Thursday, 22 January 2009

Re-drawing the line - in conjunction with Compass Youth

This all started when I was invited to Compass Youth's conference, 'Young London for a Progressive Future.' Their star voice, representing Young Labour, is 'Matty', and I urge you to read his article, here, before you go on to the rest of this post, because it'll give you a good sense of just what we're up against. It made me want to puke blood, but instead I contacted Compass and questioned whether this was really the message they wanted to be sending. They challenged me to write a response for the conference, and here it is.
****
Matty C Roche's latest offering, 'Materialism, Youth, Apathy and Art,' is not a progressive youth voice. It's not even centrist. It reads like the semi-restrained frothings of a 1930s Anglican priest from the Home Counties, peppering contradictory moral pronouncements with a bizarre, tripped out segue into the story of the Giant Spider of Integration that Walked Through Liverpool and united the working class. With the result, apparently, that 'Liverpool is on the improve'. This pseudo-appropriation of anti-youth reasoning is something that urgently needs a response, and here, I'm going to attempt to offer one.

The funny thing is that whenever people accuse members of their own generation of greed, a lack of empathy and a culture that has been bred of materialism that promotes instant gratification, they normally aren't talking about themselves. Unless Matty, self-proclaimed voice of progressive young London, is prepared to put his hand up and say yes, I, too am one of the degenerate, uncultured, polymanaical masses, he is implicitly suggesting that he himself - as a 'cultural activist' and arts affiliate - represents a gleaming exception to this selfish, sordid stereotype. If he were prepared to look outside his tiny box of self-satisfaction, he would see what an amazing bunch of people 'the youth' actually are - in spite of everything.

I'm sick of people getting down on Generation Y. We are, in general, good kids doing our damn best to adapt to a world whose social parameters are changing month on month and which doesn't seem to want to allow us any foothold unless we happen to be rich, white, male, middle class, well-connected and talented. We are struggling with a culture which is more drenched in violence, inequality, sexual exploitation, vicious materialism and dangerous chemicals than any age-group before us has had to cope with.

Our parents' generation brought us the sexual revolution, legal emancipation of women and ethnic minorities, the death of religion and small-town community, the tearing down of the cruel old orthodoxies. Their job was comparatively easy. It is our task, now, to live in the rubble and try, block by block, to build something new, something better, whilst wrestling the lingering dregs of prejudice, hatred, poverty, social exclusion and intolerance - and we have noone to look to for guidance on how the world should work, because our mums and dads had no bloody idea either, and still don't.

The elephant in the room remains that rampant materialism is the problem with our parents' generation, not ours. This sort of young Labour reasoning represents a hideously self-loathing internalisation of a lie that not even our parents even really believed, that greed, lack of empathy and material exclusion are somehow our fault, not theirs.

So don't parrot the old guys and tell us we're lazy, and spoilt, and degenerate. Don't tell 'the youth' that they're useless, undisciplined criminals who merit more police powers, more power to teachers, heavier penal sentences and punishments that reflect the crime and so there is fear of recrimination, even conscription for national service - we don't need to be brought into line. We are, in fact, in the process of re-drawing the line.

And no, 'The Arts' are not going to save us. Not even if they involve magical giant walking spiders. We've got some arts already, thank you very much. We may not have the kind of arts you want us to have, but this generation is creating more art, more music, writing, performance and brilliant new ideas than ever before, most of it cooked up with pirated equipment in the privacy of our own bedrooms and disseminated over the internet. We have the technology. We are creating. What most of us want now is a chance to combine creativity with real social progress, a chance to turn our imaginative brilliance to dreaming up a new world for ourselves, where our arts and our ideals have real relevance. To do that on any scale, we need fiscal emancipation and we need proper education, although some of us seem to be managing perfectly well without either - look at London's anti kinfe-crime initiative. Look at the new feminist groups, driven by young men and women from across the social spectrum. Look at the voluntary sector, with almost 2 million young people putting in their time for free for one social cause or another.

