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    You think I was making a point? I notice you've ignored all of mine, in any case.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    You think I was making a point? I notice you've ignored all of mine, in any case.
    I haven't ignored them, other people have simply replied better than I could have. I am subscribed to this thread and am reading everything that's being said, I just don't feel I could give as good a reply as some other people are doing here. And no, I don't think you were making a point, I think you were overlooking Jennybean's points simply because she made a "snide remark" at the end of them all.
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    Only one of the points we two were discussing was addressed by someone else. Jennybean didn't make any points other than "Tories don't realise that jobs are unpleasant", which was based on her opinion/stereotyping of Tories as people born with a "silver spoon" who have "never done a day of manual labour in their lives"
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Only one of the points we two were discussing was addressed by someone else. Jennybean didn't make any points other than "Tories don't realise that jobs are unpleasant", which was based on her opinion/stereotyping of Tories as people born with a "silver spoon" who have "never done a day of manual labour in their lives"
    Now you're just being silly. Are you denying that the vast majority of politicans in general, let alone Tories, are from comfortable middle class backgrounds where they were encouraged to go into further education and seek an impressive career, rather than into a job at 16? Ann herself certainly ticks all the boxes. I'm not saying that everybody who votes Conservative is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, I'm simply saying that there is a very strong trend for such people to go around preaching to and lecturing the unemployed etc when they are totally out of touch with reality and as such don't have the necessary empathy to really understand and solve the situation. Now you can hardly claim that is stereotyping seeing as that is what the entire Widdecombe series has been based around! Some foul old upper middle class hag striding around barking orders at people whom she clearly believes to be far beneath her, when in fact given half the opportunities she's had they could easily have found themselves in the same position. And the target audience was obviously meant to be other Tories sitting comfortably on their high horses and yelling "Yeah, get off your arse" at the telly when a load of them have probably inherited their house and a string of polo ponies. Did Ann have the necessary empathy to understand the situation? Clearly not as people fought tooth and nail against her. Did she solve the situation? No.
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    Now you're just being silly. Are you denying that the vast majority of politicans in general, let alone Tories, are from comfortable middle class backgrounds where they were encouraged to go into further education and seek an impressive career, rather than into a job at 16? Ann herself certainly ticks all the boxes. I'm not saying that everybody who votes Conservative is born with a silver spoon in their mouth, I'm simply saying that there is a very strong trend for such people to go around preaching to and lecturing the unemployed etc when they are totally out of touch with reality and as such don't have the necessary empathy to really understand and solve the situation. Now you can hardly claim that is stereotyping seeing as that is what the entire Widdecombe series has been based around! Some foul old upper middle class hag striding around barking orders at people whom she clearly believes to be far beneath her, when in fact given half the opportunities she's had they could easily have found themselves in the same position. And the target audience was obviously meant to be other Tories sitting comfortably on their high horses and yelling "Yeah, get off your arse" at the telly when a load of them have probably inherited their house and a string of polo ponies. Did Ann have the necessary empathy to understand the situation? Clearly not as people fought tooth and nail against her. Did she solve the situation? No.
    A harangue against the upper middle class over an issue which most riles (judging by tabloid headlines) the lower middle - and working class? Surely not. I think you're allowing your perceptions of "Tories" (who, by the way, exist across the social strata rather than being restricted to the aristocracy and landed gentry) to mislead you into thinking that the only people who object to this sort of thing are rich.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    A harangue against the upper middle class over an issue which most riles (judging by tabloid headlines) the lower middle - and working class? Surely not. I think you're allowing your perceptions of "Tories" (who, by the way, exist across the social strata rather than being restricted to the aristocracy and landed gentry) to mislead you into thinking that the only people who object to this sort of thing are rich.
    What does that matter? Behind her misuse of terminology, she's making a good point. At least if you're going to be patronising about the way she articulated it, have the courtesy to reply to the point she's making.
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    Her point being what exactly? That a large number of Conservative politicians are middle class? Fine. That some people who criticise the unemployed do more so out of rabid classism than any real understanding of the situation? Yes. But what she seems to be suggesting, in fact is suggesting, is that the majority of people who criticise the system and its "scroungers" are of this persuasion, which is false, and also, apparently, that any Conservative is also middle class, which is also false.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Her point being what exactly? That a large number of Conservative politicians are middle class? Fine. That some people who criticise the unemployed do more so out of rabid classism than any real understanding of the situation? Yes. But what she seems to be suggesting, in fact is suggesting, is that the majority of people who criticise the system and its "scroungers" are of this persuasion, which is false, and also, apparently, that any Conservative is also middle class, which is also false.
    No... she's saying that it's alright for many politicians and middle-class people who have inherited, been born into, or otherwise acquired wealth that a lot of working-class people wouldn't have been able to, who obtain skills from their parents that allow them to take on high-powered jobs or who even inherit businesses, and so on, to take the piss out of people who simply can't amass such jobs and wealth.

