxist dialectic.

    It would be a mistake to describe Scrooge as a personification of anything; not even an archetype. But like Grandgrind, referenced earlier, Wackford Squeers, Sam Weller and the entire panoply of Dickens’ original characters, he takes recognisable types and exaggerates their characteristics for considerable dramatic effect.

    His personal life sits uneasily with the notion of an author committed solely to the cause of human betterment rather than as an observer of human frailty.

  36. @Witchsmeller – Corbyn misquoted? Not according to that nest of extreme right-wing vipers, the Beeb:
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-34106214

    But while Thatcher’s quote about society is merely ripped out of context to try to make it say something other than what was intended, Powell never said anything approaching “rivers of blood” as his speech is always referred to. He actually said “foaming with much blood”, and he was (of course) quoting from the Aeneid and referring to the Tiber.

  37. Theo–The chumps are attacking from all sides today.

    “Oh, grow up! Adolescent rebellion is tiresome. Electoral registration needs to be regulated and more firmly than now to prevent abuses — by postal voting by ethnics, for example”

    What arrogance and bad manners have to do with sorting out electoral fraud eludes me. The “adolescent” bit is the common retort of those who crawl .

    But perhaps their rudeness IS sorting out postal fraud–we have the recent example of Oldham to show how successful they are. Oh Dear…But wait–no need to worry– the massive investigation announced by BluLabour into ZaNu and postal fraud will sort it all out…Oh ..They haven’t.?….Really?… cos they think it only affects UKIP and somehow BluLab will always win?….because they are smug middle/upper class pricks who think they are invincible?….Oh Dear again.

    “Any ‘threats’ I have received from the state are far outweighed by the actual threats I received when clearing out the Augean stables of that care home. Having served disciplinary notices on the staff concerned, their ‘partners’ (temporary) threatened me with violence, slashed my car tyres, and more. Long story; but I won, with the help of the police and some state agencies – even if others were obstructive. ”

    Sorry–their “partners”? Unless the malefactors in question were gay then their “partners” would be women–so you called the cops after being threatened with violence by women?? BWAHHAAHA–who was it –Gina Carano?–Rona Rousey?– Well it is not surprising you can’t judge what is a threat and what isn’t.

    If they had threatened to say you had sexually assaulted them then that would have been a VERY credible threat. But then you could kiss your own arse for all the help the state would give you. The “minimal and democratic state” would be very happy to chew you up and spit you out without much regard to your side of the tale.

    The state in this country is neither minimal nor esp democratic. And even if it was they never stay that way.

    At this Christmas time you should look to your investments Theo–you won’t have them much longer and your upper/middle-classness might just depart with them.

  38. Arnald:

    “Fezziwig was also an allegory, and an opposite of Scrooge.

    “The agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life is prime leftist bullshit.”

    No it isn’t. God you’re thick.”

    In keeping with the season:

    “OH YES IT IS !!!!!!”

    And you couldn’t tell an apricot from the end of your dick.

  39. @ Thornavis
    Not just about working conditions – it’s also about status. I was mildly horrified when, in the latter days of British Fail, one of the guys in the ticket office at my local station told me he had been a signalman but quit because pay for selling tickets was markedly higher than for his highly skilled vital job. When, as a young Actuary, I was living in a converted attic, the guy on the ground floor was a signalman and we were social equals, at least as far as we were concerned, both skilled technicians. If I had been told I was inferior to a ticket-seller, I should have been dissatisfied.

  40. So you called the cops after being threatened with violence by women?

    In my experience, threats of violence by men are usually social posturing. Women have other ways of doing that. So threats of violence from women are rather more credible.

    Also, Theo was talking about a care home? Again, in my experience, the majority of care home staff are female. Hence, assuming heterosexuality as you did, most of their partners will be blerks. Which does talk to my first point (this was quite possibly posturing to make them look manly in their partners’ eyes) but Theo also talks about actual damage.