Poverty still exists now, but for many of us, poverty is a relative concept....people had to work hard and fight to earn things in the past - I've heard this argument before, the 'nobody's really poor anymore' argument, and it's almost universally put out by people who a) have never been poor, b) have never met anyone poor, or c) are fortunate enough to be slightly richer than their parents were and not have caring duties or dependents. Suck it up, Matty: poverty happens, it happens in this country, it happens in every city, now, every day, and millions of young people all over the country are affected by it - more every day, as the recession bites down and school leavers are refused the jobs in the promise of which they have indebted themselves. Deprivation relates both to material poverty and relative poverty, which creates emotional deprivation, social exclusion and ghettoisation. Relative poverty is, in itself, a serious issue, and just because most of the poorest of Britain's poor normally have more to eat than their African equivalents doesn't mean that it's lots of fun to have to decide between school shoes and keeping the house warm over the winter, as so many families still do.

Today's young people have grown up in a society polarised between rich and poor, those who will and will not inherit, with the illusion of opportunity for all dangled hopelessly above our heads - and the orthodoxy with which this status quo has been enforced has left us with fewer visible progressive options than any generation in a hundred years. Many of us have grown up without the supportive, secure family structure that every child needs, however many live-in parents she happens to have. Many of us have grown up without a real sense of community, or in communities riddled with violence, deprivation, drugs and alcohol abuse. A decent, supportive welfare state with efficient schools, healthcare and social security would be a place to start - but the Welfare Bill going through the Commons as I write represents another slice off the dwindling support structure that Britain's disenfranchised youth once relied upon. The Welfare Bill is yet another sign that the government is not listening to the voices of the young, the poor and the socially excluded, and instead taking another turn in that modish cross-party party game, Pin The Blame On The Working Class.

Matty then launches into a rootless romanticisation of the early 1908s as a time when 'unemployment was at an all-time high. People had little or nothing – but they all had nothing together. Few prospects, poverty, and dead-end jobs made people want to fight for a better existence. Workers would be politicized and made aware of issues by their trade unions and there would be a cohesive and constructive vent for their anger and frustrations...now, the youth choose hedonism, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, violence and escapism as their vents.'

This is a truly odd piece of rhetoric. Bizzarre New Labour appropriation of the 'best' parts of Thatcherite free-marketeering and individuation along with a weird fetishisation of the deprivation that they caused is a strange trait that's cropped up in centrist thought over the past few years - New Labour bears a great deal of responsibility for the demise of the trade union movement, and yet its orthodoxy remains that 'things were better back then - we were miserable, sure, but we had each other'. All of which sounds a little too much like a certain Monty Python sketch to be taken entirely seriously, especially if you actually talk to any of the actual people who actually had to live it at the time. The early 80s was nobody's utopia.

One thing the early 80s didn’t have, however, was the hypocrisy of today’s youth-oriented politics. As the bloody teeth of this recession clamp down, we’re realising we’ve been had. The exams we martyred ourselves for, the university education – free to our parents, but not to us – that we indebted ourselves for, the better life that we were promised if we worked hard and played the game whose rules were constantly being rewritten under the table, all of that has been exposed as so much lies and hot air. A million of us are unemployed, and that figure is growing, and when a million of us marched on London in 2003, the voice of young Britain was not listened to then as it is not listened to now. So don’t point the finger and tell us we have too little faith in the political process before you look at how this administration has treated its young people.

The latent class terror that runs in sticky rills under the surface of this article peels away one of its veils when Matty states that the problem is 'a lack of discipline, morals and understanding of where you've come from,' combined with apparent failure to respect our elders. Well, when our elders show us something to respect, maybe we'll listen, but not when what they offer us is insistent othering, othering of the kind that is horribly internalised in this syntactically woeful article. The extent of Matty's direct and wholly undeserved primitivisation of the deprived and/or disrespectful younguns he so vilifies is grotesquely exposed in the final paragraph: 'people can't be changed by pushing them form the back, nor can you drag along an unwilling dog and expect him not to dig in his heels.' Unwilling dogs. That's what we are. Apparently.

This is like sticking a giant 'kick me' sign on the back of young Labour. This is appalling. The youth of today are better than this - yes, for all our booze and drugs and sexual freedoms and music that goes beep. I'll tell you what we have going for us that our parents' generation didn't. We have the temerity to have grown up in the cruellest, most hypocritical and most politically disenfranchising of callous capitalist societies for a hundred years and not be cowed. We have the technology, and we’ve taught ourselves to use it. We have the courage to adapt to this constantly-changing world, however repeatedly it keeps kicking us in the teeth. Most importantly, as my housemate reminds me, we have much better hair. Suck it up, Matty. It’s politics that are going to have to change for us.

