Workshy Scrounger

Tag: austerity

The poor with a benefits card or how to build a model society.

When writing my previous post, I managed to get myself into a really silly mood. I started thinking how far the government could possibly go when it comes to making model citizens out of the unlucky.

Seeing as the Conservatives are meant to uphold the old values and traditions as well as to promote and encourage the right attitudes and morals among the poor, it’s not only fags, booze, drugs and gambling that will have to go.

Therefore, buying pet food is a no-no. An animal has to work even if you aren’t. Cart horses and cows are acceptable. So are hens and rabbits if bred for food. Companion animals for the poor are categorically disallowed as they give you ideas above your station.

Baby formula – in order to forge close knit communities in the name of Big Society, if you cannot breastfeed, you will have to get someone else to do it for you. Baby formula is reserved for high achieving executives.

Clothes – you can make your own. Two 10” squares of cheap fabric will be given to you every week. The colour of the fabric will reflect how long you have been unemployed. Free dunce cap after 12 weeks on the dole and jester’s shoes after 26 weeks. Wearing these is voluntary but if you are spotted without them, your benefits card will might malfunction.

Electricity is disconnected immediately upon filing your claim. You will be eligible to lease one of our bicycle generators for only £50 a week deducted straight from your benefits – no hassle there. This way you can be burning calories while waiting for your gruel to cook.

Cry for your leader

I envy the Tories. They live in a comforting black-and-white world full of neat dichotomies. Something is either good or bad – no room for those pesky doubts that plague the rest of human kind.

At the same time, Cameron’s decisions leave me apprehensive about his ability to lead the country. It no longer matters that he never lived in the real world so things like minimum wage or inflation rate or unemployment figures are just meaningless numbers. It’s even beyond the fact that while he used to happily claim DLA for his son, he is now cutting it for other people.

During the English riots in 2011, London was burning, people were dying and the unrest was spreading across the country. It’s a classic definition of national emergency yet he delayed recalling the Parliament.

After Thatcher’s death, he immediately returned from his official visit discussing the future of the European Union even though there was absolutely nothing he could do. The Parliament was recalled almost immediately so that MPs could pay their tributes.

The official tributes seem to be a bit hypocritical considering that it was the Tory party that removed Thatcher after she refused to back off on the poll tax issue. The tributes are either meaningless clichés, turn her vices into virtues or pass them off as delightful quirks.

It did not occur to Cameron that some MPs might not share his view. Cry for your leader and don’t you dare say anything against her or you will end up in jail as a precaution.

I understand the sentiment behind Thatcher death parties – it is a long awaited release for many people. They want to show their emotions. Then there are Facebook campaigns. Thanks to one of them the suddenly irreverent Ding Dong charted at number two and BBC was censored (only a five-second clip was played). In the meantime, Michael Hargreaves, the singer of the previously obscure Notsensibles, started a campaign to get his song, I love Margaret Thatcher, to the top place instead. To me, this song is not a tribute. At least, not in the usual sense of the word even if you take it at face value and allow for his apparent attraction. Hargreaves himself was quoted as saying:

“I find it hilarious that Tories have adopted it. The song is a sort-of tribute and sort-of not.”

Trust the Tories to misunderstand something entirely and to take it out of context. Hargreaves and co will be laughing all the way to the bank (the song entered the chart at the 35th place) and good for them – Maggie would have approved their opportunism and initiative.

They say it’s times of austerity. Since it started we had two royal weddings, the Olympic Games and now Thatcher’s funeral estimated at £8m. It is hard for me to watch all the money being spent when we keep being told we cannot afford the basics. How different is it from the stereotypical benefit scrounger: all sky telly and pub trips while the kids are going hungry?

Ex PMs’ work worth £1.7m

According to the Independent, former prime ministers are still entitled to cost allowances for public duties:

The system was set up by John Major in 1991 to reward former incumbents of No 10 for work including answering letters and attending public events.

For someone who was so against state handouts, Thatcher managed to rake in over half a million pounds in the last five years. Due to her frailty, she was hardly ever seen in public. It must have been spent on the letters then. A simple solution would have been to ask her fans to include a self-addressed envelope (celebrities do it all the time).

Blair, on the other hand, is known for charging exorbitant sums for his attendance of public events. Asking us to subsidise his net profit is cheeky. A freedom of information request asking for details of the claims (who, when and how much) failed because it would take too much work. There goes transparency.

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