Below the line with Thaumaturge and the Guardian’s continuing love affair with the Untrusteds

Only three weeks into the Guardian’s new feature showcasing  “notable personalities in the Guardian’s commenting community” and  it’s real scraping the barrel time.

Thaumaturge is an IT worker living with a large dog in a small one pub village in Yorkshire, from where she also posts the inconsequential and the irrelevant. Her particular specialism is contempt for the working class, which is somewhat surprising given her high ranking status at that hot bed of Marxism, Anarchism and  armchair terrorism, The Untrusted, of which she also claims ownership on her Guardian profile.  I always thought it was MontanaWildhack’s site, but then what’s a little poetic licence between friends.

Shortly after he became Prime Minister, Gordon Brown sacked one of his ministers, Caroline Flint and Anne Perkins wrote a piece for CiF about Brown’s misogyny –  Beyond Malvolio. 

Here is Thaumaturge showing her contempt for British workers,  in a post courtesy of Bitethehand

“And given the celebrity culture in which we are immersed (yes, the one that seeks to objectify women), I’m not really worried about the employment prospects of workers in the fashion industry.”

Which is not a very comradely thing to say and something I’d have expected more from the likes of Moveanymountain, or even Mr PB – or was he before your time?   (MrPikeBishop, one time right wing  poster on CiF)

So here’s what I posted to try to get you on the right path, – you know that one where solidarity is supposed to overcome personal feelings and where women’s rights are more important than pathetic dead end, knock your head against the wall class struggle. With the first you actually achieve a great deal – well in my life you do, whereas the latter just gives you a headache.

‘OK let’s start off with those whose standard of living and quality of life is determined by the fashion industry:

‘The clothing industry is particularly important in terms of its widespread location and its high female employment – 70% of its employees are women. It also makes a significant contribution to ethnic minority and inner city employment.

‘And the standing of British designers in the rest of the world:

‘UK designers sell £750m of clothing at manufacturers prices, of which almost two-thirds is exported. The US, Japan and the major European markets tend to be the main focus in terms of export activity.

And the impact on the economy:

‘In 2005, the British clothing industry produced more than £4 billion worth of goods and employed over 85,000 people. If the textile industry is added, the combined sectors produce over £9 billion worth of goods at manufacturers prices and employ more than 165,000 people. Overseas sales of the apparel and textile industry combined are worth £5.8 billion at manufacturers prices.

At retail level, spending on clothing accounts for 5% of expenditure on all consumer items. In 2005 over £21 billion was spent on womenswear just under £10 billion on menswear and over £6.7 billion on childrenswear.

‘The retail value of orders generated at London Fashion Week each season are estimated to be in the region of £40 million.

‘It is estimated that London Fashion Week generates over £100 million per annum for the London economy. Worldwide media coverage of London Fashion Week is worth over £50m per season. Overall event sponsorship for London Fashion Week has increased threefold in the last 7 years.

‘London Fashion Week has grown from 15 shows/presentations and 50 exhibitors in 1994 to 49 catwalk shows over 6 days and 200 designers in the exhibition in February 2007.

‘Over 5,000 visitors attended the most recent London Fashion Week in February 2007 including buyers, TV & radio crews, journalists and photographers.’

And all this because you were quite prepared to sell out the working class for a cheap snipe at Caroline Flint. So now you’ve won hands down and you’ve got that nice Mr Cameron instead.

And what response did we get from Thaumaturge – even more contempt for British workers:

bitethehand – yes, precisely. That is why I’m not worried about their employment prospects.

Oh yes, and a good proportion of the 70% female employment in ‘widespread locations’ would be women slaving away for pittances in third-world sweatshops. But that’s OK if Caroline wants to model the clothes they’ve (perhaps) made.

Women slaving away?

Well here’s one of the UK’s major fashion clothing enterprises, the Arcadia Group:

“This year we have set more exacting standards within our ethical audits of suppliers’ factories. To support that work, our Code of Conduct Guidebook is set to be translated into more languages and made available online.

“This year key suppliers producing in the UK and China were issued with copies in English and/or Chinese. This will be circulated to more suppliers in the coming year and, following positive feedback, we have decided to have the Guidebook translated into Hindi. As these different language versions are developed we will offer them for download via our supplier online resources centre.”

Arcadia currently employ over 45,000 people, about whom Thaumaturge is “not really worried.”

I really wish the Guardian would do a little research into the morality of those it chooses to feature in it’s quest for new readers.

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