    Face it. If Widdecombe hadn't helped those (three) people, there's no way they would've got jobs that highly paid that easily.
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    "the target audience was obviously meant to be other Tories sitting comfortably on their high horses and yelling "Yeah, get off your arse" at the telly when a load of them have probably inherited their house and a string of polo ponies"

    With this sentence, Jennybean shows
    a) She is stereotyping
    b) She is ignoring ITV's usual audience
    c) She is ignoring that the tabloids frequently raise hell over benefit scroungers

    You're guilty of at least one of the above. I'm sure that there are middle class people who criticise the unemployed (though I think you're wrong to say they're in no position to do this when the unemployed aren't all working class, another classist assumption by the pair of you there, by the way) but there are also working class people in the same position who feel cheated by a system which rewards the indolent as much if not more than it does the hard working.

    Says who, you? They didn't need any qualifications, they just needed to apply. They couldn't even be bothered to see what jobs were out there - "It's all factory work, innit".
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    You're guilty of at least one of the above. I'm sure that there are middle class people who criticise the unemployed (though I think you're wrong to say they're in no position to do this when the unemployed aren't all working class, another classist assumption by the pair of you there, by the way) but there are also working class people in the same position who feel cheated by a system which rewards the indolent as much if not more than it does the hard working.
    Never said there weren't. You're still avoiding the point. Just because I didn't say things like "it's not only working class people who are unemployed", doesn't mean I was implying that was false.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    Says who, you? They didn't need any qualifications, they just needed to apply. They couldn't even be bothered to see what jobs were out there - "It's all factory work, innit".
    No, they just needed to apply and be accepted, the latter of which is unlikely.
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    Well, it further dilutes the point that middle class people can't empathise with the unemployed, which you were arguing
    Why is it unlikely? The employers in both cases both said they couldn't find anyone to work, so it seems to me that they would have gotten the job (if they had applied) without Widdecombe's help.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Well, it further dilutes the point that middle class people can't empathise with the unemployed, which you were arguing
    No I wasn't. Why do you find it necessary to put words into my mouth? The middle class people who've never had to work to get a job - like Widdecombe herself - cannot empathise with the unemployed.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    Why is it unlikely? The employers in both cases both said they couldn't find anyone to work, so it seems to me that they would have gotten the job (if they had applied) without Widdecombe's help.
    Well, quite. Two employers, three jobs. Not quite sufficient for the whole of the UK, is it? And now that those places have been filled, it'll be that tiny bit harder for the rest of the UK to get a job anywhere. They were lucky to have her help.
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    Middle class people generally aren't born into their wealth, I also doubt Widdecombe just waltzed into her job, there's a fair amount of work involved in getting a degree, for example, or campaigning for a parliamentary seat. In any case, how do you know whether they can empathise or not? There are many people who claim empathy with the Palestinians who haven't lived in a war zone, are they all liars?

    The fact that it was so easy to get those jobs shows quite clearly that they weren't trying. There are about 600 000 vacancies, I'd say plenty of people aren't trying. And it doesn't need to be for the whole of the UK, just the unemployed (claimant count is 800 000), so it's not so hard, is it?
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Middle class people generally aren't born into their wealth, I also doubt Widdecombe just waltzed into her job, there's a fair amount of work involved in getting a degree, for example, or campaigning for a parliamentary seat. In any case, how do you know whether they can empathise or not? There are many people who claim empathy with the Palestinians who haven't lived in a war zone, are they all liars?
    Definition of "empathy" would suggest so, yes.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    The fact that it was so easy to get those jobs shows quite clearly that they weren't trying. There are about 600 000 vacancies, I'd say plenty of people aren't trying. And it doesn't need to be for the whole of the UK, just the unemployed (claimant count is 800 000), so it's not so hard, is it?
    *plays the "experience" card that Apagg loved to use earlier*

    Just because jobs are going, doesn't mean jobs will stay there. My parents have been unemployed for months. They keep finding small, insignificant, unknown jobs, taking them, and then being made redundant within a couple of weeks when it all goes pear-shaped and the company fails. Then another one somewhere else opens up, and repeat, except they've lost a couple of weeks' wages in the transition period. So yes, there are about as many jobs as there are unemployed people at any one given time, and not everyone has quite such bad luck, but none of this means that it's easy to find a job. Of course, if you had experience in family members being unemployed for long periods of time through no fault of their own, you'd know that, right?

    I suspect if you did, we wouldn't be having this argument.
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    "feeling of concern and understanding for another's situation or feelings" - so you can't have empathy unless you've been in the same situation? You must lack imagination and emotion, in that case?

