Matilda Carter

previously a Perspectives editor and writer
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Matilda Carter edited the Perspectives section from 2014 to early 2016 and enjoys ruffling feathers and playing Pokémon.

Articles:

(23.12.16) – How the Left Created Donald Trump

There’s something darkly comical about Michael Sheen’s intention to abandon acting in favour of defeating the far right. An esteemed actor, deeply immersed in the world of theatre and art, jetting off to Port Talbot to tell working class Welsh people, caught up in a wave of revolt against the ‘metropolitan liberal elite’, what to do. It couldn’t be any more counter-productive if the embodiment of this elitism, Tony Blair himself, had made the journey — although I suppose someone who has played him is good enough.

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(12.02.16) – Let’s Talk About Representation

‘This week Bernie Sanders made his full transformation from democratic figleaf for Hillary Clinton’s inevitable candidacy to serious contender, if still the underdog. In a mirroring of Jeremy Corbyn’s rise to the Labour leadership, Sanders has swept away the idea of socialism as a dirty word amongst the party faithful and has exposed the lack of ideas and vision from the compromising, centrist party leadership. Much like Corbyn’s rise to power, however, it is notable that millenials have voted in their droves for an old white man to be their saviour.

So far Clinton has refrained from playing the gender card, though many of her supporters have failed to, but this defeat in New Hampshire will open the floodgates. Clinton was always supposed to be the first female President in the minds of the Democratic leadership and they are going to do all they can to remind Bernie’s supporters of the opportunity they will lose over the coming months.’

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(29.01.16) – If Milo Yiannopoulos Really Wanted to Help Men, His ‘Privilege Grant’ Would Send Them To Therapy, Not University

Try as I might, I can’t seem to ignore Milo. I know his type — I see them a lot in my line of work. The spoilt little boy who thinks he’s so clever, desperate to be noticed for all the dirty words he knows or the time he said “or what?” to a teacher. Milo seems to fancy himself an anti-authoritarian, but this is only true in the sense of a child screaming at his parents for only giving him one pack of sweets.

Once again, the perpetual adolescent has entered my inner sanctum with his ‘Privilege Grant’, a university fund only available to white men which Milo probably thinks is a Swiftian satire of social justice rhetoric. You know when people ask you to do something and you answer with no, shortly before doing what they asked? This joke works on about that level. Ah, you actually thought I was doing something to combat male privilege, but I’m arguing that MEN are the oppressed ones. Yeah, that’s the opposite of what you think, isn’t it? That must rile you up.

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(15.01.16) – Our Movement to End the Mental Health Stigma Must Be Pro Med

The buzzword in politics at the moment, or at least one of them, seems to be mental health. Mental health must be treated as just as important as physical health, say the Lib Dems, we are all victims of mental health problems say Labour and the stigma of mental health must be removed say the Conservatives. It is welcome that, this week, the Conservative government have pledged to increase funding for mental health services, even though the combined effect of government measures over the last six years on people with mental health issues is somewhat less than perfect. Terrible even.

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(1.01.16) – In 2016, We Need Better Heroes

I’ve been hearing a lot in the last few weeks about how 2015 was the year that trans gained mainstream acceptance and that this development was all thanks to Caitlyn Jenner, Laverne Cox and that Amazon show that fails to understand the trans experience in any way. No matter who I speak to, I am told that I must hero worship Jenner and Cox for creating a world in which I can walk down the street with a slightly lower chance of being violently attacked, but I’m not going to fake enthusiasm to people I don’t like any more, because this year I will be demanding a better standard of hero.

Let’s ignore Jenner’s homophobia and support for the Republicans for a second. I’m even willing to ignore her belief that the hardest thing about being a woman is deciding what to wear. Pointing out that Caitlyn Jenner sucks is so 2015. In 2016, we must demand better heroes because we cannot leave a world where we are told we are not to be valued because of the journey towards our true genders, only to enter a world where we are only valued because of the journey towards our true genders.

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(4.12.15) – Trans is So In Right Now

The other day I was sat in an unfamiliar lounge flicking through social media on my phone

Every twenty minutes or so my pager bleeps and I jump up to action and attend to needs like cups of teas, changing incontinence pads and occasionally inspecting bypassing catheters
Social media is different at night, because people have gone to bed and my feeds are cavernous briefings of what my friends and influential figures think
During my intermittent work I find things I wouldn’t usually seek out as the banks of familiar information run dry
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(27.09.15) – If Negative Interest Rates are Set, Corbynomics Will Look Conservative in Comparison

‘When the right-wing press are not engaging in personal abuse and out of context smearing to discredit Labour’s new leader, they occasionally give their opinion on his policy. The most discussed by far is what has been, slightly unfairly, dubbed Corbynomics. The premise is simple: in recessionary times allow the Bank of England to print money to fund infrastructure projects essentially transferring money from the financial economy to the real economy. It may seem like a silly idea, but the Bank of England has engaged, since the financial crash, in a kind of Corbynomics by proxy: printing money to sure up bank balance sheets, making them more likely to lend and slowly, whilst transferring through several financial institutions, stimulate economic growth and liquidity. That’s called Quantitative Easing.’