    It isn’t a large leap from slashing tires to nicking brake pipes (in Mrs S-E’s experience of being threatened by more-juvenile members of the scumbag fraternity.)

    The “minimal and democratic state” would be very happy to chew you up and spit you out …

    Indeed.

  41. @ PF
    My father*, very occasionally, would wind my mother up by describing cooking as “a very elementary organic chemistry prep.”.
    Reed has, as usual, got things upside down.
    *who rarely cooked, but could – he cooked his first Christmas Dinner when he was 17 after his mother died during his first term at Oxford.

  42. @Arnald: if you’re going to accuse others of being thick, it might help your cause if you didn’t do so in the most stupid and ignorant post seen on the Internet this year.

    If you don’t believe that “The agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life is prime leftist bullshit.”, you’ll need to explain why so many left their rural idyll behind and headed for the dark satanic mills. This could be either:

    (a) because they were all irremediably thick and in dire need of a political commissar (a role in which I’m sure you’d delight) to tell them how to think and behave ‘for their own good’; or

    (b) because they believed that the living conditions in the mill (or the pit) offered prospects of improvement for themselves and their children (much as do the modern slum dwellers of Bombay, Sao Paulo etc).

  43. “What Mrs Thatcher was saying is simply that ‘society’ is not an agent, even though leftists wail that ‘society is to blame’. We can use it as shorthand; but ‘society’ consists of individuals, institutions and their (largely reciprocal) obligations, and personal and familial responsibility are paramount in a free society. Got that? Because leftists like you want to usurp the responsibility of the individual and family.”

    And to fill the void you need to create a totalitarian state, micromanaging people, all of course with the best intentions.

    Re:DBC Reed and your thicky comments – fuck off and when you’re finished fuck off some more. Your heroes, Marx, Lenin et al were nothing more than parasites. The left today is still nothing but parasites. So again really go fuck yourself.

  44. I’ve read quite a lot of Dickens (even Dombey and Son) and heard the Dickensian adjective bandied around to imply:
    foggy
    long winded
    melodramatic
    darkness
    unsafe working conditions
    loss of dignity
    rigid class distinction
    left wing
    right wing
    and much more

    It’s like the f word, you stick it in when you’re too lazy to find the right word. If someone described something as “Thackerayian” that would make me sit up and pay attention.

  45. john 77

    Yes the pay for signalmen increasingly fell behind that of what were regarded as equivalent grades, particularly footplatemen. That changed at privatisation to the point where at the end, I felt I was actually overpaid for the job I was doing and you don’t hear many people saying that !

    I always resisted the idea that I was a skilled worker ( as would most people unfortunate enough to watch me performing ). I think most of us felt that way because we thought it was putting on airs and an encouragement to the more big headed amongst us to behave badly to people in lower grades, something we saw with some drivers and had no time for. It’s true though that most of us felt and I think still do that there was something special about the job and that this went a long way towards compensating for low wages and poor conditions. It’s significant I think that signalman is one of the most popular jobs on preserved railways where they are all volunteers.

  46. I am having to deal with a council. A more incompetent group of individuals is hard to imagine, but the worst thing is that you are totally powerless to do anything short of going to court at vast expense.

    I have never been a fan of the state but one can stay quite oblivious to its deleterious effects, apart from what it costs you in taxes, but to actually experience what a monster it becomes is quite worrying.

    Thankfully, I have managed to find a lady in their call centre who is smart and willing to help but even for her, it is very difficult to make things happen and it has been quite entertaining to see her discover the extent of the general incompetence I have had to deal with, over the last few weeks.

    So yes, a good leftist is a dead one. And by leftist, I include the unofficial ones belonging to the tory party.

  47. Miller

    “The agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life is prime leftist bullshit”

    The statement is false. There is nothing ‘leftist’ about “the agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life”. That’s just Eggs trying to put some clever words together.

    If anything, the idea of rural idylls are the meanderings of landowners with too much time on their hands.

    dub

    “The left today is still nothing but parasites.”

    Parasites of what?

