Asylum seekers are detained near McAllen, Texas, June 2018. Photograph: John Moore/Getty Images

Inspired by Trump, the world could be heading back to the 1930s | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

You’ll remember Godwin’s law, which holds that the longer an online debate goes on, the likelier it is that someone will mention Hitler or the Nazis. It was an amusing observation and one that served a useful purpose, guarding against hyperbole and fatuous comparison. Except last August, as the American far right staged a torchlight parade in Charlottesville, Mike Godwin suspended his own law. “By all means, compare these shitheads to Nazis,” he tweeted. “Again and again. I’m with you.”

Despite that dispensation, I’ve tended to abide by my own version of Godwin’s law. I try to avoid Nazi comparisons, chiefly because they’re almost always wrong and because, far from dramatising whatever horror is under way, they usually serve to minimise the one that killed millions in the 1940s. And yet, there’s a cost to such self-restraint. Because if the Nazi era is placed off limits, seen as so far outside the realm of regular human experience that it might as well have happened on a distant planet – Planet Auschwitz – then we risk failure to learn its lessons. That would be to squander the essential benefit offered by study of the Third Reich: an early warning system.

So yes, when Donald Trump ordered US government agents on the southern border to separate migrant children from their parents, to tear screaming toddlers from their fathers and even to pull a baby from its mother’s breast, he was not re-enacting the Holocaust. He was not ordering the eradication of an entire people or sending millions to their deaths. But there were echoes. And we must hear them.

For one, there’s the elemental act of separation itself. If you interview survivors of the Holocaust, one thing you notice is that even those who’ve grown used to describing events of the most extraordinary cruelty, and who can do so without shedding a tear, often struggle when they recall the moment they were parted from a parent. Mostly now in their 80s or older, they are taken back to that moment of childhood terror, one that never leaves them.


Source: Inspired by Trump, the world could be heading back to the 1930s | Jonathan Freedland | Opinion | The Guardian

Tory MP says cuts aren’t so bad because people aren’t ‘lying dead in the streets’

Whether this remark was taken out of context or not does not matter, it should never have been made.

What he fails to see or realise, whether by ignorance or design is that the original comment was not meant to be that people would be ‘lying dead in the streets’, but that it was a figure of speech to emphasise the seriousness of the actions being taken.

In fact they may not be lying dead in the streets, but quite a number have been found dead within their own home, by way of committing suicide due to the conditions that have been made to bear.

By making these comments just goes to prove what an idiot he is and that he has no concept of reality.

He is just being abusive and shows the uncaring attitudes of his ilk.

Workers and Shirkers: Jesus, okay, Iain Duncan Smith Wept.

Is this true remorse or just ‘crocodile tears’.

The vast majority on benefits are there because they have no ability to work and never will have, this is not by choice, but due to their disability and or health deterioration. Due to increasing survival rates, due to considerable medical advances many persons who would not have survived years ago are now doing so, but the Government processes and the media attention are not taking this into consideration and are thereby, by their actions, demonising people on benefits and a good proportion of the public are believing this. Both the Government and some of the media are guilty of malicious propaganda.


Ipswich Unemployed Action.

Bringing the discussion into the here and now … Workers Or Shirkers? Ian Hislop’s Victorian Benefits.

Ipswich Unemployed Action is in two minds about watching this documentary tonight: Workers and Shirkers.

Thursday 7 April. 8.00pm-9.00pm. BBC TWO

Ian Hislop’s entertaining and provocative look at Victorian attitudes to the poor sheds a sharp light on today: controversial benefits cuts, anxieties about scroungers, sensational newspaper reports, arguments about who does and doesn’t deserve welfare – it’s all there!

Ian explores the views of five colourful individuals whose Victorian attitudes remain incredibly resonant. Pioneer of the workhouse Edwin Chadwick feared that hand-outs would lead to scrounging and sought to make sure that workers were always better-off than the unemployed. That sounds fair – but was his solution simply too unkind?

James Greenwood, Britain’s first undercover reporter, made poverty a cause célèbre – but is that kind of journalism voyeuristic?

Helen Bosanquet, an early social worker, believed that poverty was caused by ‘bad character’ – that some people simply more deserving…

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