26 comments:

  1. "We are struggling with a culture which is more drenched in violence, inequality, sexual exploitation, vicious materialism and dangerous chemicals than any age-group before us has had to cope with."

    Jesus Christ, get a grip!

    You're a good writer, but your refusal to engage with historical reality really does detract from your arguments.
    Just because you feel sad/bad/hard-done-by, doesn't mean that this is the worst time ever (tm). We really haven't ever had it so good, no matter how much a (tiny) minority of people may be suffering.

    Also - EVERYONE I know who is well off (electricians, teachers, scientists, engineers etc) has got there by hard work rather than inheritance. Most lazy people (hello) even manage to get along doing something or other.
    The fact that you only seem to know people who have; a) inherited vast amounts of wealth or b) have absolutely nothing, really does say more about the motivations of lefties than the make-up of our society at large.

    With regards to education, it was labours desire to ensure that everyone in this country had a PHD in something, anything that led to a massive over-expansion of higher education and gave the young unrealistic career expectations. This isn't the result of some capitalist plot to really piss you off - its a failure of well meaning but gormless intervention intended to level the playing field.

    As for the importance of relative poverty - I ride a bicycle, live in a flat I can cross in about ten paces and use a computer on which the full stop and comma keys don't work (thankyou onscreen keyboard) and which I have to heat in front of the fire before it'll turn on. I've also been known to walk around in shoes with holes - but I really couldn't give a flying fuck what other people have and therefore am not persuaded by the jealousy of others. If you want a ferrari, work. If you're too stupid to get one, be happy without.

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  2. Er...I don't agree with Matty C Roche's unique blend of vanguard socialism and Daily Mail conservativism either, Penny, but what has he ever done to you? There's no call for stuff like this:

    "he is implicitly suggesting that he himself...represents a gleaming exception to this selfish, sordid stereotype. If he were prepared to look outside his tiny box of self-satisfaction"

    That's not argument, it's a pointless insult, especially since you've never met him.

    Most importantly though how is it that in Mr Roche's article and your response there isn't a single number? He says : "Why is youth violence and disorder on the rise so much?" - It isn't, at least, it's not nearly so simple as that.

    Then you say "We are struggling with a culture which is more drenched in violence, inequality, sexual exploitation, vicious materialism and dangerous chemicals than any age-group before us has had to cope with."

    Which is like 5 of Mr Roche's sweeping unsupported statements rolled into one...

    Maybe you two should meet for drinks. I genuinely think you'd get one.

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  3. Penny your philosophy, like many on the left, is amazing. On the one hand you call for greater freedom and then on the other you demand a 'better' more involved welfare state. This can't really work. And never has done.

    I'm maybe one or two years older than you and I don't want to have a bigger welfare state. I want to be left alone. I want the state to get out of my f**king way. Essentially I want freedom.

    I don't want to get home of an evening and be baraged by state adverts about being too fat or drinking too much. I just want to be left alone to get on with my life as I see fit.

    I know that capitalism isn't perfect. But it was statism that led to the most evil acts of the 20th century. So I'm quite happy to live with it.

    One day I hope you might say something like this...

    "I'll tell you what we have going for us that our parents' generation didn't. We have the temerity to have grown up in the cruellest, most hypocritical and most politically disenfranchising of callous STATIST societies for a hundred years and not be cowed."

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  4. Just skim-read Matty's piece: for someone from Compass Youth, he sounds more like the on-message love child of Blears and Purnell.

    [redpesto]

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  5. Matty has got swept up by a curious left Daily Mailism but I think you have, too.

    "We have the temerity to have grown up in the cruellest, most hypocritical and most politically disenfranchising of callous capitalist societies for a hundred years and not be cowed."

    A hundred years ago we still had the workhouses.

    Loads of people lived in slums.

    Eccentric old ladies could still be sent to jail for being witches.

    It's a bit better.

