Warning: Rant Ahead

I try and steer clear of politics. It's a bit of a minefield and an unpleasant one at that. I distrust the three main political parties, they've all made reasonable promises and broken every one.  They are morally and ethical vacant and will never see any of my votes ever again.

I don't know why I'm surprised at today's article in The Guardian.

When I first got to England in 1988, Single-Parent bashing was the favourite past-time at Tory conferences. Girls were getting pregnant to get a council house. The world was going to hell in a handbasket because of single-parents on benefits (and off benefits).

The fact of the matter is: I'm a single-parent.

I divorced my husband in the middle of my Development Studies degree. Without benefits and state support, I would have had to drop out and we would have been homeless. So, what did I do while I was on benefits? Well, I finished my degree, raised my son and looked for a job. I got a job. In Economic Development. I paid my taxes, bought my flat and helped small businesses access support to make them more profitable and helped people with business ideas to make their dreams a reality.

I can see why Tories hate children of single parents. Boy is a disgrace to society. He's kind, loyal, hardworking and willing. He's also looking for a part-time job to be more financially independent. Oh, and he's well educated. He can spell 'fuck'. He's in the process of applying to university.

I wouldn't mind so much, but I take exception to Lord Freud, who earns £300k a year to saying that people on benefits are making a lifestyle choice. They don't take enough economic risks.

I suppose when one has to scrape by on £300k a year, it's hard to understand the stomach-dropping moment when one is looking at a pile of red bills and you start weighing up the choices between eating, paying your gas bill and buying shoes for your child. Tell me again about taking financial risks Lord Freud?

Comments

  1. Ack, politicians... Masters of sweeping generalisations that produce emotive tabloid headlines. They're all wankers.
    Sx

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  2. And they wonder why people don't vote!

    xx

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  3. ^ What Scarlet said.

    If Pollies were made to live for a year on the meager amounts that some people on welfare "live" on, I am sure they'd soon change their minds about us plebs.

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    1. I'd love to have a go at budgeting my living with £300k a year to spend.

      Delete
  4. A small number of politicians are people of integrity and decency who do a good job. The vast majority are hypocritical, devious little shits who only want (a) votes and (b) the preservation of a grossly unequal society in which the elite (which includes them) cream off all the wealth. I have no time for them either and only vote because I believe not voting simply accelerates our democratic decline.

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    1. I voted for the Green Party last time, simply on the grounds that they stick by their (sometimes misinformed) ethics.

      The Labour Candidate who turned up on my doorstep, has never come again. As for the Lib Dem canvasser, he got as far as "You're wasting your vote if you vote Green..."

      He flinched when I got to the part about horse thieves, oath breakers and prostitutes.

      Delete
  5. A friend brought up 4 children, her husband having left her - leaving no forwarding address - and he never supported them again. She was on benefits while her children were young, then got a job (she was a trained nurse) and eventually saved enough to buy her council house.

    Her eldest daughter worked for a couple of years, then had a baby, the father and she having split up soon after she became pregnant. She did the same thing again twice more, five years apart. Now in her late 30s, she has not earned anything since the age of 22 and has taken no financial responsibility for herself and her sons. My daughter used to be friends with her, but she couldn't take the attitude any more, having worked until her mid-thirties to afford to take a break to have her children.

    In the field next to our house they are building 4 low-rent houses for local people. I know a low-earning family who have always worked, who live in privately-rented accommodation of very poor quality, and a girl of 22 who has never trained for anything or earned a penny and has had two babies by different men from short-term relationships. Since she lives with her parents and brother in a 3 bedroom house, she'll probably get preference for a house.

    I have no idea how the state is supposed to sort all this out, I don't want these children going into care because they have a feckless (though loving) mother, but nor do I want someone who earns minimum wage and manages on it to lose out. I want someone who is in trouble to be helped and not to be judged. But I do think that 'just five' families who are given £100,000 pa in benefits is five too many, I'd rather most of that money was spread about more needy people.

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    1. You're right. It is a tough call.

      It is worth saying though, that one of the families, couldn't work because of long-term congenital bowel disease. Though, I'm struggling to see how they could claim £100k. I think it must be their combined claims, and given the small amounts benefits provide, I'm scratching my head as to how they got to that figure.

      Delete
  6. It's a whole different system here but just as broken, and for the same reasons. I continue to support AFDC (Assistance for Families with Dependent Children) because I too ended up partaking of the states' generosity...which was shit-poor and grudged, as long as I'm on the subject. Still, it enabled me to escape an abusive marriage, receive medical care, raise my daughter off the streets and go through school. Without it I would without a doubt be deceased, and thus writing this from the Afterlife via Ouija board and teenager. The point is, though: my daughter has a great life now, a life that simply would not have happened if I'd had to raise her on the street. That's what assistance is about. The CHILDREN. Not the parents. The CHILDREN.

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    1. Actually, FirstNations, you've just hit the nail on the head.

      It's about the children.

      In my life, it's about Boy.

      Damn straight. I'd walk through the fires of Hell for him.

      It's about the children.

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  7. Just stumbled on your blog again when I chanced on an old posting - I'd say you've hit the nail on the head. I recall the 80s and the sanctimonious single parent bashing and 'on your bike' mentality well. It will be interesting to see how many of the ministers from that era are outed in the Jimmy Saville inquiry - as a journo I heard the names back then but we could never print them.

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    1. Hi David

      My apologies for not getting back to you sooner...life intervened.

      What you've just said scares me. That this was widely known and no one was able to stand up and say...that is truly shocking.

      Delete

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