£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?
The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.
If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
- owned a home
- bought a new car every two years
- didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
- were in the pub three nights a week
Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
- a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
- a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
- a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
- Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.
Anybody know any politicians?
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Call Peter Dutton's office on (02) 6277 7860 to say you're concerned and to ask that Mojgan be allowed to stay in Australia with her husband.
We were overseas for six weeks, so I'm sure I missed a ton of stuff, but it was great to come home to some good news: the largest compensation payment in Australia's history, totalling over $90 million ($70 million plus $20 million in court costs), has been awarded to the men subjected to false imprisonment, neglect, violence, and torture, in our detention centre on Manus Island.
Commonwealth agrees to pay Manus Island detainees $70m in class action settlement (ABC, 14 June 2017)
Manus Island: Why asylum seekers sued the Commonwealth (ABC, 21 June 2017)
Despite what Peter Dutton says, the Manus Island payout is momentous (SMH, 14 June 2017). "Immigration Minister Peter Dutton can assert there is no admission of liability, but you don't agree to a payout of more than $90 million if you are confident you can defend your position in open court." Perhaps the Immigration Minister calls the settlement a "prudent outcome for the Australian taxpayer" because of how much more the government would have had to pay - on top of already wasting billions in taxpayer funds on detention - if all the details had been heard in open court.
It's not all good news. The government settled out of court to avoid a finding on the legality of offshore detention. And, of course, the men are still bloody there. Safety more important than settlement - Manus detainee Behrouz Boochani (RNZ, 15 June 2017). ""We came to Australia legally seeking protection under international laws but were exiled by force to this island and imprisoned for four years. This compensation is not enough to cover all of the crimes that the government has committed against us. It is important that the government is condemned."
Also good to hear: Coptic Christians who were refused refugee status in Australia will have their claims for protection reconsidered (GA, 1 June 2017)
More from Manus Island:
Revealed: year-long campaign to make conditions harsher for Manus refugees (GA, 17 May 2017). "Documents show how the Australian government sought to drive refugees and asylum seekers from its detention centre in Papua New Guinea."
Self-harm, suicide and assaults: brutality on Manus revealed (GA, 18 May 2017). "Secret papers show 16 self-harm and suicide attempts in one week at Australia’s offshore detention centre."
Four birthdays in Manus Prison (Honi Soit, 14 June 2017) Rohingya refugee Imran Mohammad describes how has so far survived the nightmarish conditions.
Scale of surveillance in Manus Island detention centre laid bare (GA, 19 May 2017). "But while everything inside detention is scrutinised, of perhaps even greater concern is an all-pervasive fear over outside eyes looking in. Prime among the Australian camp manager’s concerns about the Manus immigration detention centre is the risk of 'reputational damage'."
Manus Island shooting left nine injured, immigration department admits (GA, 22 May 2017)
| Australian government downplayed risk of shots fired on Manus Island, analysis shows (GA, 15 May 2107)
US to notify Manus Island detainees about their fate within six weeks (SMH, 16 June 2017) | Australian refugee deal with US costs Turnbull government additional $22m (GA, 3 May 2017)
Refugee Trial Begins (Papua New Guinea Post-Courier, 19 June 2017). Loghman Sawari, who fled Manus Island to Fiji to seek asylum, has pled not guilty to charges of falsely representing himself obtaining a fraudulent passport.
Catching up on old bookmarks:
Detention centre interpreters need more training for 'hazardous' work – report (GA, 17 April 2017). I'll have to try to find out if this situation has changed: the training and support given others working under stressful and dangerous conditions in Australia's offshore detention centres was not being offered to translators, who were treated like "outsiders", resulting in a high turnover of these highly skilled staff.
Hey guys, I’ve got a quick-turnaround website to protest the AHCA – but while I’ve written the words and done the research, my web design looks like 2003 hot garbage.
If someone out there can commit to a professional, bare-bones web design to help me get out a three-page website this week, please email me at email@example.com stat, along with a page or two that you’ve designed so I can verify you’re better than I am. (It’s not hard, trust me.) And I’ll happily share details if you’re a professional who knows design and/or political protest and wanna email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, because, well, it’s a last-ditch shot in the dark against the AHCA before it passes next week.
If you’re feeling volunteery, please email. Thanks.
Cross-posted from Ferrett's Real Blog.
I like Vince, as a person. I like his stance on bees. I like his dancing.
None of those three things makes him suitable to be leader of the party, though. I mean, yes, he's got long service. And he did that one joke when he was acting leader that one time. But I'd really like something more than that to enthuse about in a potential leader.
Plus, there's all the things that make him unsuitable to be leader:
- He's not a liberal, he's a technocratic centrist. This is fine if you are (shadow) chancellor; commendable, even. It's not acceptable in the leader. The leader needs to inspire. Technocratic centrism is the opposite of inspirational.
