Cameron During Resignation as Full of Shit as Always

by aga


During his resignation speech Cameron played the perfect Tory and the perfect politician. I took note of some of the most preposterous things that came out his mouth. If listening to him doesn’t make you throw up, you can watch the full speech in the video below or read the transcript in the Telegraph.

 

Calling out the Prime Minister

CW: mention of gaslighting (only in the first paragraph)

It seems like in his speech, Cameron is gaslighting the whole world, as he is recreating our present reality by reshaping our memories of the past and denying his own violence. Gaslighting is a serious form of abuse, where the abuser tries to convince the victim of a version of reality that suits the abuser by manipulating the victim through denying reality and convincing them of a different version of the past. The purpose is to make the victim fond of the abuser so as to still be able to benefit from the uneven power relationship.

Blaming the people for Brexit

Throughout the speech Cameron makes sure to allocate the blame to the people for the horror that’s to come (If you want to know why we are devastated by Brexit read yesterday’s post). The first four sentences he utters all stress the people’s role in this decision.

By throwing a big number at us (33,000, 000 people) and making sure to mention every single one of the many countries that had a vote (England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar) he makes sure to make it sound like everybody and their mom decided for this to happen. After all, as he says, they ‘all had their say’. He conveniently leaves out that the population of 16 and 17 year-olds was not allowed to vote, as the costs would have been too high, apparently. Two people I know  who aren’t in the UK at the moment registered a proxy to vote for them but neither of them ever got a polling cart. Obviously this is not some sort of conspiracy, it’s just a testament to bureaucratic democracy failing the people.

Taking credit for people’s achievements

cw: mention of suicide in the following paragraph.

‘I believe we’ve made great steps, with more people in work than ever before in our history, with reforms to welfare and education, increasing people’s life chances, building a bigger and stronger society, keeping our promises to the poorest people in the world and enabling those who love each other to get married whatever their sexuality, but above all restoring Britain’s economic strength’ – this is probably the part that angered me the most. More people are working, and what he doesn’t tell us is that most of them are working more hours for less money finding it increasingly hard to survive. Budget cuts to the NHS, which he is responsible for, are affecting already marginalised people to such an extent that suicide rates are rising so he is decreasing people’s life chances across the board.

Then the dirty Tory dares to take credit for ‘enabling those who love each other to get married, whatever their sexuality’, shitting all over the hard work the people put into this great achievement over decades (plus it is still hard for trans people to even get recognised by institutions, not to mention actually getting married).

Denying his own role

Cameron makes sure to distinguish the decision of the people very clearly from his own campaign for a Britain that’s better off in the EU. He tries to make us forget the horrendous Tory propaganda he has been responsible for, for at least the past six years. He makes us forget that it was him and his government that riled up everyone, from working class people to rich-as-fuck ‘liberals’, against immigration, against muslims, against Eastern Europeans and against the EU.

He tries to make us forget that it was his racist, ableist, classist and misogynist politics that sent the population into despair and made many feel powerless and hopeless. It is his politics that made people like Farage acceptable and even popular. And it is Cameron who is to blame for Brexit.

Playing the martyr

Cameron said: ‘The British people have voted to leave the European Union and their will must be respected’ and ‘The will of the British people is an instruction that must be delivered’ – all of a sudden he is playing the civil servant. A fine civil servant who is blaming the people for his resignation as their decision is so different from his ideology which is why ‘the country requires fresh leadership to take it in this direction’. Nice one, first he messes everything up and then he leaves it to even more conservative and right wing politicians to take it from here. And he is trying to sell this screw up as in the best interest for the people?

Some casual nationalism

‘Britain is a special country’ and ‘I love this country’ reproduce the imperialist narratives of Britain’s greatness and ability to conquer all no matter how hard times are. It feeds right into the ‘we can do it on our own if we stick together as a nation’ storyline that has recently been made popular again through romantic adaptations of the ‘Keep Calm and Carry on’ War time slogan, versions of which are decorating everything from pillows, to mugs and pet food bowls.

Cameron knows however, that the world has changed and Britain has changed so he scrupulously appropriates British diversity to advance a sense of nationalism by pretending that he too, like most of the British people, thinks the melting pot culture to be a good thing: ‘And while we are not perfect I do believe we can be a model for the multi-racial, multi-faith democracy’, he says, trying to make us forget that it was his government who put islamophobic and xenophobic anti-immigration laws into place and that under his government police brutality against people of colour has risen.

