Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Former anti-poverty campaigner repents of 'Politics of Envy'

It's what you've always wanted, even though you've never dreamt of it
Three months ago Janine Stonleigh was a committed political campaigner, having spent most of her adult life fighting for better services and greater support for poorer members of society. Today she hangs her head in shame at the role she was playing in the world. "I was deluding myself," she explains. "I thought that I was promoting a world in which resources are shared so that we all have a good quality of life. Now I realise that was just an unwitting pawn of the Politics of Envy."

Three months ago Janine Stoneleigh gave up campaiging for good. "I gave up the 'save our library campaign'," she says proudly, "I gave up the 'Keep granny warm' campaign to raise the winter fuel allowance. I gave up the 'Cook a meal for a single-parent-family' scheme I was participating in and promoting to give poorer kids a good start in life. I gave up the 'Free electric wheelchairs to free the disabled' campaign. I gave it all up."

 Janine finally saw the error of her ways when asked to take on one campaign too many. "Up until this point I was convinced I was just trying to help people," she explains. "I was sure that everyone would win from a more equal society. I even had the statistics to back it up. But what brought the whole house of cards down was someone asking me to help campaign for a 2% rise on the top two tax bands and an increase in capital gains tax above £500,000."

She suddenly saw all her 'anti-poverty' campaigns for what they were - a demand for handouts from the rich. "And I saw that it was just because we were all jealous. We wanted to be just like them. Oh I'd never actually thought it before, and no one I know from the old campaigns admits to it, but it's obvious isn't it? It's the Politics of Envy."

But it was worse than just wanting what the rich had. "I realised that if I carried on the way I was, we'd all end up bringing everyone down to the lowest level. Can you imagine it? We'd have city bankers living in council estates in Charlton. Yes, that's what would happen if we increased taxes on them. It's just not right. I can't believe I ever wanted that."

Within days of her Damascene conversion Janine had given up all her groups - all except the 'Save our local park' campaign that is. "It won't cost anything," she says. "It's already there. So that's fine. It's just anything that costs anything I can't get involved in. It's outrageous really, thinking that the we can 'set right' what the free market has decreed - just an excuse to try and get what we don't deserve. Yes, we all want our own castle but most of us don't want to work for it."

Without her campaigning Janine now has time to focus more on her job. "I'm actually working my way up the career ladder," she said. "My salary is already 10% higher than it was. It's not that I need more, but now I'm ambitious. I look at all those people above me earning more than me and I think 'I want that too'.

It seems that giving up the Politics of Envy has its benefits.


  1. Ha Ha Ha Ha Ha. So fake it's inept.

  2. I'm not sure that I like the logic that by wanting the expensive stuff she increased her income. Although buying a big house I'm sure drives some of the people I have met, it has always seemed to me that fear/insecurity about the possibly of something bad happening that drives people most. So, I might be earning X times what I need today, but what if I lose my job tomorrow and can't get another one?

  3. "My salary is already 10% higher than it was. It's not that I need more, but now I'm ambitious. I look at all those people above me earning more than me and I think 'I want that too'."

    And since she earns more she will of course spend more on goods and services (strengthening the economy), and pay more taxes (helping shrink the deficit).

    How can we forgive her for being so selfish?

  4. nice topic thank you and thumb up !