- His stance on brexit is... at odds with the majority of the party's members and voters is probably the kindest way of putting it, and is already bringing out the "but we must appease the racists! We can't tell people they are wrong!" faction. If he wins, and maintains this stance, I predict a halving of our membership in pretty short order.
- Tuition fees. OK, so he's not entirely to blame for the policy cock up (all those of us who voted for coalition, myself included, must take out share of that blame) but he is the person responsible for the catastrophic mishandling of the implementation and representation of it, and a big part of the reason Labour, why a party which introduced and then trebled tuition fees, can still point at them like an albatross round our necks.
- The British Press, bless them, are not known for their nuance and balance. His name will be "Sir Vince Cable, the man who privatised the mail" - whether he wins the leadership or not, tbh.
- Ten years ago he declared that by his own reckoning, he was too old. I do not believe he has got younger in that time.
So far, to my knowledge, the field looks like this:
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable
If anyone else declares that they are definitely standing I shall go into my reasons further, but based on Ds&Ps, and subject to persuasion at hustings, I expect my ballot to look like this:
- resigning from the party
Morning RGL crew!
This week's (slightly belated) update sees the Curzon Aldgate cinema, opened this year, as our featured article. Currently at the Curzon Aldgate, humans are at war with the Transformers, and Optimus Prime has vanished. It's up to the unlikely alliance of Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins and Laura Haddock to save the day via a series of expensive-looking explosions.
There's a new article for Long Shot Coffee in Whitechapel, serving coffee, tea, soup and sandwiches. Tito's Peruvian restaurant in London Bridge has had an update after a visit (featuring an insufficient quantity of prawns), as has Le Raj in Epsom (which does a decent veg biryani). The latter also has air-conditioning, so I'm sorely tempted to go there this very instant.
AGE: 25, can't wait to be whatever the male equivalent of a Christmas Cake is next year!
INTERESTS & HOBBIES: Animals, anime, art, computers/electronics, food, foreign languages and the cultures associated with them (spanish especially), goth garbage, halloween, LGBTQ stuff, monsters, movies and tv shows, music, roleplay, shiba inu puppers (I own one!), video games, writing... Wow, I'm so unique!!!
LOOKING FOR: I suppose I'm just looking for people who share common interests with me at the moment. I've linked my profiles for MyAnimeList, etc., above if anybody wants more specific details on my fandoms of choice. My main fandoms are Aikatsu!, Pokemon, and Yu-Gi-Oh! though. I'm not into live action stuff as much as I am with cartoons and I'm not big into popular live action canons either, so no SPN or MCU for me.
ANYTHING ELSE?: I'd like to think of myself as an open-minded guy, although I don't take other people's bullshit easily. I deal with fibromyalgia, mental illness, insomnia, crippling perfectionism, gender dysphoria, and my body generally being a giant unwanted mess, and I'm trying to live life as drama-free as I can while crossing my fingers that I can get my brain transplanted into a new body and mysteriously find a million dollars in my bank account. Puns, sarcasm, and self-deprecation are my bread and butter for lifting my spirits. Icon related.
I really shouldn’t be posting when I’m hypomanic, but I can’t be the only 미친 여자 out there who has had an episode triggered by a Kpop song. I once turned up at a doctor’s appointment exploding out of my skin after listening to FT Island’s Hit The Sands on the bus. This afternoon it was VIXX and Hyde. I was abruptly so absurdly high that I had a little trouble functioning in the supermarket.
I’ll be OK: this is just the cumulative effect of jetlag, anxiety, PMS, and, above all disrupted sleep. But I realised there was another factor at work as well - which inevitably led to an explosion of thoughts, which I’ll try to get down here.
Now, VIXX’s MVs are sometimes at odds with the lyrics of their songs. For example, the six-voiced protagonist of 저주인형 (VOODOO DOLL) threatens his ex’s faithless lovers - “Open the doors of hell / sinners who made her cry / (you will) cry tears of blood”, but the band themselves portray those sinners. In Hyde, the narrator (once again a single character shared between six bodies and voices) puts up a tormented struggle, verbally and physically, against his own aggression - but at the end, those big, black wings come bursting out, and he displays them without shame to the faceless girl, who holds him, wings and all, in her heart.
It’s tempting to smile or even laugh at the melodrama of it all, but adolescent feelings are real and overwhelming, and what’s more, teenage boys are surely both the most alluring and the most dangerous - literally - things in the lives of most heterosexual teenage girls. Songs and MVs like this (and fan fiction, too) must be a place where young women can safely work through some of their complicated feelings about young men.
