- Mick Hall with a piece that initially featured on his own blog Organized Rage.
Some MPs argued that Jewish children could be considered one of the best investments in the world and would not be a burden on the state, while others feared it would bring a flood of Jewish refugees into the country.
I can find no trace of the words 'burden on the State,' being used in the debate 75 years ago, indeed it is only in today's Neo-liberal Britain where such destructive language is used in such a negative way. Back in 1938 I doubt even those who opposed the Kindertransport would have regarded a child fleeing tyranny and in need of state support 'as a burden,' and they would certainly not have used such phraseology publicly.
We live in a time when powerful elites have turned the meaning of words on their head to reinforce their own reactionary ideology. Indeed, such language would have dropped off the lips of Nazis like Heinrich Himmler: who regularly used the word 'burden' to justify murdering sick and disabled people, including children.
|This poster (from around 1938) reads: "60,000Reichsmark is what this person suffering from ahereditary defect costs the People's community during his lifetime. Fellow citizen, that is your money too|
The whole point; some might say the only point, of a truly democratic state is to make it possible for us to pool our resources so that in our time of need, when we are threatened physically, whether from within or without, become sick or unemployed, homeless, or face an extra hurdle in life, like disablement, the State steps up to the plate and carries the weight our own shoulders alone cannot bear.
I am not pillorying a journalist like Alexandra for using such poisonous language but her editors at the paper for allowing it. If this were simply an oversight I would not have pursued it, but it was not. Hardly a day goes by without similar examples appearing in the paper.
Flexible, in economic terms has come to mean employers being able to pay low wages, and sack people without fear of employment legislation. Benefit Reform means cuts and smears, and 'burden on the state' means an undeserved handout at tax payers expense. The use of this foul neo liberal language grows by the day; only this week according to Danny Alexander, George Osborne's Lib-Dem point man at the Treasury, elderly people are no longer patients needing treatment, but a "potential burden on the NHS." As I have already written above we now know where the use of such language can lead.
I note no mainstream media outlet describes as 'a burden on the State' the private businesses like G4e or the train operating companies like Virgin, who all feast on the tax payers money pot. Let alone the banksters who brought the nation low, or the politicians who were on the take in the expenses scandal.
No! It's only the economically poor or disadvantaged whom the media smears as 'burdens on the state,' the use of these words are political to the core; and are designed to enforce in peoples minds neo liberal ideology.
Now it seems we have a Guardian journalist rewriting history and turning a child in desperate need into a possible 'burden on the state.' I presume much like the majority of OAP without private pension pots will be portrayed after 2015, when they too look like joining the unemployed, sick and disabled as 'burdens on the State.'
Most of my parents generation who fought WW2, and went on to help create the NHS and the Welfare State, which made the UK a far better place to live in. Have not lived to see today's greedy, political, media, and business elite do there damnedest to destroy it, but If they had I'm sure they would have asked:
If the State does not pool our resources and provide help to its citizens in their time of need, whether it be education, health care, welfare benefits and security in the home and on the street, why should we give it our allegiance, as to do so makes us nothing more than the chattels of the equivalent of 21st century feudal lords.Or as my old dad might have said: "sod that, for a pound of cherries!"