This man is insane

I have been an activist for 70 years. I’ve organised unions, rent strikes, antiwar marches and anti-fascist blockades, and gone on international solidarity visits to socialist countries.

In recent years, I am proud to say, the Greater London Pensioners (of which group I am chair) have taken to the streets with UKUncut, Disabled People Against Cuts, Fuel Poverty Action, and even anti-fracking camps such as Reclaim the Power in Balcombe and Blackpool. Pensioners are part of the movement for justice and equality in the UK.

Living standards are approaching 1930s levels in the UK today.

That last sentence.

He’s a complete fucking nutter.

We can make all sorts of complicated arguments about inequality, relative poverty and so on but the claim that living standards are like the 30s is simply nonsense.

41 thoughts on “This man is insane”

  1. People keep talking about the “worst recession since the Great Depression” as if that means we are living through something similar to the Great Depression. They seem to really believe it. Weird.

  2. I don’t think he is insane. I think he is deliberately lying in order to win support from the ignorant.
    For instance if the planned cuts ever happen they will only reduce government expenditure *as a %age of GDP* to the level it was in 1948, after Attlee nationalised the commanding heights of the economy and introduced the NHS. GDP per head has more than quadrupled since then so government spending will be more than quadruple Attlee’s level. Which he says will take us back to the 1930s. Lies, transparent lies.

  3. “…and gone on international solidarity visits to socialist countries.”

    Ahhh, one of the ‘useful idiots’ then.

  4. I don’t think this old twit is deliberately lying, he just sees the world in a different way. How we see the world is largely hard wired into us. (See Jonathan Hardt’s The Righteous Mind).

    Throw in some ignorance, prejudice and self-delusion, and you get the mindset of the Guardianista crowd.

    I can take all that, but not the hypocrisy. If this bloke had got some cash, he’d be first to send his kids to private school.

  5. ” If we go for energy saving and renewables, bills are estimated to go up by only £100 by the year 2020. However, if we stick with gas as our main fuel, then bills could increase by £600 by the year 2050.”

    Great use of maths there lol. 20 pounds a year with renewables or 17 pounds a year with fossil fuels haha.

  6. Echoing Dongguan John, I really think he should get with the times and realize boasting about visiting repressive dictatorships for a foreign propaganda coup isnt something to admire, knowing for certainty what we know know. Perhaps he was/is a stalinist of some sort?

    Also he opposes fracking yet is a member of anti-fuel poverty actions? While prices and fracking are complicated in the UK and it isnt a case of frack and direct to consumer prices will come down exactly, but does this guy just like moaning about anything and everything and bugger thinking this one through?

  7. Sorry to go off-topic, but I wanted to flag up some significant further progress in the investigation into the Rolling Stone UVA ‘rape’ story that Tim has recently blogged about.

    ‘Jackie’s’ story is now completely falling apart. It appears that she made the whole thing up. I don’t seem to be able to embed URLs here, so just search the Washington Post for ‘u-va-students-challenge-rolling-stone-account-of-attack’.

    The funniest line is when Jackie says “Maybe now, another freshman girl will decide not to go into a room with someone they don’t know very well”. She’s serious. We need to teach girls not to go into rooms with people they don’t know well.

  8. If he’s been an activist for 70 years I imagine he’s only refer to his living standard, as he’s done fuck all productive in that time that someone would wish to pay him for.

  9. I can imagine some great scenarios:

    Potential employer: Well, Ms Smith, it’s time for your job interview. If you’d just like to step into this room…

    Female job applicant: How dare you! I don’t know you well enough to step into a room with you.

    PE: But the interview panel is waiting for you, they’re expecting you.

    FJA: They could be a pack of rapists for all I know.

    PE: But they’re all distinguished Ivy league University graduates.

    FJA: Aha! Products of the Ivy league rape culture! I’m calling my rape support group.