More importantly, they may be a place where girls can work through their own negative feelings, especially feelings of aggression, which we are taught to swallow, not show. The boyfriend of VOODOO DOLL is willing to endure his lover’s anger, without ending the relationship: “Sing the curse song of / tell me the fury hidden inside you / my body is an offering to you / I’ll devote myself to your happiness” (and the one in Chained Up (사슬) is willing to be the recipient of dark sexual fantasies). The protagonist of Hyde protests over and over that he is not a bad person, but ultimately he admits and owns the “other person inside me who is not me” (as we see in LR’s Beautiful Liar, he can control :), and that person is accepted and loved.
You can be a bad person, and survive! Even a kimchi-molesting pervert like me. XD No wonder my mood jumped through the ceiling in the space of three minutes and twenty-one seconds.To conclude, I wanted to mention the line in Hyde I was thinking about the other day. It’s this: 겁을 먹어버린 그 눈빛 이러지마. You’ll see it translated around the Web as “Don’t give me those scared eyes”, but (disclaimer: my Korean sucks) the adjective 먹어버린 is “eaten completely”, so it might be better rendered “Don’t give me that fear-devoured glance”. Wow!
Hobbies: Love to make icons. Loves to do photography & draw & creating. I smoke cigarettes & drink coffee & read seldom. Big huge fan of people who make icons. Huge fan of creators, writers of mystery, writers of real life, every-day posting, huge fan of people who love art, who do photography, painters, book readers, intelligence; i am an open-minded girl who would like the same similar in interests!
Music: People who love rock & roll. I love hard rock music, like Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Battling Delirium, Goblin Cock, reverse music & hard rock songs heard on the radio of classic rock, like Jimi Hendrix & ZZtop.
Preferences: It doesn't matter if you're male or female, I don't mind having a few males on my friends page! That'd be pretty awesome. Just comment to be added on my blog, or comment below so that I know you want to be friends! Thank you, & have a lovely week.
I'm looking for equally geeky people above 25.
2. Write all the responses your brain coughs out into a file and leave it on the desktop - don't post it until you'll fully digested it. Responding provides some relief, but it also triggers the next round of shit.
3. Monitoring further responses is a powerful compulsion, but it's a mistake. Just respond gracefully to any legitimate anger in the original blowup - make it a one-on-one between you and the original offendee, not a one-on-many with the mob.
Seems like a good opportunity to re-post some links from lj:
Fear, self-censorship, and facing into it: "I found myself being vilified by total strangers based on other people's interpretations of a few words of mine in a blog post. I found myself being held up as an example of ignorant, arrogant white privilege. I found a lot of things being said about me that were flatly untrue, grossly misinterpreted, or simply assumptions based on my skin color and gender as portrayed in my blog's icons — in that last case, flatly stated as such."
Internet. It’s Time To Talk. "Bullies use the tools and the language of social justice to do their work. They literally weaponise the very tools we have fought so very hard to create and work with. And they rely on this to maintain the culture of silence."
And my own notes, from books about bullying, etc:
* Don't kid yourself. Nothing will stop the abuse, not apologies, explanations, promises, self-degradation, or suicide. Which tells you that it's nothing to do with you or your actions. Eventually they will move on to their next target.
The chief reaction was one of horror at the implication that I was sexually aroused by eating Korean food, but there was also much hilarity over the phrase "pleasant erotic frisson", as is the Internet's wont. (I suspect a majority of memes begin as the mocking echoes of the dogpile.)
One reason I suspect hypomania is that the posting is so terse: the last sentence shows I'm concerned about the implications, but not enough to slow down and think or talk them through. I just sort of throw my undeveloped thoughts out onto the net, where they sit, ticking like a time bomb. The other reason is the lurching between registers. I open with the onlinespeak of "ngl" ("not gonna lie"), but then I'm into that tongue-in-cheek, slightly old-fashioned style - some of those phrases would not look too out of place in Punch magazine, a Clive James TV review, or Douglas Adams. (At least I didn't go for Molesworth.) Plus there's a dose of earnest Internet social justice self-consciousness - "I'm all too aware", "all I can do is try to catch myself".
There's no reason that American teenagers would recognise that dry British humour*, and tongue-in-cheekness is very difficult to convey over the net, although one reader did wonder if I was being "sarcastic". In fact, this confused mix-and-match style has got me into trouble more than once online, not helped by the tendency when I'm up to include references without footnoting them (after all, they make perfect sense to meee). (Good grief, even the use of "Unpleasantness" in the first sentence of this posting is an unfootnoted reference - it's an expression I picked up from Michael Green's 1964 book Coarse Acting, along with the infinitely useful phrase "All is ease and comfort.")
I suppose the only cure for it is self-awareness, ie, not posting when I know I'm having an episode, or at least going back and doing some rewriting when I've come down. But that's obvious; what's interesting to me is the way that language works - in fact, there's a link between these clashing registers - informal/formal/humorous/earnest - and the wordplay around hierarchy and politeness levels which I mentioned in my previous posting.
* All right, I admit it. The girls going "hurr hurr hurr, you said erotic frisson" sound like fucking idiots.