  48. The statement is false. There is nothing ‘leftist’ about “the agrarian fantasy of pre-industrial life”. That’s just Eggs trying to put some clever words together.

    If anything, the idea of rural idylls are the meanderings of landowners with too much time on their hands.

    That was generally true in the past when the left was strongly in favour of industry and urbanisation, however there was always a strand of leftist thought that rejected that approach, think of William Morris for instance. That tendency grew stronger as the twentieth century progressed and eventually merged with the formerly rightist Green movement to produce the largely anti industrial leftist views of today. In any case Fascist thinking was also strongly inclined towards an agrarianist view of society and as we all know, Fascism is a variety of socialism. Just look at DBCR’s mix of left and right wing ideas.

  49. “The left today is still nothing but parasites.”

    Parasites of what?

    An interesting question that, IMO they are increasingly parasites of themselves ( is there a biological term for that, assuming such a thing exists ?) We have the odd situation where a large part of left is most agitated about demanding that other progressives, who they don’t think are progressive enough, should be allocating even more of the nation’s wealth to the causes they support than is the case already. We also find various flavours of SJW at war with other SJWs for not being ideologically correct enough. Thus has the left completely lost its way, unfortunately it keeps stumbling into the rest of us and demanding that we buy it ever more expensive maps so that they can show us where we really want to go but are too dim to see it.

  50. LE

    If you’d ever had to manage a workforce containing a minority of theiving scum, you’d know why I don’t see anything wrong with SD searching employees who have access to expensive consumer goods. It’s probably an inconvenience for the majority of the trustworthy employees, but hardly tyrannical.

  51. Ecksy

    I was threatened by the male partners of the female care staff I was trying to sack. One woman alleged I’d tried to sexually assault her, but CCTV and sign-in evidence showed I was not even on the premises at the time of the alleged assault. Others tried alleging bullying, while attempting to intimidate me and the witnesses – and slashing my car tyres, smearing dog shit on the windscreen, keying the car’s paintwork, etc. Anything, indeed, to keep their jobs – and keep their drugs and contraband fags trade going in the car park. Dealing with semi-feral scum like that was an eye-opener. And you bleat that a standard letter from a local Electoral Registration Officer was rude and threatening?

    Agreed, the UK state is not minimal – yet – but it is basically democratic. You say that a minimal state would never remain so, but what is the alternative? No state? Where semi-feral predators could do as they like?

  52. Ok Theo–altho in the small amount of work I did in a care home(–a thin time cash wise–)the death of old style jobs for men seemed to have as many men working there as women.

    I was typing two replies on two screens as attackers swarmed so my reply could have been slightly better thought thro’.

    As for your wheels–have you never seen “Roadhouse” ? Don’t take your nice wheels to work Theo–if you intend to bang heads with the semi-feral(?–raw meat eaters were they?)

    As for your travail –well I’m sure that I and everybody else on here can play a very good round of “nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen”–you surely don’t imagine your mild problems to be unique.

    As for the election pricks–no it isn’t a cosmic issue but it illustrates the mind set that they are the masters and we the servants and they speak to us as they please. Possibly you approve–so long as you are one of the masters.

  53. you surely don’t imagine your mild problems to be unique.

    No, I don’t; but I hope they were of interest or resonance to some.

  54. LE: You and I very rarely agree Zorro but on this occasion you are right. Standing around for an extra hour and a quarter unpaid time so security twats can search you on the assumption you are a thief is wrong. Despite Theo’s breezy acceptance of it for others does anyone on this blog think he would swallow it if it was imposed on him? Not just the unpaid time but the assumption as to his character.

  55. Chris Dillow occassionally has something interesting to say, but that’s awful. Why do classic liberals think this is OK? Because people signed up to it and there’s nothing in there that would fall into the categories of either people being protected from harm or people being protected from being stuck in a place (e.g. a contract that signs them up until they’re 65). They can turn up, do it and if they hate it leave rather quickly and find something else.

