DEMONISATION OF SOCIAL HOUSING TENANTS
04/09/2011 11:47 pm
Location: Macclesfield CHESHIRE
Is it any wonder that social housing tenants get more than a little aggravated with being demonised or should they just suffer in silence?
Sort: Newest first | Oldest first
05/09/2011 10:51 am
Politicians make great play of their being accountable. The current leadership have made it a mantra insisting that all others in public service should be made accountable. Therefore it is time that those very people, along with the media and the party supporters who have been spinning the demonisation line are called to account for such behaviour and actions, and made to realise the consequence of what they are doing.
Do people really want to support such behaviour from their leaders?
05/09/2011 11:00 am
No, they shouldn't just suffer in silence, pretty much any other group in society would have representative body that would be writing to the press, appearing on television and generally putting their side of the story whenever there is bad press (the riots for example). Unfortunately the groups that represent social tenants are not really representative at all, or rather, appear to only represent sections of social tenant groups (those that pay to be members) not social tenants overall.
Unfortunately, the only people that can change this are social tenants themselves and for every solid tenant rep like you Rick, I suspect there are 50 others that will just shrug it off or worse still, be one of the contributors to the bad reputation!
05/09/2011 11:24 am
Perhaps the organisation of a National Rent Strike until landlords take steps to protect the reputation and character of tenants would focus minds on the error of demonising tenants - after all, without all the rent income how will the Treasury fund all the little extra's for the rest of the population to enjoy!
05/09/2011 11:58 am
A landlord protecting the reputation of tenants could be classfied a conflict of interest- particularly if a group of those tenants being defended turned out to be perpetrators of any kind of act that the landlord was defending their reputation about. Imagine the headlines if the press got hold of a story like that.
Landlords should be landlords- their job is to maintain the property, collect the rent and enforce the tenancy. Tenants complain, perhaps rightly so, about rent rises, but all of the extras that they provide outside of their most basic landlord duties add a layer of cost and that cost will inevitably be passed on!
I wonder how many rent paying tenants would happily see services cut right back in return for a reduction in rent!?
05/09/2011 12:13 pm
I think tenants would welcome general fund items being removed from rent accounts so that rents could be reduced to more affordable levels - Rent should be to cover housing costs and only housing costs, not community services, emergency services, legal services etc.
keepingitreal asks a valid question - but the question that goes with it is will non-tenants be happy to start having to pay for the services that they use currently funded by tenants?
Meanwhile - if an employer has a duty of care, in law, to protect the interests of their employees, then surely a landlord doing the same for their customers is not too much a stretch (and it certainly will not involve a cost for a Chief Executive or Council Leader to point out why tenants are just people of a different tenure - not monsters and certainly not the cause of so much wrong!)
05/09/2011 12:37 pm
You make a good point Chris, but can you see private landlords doing the same thing? If social tenants suffer stigmatisation, but their private counterparts do not, what about other inequalities? Many poster have pointed out that a social tenant can be evicted for acts that a private lanlord wouldn't be interested in, but that a private tenant can be evicted all to easily.
Perhaps a wider question would be what, overall, needs to be done to address and equalise the rights of tenants of all tenure?
As you say, an employer has a duty of care, but that duty ends when a member of staff say, for example, breaches heath and safety guidelenes or puts themselves at risk. So, by this logic, would tenants ne protected so long as they are not in breach of their tenancy?
05/09/2011 1:52 pm
Actually, the employer duty of care extends past employment, and even where that employment ended acrimoniously, as recent cases have proven.
I would applaud and support any move to equalise the status and perception across all tenure, including ownership. There was a discussion during Labour's tenure of flexible tenure, allowing people to change tenure to suit their current position, without the need to move home. This recognised the importance of stability and security within one's home as a foundation to suceeding in life, as well as recognising that when life throws up periods of reduced or no income that people need options that help them support themselves and rebuild.
Such tenure blind policy making is needed (so not suprisingly the consumerist parties have not pursued it - where's the profit in helping people help themselves!)
