Iain Duncan Smith and the Monsters of Folklore

Ian Duncan Smith pic

I’ve previously written a number of posts comparing Iain Duncan Smith to a serial killer, specifically Andrei Chikatilo, the ‘Russian Ripper’, who raped, killed and ate about 54 children and men before the Soviet Union’s finest caught and shot him. This is because of the immense death toll caused by his welfare reforms, amounting to an estimated three every four hours, coupled with his absolute absence of any remorse or willingness to concede that his actions are responsible for any kind of suffering and death. Indeed, he insists that they are right, merely based on his own ‘beliefs’. Worse, he is actually proud of them, absurdly comparing them to William Wilberforce’s campaign against slavery.

Well, if he wants to make that comparison, then the folklore of the various colonial peoples brutalised and exploited by their European conquerors, as well as the lower class European victims of forced transportation to the colonies also provide an extremely close parallel and a metaphor for the suffering deliberately inflicted by IDS’ policies.

Murdering Indians for European Industry in the Andes

One of the monsters of Peruvean and Andean Indian folklore is a tall man, either of European descent or a mestizo (mixed race-European/Indian), dressed in a long, black coat. Concealed underneath this are two long knives, which he uses to kill his Indian victims. He does so in order to obtain their body fat, which is exported to Europe to maintain the machines of European industry.

This particular folkloric monster has been around since the conquest of South and Central America by the Spaniards in the 15th century. It’s a folkloric response to the destruction of the indigenous civilisations of the Incas, Aymara and other peoples, and their enslavement and exploitation by their European conquerors under the repartimiento system, in which Indians were allocated to their Spanish overlords as slave labour. Although Peruvian governments from the late 20th century have tried to raise the status of the indigenous peoples, for example, replacing the word for them, ‘Indio’ – ‘Indian’, with ‘Indigena’ – Indigenous Person, there is still considerable shame associate with Indian ancestry. The myth of this serial killer is effectively a metaphor for the way the indigenous peoples of the Andes suffered and died for the material enrichment of their European overlords, and the mechanised industry that became emblematic of European exploitation, industry and culture.

The Murder Factory for 19th Century Indian Emigrant Labourers

A similar myth also appeared thousands of miles to the east, in India, in the 19th century. After the abolition of slavery, European planters, industrialists and colonial administrators became concerned about the lack of available cheap labour to cultivate the sugar plantation on which the economies of the Caribbean nations, as well as other colonies scattered around the globe, such as Mauritius, the Seychelles and Fiji, depended. They therefore began to import Chinese and Indians as indentured labourers. Technically free, these people were exploited and suffered conditions every bit, and sometimes worse, than the Black slaves they replaced. The system deeply shocked some British and imperial politicians and administrators, as well as many leading Christian priests and ministers, who denounced it as ‘a new system of slavery’. This systematic abuse and exploitation of indentured Indian labourers under the ‘Coolie Trade’ also helped stimulate the campaign for Indian independence. Indian nationalists reasoned that expatriate Indians would only be treated with dignity and respect if they had the full support of an independent homeland. Some labourers were obtained through kidnapping, and the British authorities in India and China during the 19th century organised a series of raids against gangs, who had seized and held labourers against their will in order to supply the trade. Initially there were no arrangements to keep families in touch with relatives working abroad, so it was common for children and husbands simply to disappear one morning, without being heard of again, or to reappear suddenly as much as twenty years later. The response was the creation of another myth of mechanised murder for the sake of European industry.

The myth spread that those Indians, who signed on for work abroad, were taken to a secret factory. There they were killed, and the cerebro-spinal fluid extracted from their skulls, for use in Europe. A drawing circulated of a group of Indians hanging from a beam, with a text in Hindi explaining what had been done to them. As with the Andean serial killer, this expresses metaphorically and in personal terms the exploitation and death inflicted on the imperial subaltern peoples for the benefit of European colonial industry.

Children Abducted for their Blood by Kings in 18th century France

These monsters weren’t confined just to the subject people’s of the British and Spanish empires, however. in the mid-18th century a rumour spread through France warning parents to guard their children. They were being abducted by a wealthy lady, who took them to a richly furnished, dark coach. She served a king, who was suffering from a terrible disease, which could only be treated with the blood of children, who were thus killed to alleviate his suffering. Folklorists such as Marina Warner have suggested that this was created by the use of force by the French state to provide settlers for the new French colony of Louisiana in America. The unemployed and poor were particularly targeted by the authorities. The French Crown was becoming increasingly unpopular due to its extravagant luxury and unrestrained, absolute power and so the disappearance of people without trace, especially children, became linked to the idea of a corrupt and literally bloodthirsty monarch.

