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Outraged For All Eternity

December 9, 2016

My friend came to stay last night. We went out for dinner at my favourite eatery by the marina. When we arrived, it was obvious that the restaurant was preparing itself for a do. The waiter told us they were having a 90s night. By the time we’d finished the main course, the place was filling up, so we took our coffees outside and watched the barges, escaping Ebeneezer Goode by the skin of our teeth.

When we got back, we watched the news and they had an interview with Gina Murray, the woman who has brought the Article 50 case to the Supreme Court. It was a longish interview but focused entirely on the level of abuse Ms Murray has received since challenging the government. True, the abuse has been awful but what was difficult to fathom was the outraged shock. Whether you’re in the remain camp or the leave camp, it’s a pretty incredible achievement to take the government of the day to the highest court in the land but here was an interview with the sole purpose of presenting Ms Murray as a victim. And she seemed happy to go along with it. What is that all about? My friend has a theory that I totally go along with and its about the 21st century way of enslavement. It follows three steps:

Step One. Be framed and identify oneself principally as a consumer. Embrace your world of the market place. Believe in the idea that you have choice and independence.

Step Two. Foster a sense of entitlement and expectation. If I want it, I can have it. And someone has to deliver what I want. My needs and desires are paramount.

Step Three. When step two doesn’t happen, react with outrage and rage. Victimhood carries a certain nobility and the outraged victim is a badge to be worn with distinction. It takes us back to the start of the circle because nobody can be experiencing victimhood worse than me.

The trap door closes. We’re stuck in this cycle forever. The BBC used an outraged shock over the inevitable online abuse to award Ms Murray her victimhood medal and she was complicit in her own enslavement.

We all are. How many times have you heard me go on about the fact that services in social care don’t exist anymore? Endlessly! Intellectually and rationally, I know that to be true. But inside another part of me, my expectation of a service and my sense of entitlement as a consumer of that service, refuses to accept that truth. Last night my friend had to help me with a debrief of yesterday’s encounter with the council. It’s too long and boring to go into detail but it was about the damp problem in Steven’s bedroom. In the 35 minutes it took waiting to speak to somebody, I worked myself into victimhood. I felt shaky, I started having fantasy arguments. I even felt a little teary. Needless to say, I didn’t get the matter resolved to my satisfaction. How could it? Services are dead. And it will continue until millions of voices sing that the king hasn’t got any clothes on. And then it’ll get really messy.

I was going to end this post there but the postman has just been. He delivered a card from the Royal Mail offering me several new choices on how to receive my mail. I can determine a specific day and time for all my mail to be delivered en masse. I can choose a delivery destination that best suits me. I can even chose a collection point for a formal handover of my mail. Choice is everything. I am everything. I will get a much better service.

I don’t fucking care. Just deliver my fucking mail whenever you like.

And there you have Steps one to three in a nutshell. Or a nutcase.

From → Social Care

  1. Thanks for yet another well-observed witty post. I could bang on forever here about cultures of consumerism and the cult of victimhood – but I’d just like to note that Gina Miller is an affluent privileged woman who could probably be classed as a member of an elite (something everyone is desperately trying to deny being at present, even when it’s obvious that they are). I have noticed that the mainstream media is increasingly finding instances in which they frame these sorts of very privileged people as ‘victims’ and enthusiastically report their traumas. The ‘choices’ available to them are somewhat different to the ‘choices’ available to you and Steven and thousands of others – but stories like yours rarely seem to be embraced with the same enthusiasm even by the more liberal parts of the media…I am reminded now of Theresa Mays claim to be ‘disabled’ (implying that she understands ‘disability’) when she discovered that she had diabetes – not that this understanding stopped her Government butchering disability benefits for people in situations a good deal more difficult than hers..

  2. simone aspis permalink

    was not there a diabetic guy who died because he could not stall his insilion in the fridge or had no food because he could not afford to electricity as his benefits got cut or stopped – can not remember which – May was still a member of Government even if she was not PM. Do not get me going about Grammar schools – if you want to know more please visit Alliance for Inclusive Education’s fab website Not to late to get a submission in why you oppose grammars and if you want to do a selfie as part of our social media campaign – please do so.

  3. in a nutcase , services are not dead just very ropey indeed. The damp will endure for sometime but so will you. Supper out in December is not too bleak a winter.

  4. LizzzieD permalink

    Not sure about this one. Complaining – whether it is about the DWP, Social Services, hopeless inefficiency/nonsenses in general, doesn’t mean you are acting as a victim In my view, BEING a victim is much more passive – those who no longer have the resources to get indignant.

    Entitlement is, I think, rather more complicated. Is it entitled to fight for better for those we care for? Not in my book. But when it comes to what kind of care we can expect what we/they are entitled to (in a different sense) is rather more difficult in these financially strained times. Good care, decent housing is undoubtedly expensive, Social services are very adept at making you feel like Peter is constantly being robbed to pay Paul. But if services ARE to be rationed and cut, disintegrate, then victimhood isn’t assumed, it becomes real, because “choice” is non-existent.

    It may be disingenuous of Gina Millar to be SURPRISED at the hostility she has provoked – but I don’t think she is framing herself as a victim. The press might want to – but that is rather different.

    Seems to me that YOUR outrage is generally proportionate and understandable because you do NOT see yourself as a victim, just pissed off and exasperated like most of us.

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