Identity politics my ass

According to Simon Jenkins in the Guardian today the real problem in the world is that the left concentrates too hard on looking after minorities while blaming white middle aged, middle class men (and some women) for well, everything. And, ergo  Trump and Brexit are those poor snowflakes fighting back.

Well, I am confused because of course Simon Jenkins is a white elderly privileged man and he doesn’t seem to have had/be having any difficulty in finding fora for his views or indeed supporters for them. Here he is on the pages of a national newspaper (being paid handsomely I’ve no doubt) being all ‘marginalised’ with a mere 300o comments telling him that he is quite right and how they are all marginalised too.

I am a white working class woman – with a degree so don’t feel too sorry for me, but I don’t look around a see a world organised for my benefit. Most MP’s are still men, Presidents are still men, heads of corporations are mostly men, we still see sport on the TV mostly played by men, films are usually made by men, starring men with women as decorative additions who exist to talk about men. Notable literature is frequently the preserve of men (booker prize male winners outnumber the women 2:1) , TV news anchors in the UK are more frequently men than women, bishops are largely men etc etc. If you are non-white and/or disabled and working class you can often look in vain for people that are like you in certain fields (the judiciary for example). It is often possible to work the system better if you are gay AND upperclass (e.g. Stephen Fry and Sandi Toksvig) or Asian AND male (Sadiq Khan) or even working class, male and grammar school educated (Alan Bennett, Melvyn Bragg) but in general white, male, middle aged, middle or better income blokes seem to be doing ok.

In schools there has been concern that working class white males are left behind: girls do better in school, college and uni. But if your kids are white and male stop worrying, all the progress those girls are making is successfully undone as soon as they fancy taking on kids and a job – boom – males back on top as they don’t have career breaks to look after the blighters. Male jobs seem to pay better too in the private sector where the rates of pay can be kept under wraps.

White British males seems to feel aggrieved that they are targeted for criticism for violence and criminality, but the prison population is largely in the business of incarcerating men and of those only around 1 tenth are of non-UK origin, and white males outnumber non-white by three quarters. Murderers, rapists, burglars, car-jackers, drug dealers and childkillers are mostly white men. Next time you see an article about a child abuse ring that concentrates on the Asian ethnicity of the perps – remember that they are the exception rather than the rule! Of course women can be violent and cruel too, so can disabled people, so can gay and non-white people. But if you think that white men are being unfairly ‘got at’ for societies ills, think again.

By the way if you think that I’m a man-hating lesbian and that this is simply an outpouring of unjustified misandrist bile – I am a happily, straight married woman with male kids and I love them all dearly. I simply feel that to characterise the new world as being organised for anyone’s benefit other than straight white, middle income (or more) men is to be misinformed by a media largely dominated by well-off white males, while becoming so inured to life’s realities than you no longer see it anymore.

And Simon Jenkin’s assertion that this is the real reason that the left aren’t in power – well that is nonsense. Its been part of the civilizing process of the Western World to care about the rights and well-being of people who are not white, male and well off and that progress has not gone ‘to far’ – it’s simply begun to impinge on some of the privileges that the Great White Male enjoyed.

Modern politics is where it is because if you can blame someone on your street for your misfortune (real or imagined) it’s a damn sight easier than working out the economic and political facts of life. Blaming the enemies within is a much easier tactic than dealing with how to fairly share the obvious wealth that is sloshing around the upper echelons of society. You must have seen a toddler redirect a parents ire by quickly pointing to the dog or his sibling as the possible perpetrator – well that, my friends, is Nigel Farage, Donald Trump, Oswald Mosley, Enoch Powell and every internet warrior with a grudge. Politics isn’t getting less fair to white men, its getting more simplistic and accepting of the prejudices of white males. And I don’t know why or how that has happened.

If I had to guess I say that the main stream media has now got an echo chamber attached to it: the internet. And it’s a place that has long been dominated by male geeks. Its a place where men can go and complain to men about how the world is mean to them. And then it can watch happily while the MSM reports it as news. How does the left combat this and get people talking about real world problems of inequality, hate and poverty? No idea, but I suspect that someone is going to suggest that we should be ‘listening’ to white men – and not to poor white and black women.