Children of Britain, Know Your Place: BORN POOR, DIE POOR

11 Aug

Since the riots poor kids have been called ‘feral’, ‘scum’, ‘vermin’, ‘thugs’, ‘chavs’, ‘rats’, ‘apes’, ‘idiots’, ‘sickos’, etc., etc., by a diverse, but relatively wealthy cross-section of society which includes many millionaire MPs and media pundits.

Since the riots the parents of poor kids have been called ‘morons’, ‘wasters’, ‘scroungers’, ‘ignoramuses’, ‘careless parents’, ‘absentee-fathers’, ‘layabouts’, ‘feckless’, ‘criminal minded’, etc., etc., by a diverse, but relatively wealthy cross-section of society which includes many millionaire MPs and media pundits.

Before the riots poor kids were called ‘feral’, ‘scum’, ‘vermin’, ‘thugs’, ‘chavs’, ‘rats’, ‘apes’, ‘idiots’, ‘sickos’, etc., etc., by a diverse, but relatively wealthy cross-section of society which included many millionaire MPs and media pundits.

Before the riots the parents of poor kids were called ‘morons’, ‘wasters’, ‘scroungers’, ‘ignoramuses’, ‘careless parents’, ‘absentee-fathers’, ‘layabouts’, ‘feckless’, ‘criminal minded’, etc., etc., by a diverse, but relatively wealthy cross-section of society which included many millionaire MPs and media pundits.

So the simple message (which the poor were obviously too stupid to understand…) is that if your poor then it must be your own fault and not a consequence of living in a rigged society which is one of the most blatantly unequal in Europe… if not the world. It’s your own fault that youth unemployment rates are the highest ever recorded. It’s your own fault that a third of UK children grow up in poverty and that the services designed to help alleviate that poverty are being destroyed to help pay for the banker’s financial fuck ups.

If you’re BORN POOR in modern Britain it’s extremely likely that you will DIE POOR, so get over it and stop rioting.

In the meantime the BBC will keep on creating expensive productions of classic Dickens’ stories while it’s news/propaganda wing ignores the fact that we’ve returned to Victorian levels of inequality.

Click here to download a free PDF of our ‘Children of Britain’ poster.

7 Responses to “Children of Britain, Know Your Place: BORN POOR, DIE POOR”

  1. Charlotte Cooper August 12, 2011 at 9:17 am #

    Dear Anarchist Media Project,

    Please stop using images of fat people as visual shorthand for greed, corruption, ruling class people, bankers, consumerism, disgust.

    When you do this, you are adding to the mountain of stereotypes that affect people like me in material ways every day of our lives. You are adding to the oppression we experience.

    In addition, it is foolish to use fat as a symbol of wealth or capitalism given that the largest demographic of fat people tend to be people at the bottom of the shit-pile.

    I understand anarchism as a fight to end all systems of oppression and all hegemonies. By using fatness as a symbol of everything that is wrong, you support systems that value some types of bodies over others. You also alienate fat anarchists, your kin.

    Perhaps you could take some time to find out about radical fat politics and fat activism. Here are some books and articles that I think are particularly good. You could also come and have a look at my blog: http://www.obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com

    Charlotte Cooper

    Cooper, C. (2010) ‘Olympics/Uhlympics: Living in the Shadow of the Beast’, thirdspace, 9: 2.

    Cooper, C. (2007) ‘Headless Fatties’ [Online]. London. Available: http://www.charlottecooper.net/docs/fat/headless_fatties.htm [Accessed 26 August 2008].

    Cooper, C. (1998) Fat & Proud: The Politics of Size, London: The Women’s Press.

    Cooper, C. (1997) ‘Can a Fat Woman Call Herself Disabled?’, Disability & Society, 12: 1, 31-41.

    Fishman, S. G. B. (1998) ‘Life In The Fat Underground’ [Online]. Available: http://www.radiancemagazine.com/issues/1998/winter_98/fat_underground.html [Accessed 28 August 2008].

    Gard, M. & Wright, J. (2005) The Obesity Epidemic: science, morality, and ideology, Abingdon: Routledge.

    LeBesco, K. (2004) Revolting Bodies: The Struggle to Redefine Fat Identity, Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Press.

    Mitchell, A. (2005) ‘Pissed Off’, in: Kulick, D. & Meneley, A. (eds.) Fat: The Anthropology of an Obsession. London: Penguin, 211-225.

    Rothblum, E. & Solovay, S. (2009) The Fat Studies Reader, New York: New York University Press.

    Schoenfielder, L. & Wieser, B. (1983) Shadow On A Tightrope: Writings By Women on Fat Oppression, San Francisco: Aunt Lute.

    Schwartz, H. (1986) Never Satisfied: A Cultural History of Diets, Fantasies and Fat, New York: The Free Press.

    Smith, H. (1989) ‘Creating a Politics of Appearance’, Trouble + Strife, 16: Summer, 36-41.

    Tomrley, C. & Kaloski Naylor, A. (2009) Fat Studies In The UK, York: Raw Nerve Books.

  2. Charlotte Cooper August 12, 2011 at 9:18 am #

    PS. This too:

    http://obesitytimebomb.blogspot.com/2010/11/depicting-fat-and-class.html

  3. Anarchist Media Project August 12, 2011 at 10:16 am #

    Hi Charlotte,

    The image is actually taken from a rather famous cartoon by the socialist artist Robert Minor, as shown here…

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/USAchild.htm

    More details on Minor here…

    http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/ARTminor.htm

    We actually chose the picture because it was a man in a suit eating children… a very apt metaphor for the reality of today’s Britain.

    In fact we saw the suit, and nothing but the suit… which probably says a lot about our class hatred. Men in suits kill more people; push more drugs, steal more money; and wreck more lives than anyone else… period.

    We do, of course, understand your concerns and will change the image just as soon as we find something with similar impact. If you’ve seen something then please, let us know.

    Warm regards,
    The AMP

  4. Charlotte Cooper August 12, 2011 at 10:26 am #

    Thanks. I don’t know about alternative images; maybe machines? Monsters? A swirling vortex?!

    I understand that there are historical precedents in the visual language of anarchism, and in the Left in general, of using fatness as a symbol of greed, corruption etc. But the discourse around fatness changed in the 20th century and is now part of a moral panic that also includes elements of classism, racism, fear and hatred of disability and difference. It’s not enough to use these vintage images without interrogating them or acknowledging that contexts have changed.

    As for only seeing a man in a suit, well, I encourage you perhaps to consider fatness and to look more closely at archetypal representations of human bodies.

    Thanks again for your work.

  5. Charlotte Cooper August 12, 2011 at 10:28 am #

    You could also just use a picture of a thin guy!

  6. Foxy August 12, 2011 at 12:58 pm #

    I was gonna email AMP cos you been quiet the past few weeks – hope all’s well or have you been busy looting? 😀

    @ Charlotte – I never noticed it was a picture of a fat man.
    So now – like advertising agencies, you’re suggesting only images of thin people are used – Poor old AMP will have the Anorexic Association on his case too.

  7. Charlotte Cooper August 12, 2011 at 1:03 pm #

    Foxy, that is not what I am suggesting at all. You are twisting this for a cheap joke.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: