Posts Tagged ‘Marie Antoinette’

The Tory Attitude to Mass Starvation: Let Them Eat Cake

August 4, 2020

Mike’s put up this evening on his blog a piece wondering if the reason the Tories launched their ‘Help Out To Eat Out’ scheme to encourage people to start going out to restaurants again wasn’t because they wanted to restart the economy, but simply stuff their faces at public expense. He’s put up a couple of pieces about the Tory MPs Nadhim Zahawi and the abomination formerly in charge of the NHS, Jeremy Hunt, both talking about how they used to scheme to get a free lunch. There’s a meme about Zahawi stating just how much he’s raked in on expenses and for working for an oil company, in addition to his generous salary as an MP. But he doesn’t feel that such largesse should be awarded to the disabled, and voted for a £30 cut in their benefits.

Mike’s blogged about this issue before. The scheme was never going to tackle the real problem of starvation, or ‘food poverty’ in this country, because the people afflicted by it can’t afford to go to restaurants. Many of them can’t afford to buy food, which is why there’s been such a massive expansion in food banks.

But the middle classes, and the rich Tories who represent them, can.

This all reminds of the expenses scandal back in 2004, when large sections of parliament were caught claiming as much as they could get their hands on in expenses, far beyond what was being awarded in pay for the rest of us mere mortals. They had also voted to cut the salaries of their staff. That blew up in their faces when it was exposed by the Torygraph, which may well have been the last time that wretched newspaper ever did anything right.

And now they’re doing it again while millions starve.

It all reminds me of the famous reply Marie Antoinette supposedly gave to the news that the French peasantry were starving because they had no bread.

‘Well, let them eat cake’.

That’s come to symbolise the grotesque self-indulgence and absolute complacency of the French aristocracy, an attitude that led to the Revolution, the execution of the monarchy and the mass murder of Robespierre and the Committee of Public Safety.

This seems to be the modern, Tory British version. People don’t have food on the table, but blow them! Let them go to a restaurant instead, like the Tories and their rich friends from the Bullingdon Club and other centres of the self-indulgent, callous rich.

Was ‘Eat Out to Help Out’ really meant to help super-rich Tories get cheap meals at the taxpayer’s expense?

Mirror: IDS Blames 9/11 for Failure as Tory Leader

October 8, 2015

More insights into the weird psychology of Ian Duncan Smith. According to the Mirror, Smith blamed the al-Qaeda attack on the Twin Towers at 9/11 for his failure as the then leader of the Conservative party in a speech at the Tory party conference. The Mirror article begins

Leadership flop Iain Duncan Smith has blamed the 9/11 atrocities for his failed bid to be Prime Minister.

The top Tory made the claim as he launched an extraordinary attack on Tony Blair – saying he ‘milked’ the situation for all it was worth.

More than 100 Tory activists applauded Mr Duncan Smith’s comments at a packed fringe meeting at their party conference.

Fresh from a speech celebrating welfare cuts , he claimed Mr Blair’s focus on foreign policy contributed to his failure to get a foothold as party chief in 2001.

“The day before I got elected the twin towers were struck,” he told the crowd last night.

“So first of all we got no lift on my announcement. It had to be buried the following day, hardly anybody was paying attention.

“The following day I appeared for the statement in the House, straight in. I didn’t sleep that night, had to sort out shadow cabinet positions, got them all done, got in there and we were straight in.

“Now you know, when the nation is kind of at war there is only one person they look to and it is the Prime Minister, because the Prime Minister is powerful. He’s the one who directs it.

“And Blair, of course, which maybe you can argue, he milked that for all that was worth.”

It’s another piece of Tory double standards, especially coming after David Cameron’s smearing of Jeremy Corbyn yesterday as a supporter of terrorism, who didn’t really care about the 3,000 odd victims of 9/11. That was a gross lie. It appears from this that IDS doesn’t really care for the victims of the biggest terrorist outrage on American soil either, except in so far as they ruined his career as the leader of the Tory party.