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(30.08.15) – Blair and Brown Have Nothing To Say On Credibility

‘For a political analyst who swears by the idea that only parties on the centre-ground can win elections, Labour may just be about, to coin a phrase, to write the most-signed suicide note in history. Jeremy Corbyn, an opponent of the Blair-Brown “modernisation” project and staunch advocate of socialism, is the frontrunner to become the party’s new leader, with odds that started as 100/1 becoming so short that Paddy Power has already paid out bets made in his favour over three weeks from the announcement of the result.’

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(9.08.15) – A Socialist Labour Party Could Win The Next Election, But They’ll Need To Learn From Margaret Thatcher

‘Left-leaning politicians and political commentators tend to only invoke the name of our first woman to be Prime Minister in two ways: with the deafening thunderclap of pure evil or with a conciliatory tone; expressing the validity of many of her arguments. If the left truly want to be in a position to change the country for the better though, we need to begin thinking about Thatcher not just as a towering, transformative ideological figure, but also as an astonishingly talented political strategist.’

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(5.07.15) – I am a Trans Woman, I Do Not Have a Gender Identity

‘I fit under the trans banner, in fact have frequently used the word transgender to describe myself. That’s important to take account of, because without it what I’m about to say may get a little confusing. In many ways I adhere to a slightly older feminist tradition than many people of my age today, in that I don’t just consider gender a social construct, but an oppressive system of rules and regulations about how we all must behave. To this end, when I talk about gender, I use the terms male, female and intersex to refer to the real, actual, immutable categories of human being that exist in terms of biological sex and man, woman and non-binary to refer to socially constructed notions of what those physical, real categories of human being mean. As a trans person, it might seem strange that I believe gender to be both socially constructed and harmful, but that’s because I do not trace my experience or identity from gender, but from biological sex.’

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(28.06.15) – We Need More Than Marriage

‘Over the last couple of days, two important moments that demonstrate the state of play for LGBT+ rights in the United States occurred. The first and, I would argue most important, was the silencing of Jennicet Gutiérrez by Barack Obama whilst trying to draw attention to the treatment of undocumented trans women in immigration detention centres under his administration. The second was the Supreme Court’s decision to name marriage as a constitutional right, regardless of sexuality. Both were, self-evidently, shared ferociously over social media sites yet, whilst there seemed to be a general consensus that the second was a good thing, the first sparked vicious arguments and finger pointing within the LGBT+ movement. Why? Because for many trans women, including this writer, the first was an all too familiar story of being told to stand in line and not show the movement up.’

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(19.06.15) – Countryside Socialism

‘Before I came to Norwich as a student and became properly involved in party politics, I grew up in Arundel & South Downs: one of the safest Tory majorities in the country. It might have been tempting to have painted my left wing politics as the product of rebelliousness or a rejection of the suffocatingly middle-class surroundings I grew up in, but the reality is something very different. My left wing views are not a rejection of a stale, middle-class, conservative environment, but a product of a very different kind of English socialism that was in abundance where I grew up. It is this countryside socialism which the Green party must tap into if the left are ever to win in Britain again.’

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(20.01.15) – On Splitting The Left

‘Over the Christmas period, I had the unusual experience of being asked to speak with the Burgess Hill Labour Party about why I don’t believe a Green vote splits the left. With the rising profile of the Greens due to controversy of their proposed exclusion from the upcoming leaders’ debates and Sadiq Khan’s appointment to deal with the ‘threat’ post to Labour by the Green Party, it seemed a germaine subject, but it was quite a difficult sell. Burgess Hill Labour party is a branch of Labour that behaves as if Tony Blair never happened and I am all the more sympathetic towards them for it, but when I hear members of the radical left talk about fighting their corner within the Labour party, I begin to despair at the state of political discourse in this country.’

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(02.12.14) – Work in a Post Scarcity World

‘Unemployment in this country, as well as in most of the Western world, is the buzzword on people’s lips. Our generation is constantly demonised as lazy, feckless and unable to face the harsh realities of adult life. We lack the work ethic of those before us, or so people say, and our entire country is doomed to economic failure because of it. Many of us choose to live off of minimum wage jobs and pursue other interests; there are even some people, though few in number, who choose to live off of welfare. Why? Well the right wing press would tell you it’s because our parents did a bad job of raising us. I would argue that it’s because we’re undergoing a fundamental shift in our way of life, and we’re still wedded to old, outdated ideas.’