Yes, breach of contract changes the rights within a contractural relationship - it need not change the responsibilities though, indeed maintaining responsibilty should be a must.
05/09/2011 1:55 pm
I think there is an element of victim mentality in some cases. The private rented sector has far worse cases of abusing tenants, no regulation and no security of tenure.
Keepingitreal has nailed one point on the head - landlords should be landlords, however the range of expected duties now landed on the shoulders of RPs gives rise to a greater number of issues as they have to be involved in every aspect of society, which nows seems to be accepted as 'normal' operational practice.
See, when I were a lad.........** goes on about the good old days of rent collecting**
05/09/2011 2:49 pm
You are missing the point C'mon Sense.
Our leaders, the press, and their apologists have labled Social Tenants as the scurge of modern society, to blame for anti social behaviour, criminal scroungers, CHAVS, to blame for the collapse of the economy, the cause of unemployment, to blame for the riots and so on.
This has been going on for years, but never to the degree as now when it has had the effect of children harrassing tenants in the street because of society's 'view'.
Private tenants are guilty by association - especially those in former RTB homes who get mistaken for social tenants.
Rick raising this issue is so right in doing so as this is something beyond the 'norm' in previous scapegoating (e.g. immigrants, parents etc) and a direction that is justly concerning.
Yes, Private Landlords can be obnoxious, but the State sponsored hatred is a separate concern.
05/09/2011 4:59 pm
I know of scumbags who live in privately owned accommodation, and I know of scumbags who live in rented accommodation. However I know some very pleasant people who live in council housing and very pleasant people who live in council accommodation. Everyone can have naff neighbours who cause ASB without it being tenure specific. However you never hear of those living in private accommodation saying they are being 'victimised' - unless you read the Daily Mail!!!
05/09/2011 5:30 pm
C'mon sense - did Grant get planning permission for your new home, and if so did he get a Shapps Grant when you moved into it?
Well done on your new home though - keep an eye on the chief demoniser and report his plans to us - at last we have an insider at large!
05/09/2011 9:38 pm
I agree with C'mon Sense on this one. Some posters like to refer to tenures as if they are people - they aren't. You have to judge people individually, if you are to have any hope of judging wisely.
An individual should be judged by their nature or character. Actions are a result of a person's specific nature - proof is they would act differently if they had a different character. In terms of demonising - it seems that it is particular traits which are considered vices.
So what traits are we talking about? Some mentioned are:
-crime and ASB
-chavs (negative connotations of the word)
-not living within one's means
I think it is fair to say that anyone who possesses those traits is someone of poor character. If the allegation is true, it is not demonisation. Demonisation implies some arbitrary judgement that is unfounded. So the question is, is it true that the above are characteristics of all social tenants. The short answer is no. Demonisation of social tenants because they are social tenants is unfounded and wrong.
However the people that 'defend social tenants' against the 'demonisers' are committing the same mistake, in that they are judging that no social tenants possess the above vices when, in fact, those traits are attributes of some individuals who happen to be social tenants. So you have to drill down to the individuals before passing judgement; a collectivist defence or condemnation of social tenants is equally misplaced.
The press and other parties who speak in collectivist terms may start from the vices of a particular individual or group of individuals, and from this they drift into the obscurity of talking of collectives - chavs, social tenants, private sector landlords etc, and think it is legitimate to apply their judgement to all. It isn't.
Journalists and politicians relying on the press to convey messages to the public, have a tendency towards collectivist argument. If you study how political news is often constructed, popular news is dramatic, presented as good vs. bad, covers negative items, is adversarial and usually pro-authority. Demonisation in a lot of the (particularly tabloid) press is reflective of the readership which enjoys seeing the world through these immature, ignorant, mindless collectivist lenses.
People who think about this seriously, will have a sharpness of perception to see through the nonsense. They will remember to judge you individually, according to your own virtues and vices and no-one else's.
05/09/2011 10:46 pm
This explains where many of you are coming from far better, I believe:
WHAT IS FASCISM?
