Indeed, someone ought to tell those nice people in most of the UK equality organisations and equality movements that, I think. It seems that in the UK, after much legislation being passed, there are now 9 protected statuses/groups where it is technically illegal to practice discrimination against. You can see these 9 via the ‘About’ link at the top of this web page. Sad to say, class, and thereby obviously class discrimination, does not come under those 9 protected statuses.
Anyone who might be sharp, and a bit cynical, might come to believe that if class is not mentioned, then it can be ignored. But more perniciously, it means that all the other ‘protected’ statuses don’t really amount to much, either. How so? Okay, imagine, if you will, there were 10 people in a room, and 9 of them had one of each of those protected statuses, and the tenth one was working class and therefore did not have any protected status, and so could be dismissed, ignored or just sidelined. How would that be fair? And how could anyone truly claiming to care for people equally then claim to really care for anyone if they so blithely dismissed even one person’s human rights? Of course, according to the law, that person’s class status technically wouldn’t be recognised as worthy of protection under the law? Yet I thought that the whole reason for equality movements was to challenge governments and political systems injustice in the first place? Confused? You should be. And if you are working class you should be angry, too, like I am. By working class, I now mean and will hereon say in any new thing I write about this subject, the ‘economic’ working class, which includes black people, white people, Asian people, new immigrants and basically anyone at all suffering under this growing economic divide. This way, although it appears that deftly and by stealth, some in the establishment and perhaps sadly even in some of the equality organisations actually wish to create divides between the poor white and poor black people and other groups like they do in the U.S., we can actually see that we are united by a common goal to improve our lot, have cheap or free higher education, good but inexpensive housing and a fairer share of the economic pie.
The idea of the so called ‘self made entrepreneur’ needs to be looked at much more closely, because very few such rich people are ever truly self made at all, but rely on cheap and exploited labour all over the world, tax evasion, cutting corners here and there to make obscene wealth whilst outside there are people working sometimes more than 40 hours a week who sometimes cannot feed themselves and their families in an adequate fashion. This should not be acceptable to anyone anymore, either the working class, the middle class and the wealthy. It is either that our society at this point declines morally, economically and socially, or we stand together and instead of redistributing wealth from the poorest to the richest, we redistribute from the richest to the working class particularly and the middle class too, via higher taxes for the rich, lower taxes for the working class and the middle class and a decent minimum wage that all of us can plan a future on. These are not unrealistic demands at all, they should be the demands of all of us who live in democracies and enjoy democratic freedoms and the relative peace and plenty of wealthy democracies all over the world.
Now, what about classism? Well, what about it indeed? If the millions of people who are working class with their economic struggles, lack of educational opportunities, lack of decent paying employment, lack of chances to even get on the first rung of the housing ladder and many other things don’t really count and no one is really concerned about them, who then benefits from equality legislation? I may add, that as the proliferation of equal rights legislation has grown, the growing concern for equality everywhere and hand wringing by many politicians about the poverty in the UK, things have actually got much worse. SO, what price equality if things have got worse? Well, not much by the look of it. What’s happening? Well to do academics and liberal elites in government or equality movements or anywhere merely pointing out the poverty, growing economic inequality and the growing wealth of London and the SE of England at the expense of the rest of the British Isles we all know exists anyway is not changing anything. And maybe it is just guilt tripping, and not much more. But I suggest that you who belong to the economic working class like I do, and many millions of us in the UK, the US and many other places in the world need to get involved and ask why not much is happening and not much if anything is changing for us, those of us who live in very wealthy and rich democracies, and ask why millions of us are poor and struggling when the jobs we do are almost always vital to the functioning of society, the functioning of business and the well being of all in our societies.
In the UK, we have spent the last 40 years or so working against each others interests. In the US, the whole culture is basically dog eat dog, with a thin veneer of religion plastered on top. Imagine this for one moment. Some people prosper in our societies in spite of the nature of those societies. What if we actively worked together for a better society for all? Not some communist or hippy commune ideology, but simply a better economy for all. Not too much obscene wealth, little real poverty and a truly expanding middle class based on a mixed economy that promotes all kinds of talent, skills, educational achievements and hard work? This is realistic, it is not pie in the sky, and it focuses much more on pragmatism and what works, and not too much on left or right ideology.
We invite anyone and everyone to join and register with What About Classism?, whatever your class, skin colour, creed, male, female, wherever you are, in short all those who believe that society at the moment is deeply unfair, regressing, and economically way out of skew. We don’t just invite people to another talking shop, because we are not, nor another toothless equality organisation, because there are enough of them, but our primary interest is debating, challenging and bringing to the fore classism linked to rigged economics that benefit a relatively small percentage of people almost directly at the expense of the majority. We feel this isn’t really being challenged by the mainstream media, by the political system or any political party, and not even challenged by equality organisations. This is where you come in, and where What About Classism? comes in. On our own we are all howling in the wind. Together, we can effect change, and change for the better. Come on, join us! Make the world a better and fairer place.