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  6. I'm not sure there's more inequality than before, but I'd probably agree on the others.
    Unless dangerous chemicals doesn't mean drugs, cause then I'm not so sure about that one either.

    I personally think that a lot of young people don't have a fucking clue what they want to do.
    I wanted to become a scientist and an archaeologist for a while, but then I turned 2 digits old, and my aspirations got somewhat more modest: have fun.
    When I got somewhere above 15 I realized I sorta liked writing. So I've been doing that on and off.
    Maybe I should work with it?
    Sure, I've studied for ages, but I've studied things I thought seemed fun. I never had any clear goal with my studies. Everyone else studied, so I did too. I continued to study though, hardly no one else I knew then did.
    At first I decided on things that could be useful, some English for starters. Then I studied movies for a while, and then Intellectual History, which I really liked, so I kept doing that for some time.
    It interested the hell out of me, but I have no idea if I can actually become something with a degree in it, other than a teacher maybe.
    I'm getting close to a degree though, so soon I'm gonna have to get a job.
    I could perhaps work as a columnist I suppose? Anyone want one for a e-zine or something?

    Hell, I just wrote down 2/3s of my life in condensed form.
    The point is, it's not so easy to just get a life when you don't know what life you want.
    You could always try different things, but it harder to get work if you don't really want it, unless you're a good lier.
    And there's always that fear of getting stuck in some dead end job that you didn't really want, but you ended up there anyway because you didn't really know what you wanted in the first place.
    I'm gonna stop now, I'm starting to piss myself off, and besides, I have a blog of my own, no need to hijack Penny's.

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  7. Ha, ha, ha.

    While you seem exercised by Matty's article, I found it kind of comical to be honest.

    Matty is undoubtedly a bit of a plonker but unlike Dan Quayle he didn't actually say anything quite as daft as "The nation needs to be closer to the Waltons than the Simpsons" and I bet the little guy can spell the word potato.

    The next thing you know young Matty will be baby-sitting for Gordon and Sarah in the Downing Street bunker and (before you can say "Ramsay MacDonald") will a New Labour MP quickly promoted to the office of Secretary of State for Work and Pensions as a reward for his efforts by a grateful and appreciative Führer.

    Shame on you Penny.

    Pick on someone your own size next time...

    ... intellectually speaking that is!

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  8. PR, I was with you, right up until the 'better hair' moment. I can't agree with that one.

    Chris Williams

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  9. Illogic, some advice - if you're considering going to University to study something non-vocational or non-scientific subject at anything other than a top 5 university, don't bother. University isn't that much fun and you won't learn anything that you couldn't learn by yourself.
    If you really want to become a writer, you must read and write - practice writing 4 hours every day, but unless you're certain thats what you want to do it's unlikely to happen.
    The most sensible thing would be to continue with a "dead-end" job, save some money and then, once the crushing boredom of the workplace has provided you with sufficient motivation, start working towards something that you are really interested in.

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  10. Mark:


    You're a good writer, but your refusal to engage with historical reality really does detract from your arguments.
    Just because you feel sad/bad/hard-done-by, doesn't mean that this is the worst time ever (tm). We really haven't ever had it so good, no matter how much a (tiny) minority of people may be suffering


    Hrm, argumentam ad hominem in the first post. Interesting.

    Also, steady on. Laurie's quoted statement is about 'violence, inequality, sexual exploitation, vicious materialism and dangerous chemicals'. Lets go through the list. Violence: hum, probably not, actually. In the past, someone who expressed views as intemperate as yours in the pub would have got decked, or stabbed; these days people look sheepish and quietly ask them to leave. So I'm with you on that one.

    Inequality? Check. In the past, you only had one class boundary, 'I've got a sword, you don't.' (yes, I'm over-simplifying). Now, we've got lots, and we've used globalisation to invent lots of new ones, like 'if you're Polish, you don't need paying minimum wage'. Lots of inequalitys built into the system.

    Sexual exploitation: note the choice of word. At no point in the past has there ever been the technological ability to exploit sex like this culture. Every advert for most of the products we spend most on is sexualised, exploiting (mostly but not exclusively) female sexuality for economic gain.