BY LAURA DAWN LEWIS
This may surprise most educated people. One of the more common government strategies today, especially in developing regions is fascism. Fascism is commonly confused with Nazism. Nazism is a political party platform that embraces a combination of a military dictatorship, socialism and fascism. It is not a government structure. Fascism is a government structure. The most notable characteristic of a fascist country is the separation and persecution or denial of equality to a specific segment of the population based upon superficial qualities or belief systems.
Simply stated, a fascist government always has one class of citizens that is considered superior (good) to another (bad) based upon race, creed or origin. It is possible to be both a republic and a fascist state. The preferred class lives in a republic while the oppressed class lives in a fascist state.
Until the Civil Rights act of 1964, many parts of the US were Republic for whites and could be considered fascist for non-Caucasian residents. Fascism promotes legal segregation in housing, national resource allocation and employment. It provides legal justification for persecuting a specific segment of the population and operates behind a two tiered legal system. These two tiers can be overt as it was within Nazi Germany where Jews, Homosexuals, Catholics, Communists, Clergy and the handicap were held to one set of rules and courts, while the rest of Germany enjoyed different laws.
Or it can be implied and held up by consensual conspiracy, (people know it is wrong but do nothing to stop it or change it. Through lack of action, they give consent), as it was in the deep South for African Americans and others of color. In Fascism, one segment of society is always considered less desirable, sub-human or second class.
(Note: no single government is pure anything. Most have elements of several structures with one dominant structure). Below is the political definition and general characteristics of a fascist country.
GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF A FASCIST COUNTRY:
1. Fascism is commonly defined as an open terror-based dictatorship which is:
Reactionary: makes policy based upon current circumstances rather than creating policies to prevent problems; piles lies and misnomers on top of more lies until the truth becomes indistinguishable, revised or forgotten.
Chauvinistic: Two or more tiered legal systems, varying rights based upon superficial characteristics such as race, creed and origin.
Imperialist elements of finance capital: Extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political domination of one state over its allies.
Though a dictatorship is the most common association with fascism, a democracy or republic can also be fascist when it strays away from its Tenets of sovereignty. In the 20th Century, many Fascist countries started out as republics. Through the use of fear, societies gave up their rights under the guise of security. Ultimately these republics morphed into Fascist states.
2. Fascism is an extreme measure taken by the middle classes to forestall lower-working class revolution; it thrives on the weakness of the middle classes. It accomplishes this by embracing the middle-class' love of the status-quo, its complacency and its fears of:
Generating a united struggle within the working class
Losing its own power and position within society
In a more simplistic term the people currently in control fear that if they allow equal rights and equal consideration to those being oppressed, they will become oppressed and lose everything.
Generally those in power are of a smaller segment of society, but they hold the wealth and control of key systems like manufacturing, law, finance and government position, (e.g. the slave owners in the south prior to the civil war) and the oppressed vastly outnumber them, (the slaves during the same period)
In reality it is the oppressors' fear of retribution by the oppressed that perpetuates fascism; for justification they dehumanize, demonize, strip them of rights, add new laws, restrict movement and attempt to control them by whatever means possible to prevent an uprising.
It is very common in a fascist system to have the oppressed referred to as sub-human, animals, terrorists, savages, barbarians, vermin or any other term designed to create justification for the acts of terror and fascism perpetrated on the oppressed. Via dehumanization society can then accept that the oppressed are incapable of thinking or acting in a peaceful manner or taking care of themselves, and thus society is exonerated from culpability in their own minds. Propaganda, not persuasion, logic or law, is the tool of fascism, though at times very difficult to spot. It specifically rides the fact that negative behavior is innate, (born with) rather than a logical behavior in response to oppression. Propaganda also empowers the oppressors with elitism racially, socially, intellectually and/or spiritually.
THE 7 CONDITIONS (WARNING SIGNS)THAT FOSTER & FUEL FASCISM ARE:
INSTABILITY of capitalist relationships or markets
The existence of considerable DECLASSED SOCIAL ELEMENTS
The STRIPPING OF RIGHTS AND WEALTH focused upon a specific segment of the population, specifically the middle class and intellectuals within urban areas as this the group with the means, intelligence and ability to stop fascism if given the opportunity.
DISCONTENT among the rural lower middle class (clerks, secretaries, white collar labor). Consistent discontent among the general middle and lower middle classes against the oppressing upper-classes (haves vs have-nots).
HATE: Pronounced, perpetuated and accepted public disdain of a specific group defined by race, origin, theology or association.
GREED: The motivator of fascism, which is generally associated with land, space or scarce resources in the possession of those being oppressed.
a) The creation of social mythology that venerates (creates saints of) one element of society while concurrently vilifying (dehumanizing) another element of the population through misinformation, misdirection and the obscuring of factual matter through removal, destruction or social humiliation, (name-calling, false accusations, belittling and threats).
b) The squelching of public debate not agreeing with the popular agenda via slander, libel, threats, theft, destruction, historical revisionism and social humiliation. Journalists in particular are terrorized if they attempt to publish stories contrary to the agenda.
3. Fascism DOVETAILS BUSINESS & GOVERNMENT sectors into a single economic unit, while concurrently increasing in-fighting and distrust between the units fostering advancement towards war.
4. a) Fascism PROMOTES CHAUVINIST DEMAGOGY, (appealing to the prejudices and emotions of the populace) by fostering selective persecution and accepted public vilification of the target group. It then promotes this a "patriotic", "supportive" or "the party line" and disagreement with such as "anti-government", "anti-faith" or "anti-nation".
b) Fascism CREATES CONFUSION through "facts". It relies on junk science, revisionism, the elimination of cultural records/treasures and obfuscations to create its case and gain acceptance. Fascism can also combine Marxist critiques of capitalism or faith based critics of the same to re-define middle class perceptions of democracy and to force its issues, confuse logic and create majority consensus between targeted groups. This is also referred to as creating a state of Cognitive Dissonance, the mental state human beings are most easily manipulated.
5. Both middle and upper-middle-class dictated democracy and fascism are class dictatorships that use ORGANIZED VIOLENCE (verbal or physical) to maintain the class rule of the oppressors over the oppressed.
The difference between the two is demonstrated by the policies towards non-lower-working class classes. Fascism attains power through the substitution of one state's form of class domination with another form, generally a middle class based republic segues into an open terrorist dictatorship, run by a few elite.
THE 14 DEFINING CHARACTERISTICS OF FASCISM
by Dr. Lawrence Britt
Dr. Lawrence Britt has examined the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14-defining characteristics common to each:
1. POWERFUL AND CONTINUING NATIONALISM -
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. DISDAIN FOR
THE RECOGNITION OF HUMAN RIGHTS -
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of "need." The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. IDENTIFICATION OF ENEMIES/SCAPEGOATS
AS A UNIFYING CAUSE -
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; liberals; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. SUPREMACY OF THE MILITARY -
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. RAMPANT SEXISM -
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. CONTROLLED MASS MEDIA -
Sometimes to media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in war time, is very common.
7. OBSESSION WITH NATIONAL SECURITY -
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. RELIGION AND GOVERNMENT ARE INTERTWINED -
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government's policies or actions.
9. CORPORATE POWER IS PROTECTED -
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. LABOR POWER IS SUPPRESSED -
Because the organizing power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. DISDAIN FOR INTELLECTUALS AND THE ARTS -
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. OBSESSION WITH CRIME AND PUNISHMENT -
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. RAMPANT CRONYISM AND CORRUPTION -
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. FRAUDULENT ELECTIONS -
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
An interesting note to end this article: As of January 2004, the United States fulfills all fourteen points of fascism and all seven warning signs are present. But we're not alone. Israel also fulfills all fourteen points and all seven warning signs as well. Welcome to the new republic, redefined, revised and spun. It is not too late to reverse this in either country, but it will be soon. The first step is realizing it. The second step is getting involved. As the propaganda slogan disguising our current war goes, "Freedom isn't free." But our war for freedom isn't abroad; it's here at home.
