The Sting in the Tail Column from the October 1989 issue of the Socialist Standard
The Perfect Worker
That the owning class have a very poor opinion of the working class was perfectly illustrated in a recent report in The Guardian. It informed us that Professor Eysenck, emeritus professor at the Institute of Psychiatry in London and Professor Charles Spielberger, president-elect of the American Psychological Association are the research directors of a creepy outfit that calls itself by the horror-name of Psycorp.
A psychological testing service aimed at providing companies with "clones" of their most successful employees was launched today . . . the company aims to pre-select the personality types most likely to succeed in jobs ranging from airline pilots to cab drivers . . . Using the Eysenck personality profile the aim is to come up with the "perfect" employee for a particular job.
Ignoring the professors' claims, let us look at what the owning class REALLY want from the working class. Here is the profile of the perfect worker.
Someone who leaves school at 16 years of age, works for 50 years, never complains about working conditions or wages; and on the first day he goes to claim his old age pension drops dead at the post office counter.
Obedience, diligence and lots of surplus value. Now that's perfection, Professor!
Breakfast With Jehovah
John Stalker, the former Assistant Chief Constable has many interesting things to say about his former boss James Anderton, Chief Constable of Greater Manchester in his book "Stalker".
"He was aglow with excitement, like a child who was anticipating a party. He said that at breakfast that morning (11.12.86) he had been moved by the Spirit of God to speak out at the conference against modern morality, which he felt had resulted in the scourge of AIDS. I asked him how the message had manifested itself and he answered me in an almost detached manner. He said that he could describe it best by asking me to imagine an invisible finger writing out for him on the breakfast table what the Lord wished to say." (Page 228).
We learn later (Page 242) that despite this divine assistance . . . "the 1985 crime figures for Greater Manchester had shown a big increase in the crime rate and a fall in the detection rate . . . "
It appears that the invisible finger had failed to write out between Anderson's orange juice and Rice Krispies anything that would assist him with the crime figures. Truly the ways of the Lord are mysterious . . . and none too helpful.
Economics of Prejudice
A nasty development in northern Italy is the rise of the Lombardy League.
This outfit, which gained 635,000 votes and 2 MEPs at the recent European elections, wants to exclude a lot of people from Lombardy because, they claim, these people breed too much, figure prominently in crime statistics and are forever looking for government handouts.
Just another bunch of racists raving about black immigrants? No, their target is their southern Italian countrymen and women. Indeed, one of the League's MEPs stated-
I have nothing against the blacks and, in fact, I prefer them to souther Italians". (The Guardian 16 August)
The League's real complaint is that industrialised Lombardy pays more tax to central government than all the southern regions combined and that much of this tax goes to the underdeveloped south.
So whether it is gentile against jew, protestant against catholic, white against black or even white against white, what it boils down to is the economic rivalry spawned by capitalism.
Here's another "socialist" party which has ditched its defence policy in order to catch votes.
This is the Socialist Party of Japan, an out and out reformist bunch. Until now they had adopted the strange idea that the world's second greatest economic power could be "unarmed and neutral", and its manifesto called for the abolition of the United States-Japan Security Treaty and the disbanding of Japan's armed forces.
That was until the last elections to Japan's Upper House of parliament when the SPJ made big gains. Now that it smells a share of power it is ready to maintain the treaty.
Takako Doi, the party's chairwoman, explained:
"The Socialist Party should take the road to gradual but sold reform which could be accepted not only by the Japanese people but by the world community." (Daily Telegraph 22 August)
Such cynical expediency should convince both Japanese and US capitalism that they have nothing to fear from these "socialists".
On the 6th September The Guardian devoted a full page to such matters as society, the state and the class structure in Britain and how it had changed in the last 10 years.
It was the usual mixture of confusion and journalistic nonsense, but one piece under the heading "Class and Power" by Seamus Milne recorded how politicians view the class structure.
Outsiders have traditionally regarded Britain as one of the most class-divided societies in Europe. But Neil Kinnock denies the existence of the working class, David Owen says that 90 per cent of us are middle class. And Mrs. Thatcher once asked "Aren't I working class? I work jolly hard, I can tell you."
Leaving aside Owen's crass stupidity, and the bizarre image of Thatcher as a member of the proletariat, the effrontery of Kinnock is truly staggering. Who does he imagine produced the food he eats, built the house he lives in or made the clothes he wears?
While the Welsh Windbag produces nothing but hot air and empty rhetoric, it is the working class that produce all the useful things in society . . . and some of the useless things, like silly articles in The Guardian.