  56. Ecksy
    Assuming it’s not an exaggeration – which is a big assumption given it’s the Guardian and Felicity Lawrence – 75 minutes a week is not a huge inconvenience for security checks. FFS, if you don’t like it, find another NMW job, as there are plenty around. Entry level jobs are often grim – I once cleaned train carriages at York station – but don’t complain if you are fit for little else. Barring disability, that’s your responsibility, not mine, and the rest of us don’t owe you a living in our opportunity-rich society.

  57. Its not a situation I would ever be in Theo. As soon as they listed any of their bullshit conditions I would have got my hat and left.

    Lets go with the point I made. At your next board meeting –or whatever you do to acquire the famous investments–you have all finished your business, stand-up, shake hands, prepare to take your leave of each other and the door opens and a lot of thuggish, uniformed chimps-in-human form enter the room.

    “Not so fast lads” says their leader. “There is a lot of valuable gear in here–files, share certs, papers. All worth a lot of dosh. Now you lads turn your pockets out the table for starters”.

    This would be ok with you would it Theo? You’d say “Of course Mr Chimp. A pleasure, anything you say”

    Or is that only for the–well lets re-read your own words:

    “My experience of dealing with the lower socio-economic groups is that they roughly divide into the ‘underclass + affiliates’ and the ‘respectable working class’ who are increasingly becoming middle class (my plumber rides to hounds). The former are almost incapable of deferring gratification, have no qualifications, resent the discipline of work, reject authority, have a huge sense of entitlement, and are prone to verbal and physical violence. (Not unlike you in some respects!) They also tend to be predators and criminals.”

    So that would be the “respectable working class” being felt up by costumed yahoos would it? As presumably the underclass (and their “affiliates”??) will be busy thieving, shooting up etc. So “respectable” but not respectable enough to be accorded any sort of trust eh? And don’t bother to tell me that there still could be thieves among their ranks. In what wise is that not true of whatever business types you move amongst?

  58. Stigler–Yeah people signed up for it–that’s true. But the more numpties sign up to such abuse the more it will become standard practice. Gradualism they call it.

    What if Theo started to find that whatever he did was getting harder to do (and to find the work as well ) without extra obnoxious and un-needed add-ons. A TSA ball-fumble before you get into the executive washroom say–in case you are wearing a truss holster or summat and intend to come out shooting. It isn’t yet happening too much at his likely level. But it might. The trappings of tyranny call it. And I have no doubt he wouldn’t be happy about it whatever he lets on here.

  59. Ecksy
    Your rambling, fantasising retorts grow ever more weird and deranged. Is your incontinence pad uncomfortable or something? Nurse will doubtless be along soon to give you your medication. Sleep well.

  60. Answer the question Theo–drop the bollocks.

    Would you accept being told to turn your pockets out by security chimps at whatever is your place of work? Just as if you were one of the little people.

  61. Theophrastus

    The other day you backtracked a bit when I questioned your use of the word respectable in relation to women in the 1940s. Now you’ve used it again in that rather tellingly archaic use of the phrase, respectable working class. That dividing up of the lower orders was a favourite theme of the Blair regime, in which the middle classes and their grateful servants had to be protected against the awful unwashed who might run amok at any minute if they weren’t showered with ASBOs, and the assumption that everyone was a potential crook or terrorist became the default position of our rulers.

    Ecksy’s points seem perfectly reasonable to me and his question at 8.19 needs answering I think. It’s very easy to dismiss these infringements of liberty if we don’t imagine we will ever suffer them ourselves.

  62. Thornavis

    I’d have no problem with being searched. I can’t see what the fuss is about.

    I think you are grossly exaggerating the Blair governments’ attitudes: no-one ever assumed that everyone was a crook or terrorist.

    As for the term ‘respectable working class’, how would you describe those diligent, law-abiding, aspiring folk who are not (yet) middle class but who are definitely not underclass?