1) THEY THOUGHT THEY WERE FREE, By Milton Mayer
"They Thought They Were Free: The Germans 1933-1945", University of Chicago Press. Reissued in paperback, April, 1981. As Harpers Magazine noted when the book was published in 1955 (U. of Chicago), Milton Mayer’s extraordinarily far-sighted book on the Germans is more timely today than ever.
2) This is not an endorsement of Socialism or Communism, which are fundamentally at odds with the US Constitution. However, reading some of the works on Fascism during the 1920's & 1930's in Europe by members of the Communist and Socialist parties will provide you with additional insights. You may want to start with: FASCISM: WHAT IT IS AND HOW TO FIGHT IT by Leon Trotsky
3) HOW HITLER CAME TO POWER:
Whenever U.S. officials wish to demonize someone, they inevitably compare him to Adolf Hitler. The message immediately resonates with people because everyone knows that Hitler was a brutal dictator. In the presidential election held on March 13, 1932, there were four candidates: the incumbent, Field Marshall Paul von Hindenburg, Hitler, and two minor candidates, Ernst Thaelmann and Theodore Duesterberg. The results were:
Hindenburg 49.6 percent
Hitler 30.1 percent
Thaelmann 13.2 percent
Duesterberg 6.8 percent
Read Jacob Hornberger's Full Article on The Future of Freedom Foundation
RELATED ARTICLES ON COUPLES COMPANY:
THE ROADMAP TO PEACE:
Disarm the True Enemy, Hatred
Emotional Blackmail, Cognitive Dissonance, the Media
& the Middle East
WATCH OUT FOR THE BLAMING:
Watch out for the hate
FROM EMOTIONAL BLACKMAIL
What you can do to minimize the effects on you
POLITICAL SATIRE: GOAT POLITICS
HOW DO YOU KNOW YOU ARE BEING SPUN?
COLOR PROFILING OR RACIAL PROFILING? WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE? CAPPS II and Trusted Traveler
FAHRENHEIT 9/11: AS A CONSERVATIVE, MY ADVICE: SEE IT!
Proletariat (aka lower-working class (adj)):
1 the lowest class of citizens of ancient Rome who had no property
2: belonging to or characteristic of the proletariat (n) : a member of the working class (not necessarily employed); "workers of the world--unite!"
Bourgeois (aka middle classes (n)): the social class between the lower and upper classes: Middle Class
Imperialism (n): The policy of extending a nation's authority by territorial acquisition or by the establishment of economic and political domination of one state over its allies and over other nations. 2: The system, policies, or practices of such a government.
Demagogy (n): Impassioned appeals to the prejudices and emotions of the populace
Obscurantism, Obfuscation (n):
The principles or practice of delivering vague truths and hiding key facts.
A policy of withholding information from the public.
The act of lying through selective omission
A form of government in which the ruler is an absolute dictator and is not restricted by a constitution, laws or opposition etc.
Dominance over a populous through threat of punishment, terrorism, oppression and violence
Government by a single person having unlimited power; tyranny, dictator.
A country or state that is governed by a single person with unlimited power.
06/09/2011 8:46 am
I love a big quote...
Why quote that Nonny? Make a brief point...
06/09/2011 9:30 am
Worrying observation 1: a high number of the descriptions of behaviours in Nonny's item could be descriptions of our governments of the past 30-years.
Worrying observation 2: a number of the descriptions of behaviours in Nonny's item I can recognise as occassional traits in myself.
Action 1 - I need to reflect carefully about this
Suggestion 1 - we need our leaders to reflect on this
Suggestion 2 - I am not alone in exhibiting these traits and posters on both sides of the argument should be concerned.
06/09/2011 12:36 pm
Well done for that realisation Chris. This is the true face of collectivism - and you are right to be worried.