The Plastic Hippo

June 21, 2012

Birds of a feather

Filed under: History,Media,Politics,Rights,Society — theplastichippo @ 3:23 pm

As any tyrant knows, the key skill in conducting organised genocide is to make sure it happens in secret. When secrecy is broken, denial, distraction and a friendly press will buy enough time to load the private jet with gold bullion and take off to somewhere nice. Step forward Michael Gove.

On the day that our Prime Minister attacked a rather mediocre comedian for his “immoral” tax arrangements and in doing so opened a hornet`s nest of scrutiny and hypocrisy, the Department of Education leaked Gove`s latest crackpot scheme to the Daily Mail in yet another exercise in news management. As an added bonus, a sparsely attended debate in the House of Commons that focussed on the disgraceful removal of the rights and dignity of people with disabilities went completely unreported in the mainstream media. It was left to the excellent Sue Marsh and BendyGirl and the BBC Parliament Channel to shine some light into the black hole of coalition policy and malevolence. It should be noted that the BBC Parliament Channel broadcasts raw footage from inside Westminster and elsewhere and is not subject to the BBC News editorial code which demands that every news bulletin should be a party political broadcast on behalf of the Conservative Party.

Maria Miller, Under-Secretary of State and Minister for Disabled People at the Department for Work and Pensions, knows a thing or two about distraction and flogging a brand rather than a product. An alumna of the London School of Economics, Maria became an advertising executive at Greys Advertising Ltd before becoming a marketing manager at Texaco. She then returned to Greys as a director and then, prior to being elected as the Conservative member for Basingstoke, was a director of the Rowland Group, a public relations company gobbled up by Saatchi and Saatchi and then gobbled up by Publicis Consultants.

Publicis are an interesting multi-national PR giant who specialise in “health and wellbeing” and can proudly boast of having Nestle as one of their major multi-national clients. Nestle, you will no doubt remember, undertook an aggressive marketing campaign in the developing world to persuade new mothers that Nestle formula milk product increased the life chances of babies rather than breast feeding. Sadly, the opposite was the case. Newborns died. In 2002, and with famine ravaging Ethiopia, Nestle demanded the repayment of a six million dollar debt from the government of that unhappy country. Perhaps a consignment of Cheerios and Shreddies might have proved more helpful. More recently, Nestle were happy to exploit trafficked child labour to harvest cocoa beans in the Cote d`Ivoire that are vital to the production of the delicious confectionary produced by the company. You might wish to consider this the next time you tuck in to an Aero, KitKat, Lion Bar, box of Quality Street, tube of Rolo or Smarties or a wafer thin After Eight Mint. Take a break; take profit from child slave labour.

It is, of course, utterly preposterous to suggest that Maria Miller was involved in any of this obscenity. In 1977, when the milk scandal was revealed, she was at school in Bridgend and by 2010, when trafficked children were working for Nestle, she was in government. Guilt by association remains, quite rightly, a fallacious syllogism under law as none other than the current Prime Minister will attest, however, we might wish to consider the career culture and experience of the Under-Secretary of State and how that qualifies her to be the champion of disabled people.

The rather strange Publicis website offers potential clients “Lifestyle marketing, including earned product placement in film and TV, influencer and celebrity seeding, and celebrity spokesperson management.” Maria Miller might not have any knowledge of the challenges facing people with disabilities, but having absorbed the skills of celebrity spokesperson management she is perfectly qualified to speak for a government that is determined to stigmatise, demonise and oppress the very weakest in our society.

It is, of course, utterly preposterous to compare the indecent haste, the lies, the bigotry and the sheer malice necessary to propel the Welfare Reform Act into law with the Holocaust, the barbarism of Rwanda and the ethnic cleansing of the Balkans. But the repulsive sight of Tory MP`s laughing, cheering and waving their order papers every time a minister suggests that a paraplegic is a scrounger should instil fear into anyone who considers themselves to be human. Labour, armed with actual facts, offered spirited but ultimately futile opposition to the first phase of the final solution. The motion was defeated with Liberal Democrats looking at their shoes with embarrassing silence and voting to condemn and vilify the very people that they were elected to protect. As the words shame, cowardice, hypocrisy and cronyism exit the Liberal Democrat lexicon, the word Remploy has replaced inherited deficit in the Tory distraction.

With disability hate crime on the increase and convictions on the decrease, these elected representatives, including Iain Duncan Smith, Chris Grayling and Maria Miller at the DWP, aided and abetted by hysterical press reports of benefit abuse, no longer have the right to consider themselves as representative or, in fact, as members of the human race.

Lacking any sense of shame, the private jet full of bullion will be the only option when the anger inevitably erupts unless, of course, they wish to suffer the same fate as Joseph Goebbels.

Maria Miller MP

Maria Miller MP

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1 Comment »

  1. Another brilliant polemic.

    You have made so many cogent comments that I hardly know where to begin. The end is always a good place to start, but lets begin in the middle, if only for the sake of perversity.

    Nestle has, since as far back as I care to remember, been a global disgrace. However, successive British, French and US Governments have ducked any opportunity to challenge what has become the last bastion of colonialisation and exploitation.

    We must therefore assume that money talks more loudly than basic common sense and humanity. Nestle understand this only too well – hence their charm offensive over the last 10 years. Their avaricious approach to cornering the market has, of course, been ignored and indeed indulged, despite their dreadful record.

    This leads me to the almost feral attack being launched by Cameron and his mates on the welfare rights of the disabled and distressed. For the unfit and unhealthy, those who have no money, those who have no means of earning any money and those without hope of marrying into money, the prognosis is indeed bleak .

    I suspect that it is not a plot, but merely a balls-up. Let’s be honest, could anyone (except possibly Iain Duncan-Smith) conjure a more disgraceful and crass succession of legislation on welfare matters?

    Maria Millar is of no lasting importance. She is hardly worth mentioning at all, except as yet another example of a machine/career politician, damned by her actions, attitude and associations.

    As for Gove, he has been reading too much Waugh. He clearly yearns for the time when boys were boys, masters were masters, servants and scouts knew their place and girls were things that one thought about, but never acted on – at least until Epsom had finished.

    The Realist

    Comment by The Realist — June 22, 2012 @ 1:05 pm | Reply


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