    Vicious materialism: wasn't really a social possibility until the Enlightenment combined with industrialisation to push the hierarchical religions of the last 2000 years out of their position of total dominance in society. The past was many things, but only since about 1914 have we been dangerously materialistic.

    Dangerous chemicals: enough said.

    Your definition of 'had it so good' also fails to take into account relative human evolution, as so many amateurs in the history field do. It is possible, but abjectly meaningless, so assess a human culture without reference to its context. In fact, one can argue that the study of history is the discipline of contextual rigour.

    Within their spectrum of informational and transport technology, the society of tenth century Iceland was astonishingly well-designed. It was considerably more gender-equal than 1950s England. It had much less of a class problem. It was considerably more 'democratic', in the sense that there was no central authority, so much as a distributed system of consensus rule. It had radically less pollution.

    The Britain of the early Restoration suffered from the hangovers of feudal Britain, and therefore democratically has some issues, but; within its tech context, society under Charles II and through to about George I was upwardly mobile, had a booming economy, and rapidly growing political enlightenment. The arts were soaring, always a good indicator that a culture's getting something right. The march of systematic science and systematic architecture had finally ended, in any real sense, the relentless grinding teeth of the Plague -> Land War -> Plague which had kept eating a third of our productive population every 30 years. For a poor person to survive was easier than ever before, for a poor person to get rich would not be as easy again until the 1840s. All this with only horses, canals and moveable type, from a technological perspective.

    It's all relative to context. What we have today is a tech- and information-led society, which is capable of operating its resources on a global level. Only human cultures have not caught up with this. The millstone of religious fundamentalism, combined with medieval thinking from religious fundamentalists, is keeping us trapped into competitive and parochial social organisations. By comparison with what our informational and transport technology mean we could have achieved by now, in terms of freedom from want, freedom from fear, freedom of consience, we're doing very badly indeed. It is this which needs to change.

    Also - EVERYONE I know who is well off (electricians, teachers, scientists, engineers etc) has got there by hard work rather than inheritance.

    I know no teachers who are well off, unless they work in the independent sector, and even there it only applies to Head of Department level and up. They're better off than those of us whose vocation involves heavy lifting, yes, but they're a long way from well off.

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  11. When I read the title of that article 'Materialism, Youth, Apathy and Art...' I thought I was in for a devastating critique of the capitalist method of production. I forgot that 'materialism' just means buying ipods and shit nowadays.

    As for the content of the article, I thought the author made a few interesting points about the ills of society - community breakdown, materialism (in the ipod sense), apathy, celebrity culture and the breakdown of social cohesion ('lack of respect', 'youth violence' etc).

    However, he quickly descends into complete ahistoricism - as if the youth just grew up and decided that all that they would venerate, aim towards was money, status, new trainers, McDonalds etc. The author completely forgets that it is that generation of great progressives - the baby boomers - who have built the society we live in today.

    Social Democracy gave way to Thatcherite free-marketism and the rhetoric of 'no such thing as society'. New Labour returned to some of the principles of Social Democracy, it's true, but by and large, the logic of the market has not been overturned.

    The author's suggestion that nowadays poverty comes down to not being given the latest video games console is also to ignore the realities of working families who are still living below the poverty line.

    Personally, I also think that one of the worst aspects of modern capitalist societies is not so much that the workers are starving (they're not, cheap consumer goods made in China and wages high enough to ensure an army of willing consumers put paid to that Dickensian aspect), it is the alienating, soul-sapping, undemocratic, anti-creative nature of work - this aspect persists from supermarket workers to further up the chain to comparatively well paid white collar workers. Sometimes this is overlooked by socialists and those on the left, after all, socialism is more than just about reducing inequality of income and eradicating poverty (although these are, of course, important tasks).

    Anyway, sorry to go on. I enjoy this blog, read it regularly, comment never.
    Keep it up, etc.

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  12. exploiting (mostly but not exclusively) female sexuality for economic gain.

    So far as I can tell they exploit male sexuality, largely.

    As for this PR article, perhaps it comes from reading so much Maoist stuff lately but I had to wonder:

    "Relative poverty is, in itself, a serious issue, and just because most of the poorest of Britain's poor normally have more to eat than their African equivalents doesn't mean that it's lots of fun to have to decide between school shoes and keeping the house warm over the winter, as so many families still do."