  63. Theophrastus

    i wouldn’t be looking to describe them as anything really I don’t see why it would be necessary, people are either decent and honest or they’re not, what has class got to do with it ? My biggest objection to it though is that it’s bloody patronising.

    i don’t think I’m exaggerating the Blair government’s attitudes either. They had deeply authoritarian instincts, they were, for example, fond of that utterly stupid expression, if you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve nothing to fear, which tells you a lot about their contempt for civil liberties.

    I still think you are evading Ecksy’s question, it’s too easy to say that you don’t have any problem with being searched at work if it is never going to happen to you, still I dare say the respectable working class don’t really mind, it’s just one of those small inconveniences on the road to middle class safety.

  64. “At your next board meeting –or whatever you do to acquire the famous investments–you have all finished your business, stand-up, shake hands, prepare to take your leave of each other and the door opens and a lot of thuggish, uniformed chimps-in-human form enter the room.”

    If a fair proportion of the Board of Directors have historically been making off with the share certificates, the rest of them can hardly complain about being tarred with the same brush.

    Or do you suggest that SD just let every Tom Dick or Harry toe rag make off with whatever they like from their warehouses?

    I’ve noticed in life that those who make the most noise about these sorts things being an ‘affront to their dignity’ etc are the ones who probably would half inch quite a bit if they thought they could get away with it. The honest ones know its not aimed at them, because they know they are honest. The ones who know (deep down) they aren’t honest are the ones who get all up tight, because they know it is aimed at them. And they don’t like having their failings pointed out quite so pointedly.

  65. Mr Ecks:
    “Would you accept being told to turn your pockets out by security chimps at whatever is your place of work?”

    If I worked digging diamonds in a diamond mine, I would. If I worked handling secrets at the National Security Agency, I would. Not surprisingly, this is what happens, one way or another.

    If I worked packing boxes at Amazon I would accept it.

    Employing large numbers at low pay, handling epically vast quantities of frequently valuable goods is a recipe for theft. If you believe otherwise you are deluded and can’t accept a reality of human nature.

    It’s fine, as an honest person, if your ego can’t accept that you be treated as dishonest because of others who are dishonest. Avoid those situations if you can. But don’t expect businesses to base their procedures on your standards.
    .

  66. Years ago I was at a warehouse and they instituted some spot checks when a load of stuff once missing, the boss was pretty straightforward and said he expected a certain low level of leakage and would turn a blind eye rather than the hassle involved in cracking down, but the recent loss was taking the piss and he had to do something. Amusingly it turned out to be the nighttime security guy who was nicking stuff. Simple rule is act reasonably and be treated reasonably

  67. Almost all jobs have some opportunity for thieving. Shall we make the strip-search a national pastime?

    Diamonds are a very specialised trade and as for the NSA or MI5–did Philby and all the rest leave with stuff in their pockets? When secrets were going in their ears on a daily basis. Nonsense.

    “Employing large numbers at low pay, handling epically vast quantities of frequently valuable goods is a recipe for theft. ”

    At one time in the seventies I worked in a bank for a while. None of us was ever asked to be searched (and what could be easier to steal/conceal than folding green). Because the bank accounted for it all before we left. Amazon posts stuff to waiting people. It has a built in “Where’s my stuff?” check on what has been sent out –as well as its own in house procedures . A lot of its goods will be too large for non-organised thieving anyway–hard to conceal a washing machine or a lampstand up your jumper– and personal searches won’t have the slightest effect on organised warehouse scams. I suppose they could nick a –small–book or a couple of dvds from stock every day. Which would be noticed at stocktaking. Give employees assigned work areas–hell –there are a thousand ways anti-thieving could be built into the business structure. Without the need for security theatre shit which is designed to get you used to submitting to so-called authority.

    The TSA is the classic example. The useless bastards have failed in numerous official tests to spot or stop guns, explosives, drugs etc, etc. But the TSA are still there lording it over travellers, feeling them up and humiliating the public in any way they decide to. Because that is what TPTB want. Get ’em used to being given official dictate and being made to crawl to their masters in public. That is what security theatre is all about.