  10. Also ‘state pensions are below the poverty level’. Yes it’s a supplementary payment, you aren’t suppose to just rely on that in retirement. I

  11. OT, regarding the U-Va ‘rape’ case: reading that Washington Post article the whole thing become totally apparent. ‘Jackie’ got rejected by a male student friend, invents a new super hot boyfriend who is in a fraternity, creates a thread of texts that reference the guy who rejected her (which she then shows to the guy who rejected her), pretends to go on a date, then turns up all in a state declaring the new BF forced her to give 5 guys blow jobs. All in an obvious attempt to get the guy who rejected her to become the White Knight and rescue her.

    The whole thing is the figment of a disturbed womans mind. If I was Rolling Stone’s lawyers I’d be getting very twitchy right now. They’ve accused an entire fraternity of being gang rapists, not only the ones who they said did this one, but everyone who ever was a member of the fraternity, as it was supposed to be a initiation for all members. Plus libeled her friends as utter arseholes. Could get expensive.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/education/u-va-students-challenge-rolling-stone-account-of-attack/2014/12/10/ef345e42-7fcb-11e4-81fd-8c4814dfa9d7_story.html?Post+generic=%3Ftid%3Dsm_twitter_washingtonpost

  12. Someone, a journalist perhaps, really should do a comparison between the 1930s and today. Longevity, housing, access to healthcare and education, malnutrition and obesity and so on and maybe chuck in a comparison with third world poverty.

    Then we’d really see what a load of crap all this talk of poverty in the UK today really is.

    All but a tiny minority today have lifestyles that all but a minority in the 1930s would not even have dreamed of.

  13. So Much for Subtlety

    I have been an activist for 70 years. I’ve organised unions, rent strikes, antiwar marches and anti-fascist blockades, and gone on international solidarity visits to socialist countries.

    Can I say thank you to the Guardian for bringing this moron to greater public attention? It is precisely this sort of thing that makes me think that the Guardian is a long-term CIA front designed to discredit the Left and all associated with it.

    Good work chaps!

  14. “If we go for energy saving and renewables, bills are estimated to go up by only £100 by the year 2020. However, if we stick with gas as our main fuel, then bills could increase by £600 by the year 2050.”

    Lies both ways. Greenwank is being used to “ration” energy use by making it more expensive than need be. As to 2050 gas prices in 2050–who knows.

    The featured “activist” is proud of his support for socialist evil.
    Maybe I was wrong about torture.

  15. In recent years, I am proud to say, the Greater London Pensioners (of which group I am chair) have taken to the streets with … Fuel Poverty Action, and even anti-fracking camps such as Reclaim the Power in Balcombe and Blackpool.

    He protests simultaneously against fuel poverty and fracking? If he’s not insane, he’s a fucking idiot.

  16. Someone, a journalist perhaps, really should do a comparison between the 1930s and today.

    Tony Capstick already did.

    We didn’t ‘ave no tellies or shoes or bedclothes.
    We med us own fun in them days.
    Do you know, when I were a lad you could get a tram down into t’town, buy three new suits an’ an ovvercoat, four pair o’ good boots, go an’ see Frank Randall at t’Palace Theatre, get blind drunk, ‘ave some steak an’ chips, bunch o’ bananas an’ three stone o’ monkey nuts an’ still ‘ave change out of a farthing.
    We’d lots o’ things in them days they ‘aven’t got today – rickets, diptheria, Hitler and my, we did look well goin’ to school wi’ no backside in us trousers an’ all us little ‘eads painted purple because we ‘ad ringworm.

  17. I don’t think the guy is wrong. I simply think his point of comparison (as a pensioner, to risk a stereotype) is Downton Abbey – and he sees similarities between the lifestyle there and our modern lifestyle. I assume he is one of the ‘excluded’ elderly who do not have the added bonus of using modern technology such as mobile phones, so he may be accurate – we do now live as well as 1930s aristocracy.

    Alternatively he is an over-politicised idiot who has no idea of context or history (but as such a life-long devotee of socialist regimes and general protest, that seems unlikely).

  18. I’m expecting a Jarrow type march by the oppressed masses any day now. Except that poverty has caused such widespread obesity that it will now start at Harrow, not Jarrow, and will not involve a march but will instead use the Metropolitan Line, with a mass fare-evasion to protest the evil policies of the evil Tory Hegemony.