    But which one is more worthy of more help? Only a good nationalist could argue the latter...

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  13. Okay Penny I give in.

    I admit to being a failed intellectual - a bit like Chekhov's Ivan Petrovitch Voynitsky - and jealous of the snooty elite privileged to attend the better universities - especially those who studied the classics, dead languages, literature or the arts at Oxbridge. I am proud to call myself a prize sexist, chauvinist, fuckwit, arsehole and Milton Friedman devotee. (Milton's masterwork is never far from my thoughts. I'm talking about Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose" here and NOT John Milton's artsy-fartsy "Paradise Lost". To hell with all poets; time wasters the lot of them.)

    Now that I've taken off my mask and everyone can see me as I am I, Cromwellesque, warts and all, is a light spanking followed by a sloppy blowjob still out of the question?

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  14. Like Matthew, I was disappointed at what the word 'materialism' turned out to mean. The article was bilge, thanks for spitting on it.

    Also, I agree with what Mr.Cameron said about technological context, except the idea that its religious fanaticism that's holding us back from properly using the technology we have. I think that role is principally being played by something rhyming with schmapitalism.

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  15. Matty sounds like a total straight edger.

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  16. You are right to defend our generation. We are not perfect, but we are not the worst, and, actually, it's ridiculous to try to compare what is a massive, fractured, dubious class that has never existed in any properly observable state for any period of time.

    Matty's article reads like a terrifying hybrid of wrinkled Tory and smug Blairite in that it propogates every single fallacious idea currently be fed to us; I was particularly narked by his suggestion of some kind of military service. We have schools! They are already a kind of watered-down government institution designed to instill values/cultures/excellence/discipline and so on ad infinitum. But who is to say that young people won't suffer violence, humiliation, isolation and so on in the same way that one might in school, or in the army. It's such a ridiculous assertion and, moreover, has nothing to do with the title. But his view of art does. Alarm bells were going off as soon as he said:

    "By using the arts – via displays, exhibitions, installations, theatre, music, film, literature – with even the most subtle of social and political agendas can its audiences be inspired. Art which is accessible and interactive for all, can reach the places the voices of politicians cannot."

    But really, this was remarkable:

    "To change the problems in society, you first need to change the people in it."

    This is the kind of guy who would kick you in the face and wonder why you scream. This is the kind of guy who would use the Nuremberg defence. Thank you for bringing him - and this organisation - to my attention. If he is representing us, then 'where are the angry young people these days..." indeed.

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  17. It was actually more of a 'complementum ad hominem' (feminem) followed by a criticism of the work.

    Yes, her comment about violence was bollocks. Her comment about inequality was also bollocks since no matter what level of wealth a modern businessman might posess (actually considerably less than the comparative wealth of medieval lords, not to mention the monarch) his lifestyle is far closer to your average British worker than was the serf to the king. You also seem to be suggesting that having a less rigidly defined class system increases inequality - which is ridiculous.
    Also, while i'm not exactly a feminist herstorian, I'd have to say that suggesting we now live in an era of greater sexual exploitation than any other is plainly nonsense. I'm not convinced that the past was all that bad for women, but it's pretty clear that women now have greater choice to decide upon their sexual partners than in the past. Not so long ago, men were free to rape their wives, were they not? Do you honestly think that problems like sexual slavery, sexual abuse and lack of freedom to choose partners are worse now than they were at any time in the past? Are you suggesting that women choosing to get paid for showing their knockers are comaparable to these problems? Because I don't and am not aware of a historical narrative which does. As for dangerous chemicals - smog?
    Finally I'd like to object to the term "vicious materialism" on the grounds that it doesn't mean anything.

    No matter the attractions of tenth-century Icelandic political organisation, we are now, in material terms, vastly more wealthy than they could ever have dreamed to be. I believe that greater democratisation would be a good thing - but to suggest that they had it better than us, is false. If you want to live as a tenth century icelandic farmer there isn't much stopping you - except the backbreaking work, grinding poverty, violence and early death, and of course, the government.
    Restoration England - it's easier for a poor person to survive now than it was then. Most of them don't have to do anything at all. Whats your point? Science and tchnology are progressing, every other person is an artist...
    Not sure what you're going on about with regards to the religious stuff - this is the least religious age ever.
    So, as far as I can make out, you're saying that people are sadder now because, despite vast increases in material wealth, things are not perfect and we haven't yet created paradise on earth. Presumably, this progress serves to upset people because no progress is better than slow (actually pretty fast and accelerating) progress?