    And then there are types like Jim who say you are a crook if you object to being treated like one. W

  68. (Some keyboard glitch sent post too early)

    Well I do object and you can stuff your theories Jim. You crawl if think it is worth a few bob. My theory is that those who accuse others of being crooks are likely crooks themselves.

    Ok–don’t sign up to jobs with such shit.

    But the day will come when precious few jobs won’t have it. Because what was rare becomes fashionable and then standard practice–regardless of whether it works or not. And esp if the state is pushing to create a population of compliant worms who will drop their pants for a digital search on a coppers mere nod.

  69. @Chris Miller

    But while Thatcher’s quote about society is merely ripped out of context to try to make it say something other than what was intended, Powell never said anything approaching “rivers of blood” as his speech is always referred to. He actually said “foaming with much blood”, and he was (of course) quoting from the Aeneid and referring to the Tiber.

    I agree with you on both these points. Both Thatcher’s and Powell’s speeches were misrepresented at the time, and continue to be. It’s intellectually dishonest, not just ignorant, to twist the meaning of someone’s words so you’ve got shit to fling at them, rather than address their points. That’s how the centrists deal with both Left and Right.

    Corbyn misquoted? Not according to that nest of extreme right-wing vipers, the Beeb

    The BBC (who let’s not forget are the propaganda arm of the state since Blair neutered them for not doing his bidding) are amongst those doing the misrepresenting in Corbyn’s case.

    Corbyn’s actual words, at no point mentioned in any of their reports:

    ‘There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process…This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy, upon a tragedy, upon a tragedy…The World Trade Centre was a tragedy, the attack on Afghanistan was a tragedy, the war in Iraq was a tragedy. Tens of thousands of people have died. Torture has come back on to the world stage, been canonised virtually into law by Guantanamo and Bagram…. Can’t we learn some lessons over this?

    Corbyn’s not describing Bin Laden’s death as a tragedy, he’s despairing at the disappearance of the rule of law from international affairs.

  70. I believe he was also pointing out that a trial would be a more satisfactory outcome of justice being served than a bullet to the back of the head. I assume that Corbyn would have denounced the inevitable death penalty, but that’s another issue.

  71. ‘There was no attempt whatsoever that I can see to arrest him, to put him on trial, to go through that process…This was an assassination attempt, and is yet another tragedy,”

    So that’s not describing the death of Bin Laden as a tragedy? Calling it a tragedy? And putting it on a par with the World Trade Centre attack?

    Out of interest, how many heads of world-wide terrorist organisations were in the WTC at the time of the attack?

    The rule of law? Bin Laden declared war on the USA. In a war, you don’t walk up to the enemy, slap him in the face with your glove and challenge him to a duel. You shoot him in the back. Preferably while he’s asleep. Anything else is pious crap peddled mainly by those who have never been in the position of putting at risk their own lives despite expecting others to forfeit theirs to uphold their piety.

  72. “I believe he was also pointing out that a trial would be a more satisfactory outcome of justice being served than a bullet to the back of the head. I assume that Corbyn would have denounced the inevitable death penalty”

    I wouldn’t put it past Corbyn to have denounced the guilty verdict.

  73. “Almost all jobs have some opportunity for thieving. Shall we make the strip-search a national pastime?”

    Almost all comments have some opportunity for being interpreted in the extreme. Shall we make raving hysteria the norm for Tim’s comments section?

    I’m beginning to think you’ve recently been subjected to a rather rigorous cavity search, Mr Ecks. It’s that or reading too many Guardian links.

  74. He described the assassination of a man accused of terrible crimes a as a tragedy. Which it was if you respect the rule of law. On whose word are we to assume his guilt? The same people who took us into the war on a lie. No inquiry into the thousands who died at the WTC and the countless thousands who’ve died since. All have been denied justice. It’s not piety to describe that as a tragedy.
    And if American special forces can’t apprehend an unarmed old man without killing him, I’d posit they’re not very special at all, and that’s a tragedy for the US taxpayer given the miltary’s budget.