 

Zine Launch Event

by aga

We launched our zine at Strawberry Fair, a place where everyone in and around Cambridge comes together to celebrate life, solidarity and self-made things; the perfect place for us to launch our zine that is so DIY that even after printing 140 copies of each page we had to manually correct a few things  (a digital version of zine is coming up shortly for you to print and distribute).

We were honoured to share a marquee with Food Not Bombs Cambridge, who raised an incredible amount of food donations to make beautiful meals for the community very soon. We also had our brave animal soldiers nearby, the local Hunt Saboteurs, who have raised a generous amount of money and will soon be able to buy a vehicle. Both groups have women as key organisers. We are so proud to see the local activist scene to be carried so strongly on women’s shoulders! Of course the Fellaship Sanctuary’s Emily was also there and helped with her magic wherever she could. We owe a big thank you to all of them, as well as to everybody who helped put the zine together.

A lesson in dealing with ‘knowledge dumps’ and huggers

At the event, we, of course, expected a lot of backlash from the general population of carnists who hate vegans. Being at a liberal festival like that, we were also prepared to deal with carnist feminists who would feel offended by women who show that supporting anymals (Lisa Kemmerer defines anymals as those animals who are not human) is a feminist obligation. Thankfully we didn’t experience any of the expected hostility.

We did however, come across a bunch of people who love to dump knowledge on others – or rather they came across us. One person, upon reading our banner ‘women against oppression’ said to us: ‘I find your sign oppressive, it’s dividing genders and I live in a genderless world’. After explaining to the person that we would love to be in this beautiful place of a post-gender world, but unfortunately we face a lot of harassment and violence on an everyday basis, we made another ally.

Another man, walking by our tent, surrounded by two female-presenting people on each side, waved me over. The slight hand gesture he made was comparable to the demanding and condescending way waitresses get called over. I approached, smiling at him, whilst internally an alarm went off at 120 decibel. He demanded me to tell him under 1 minute (in other words: under his conditions) what anti-speciesism was. After giving him the speech, him and his enthusiastic company were all very fascinated and understanding. We had a short conversation between all of us until he thought of the most brilliant question to trip me up: ‘What about men’s rights?!’ Before I even caught a breath, two people in his company put him very firmly in his place, informing him that I am a woman, so I will do women’s rights, which seemed enough of a reason for him to not question my rationale for being part of this group any longer.

We also had allies explaining the shit out of our cause. They either had meter long lists of literature that we simply had to know about if we wanted to be considered knowledgable in our field, or they held lessons in politics. One proud ally, made very clear that he supported us and was vegan himself, as if prematurely justifying the slight hostility that came next. So after establishing that he is on our side, he started interrogating us on our political stance, asking whether we practice anarchism. Assuming we did, he asked, without giving us a second to respond to his previous question, what kind of anarchism it was that we supported. Again without leaving any space for us to speak he started mentioning all the branches of anarchism that would fit to us. Once we managed to interrupt him, we said: ‘We don’t want to be labelled. All we can say is that we reject kyriarchy as a whole, and with it  any form of masters, lords and patriarchs’. That ended the conversation. His kind of behaviour, of interrogating, opening up and looking into women (metaphorically and literally) is an age-old tactic of kyriarchy. It’s what feminist psychoanalyst and educator Luce Irigaray calls Specularisation. It aids in the process of objectification by opening up, identifying, labelling and hierarchically categorising the Other (in this case our group). The analogy to the speculum here is intended.

We also had an incident with a person whose alcohol intake caused them to stagger. They did manage however to come over to one of us demanding a hug. The Anti-Speciesists Woman affected by this behaviour reacted brilliantly, stretching out her arm in front of her, with the flat palm of her hand blocking the person’s body from approaching any further. She spoke firmly to him, saying he should not assume. ‘Don’t assume’ had to be said multiple times until the person backed off, eventually apologising, to which the woman offered them a hand shake, which they welcomed.

Except for these occasional instanced we managed to hand out 140 zines to interested people from all over the UK. We did go home happy and proud, concluding that it had been an amazing day, with lots of positive feedback. We do have proof of all the good vibes we exchanged in pictures, which you can find here.