“Won’t somebody please think of the children!” Class War and Rees-Mogg

“Won’t somebody please think of the children!” Class War and Rees-Mogg

Comments from the Anarchist Communist Group on the response of the bosses' media (and from some on the left) to the recent Class War demonstration against Jacob Rees-Mogg.

The wealthy steal from the working class and we are not allowed to talk about it. One of the functions of the media is to limit debate to very narrow discussions that do not contradict corporate or capitalist interests. As such it wasn’t surprising that when Class War protested outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house because he didn’t pay his nanny the living wage, the media tried to find something else to talk about.

It was entirely unremarkable that journalists, commentators and politicians maintained complete and total discipline in ignoring the facts and creating a false narrative. Let’s not forget it was the MP that brought his children to the protest and kept them there. It’s also unremarkable that the press (the corrupt moralists of our time) worried about the effect the protest would have on the children (some even calling it “child abuse”) whilst ignoring the effect that Mr Rees-Mogg’s political activities have had on life chances of millions of working class children. Even the concern the press has for Rees-Mogg’s children doesn’t extend very far. None of the journalists on the “acceptable” left of centre has pointed out that the way the wealthy treat and use the poor people they hire in front of their child is a form of class training which teaches their children not to feel empathy for people outside of their own class – in itself, this could also be seen as a form of abuse.

What is more interesting is the number of non-media people who are not only echoing the lies of the media, but are also arguing that the protest was tactically foolish because it makes “the left,” look bad. This argument seems to be based on the premise that people would see the protest and think, “I was starting to question my ongoing exploitation by an economic and political elite, but after this I need to give that nice UKIP another look.” It is, of course, totally possible that a group of people who did not, and never would like the group Class War, will continue not to like them. But what has also happened is that an issue that otherwise was not getting any attention is now getting some. In fact the protest gives us an opportunity to talk about the one of the key issues that we are never supposed to, the fact that we are in the middle of a class war and the ruling class are winning.

It is true that the issue of the rich exploiting the poor (in this case, Rees-Mogg exploiting his nanny) is sharing media space it otherwise wouldn’t have had, with the issue of children being near a protest. But this is partly because all of those who argue that the protest was tactically flawed aren’t talking about the issue of the protest. They are the cause of the problem they are bemoaning, and this is because they like to masquerade as tactically astute fellow travellers on the left, rather than simply people repeating the lines given to them by the press.

The effect of any protest (in a non-revolutionary situation) is dependent on the reactions of those who claim to share the same or similar political aims. After every mass action a battle takes place to define the impact of the protest. Will it be about a broken window or a poor police officer that hurt their hand whilst beating a protestor, or will it be about the original issue that caused the protest? You can say what you like about Class War, and the ACG certainly has disagreements with some of their politics, but they at least gave us the opportunity to use their protest as a chance to talk about the crimes of the wealthy. Those who have chosen not to talk about this issue but instead choose to condemn the group for a cynically manufactured non-issue (Rees-Mogg’s children), have instead made their own political choice.

Article taken from the ACG website

Comments

Chilli Sauce
Sep 19 2018 18:33
Quote:
Class War protested outside Jacob Rees-Mogg’s house because he didn’t pay his nanny the living wage

My question, though, did the nanny ask them to be there? Was it part of a dispute or a campaign? In the coverage I read of this, the nanny was quoted as saying she didn't have any issues with her pay. Of course, she has to say that. But from what I read, it seems like she was as surprised to see Class War there as Rees-Mogg.

If that's the case, this is at worst political stuntism - which is, admittedly, what Class War does best - and at best, some sort of weird substitutionalism.

Serge Forward
Sep 19 2018 19:26

But stuntism has always been their schtick though, it's what they do. The issue isn't whether or not you agree with CW's modus operandi (we don't) but that people (many on the left included) seem to be willingly subscribing to a bogus "child welfare" issue that's been manufactured to detract from the crimes of Mogg and his ilk.