    My father was unemployed at one point (the 90s recession) and set up his own business rather than moping around on the dole. When that didn't do so well he moved abroad to find work and sent money home. Don't assume you know anything about me.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    "feeling of concern and understanding for another's situation or feelings" - so you can't have empathy unless you've been in the same situation? You must lack imagination and emotion, in that case?
    That's sympathy. Empathy is sharing someone else's feelings.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    My father was unemployed at one point (the 90s recession) and set up his own business rather than moping around on the dole. When that didn't do so well he moved abroad to find work and sent money home. Don't assume you know anything about me.
    I don't assume anything, I was being slightly flippant. You're the one being presumptuous. My father couldn't run a business if he tried, so we're a bit ****ed, aren't we?
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    Avoid getting personal please. I'm watching you.
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    Middle class people generally aren't born into their wealth... Apagg.
    A misleading generalisation if ever there was one. It's true that there is a phenomenon known as 'social mobility' and that the middle classes of today have grown in good measure as a consequence of those from lower socio-economic backgrounds acquiring incomes, values and cultural interests which integrate them into their new status. However, it's also fair to say that many (a majority even) among the middle classes, especially what is sometimes termed the 'established' middle classes, substantially inherit economic, social and cultural capital which play no small part in ensuring that they are financially secure, socially connected and culturally inculcated so as to help them maintain (or expand upon) the statuses they have been fortunate enough to encounter in their parentage. It's one thing to argue about the relative significance of reproduced structural disadvantage and inequality, quite another to trivialise or deny it.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    But what she seems to be suggesting, in fact is suggesting, is that the majority of people who criticise the system and its "scroungers" are of this persuasion, which is false, and also, apparently, that any Conservative is also middle class, which is also false.
    Erm, prove it. I've never claimed that my posts are anything other than my own perception, which I feel is pretty accurate. If you are arguing against my point of view by stating that I am categorically wrong, you are going to have to show me exactly how and why I am wrong. Otherwise saying "that's just Jennybean's opinion and she's wrong" is simply your opinion. Of course not every Tory is middle class, I've never even implied that. But you can't deny that Middle England is composed mainly of right wing Daily Mail readers. That's an awful lot of middle class people voting Conservative.

    I've edited this to add some stuff to back up my own perception that it is definitely the middle classes who feel the most vehemently about the unemployed and benefit claimants. The first link is a Daily Mail article, whose readership is generally defined as right wing and middle class, and the comments below it demonstrate perfectly the type of "Purple-faced of Tunbridge Wells" attitude I'm talking about. The second is also from the Mail, where the journalist appears to have got so caught up in his frenzied orgasming over the study supposedly backing up his views that he's conveniently forgotten that correlation does not imply causation, as is the third. The others are articles from the Sun, whose readership is generally defined as working class.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...#StartComments
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770
    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/liv...n_page_id=1770

    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2...420460,00.html
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2...011164,00.html
    http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006100547,00.html

    While the Mail articles are full of contempt for "scroungers", the Sun concentrates far more on the idea that people who aren't British might be receiving them, in all probability because of their nationalist views. I suppose it's not a massive distinction as each party seems to feel that a certain social group are undeserving of benefit receipt, but it's a distinction nonetheless. There is one Sun article I found in which a family is criticised for claiming benefits and having too many children, here but this type of article doesn't seem to appear with anything like the frequency that articles like it do in the Mail.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Middle class people generally aren't born into their wealth, I also doubt Widdecombe just waltzed into her job, there's a fair amount of work involved in getting a degree, for example, or campaigning for a parliamentary seat.
    They might not be literally born into their wealth but it seems pretty naive to me to claim that middle class people aren't born into a sitution where they are far more encouraged and helped to pursue education and a high flying career. The children of lawyers are six times less likely to find themselves in poverty by adulthood than the children of labourers. In fact there's a whole social hierarchy that's been worked out by the Institute of Education, detailing how parents' jobs have far-reaching implications for their children's futures. You can read about it here:

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com...cle2381315.ece

    You surely cannot be claiming that every single son or daughter of a labourer is just naturally less intelligent and lacking in motivation than every single son or daughter of a lawyer? You seem to be dismissing only too readily the effects of one's socioeconomic status on one's ability to achieve and earn. I agree that Widdecombe has not got where she is today without some admirable determination and hard work, but I think it would be foolish to claim that she would have got there regardless of what kind of family she had been born into. Most middle class children have a lot of help with schooling and getting into uni and are far more likely to attend private schools, where they will also receive more of this kind of support. I know I did. In contrast, it's only the exceptional few truly working class people who strive to get brilliant grades and go to university, a good example being my mum. She grew up on a council estate, and was met with enormous opposition from her family and friends over her decision to become a lawyer. Her friends thought she was geting above her station and her parents thought she should get a job and settle down to earn some money.
 
 
 
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