Thursday, 21 May 2015

The M-Word: Mensch...

My view of Louise Mensch’s action against young Abby

The episode where Louise Mensch has a go at the prime mover behind the brief “Milifandom” craze is now well-known. In my view this is symptomatic of the general Tory attitude to everyone who is not a senior member of the Tory establishment (Tory politicians, Tory journalists, the Tory City klepto-oligarchy and Tory busniessmen - and yes they are normally men). This attitude distils down to the feeling of entitlement to bully, harass and intimidate those they consider the ‘other’ or who they consider to be below them. This is the way Tories work, from Nicky Morgan’s threat to teachers in supposedly “coasting” schools - whatever that may mean (she conveniently doesn’t define ‘coasting’) to Theresa May’s attempts to silence the Police Federation while she sacks a whole load of their members. It is their MO; bully the opposition, use the power of big money, the panoptic power of the media and its ability to set the debate on the Tories’ terms to win without ever allowing a debate.

The thing about this bullying, is that it is so ubiquitous that it rarely becomes visible to everyone. In this sense Mensch has done everyone a big service, everyone except a spirited 17-year-old called Abby. This establishment bullying only becomes visible when it is directed, by an adult, at a child. And not only that, by an adult who has a great deal of power, an adult who writes for one of the largest-circulation Tory propaganda rags in the UK, and the most manipulative. Mensch is not merely an articluate adult who is very rich, she has access to an audience of millions. A power imbalance of immense proportions. 

This is the meat and drink of bullying, a power imbalance between bully and victim, this is the prerequisite of any bullying action. Like I say, when it is Morgan bullying teachers or May bullying coppers we don’t see it for what it is, but when Mensch has a go at a teenage girl it is revealed. As with the type of bullying everyone experiences in school, the workplace, the family, the local community or elsewhere not only does the bully have the power to repeatedly do things that harm the victim but the bully has the power to portray the victim as as the bully and herself as the victim.

Mensch’s excuse for bullying Abby is the suggestion that someone other than Abby was the originator of Milifandom. This is a red herring. It does not matter, it was Abby who was responsible for spreading the phenomenon. On Mensch’s part it was nothing more than a justification for bullying. 

However the issue that concerns me is how it makes it just that little bit less of a taboo for adults to bully children, or be seen to bully them. It presents a precedent which makes it easier for adults to bully kids online. We have already seen, how TERFs, MRAs, anti-‘censorship’ advocates and other unsavory individuals who abuse, doxx and harass people online behave. This is why I believe Mensch’s action is unforgiveable. She is a prominent celeb who can easily whip up hatred of a relatively powerless young girl, not only that but while Mensch can influence the opinions of people around Abby, Abby cannot do the same to Mensch.

The Tory power-klepto establishment is a multilayered, complex, ruthless machine for the repression of those who are powerless and who might present a threat to their interests. It is at its most visible when the likes of Mensch exercise its power in a more vindictive and fanatical way than usual. Her vindictiveness and fanaticism has exposed it in all its cruelty and visciousness. In doing so either she will have produced a backlash against adults bullying teenagers in the way she did or will have made that sort of intimidation more acceptable, at least online. I fear, given the current trajectory of British culture, the latter will be the case.

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