A reality check for SPA victim Waspis

mesnip18716Think of this as a PS to the last three days spent at The Slog. Establishing the human, economic and fiscal realities of appalling Government Establishment behaviour towards its more vulnerable citizens is not enough.

This time of year is a busy period down here. Herbs, fruit bushes and productive nut trees have to be watered, ripe fruit collected and frozen, hedges hacked back before they take over, new tree-saplings protected from the more anti-social activities of deer, and a dozen other pottering garden activities. 1.3 hectares is a lot of garden.

As a result of this, I didn’t have time to ‘market’ (that is, promote) this morning’s Slogpost about the broader context in which Waspi exists….that is, as one of thousands of deserving causes and at least eight examples of cynical Ministers picking off the vulnerable in order to make them pay for past mistakes made by the Whiteminster amateurs.

Promoting a piece means mailing MPs and hacks, writing at least 50 tweets to involved parties and posting on facebook…while answering a combination of email, facebook and twitter messages about links or sources. Then monitoring the Slog’s comment thread while answering genuine points made about specific posts.

So I thought tonight it would be constructive to offer – with zero intended condescension – the benefit of my 35 years spent in the communications business.

At the outset, it’s important to get across one simple fact: the awareness of the SPA reform scandal in general and the Waspi campaign is particular is tiny.

The reason for this is the same one that spells out the hypocrisy of the politico-bureaucrat class when it says to Waspi women “We told you this was coming”: it takes a lot of savvy, excellent contacts plus a shedload of favours, time and money to establish one’s existence as an issue. Add to this the agenda of a media set largely owned by those who would rather ignore your existence, and you get at least a basic grasp of the size of problem faced by any victimised minority group.

Waspi members and others facing destitution due to pension ‘reform’ have spent most of the time since their establishment being led by well meaning but utterly naive (and on occasions, neo-fascist) leaders. This situation has now been exacerbated by the at times risibly controlling and self-obsessed behaviour of their inner sanctum. At times, quite frankly, the inner Executive has been little different to Nazi fanatics like Goebbels and Bormann convincing Hitler in his final Bunker that rescue is at hand; others – it seems to me – have been quick to suggest capitulation as if they might be so many soldiers of Mussolini in 1943.

I don’t apologise for the age of those analogies, because I’m heading towards 70 and they still mean a lot to the generation you represent. I merely present to you these stats from my own social media sites over the last few days –

Monday post actively promoted: 2334 Slog hits, over 1,500 Twitter retweets and 1,067 Facebook shares.

Tuesday post unpromoted: 518 Slog hits, 34 Twitter retweets and 14 Facebook shares.

That, ladies, is reality.

Only three things really count on social media:

  1. Capturing the attention of high-follower individuals and getting them to comment and/or RT.
  2. Capturing the drama of the issue with new information that taps into a genuinely dormant but strongly held opinion
  3. Cooperating with other similarly victimised crowds.

Or put even more simply, fame, news and sheer weight of numbers.

On an average day, The Slog gets around 8,500 visits.

On the Chad Evans rape issue – the bloke is an arsehole, but he didn’t rape anyone – the Slogpost about it got over 546,000 hits in one day, and has been viewed overall since January 2015 by 960,000 people.

Reasonable people – male and female – in Britain feel very strongly that false accusations about rape and paedophilia are being routinely made by zealots and conniving tabloid owners.

Very few Brits feel strongly about SPA reform victims. 9 out of 10 of them don’t have the faintest idea what Waspi stands for, or the specific issue it’s trying to raise.

Stalls, anthems, action days and demos are good things to do, and those who organise them deserve our support.

But these are the elements that get media attention in 2016:

Chaos + Political threat + Police intervention + Inventive interface + jail sentences

I don’t approve of that: I merely record it as a fact.

And I am not encouraging violence. I am, however, suggesting that titillating the media through acute embarrassment of the Establishment must now be the weapon of choice if you want justice.

Theresa May is a privileged Oxbridge graduate who has made an overt statement on coming to power: she has further downgraded the Waspi cause to being a minor irritation beyond the attention of the Cabinet. She has delegated the ‘management’ of it to a Rookie who’s barely started shaving.

Ladies, you need to:

  • Coordinate local activities into national news events
  • Reach out to other bullied minorities in order to create a solid front of Opposition
  • Make a bloody nuisance of yourselves until the élite wakes up.

Good evening, and good luck.

In order to better understand the background to this post, please visit an earlier one here:

The broader consequences of pauperisation