  75. WP

    “And if American special forces can’t apprehend”

    I’m not sure this is a discussion I really want to engage in, but was “apprehending”, in the circumstances, ever really a serious option or consideration?

  76. Let’s get real, no one wanted an OBL trial. The idea that you can take a guy like OBL and put him on trial in New York District Court like some guy who robbed a convenience store is ridiculous.

  77. “At your next board meeting –or whatever you do to acquire the famous investments–you have all finished your business, stand-up, shake hands, prepare to take your leave of each other and the door opens and a lot of thuggish, uniformed chimps-in-human form enter the room.”

    Ecks, don’t be a berk. I have a lot of time for your unrestrained hatred for the Left, but you’re off the rails here. Compared to a quick shufti in your rucksack by a security goblin the compliance burden on anyone engaged in serious business is like a full cavity search using the whole fist. It’s a little-known fact that the loss to retail businesses through shoplifting by customers is dwarfed by employee pilfering. The companies would much rather fire their security people and scrap their access control systems, just like merchant banks would get rid of their compliance staff if they could. But people nick things and commit fraud, and it is not unreasonable to take measures to stop it. I have to use an RFID card to get in my office, and to get out for that matter. At the last place I worked, the entry system was a fingerprint reader. It was no different than a time clock, just faster and less prone to being buggered with. It did not occur to me that having to prove who I was in order to access my place of work was an unreasonable imposition. Especially in factories where there might be large stuff moving about or sensitive work going on, it’s not a good idea to let everyone just mill about.

    As for Reed and his sneering: it is an inescapable fact that whereas the majority of STEM graduates are literate (in the old-fashioned sense of the word), appreciative of artistic culture and generally able to provide useful commentary on the humanities side of things, most arts graduates are catastrophically, mind-bendingly, pig fucking ignorant when it comes to anything that might have a bit more maths in it than counting to ten. Pace C. P. Snow, I don’t think it’s active disdain, just that a lot of them are really not very bright.

  78. Because people signed up to it and there’s nothing in there that would fall into the categories of either people being protected from harm or people being protected from being stuck in a place (e.g. a contract that signs them up until they’re 65). They can turn up, do it and if they hate it leave rather quickly and find something else.

    Assuming there is something else.

  79. Almost all comments have some opportunity for being interpreted in the extreme. Shall we make raving hysteria the norm for Tim’s comments section? I’m beginning to think you’ve recently been subjected to a rather rigorous cavity search, Mr Ecks. It’s that or reading too many Guardian links.

    PJF wins the thread!

  80. Thornavis:

    i wouldn’t be looking to describe them as anything really I don’t see why it would be necessary,

    In demography, in advertising and in politics, categorisation by socio-economic class is useful. In everyday life, it is a useful shorthand. You have used ‘middle class’ as a form of shorthand. Some chippy people on here use it as an insult.

    people are either decent and honest or they’re not, what has class got to do with it ?

    Decency and honesty are fine qualities; but values, lifestyle, behaviour etc are all relevant, too. People like being with others like themselves. This applies to race and nationality as well as class. I prefer to live among other middle class people (the respectable ones, not the unrespectable) rather than horny-handed sons of toil, however decent and honest they may be. (Though there are some middle class tribes I would prefer to avoid.) And if some folk on here can make negative judgements about the middle class, what is wrong with making negative and positive judgements about the working class?

    My biggest objection to it though is that it’s bloody patronising.

    Sorry, why exactly is it patronising?

  81. Brilliant: Mr Ecks writes things I agree with ( houses too expensive for young families; searches etc too intrusive at some workplaces) and PJF accuses him of reading too many Guardian links .Hoist by his own petard! Perhaps Mr X might begin to realise that the hegemony of bullshit ideology does not all derive from Statist Russian gulag operatives.

  82. @ Witchsmeller Pursuivant
    The poor quality of individuals in the US Forces is almost certainly a consequence of the US military budget which substitutes money for any of the “classical military virtues”.