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(17.11.14) – Transgender Awareness Week

‘Transgender Awareness Week has fallen in an awkward period this year, so technically started last Friday (14/11/14), but between Monday and Thursday this week there will be events at UEA to mark this important, but often overlooked date in the LGBT+ calendar. Though I have some doubts about the efficacy of awareness campaigns that involve no real action, it is, at the very least, important that trans students at UEA will be able, if they so choose, to be centre stage for the week ahead.’

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(09.11.14) – Can Business be Radical?

‘Business seems to be the very opposite of a radical political strategy. Businesses are, after all, the primary unit of the way capitalists view the world and are, by virtue of their definition, intrinsically linked into the capitalist system. When left-wing radicals talk about how goods and services would be distributed in a post-capitalist world, they focus on need rather than profit, and social good rather than endless innovation. In the long-term, businesses as we know them are terrible for our livelihoods, our understanding of each other as people and for the majority of the human race. However, given the distinction between short-term and long-term strategies I laid out in my last article, the question remains: can business be part of a short-term radical political movement?’

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(02.11.14) – The Blurry Line Between Evolution and Revolution.

‘As Russell Brand and his particular form of revolutionary politics has seemingly become the popular voice of the disillusioned left in recent months, disengagement from electoral politics among us seems more and more prevalent. Brand’s views on the current political system are legitimate, insightful even, but as many left wing commentators have written in recent months, his conclusions are at best incomplete and, at worst, highly dangerous. Given the rise of UKIP and the right across Europe and growing inequality, it is important for us to acknowledge that revolution and evolution are not mutually exclusive. ‘

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(06.09.14) – Check Your Privilege a Little More Thoroughly.

‘Identity politics are some of the most troubling trends in left wing activism today. It’s not that understanding, supporting and fighting prejudice against identities are not important components of good social policy, but that there is a growing obsession with dividing the disadvantaged into smaller and smaller groups, which is beginning to make the left feel like a solipsistic, navel-gazing, private club. Connected strongly is the politics of privilege; the key part of social media consciousness raising and one of the things that makes me despair at the puritanical way in which people I agree with operate. Question privilege at any point and you’ll immediately be swamped with criticism that may as well be comprised entirely of accusations of heresy. I guess I haven’t learned my lesson, because privilege is what I want to talk about today.’

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(09.08.14) – The Narratives of War.

‘The constant stream of images and information from the Gaza strip can be almost overwhelming at times. Perhaps more than any other time in this long, seemingly unending conflict, there appears to be somewhat of a consensus among politically informed people, particularly the young, that Israel’s use of force has been disproportionate. However, despite this, the rhetoric on both sides is reaching a fever pitch and, whichever side you have more sympathy with, the solution seems further and further away from fruition. Despite a ceasefire brokered by Egypt (at the time of writing), there seems to be little real trust in the public that talks between the two sides will be anything more than a public relations gesture nor that the violence won’t soon begin again.’

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(29.07.14) – Adult Education and The Flynn Effect.

‘In a rather incendiary headline earlier this year, The Independent presented findings from a survey for Kings’ College London and the Royal Statistics Society that seemed to prove that the British public were “wrong about everything”. From overestimating the number of migrants in the country to believing that crime is rising whilst all the evidence shows that it is falling, it seems that we live in a society of stupid people who believe stupid things, which I’m sure The Independent are delighted about.’

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(27.06.24) – An Uncomfortable Truth: Men Under Patriarchy.

‘The case of Elliot Rodger sent a shiver down the spine of people both inside and out of the feminist movement. This callous slaughter erupted from a mind so confident in its twisted perspective that the perpetrator seemed to view the act as entirely just. It’s not often that we get to see a detailed video of a murderer explaining his motives and the video Rodgers shot before taking innocent lives seemed to confirm the fears feminists have about male entitlement, slut-shaming and the patriarchy in general. In fact, news analysis seemed to, perhaps uniquely, speak with one voice: we live in a misogynistic society and this is what happens when young boys are brought up to believe that they are owed sex.’

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(06.06.14) – Advocating the idea of a Universal Basic Income.

‘Political debate often takes a binary form. We cast the left and right as two belligerent armies, fighting for the control of the political and economic apparatus of government and we dehumanise those who disagree or object to our values as part of an amorphous mass of evil. If you oppose aspects capitalism, then those on the right will cast you in the light of a statist, Stalinist, pseudo-intellectual and if you mention any benefits of the system then the most diehard socialists will dress you down with all the fervour of a zealous priest, preaching platitudes and quotes from Das Kapital. This is not something we should necessarily take the blame for, as much research suggests that it is a borderline insuppressible instinct, in fact I do it several times in this article, but I open with this because I’m about to attempt to defend believers in the global free market economy.’

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