Babies Killed for their Organs in 1990s’ Rumours

Similar fears appeared in the 1990s in the widespread rumours that people were being drugged and even killed to supply black market transplant organs. In one of these stories going around the Central American republics, a woman had had her baby abducted. The child’s body was eventually founded, gutted and stuffed with dollar bills. With the money was a note saying, ‘Thank you for your co-operation’. These stories led to a massive atmosphere of suspicion and anger towards Americans and Europeans, and tourists were warned about the dangers of inappropriate or insensitive behaviour towards children. In one instance, a female American tourist had wanted to take photographs of a group of children in Guatemala. The local people became highly suspicious of her intentions, with the result that an angry mob developed, and eventually erupted into a full-scale riot. The woman and her husband, I believe, had to be taken to the local police station for their own safety, which was itself attacked. Several police officers and the couple themselves lost their lives in the violence. Again, it is not hard to see the myth behind this tragic incident as an expression of the highly exploitative relationship between Latin America and its much richer and economically dominant neighbour to the north.

Iain Duncan Smith and the Death and Exploitation of the Poor and Unemployed for the Aristocracy and Industry

IDS’ own welfare reforms also conform to the pattern of industrialised exploitation and murder, which are the essential subjects of these myths. They attack the very poorest members of the society, the unemployed, the sick and disabled, for the benefit of an aristocratic elite. Like the myth of the Andean serial killer and murder factory in Indian ‘Coolie’ folklore, these reforms are carried out for the benefit of the employers. IDS, McVey and Pennington have created a system of forced labour through the workfare system. It’s a system that needs the threat of death from benefit sanctions in order to make it work. And so IDS can join the monsters and industrial murderers of the brutalised and exploited from around the world.

I wonder if, should he ever make a state visit to Peru, someone should ask him very publicly if he still has two long, sharp knives with him, and if he really does to the people of England what his kind has been doing down the centuries

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8 Responses to “Iain Duncan Smith and the Monsters of Folklore”

  1. untynewear Says:

    Reblogged this on UNEMPLOYED IN TYNE & WEAR and commented:
    It’s perhaps a little suprising that more urban folklore hasn’t arisen from the current situation… or perhaps it has but I haven’t noticed ?

    Well, there is the claims that some people are having to resort to selling their internal organs in order to survive…

  2. Mike Sivier Says:

    Reblogged this on Vox Political and commented:
    Hooray! The Beast returns with an article about Vox Political’s Monster of the Year.

  3. trebornos Says:

    Reblogged this on trebornos's Blog.

  4. A6er Says:

    Reblogged this on Britain Isn't Eating.

  5. Bring back immediately women's state pension at 60 / Loss of state pension for life from 2016 Says:

    The public do not care about those that suffer. They sneer at the disabled able to get up and totter around. They believe the old are independently wealthy and do not need a state pension or benefits, and tax benefits and works pension, so losing whatever money gained towards food and fuel.

    Labour is not going to help anybody if they are a minority government in 2015, because the Tories will continue to rule.
    As shown by a recent article in a newspaper with the line:
    (Shadow Chancellr Ed) Balls, with his insistence on a public-sector pay freeze, and determination to match “day-to-day” Tory spending limits (in 2015 if Labour ‘win’).

    And it is not impossible that Labour could lose, being as they are losing women / grey vote

    And the young do not vote (60 per cent 18-30 year olds did not vote in 2010, and millions never signed on voter registration).

    Mr Miliband needs to do a swift volte face aka u-turn and re-do his policy launch heading for the 2015 election and also get rid of Gordon Brown’s speech writer during that government of Ed Balls.


    – End all the benefit sanctions regime, DWP and private welfare admin and shut the benefit losing Jobcentres altogether.

    – Replace all benefit with a universal non-means tested citizen wage, guaranteed by law, clawing back this money from the rich with a 50 per cent top rate of tax.

    – Grant back-dated from 2013 for the 30,000 women who lost state pension payout. Tax free lump sum.

    – Grant back-dated from 2014 for the 500,000 women who lost state pension payout. Tax free lump sum.

    – Grant monthly payout from 2015 to those who turned women who turned 60 from 2013 onwards into the future, of state pension.

    All ages are then able to seek work, either waged or self employment, with the security of a citizen wage and / or a state pension to pay the basic bills.

    Now watch how Labour pulls away from the Tories in the polls.

  6. amnesiaclinic Says:

    I think a lot of these are not actually myths but based on fact. The Biggest Secret by David Icke puts it into perspective and joins the dots. The septic tank of 800 ritualised remains of babies in Tuam springs to mind as well as the fantastic work being done by the tribunal in Brussels under Kevin Annet. It’s funny, very little gets out.
    I wonder why?

  7. patricknelson750 Says:

    If they thought they could get away with it I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Iain Duncan Smith, Camoron et al. ever did try to introduce something along these lines. Maybe compulsory blood donation from the long term unemployed or maybe their spare kidney.

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