Obtuse: ‘annoyingly insensitive or slow to understand’.
Remember that scene from The Shawshank Redemption:
Andy: 'How can you be so obtuse?'
Prison Governor: ‘What did you just call me?
Andy: ‘Obtuse, is it deliberate?’
Watch here: https://uk.video.search.yahoo.com/search/video?fr=mcafee&p=andy+to+governor+in+shawshank+redemption+how+can+you+be+so+obstust#action=view&id=1&vid=8c2a52f0fbe240de4b411e7d5cf274cb
Just a few examples of obtuseness (to say the least) in the UK from this week alone.
The Prime Minister
Earlier this week it was reported that the Spice Girls are urging us all to support the Prime Minister Theresa May thus: ‘We don’t have to agree on politics, it’s bigger than that. You can just support a woman doing the best she can and that’s it.' My response to this, as I noted on twitter, is at least threefold.
Nothing is 'bigger' than politics. All life; our chances, choices and experiences are political as is family and work life, leisure, health, religion, education... what we wear and what we eat, who we date... etc. And so on... All is political.
But OK maybe they mean Party Politics. But still what can be 'bigger' than that when the Party in power makes an active choice to privilege the few and NOT the many #ConsciousCruelty #DestitutionByDesign
The idea that we should 'support a woman doing the best she can' is nothing but patronising and sexist. We should judge the PM as a politician not as a woman. #everdaysexism The PM's 'best' = #ToryBrexshit #HostileEnvironment and more...
It is beyond obvious that #AusterityDoesntWork, in fact #AusterityKills and that furthermore women as a group suffer greatly as a result of the #HostileEnvironment created and perpetuated by our current PM. So much for #girlpower
The politics of the Left is characterised by creativity - great music, literature, poetry, art - and people find creative ways to challenge and resist - one of my fave examples being the knitting of coded messages into hats for soldiers at the front in WW1 #RemembranceDay
There is power and camaraderie in creative endeavour - in reading and in listening, in group art work and community singing. The cynic in me can't help but think that this is one of the reasons there is less and less opportunity for creative learning in the curricula.
By contrast the creativity of the Right is, at least to me, a pale and sad alternative. Prove me wrong if you can.... If not enjoy the #spicegirls, Jim Davidson and similar others, I'm off to read my recently bought copy of The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
I write letter after letter to @BBC complaints and to newspapers (sometimes published, sometimes not). This week I have visited the BBC complaints page twice.
Complaint No 1: Newsnight (13th November 2018)
Despite all this I honestly believed that the following tweet by Andrew Neil (who despite being heavily criticised for his recent offensive, sexist tweet about fellow journalist Carole Cadwalldr has not yet apologised) was from a parody account:
I hope we show it again so somebody can tell who the miserable Jock [Bobby Gillespie, Scottish musician and singer-songwriter] is and what he’s ever done. Other than scowl and spout Corbynista propaganda from his fancy Islington pad.
The Prime Minister (again)
Following the presentation of a Brexit deal that has been roundly criticised by the Opposition and her own Party (although when it comes to the crunch it will be interesting to see if the term ‘Tory Rebels’ remains the misnomer it has up until now) the dominant narrative seems to be how 'brave', 'honorable', and 'resilient' Theresa May is. There is SO much I could write in response to this – not least with reference to the Windrush generation, justice for Grenfell, the cut in public sector workers (and their pay), 1950s women and their lack of pension, an NHS and education service in crisis, and more... – but for now I’ll just provide a few quotes from Philip Alston, the UN Poverty Envoy (reporting today following a week in the UK):
‘Despite being the 5th largest economy in the world, there are 14 million people in poverty & 1.5 million are destitute. Frankly, the levels of child poverty here are staggering. MPs are in denial.’
‘Despite insisting austerity was necessary, the truth is that there haven't been many savings at all. . . . The motivation has not been to create a more caring system. The motivation is very clearly ideological.’
‘The actions of the DWP have been particularly damaging for women. Indeed there is a link to an increased risk of domestic violence. The ministers say well 'if the woman is struggling she should leave.' This process/attitude has to end.’
There is much more. See, for example, a twitter feed (to which I credit the quotes above) by @JackDunc1 and the following articles (so far):
See also this by Steve Topple for some background to the visit:
Yet more evidence, of #DestitutionByDesign from a Prime Minister and a Party clearly #UnfitToGovern
And yet how do the media respond?:
@JackDunc1 (Jack D):
NB: I've already written this week of another example I could have included here: i.e. the focus on the LOTO's choice of clothes and his poppy rather than @UKLabour's pledge to veterans:
My response to all of this:
Me: ‘How can you be so obtuse?
The MSM, the Prime Minister, the Government, various celebrities and others: ‘What did you just call me?
Me: ‘Obtuse, is it deliberate?’
SO IT WOULD SEEM.
SO IT WOULD SEEM.