  83. @ Mr Ecks
    “Almost all jobs have some opportunity for thieving. Shall we make the strip-search a national pastime?”
    “Almost all” meaning about 10-20% these days. Apart from the millions of self-employed workers, there are masses who never touch a finished product or not one small enough to carry away. For instance, what can you steal on an oil-rig? Not even a gallon on unrefined crude oil. What can a jobcentre employee steal? A list of long-term unemployed?
    Forty-fifty years ago the biggest saving created by containerisation was the reduction in pilferage by dockers, but nowadays “shrinkage” in retail is the biggest (in volume if not value) problem.

  84. I used to supply computer systems to a major mobile phone manufacturer…

    All the staff had to go through a thorough search of bags and walk through a metal detector at the end of each shift. Otherwise the product would literally walk out of the door…

    They had staff running out of the (alarmed) emergency exit with a bin liner full of product… Plus endless other scams to remove product (often unusable because they had not been programmed) from the production lines…

    We discovered that (magically) during the night shift computer systems would lose their processors and memory chips without anybody seeing anything…

    We ended up building them industrial computers with the case secured with special security screws…

  85. Ecksy
    At my last count, about eight people (not including our host) on this thread disagree with you about SD. You just might wish to reflect on that, though probably not.

  86. Mr Ecks:
    “John 77: Job Centre worker?

    Office supplies.”

    Sorry, I can’t come up with a better put down of your position than that. You win the thread.
    .

  87. @ Mr Ecks
    What office supplies?
    The puffed-up twit sits at a desk haranguing* the poor job-seeker. He/she doesn’t even need a cheap ballpoint on the desk because the guy (or occasionnally gal) has had to fill in the form before seeing him/her. You think that he would steal the desk?
    *There’s a job advertised for a chef’s assistant chopping up meat. You’ve got two degrees, four professional qualifications, deteriorating eyesight, are slightly clumsy so you could cut off one or two fingers, and are already applying for three jobs based outside my Jobcentreplus area that demand your level of professional expertise? What do I care? Apply for this (completetely unsuitable) job or else.

  88. Theo: Who gives a rat’s arse about who disagrees. That’s how you judge right and wrong? Who’s on your team?

    There seems to be a substantial group for the opinion that most people are thieves. Not been my experience and not willing to believe that petty pilfering justifies bullshit security theatre.

    John 77: Just tripe.Offices have office supplies. Pens, paper clips, reams of paper, etc. Would be a poor justification for searches etc but the principle is the same. You may have had some blood-vessel busting encounters in those places but what with BinLaden and all this thread has done meandered enough.

    BiC: Where was this workplace? The UK?.

    *Stealing products that they cant use*

    *running out of alarmed exits with nicked gear–and thus tripping the alarms so as to be caught red-handed

    * nicking the chips out of computers. Since you say the co makes mobiles these would presumably be the computers they used in their days work.

    I’m sorry but those are anecdotes too far. What was the place– Remploy for kleptomaniacs?

    I am giving over the thread since nobody is persuading anybody.

  89. “There seems to be a substantial group for the opinion that most people are thieves. Not been my experience and not willing to believe that petty pilfering justifies bullshit security theatre.”

    Not most, but a significant hard core minority. A minority who will, if not stopped, encourage others to do likewise. A larger proportion of people are easily led – if they see one or two workmates stealing goods from work, and management turning a blind eye, they will think ‘Well, they’re getting away with it, they obviously don’t care’. They wouldn’t have done it off their own bat, but give them an example to follow and they will.

    And suddenly your warehouse has lost 10/20/30% of its goods.

    Are you really that ignorant of human nature that you haven’t experienced this sort of thing? Its not exactly new. I live in an old railway engineering town – the works closed donkey’s years ago, but you still find tools and materials in garden sheds that came out of the railway works over the years. Paint, fixings, materials, tools, you name it, and it was nicked.

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