Fleur
Sep 19 2018 21:48

I haven't watched the whole video because life's a bit short but I would have thought that the first response to anyone hassling your kids on your doorstep would be to get them inside, not keep them there, cameras rolling. Otoh, I'm not Jacob Rees-Mogg. All this handwriting about the poor children is just manufactured nonsense.

Tbh, Bone's probably barking up the wrong tree with the nanny though. An experienced nanny of the kind employed by that family would likely be on well over the national average anyway.

Noah Fence
Sep 20 2018 13:09

I have mixed feelings about Class War, I mean, it’s facepalm time when they get up to their electoral shenanigans and although I’m far from being concerned about offending liberal sensibilities or the egg shell treading fear based approach to tactics that many have, their language and approach is sometimes a little above the odds. Not that I think what they do is harmful, probably it’s just that I sometimes find it a little bit distasteful.
On the other hand, I often find their stunts very invigorating and amusing, from a morale building point of view I think they’re brilliant! I also like the simplicity of their rhetoric and it comes as a little light relief compared with the intellectualism that I have to deal with within the anarchist ‘scene’(sorry, I hate that word, just couldn’t think of an alternative!). I don’t use the term intellectualism pejoratively, it’s just that as an academically and intellectually challenged individual with a drug and illness battered memory I find it all such hard work at times. Seriously, I honestly don’t have the faintest what many of you are even talking about with some of the current threads on here right now.
Anyways, the point is that they keep it simple, speak loudly and clearly and with a good deal of humour, and I guess that they consider that their art must come first and if purveyors of hipster cornflakes or for that matter, the family of a leading figure in the ruling class, get a little upset then too bad! Not that I imagine the little Moggies would have been too concerned by the presence of what they probably considered to be a demented pensioner at their gate!
The real problem here, as Chilli pointed out, is that it appears they took it upon themselves to represent a worker without consultation or their consent. If that is the case they are well out of line.
As for the main point of the OP, namely the swerving of the real issue by all and sundry, it just serves as yet another example of the liberal left are just as much enemies of the working class as those in the centre and on the right. I don’t suppose that it will alter the view of so many anarchists that still seem to think that they are somehow more well meaning than those on the conservative or libertarian right. It’s a common phenomenon amongst those that have rejected statist politics to hate the Tories considerably more than they do Labour. I’ll never get my head around that one. I can only guess it’s the posh accents!

Mike Harman
Sep 20 2018 14:17

The nanny was originally Jacob Rees-Mogg's own nanny and has worked for the family for 50 years, so the idea she'd be anything other than an extremely loyal Tory seems extremely far fetched.

From that point of view reminded me of when some Occupy-ers chanted at the police that they were also part of the 99% shortly before getting tear gassed by them. The child welfare issue could maybe have been circumvented by pointing out (either at the time or later) that Mogg was using his children as a human shield.

I did think the reaction to it, especially from some supposed 'anarchists' and 'communists' nurturing their media careers was extremely sad. It puts them to the right of fucking shadow home secretary John McDonnell in 2012 at this point.

Noah Fence
Sep 20 2018 16:33

John McDonnell is a total fucking hypocrite, worse than Reed Mogg by a.country mile from where I’m sitting. Seriously man, that video makes my blood boil. What a cunt.

jef costello
Sep 20 2018 20:24

Surprised by the John McDonnell clip!

Class War is stuntism, I don't appreciate it because it often isn't funny and often plays out like a tired 80s cliché. Also it encourages the view that direct action is about publicity not action. Ian Bone makes me think of Ben Elton.

Ignore the kids stuff, it's like the ridiculous 'support the troops' 'defend the flag' 'freedom of speech' or any other diversionary nonsense.

Noah Fence
Sep 20 2018 21:12
Quote:
tired 80s cliché.

Ah, so that’s why I like them, synergy with my mode of thought.