  19. We have 1930s levels of mass unemployment so we need to import 250,000 people a year to do the jobs the locals won’t do, er the jobs which don’t exist because of mass unemployment, er…TORY FASCIST SCUM!!!

    Up the workers.

  20. Andrew C ‘Someone, a journalist perhaps, really should do a comparison between the 1930s and today. ‘

    Don Boudreaux at cafe Hayek has a long running series. It’s not 1930s specific, but makes this point over and over and over again. He gets a lot of abuse for it, natch.

  21. Not much of a selection process for that role as Chair then.

    Interviewer: Tell me what have you achieved in your 70 years of activism?

    Applicant: Well, living standards are approaching 1930s levels in the UK today.

    Interviewer: So following your campaigning things have gone backwards; excellent, the jobs yours.

  22. You’d think he might have grown up at some point. Preserving an adolescent whine as a social vision for that length if time is an epic achievement.

  23. Squander>

    “People keep talking about the “worst recession since the Great Depression” as if that means we are living through something similar to the Great Depression. ”

    People are getting confused between the percentage change and the base figures. If a rich man loses 30% of what he has, he’ll be fine. If a poor man loses 30% of what he has, he’ll be in trouble.

    It’s probably correct to say that people have suffered the biggest percentage losses of wealth since the 30s, but entirely misses the fact that the starting point is much, much higher.

  24. “I have been an activist for 70 years. I’ve organised unions, rent strikes, antiwar marches and anti-fascist blockades, and gone on international solidarity visits to socialist countries.”

    A wasted life.

  25. His little CV is rather reminiscent of Jack Jones’. Brother Jack, of course, had been a KGB agent throughout.

  26. @Brightside Bob

    “Inequality is killing pensioners like me”

    says 92 year old!!!!????

    Ladies and gents, we have a winner!

  27. Full time activist = a wasted life? It gets you out of the house – fresh air, exercise, etc. And you get to meet people with similar interests.

  28. Watchman,

    “I don’t think the guy is wrong. I simply think his point of comparison (as a pensioner, to risk a stereotype) is Downton Abbey – and he sees similarities between the lifestyle there and our modern lifestyle. I assume he is one of the ‘excluded’ elderly who do not have the added bonus of using modern technology such as mobile phones, so he may be accurate – we do now live as well as 1930s aristocracy.”

    Honestly, I think I most of us probably live better than the 1930s aristocracy. It looks impressive because they had huge houses with staff, but a lot of the reasons they had staff was that you didn’t have Waitrose that you could get to in 10 minutes, or go online and get a kindle book. We can all travel to New York faster than the aristos of the 1930s could, get a message to someone in Australia without involving a messenger boy and a telegraph office.

  29. “It’s not just older people who are made to feel we’re a burden on society; it’s an increasing number of us.”

    Well, Ken, old boy, self evidently unproductive people are a burden on society. It was a burden we used to gladly bear but polls suggest our willingness has halved in the last ten years.

    You’ve had 27+ straight years of the bennies. Maybe it’s time to think of the Falconer pill, old chap.

  30. @ bif
    He *is* and has been a burden on society. All his “activism” costs extra police time if they are prevented from destroying things and costs lots more if they succeed, plus travel disruption during protests, loss of production during strikes.
    Think about the definition of terrorism – “I’ll hurt you if you don’t co-operate” as in “The Godfather”.

  31. 70’s and 80’s TV programmes are now social history, and the first thing I think, is “Blimey, did we really live like that?”.

    However, I’m not sure we’re better off than 1930’s aristocracy (though pre-Great War would have been better).

    You could either live a la Wodehouse, ie idle luxury, country houses, wonderful lawns and impeccable suiting.

    Or, full-on rock n roll. You could even be a homosexual if you wished

  32. As dearieme said – the comparison with the late, malevolent Jack Jones is unavoidable, and if he was visiting regimes of the Warsaw pact should the security services not be looking at him on charges of treason? If not, why not?

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