As for ‘milking’ a foreign policy crisis and the ensuing war, this is exactly how Maggie Thatcher used the Falklands War to prop up her career as prime minister. Following the British victory over the Argentinians she was lauded by the Tory press as the 20th century incarnation of Boadicea. The Scum in particular harped on about how the Conservatives hoped the ‘Falklands Factor’ would help win them election after election. It helped cement her image of the defiant guardian of everything ‘British’ against foreign aggression and domestic terrorists like the IRA. This was even when she was holding secret talks with them while attacking Labour’s stance on Northern Ireland and the sympathies of many of its members with its Roman Catholics.

Several of the commenters to this blog have pointed out that Smith shows all the symptoms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder, and I think they have a point. This comment certainly shows the man’s egotism and colossal self-pity. He, of course, was never responsible for his failure. It was all somebody’s else’s fault. He comes across as the type of burned-out boxer portrayed by Marlon Brando in On The Waterfront, a shambling wreck c boasting about how he could have been a ‘contender’.

Blair did indeed ‘milk’ 9/11, just as Maggie milked the Falklands. He and Bush also used it as a pretext for the illegal invasion of Iraq. Many Tories, to their credit, condemned the invasion. A friend of mine even started buy the Spectator because of its anti-war line. IDS was not denied the opportunity to tackle him for his foreign policy failures, particularly as the majority of people in this country opposed the invasion of Iraq. IDS cannot blame 9/11 for being ousted as leader of the Tory party. It was due to his own incompetence, and the legacy of his predecessors. But, like some exiled dictator convinced that the people still love him, he simply can’t see this. Perhaps, like Imelda Marcos, he takes refuge from cold, hard reality amongst a massive collection of shoes.

And on a purely, personal ad hominem note, it strikes me from the photos of IDS that have surfaced from the conference that the minister for the murder of the disabled has put on weight. It seems he’s been living very well in his career denying benefits to the poor, the sick and disabled, during which tens of thousands have died. Stilloaks has pointed out that the total death toll of people who have starved to death, or taken their own lives through despair due to his wretched ‘welfare reforms’ is now up to the 70s, if not actually beyond. Marie Antoinette may not have said, ‘Let them eat cake’ when she heard of the starving French masses during the Revolution, but from the pics, Duncan Smith definitely has had a few champagne breakfasts.

Cameron Blocks EU Funding for Food Banks

February 27, 2014

cameron-toff

Cameron contemplates the poor from the standpoint of his own privileged background.

Yesterday’s I carried the story that the EU had voted funds to be available for spending on food banks across the EU, including in Britain. Their offer of help was, however, refused by Cameron, who declared that funding for food banks was best done at the national level. So basically, Cameron and the Coalition refused their money because he doesn’t want the EU superstate interfering in this part of British politics. He’s obviously afraid of appearing beholden to the EU when he goes up against the Europhobic section of his party, and UKIP. He wants the poor to starve, so that he can cow them into submission while appearing as the strong man of British nationalism and independence.

There is thus absolutely no reason why anyone, who was unemployed, or whose job is insecure, to vote for any of the Eurosceptics after this, whether Tory or UKIP. They’d clearly rather you starved.

The attitude reminds me of Iran’s refusal of foreign aid in the 1980s. I can’t remember quite when, but sometime in that decade, perhaps 1987, there was a terrible earthquake in the north of Iran, in one of the Turkic speaking provinces bordering Azerbaijan. There were immediately offers of help from the international aid agencies, including charities like Christian Aid. The regime flatly refused them, seeing them as a means by which the Great Satan of America and the West would spread decadent, foreign beliefs like Christianity. And so the people of the region suffered. The result was, unsurprisingly, a legacy of anti-clericalism and hatred of the regime. Cameron’s refusal of aid from the EU should do the same over here.

Looking at him, it’s clear that he shares the same contempt for the poor and starving as Marie Antoinette, who said ‘Let them eat cake’. The only difference is, the starvation from which the French people were suffering was a natural famine. This time it’s definitely caused by the Coalition, who are also aristos nearly to a man.

And after that, came decades of revolutionary war and bloodshed.