    I guess... I agree. These problems are purely products of neurotic minds.

    And how much do you need to be well off?

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  18. O/T, but you may need to have a mouthful of coffee ready to spit out before you read this article...

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  19. Now, the youth choose hedonism, drugs, alcohol, promiscuity, violence and escapism as their vents.

    Oh my word. Matty really is a stupid piece of shit. How old is he? People have always banged on about how bad the yoof of today are.

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  20. Thanks to BenSix for the link.

    I am ABSOLUTELY convinced that James Purnell is delusional and probably clinically insane.

    Correct me if I am wrong but James Purnell is the man planning to cut benefits to and shanghai the sick, disabled and long term unemployed into menial programmes of unceasing slavery isn't he? And this Purnell has the brazenness to write an article taking the Tories to task for attacking benefit claimants in an attempt to justify their policies!!! The sheer audacity of this reactionary little turd is extraordinary!

    Were Purnell an animal I would pay a veterinarian to put him out of his misery: sadly, as Purnell is nominally a human being, I will have to wait for the next election to have him put, permanently, out mine.

    The next generation of Labour politicians, cast in the same mould as Purnell and promoted to the upper echelons of the (New) Labour Party, under the patronage of Thatcher's illigitimate spiritual sons, Messrs Tony Blair and Gordon Brown, are in my view completely and utterly abysmal.

    In the words of Nick Clegg sometime saddo from a different political party, "What is the Labour Party for any more?"

    I now begin to wonder if the Labour Party might not eventually cease to exist altogether in a manner reminiscent of the SDP.

    After the "cash for honours" scandal Blair's beloved private donors (and loaners!) have deserted New Labour like rats leaving a sinking ship with money levied from member's subscriptions steeply declining as the party's membership roll grows shorter and shorter. The main backers of the Labour Party now are the trade unions and how long will they be able to justify funding a political organisation that has become so divorced from their own ethos, aims and goals both politically and societally?

    This being the case my own belief is that the Labour Party will eventually try to pass, or help to pass, legislation designed to fund political parties out of the pool of general taxation. Then "people" like Purnell would be free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, as often as they want, to whoever they want, without being answerable to anybody.

    It really is very sad indeed.

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  21. Poor little Matty should stop watching "Skins" on E4 and Channel 4.

    (Chuckle.)

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  22. "By using the arts – via displays, exhibitions, installations, theatre, music, film, literature – with even the most subtle of social and political agendas can its audiences be inspired. Art which is accessible and interactive for all, can reach the places the voices of politicians cannot."

    Hmm.

    I wonder if mini-me(galomaniac) Matty has ever heard of Leni Riefenstahl, Ernst Liebermann, Albert Janesh, Karl Albiker, Julius Paul Junghanns, Hubert Lanzinger, Adolph Wissel, Arno Breker or Albert Speer? They were motivated artists who did their best to serve a political agenda.

    I suspect that Matty is probably as bipolar mentally as he seems to be politically and suggest that he gets comprehensively layed as soon as possible, as often as possible, with as many partners as possible, well beyond the point of normal sexual exhaustion. Matty seems so pent up and corky I reckon a course of protracted and ecstatic sexual intercourse would do the little geezer a power of good.

    Any volunteers?

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  23. "Thank you for bringing him - and this organisation - to my attention. If he is representing us, then 'where are the angry young people these days..." indeed."

    Matty isn't broadly representative of Compass Youth. Tom Miller (http://newerlabour.blogspot.com/) is one of their more considered (and less scary) angry young people.

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  24. So, in conclusion, none of us have ever met Matty but we don't like him. Right? Now, politics?

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  25. "We are struggling with a culture which is more drenched in violence, inequality, sexual exploitation, vicious materialism and dangerous chemicals than any age-group before us has had to cope with."

    I actually haven't stopped laughing at this for about three days. You really are an idiot aren't you Penny.

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