Probably every member of society who has worked for a living will have considered those who don’t to be ‘scrounging’. This may just be a lapse of the usually magnanimous position adopted by most humane humans, but it is a position we hear of more and more – at least in the media.
If we think carefully about it we probably all can give examples at both ends of the ‘scrounging’ spectrum – someone who is a total waste of space, has probably expended far more time and energy avoiding taking up gainful employment than had he/she actually taken the job.
Then there is the little old lady down the street who has had any entitlement to support whittled down to such an extent that she is now reduced to the indignity of visiting the local ‘food banks’ in order to eat. (hopefully its sandwich making materials because it’s likely she won’t be able to afford the fuel to cook anything).
Recent reports indicating the huge growth in these food banks in the UK is a sad story indeed. While my admiration goes out to those who organise the facilities, the fact that these facilities are necessary at all is a situation everyone who cares about society should be ashamed of and represents a huge embarrassment for the government of this so-called modern society. (They don’t actually give a rat’s ass about this though, as displayed by Cameron pigging out in the Canaries while others approach starvation back home.
I know locally a guy who has claimed disability of one kind or another since he was approx. 18 years of age following an industrial injury – he is now late 50’s and has not worked a day in his life since the injury. This does not prevent him digging the garden or playing darts/pool for local pub teams on probably 4 nights per week and swilling the ale as he does so.
This ‘man’ is the true scrounger, a lazy, tired grabbing bum whose sole contribution to society has been to bang out a few kids who are now second-generation state benefit dependants.
A few streets away lives a retired miner who is obviously almost crippled from his many years working underground and is almost unable to stand upright yet has been refused any sort of disabled benefits due to him being ‘fit’ for work. (The man is over 60 and can hardly walk).
WHERE IS THE BALANCE ???
I have worked all my life, have undergone several spinal surgical procedures and other orthopaedic interventions and am still working for a living. I have 3 children, all of whom are in gainful employment as are their partners and I am proud of all of them. My wife worked hard for a lot of our early years of marriage and supported the family while I attended university. She is now a ‘lady of leisure’, though she would claim that looking after me is probably the most difficult job she has ever had.
I often pass the scrounger as I drive on my way to work and have to admit a rising of sheer anger almost every time – I see him sat in the pub guzzling the beer and am again angry that in essence I have paid for his drink – he contributes NOTHING to society and his obviously adequate source of funds should be stopped and the idle bastard made to work for it, even if it means being press-ganged into community litter-picking or similar for 8 hours a day.
The ex-miner just down the road should not need to be made to feel as if he is attempting to obtain benefits by deception and left alone with enough to provide adequately, not lavishly, in recognition he HAS made to society while working under some of the most appalling conditions of any employment.
Not all, far from it, youngsters deserve to be tarred with the all encompassing ‘lazy’ brush – some genuinely cannot find employment, it just isn’t there. We need significant investment in the skills base for these kids rather than providing huge tax breaks for the already rich.
There will be some who are not interested and believe that the state has a foregone obligation to support them, particularly if they manage to find someone willing to provide them with a few kids at a young enough age to take full advantage of benefits associated with increase progeny. This group need to be treated to the same harsh reality as the scrounger discussed above and MADE to contribute in return for the benefits they get.
There will always be those who are crafty, devious and selfish enough to cheat the system and ‘scrounge’ and these pariahs must be rooted out in order to be able to concentrate upon achieving a more appropriate support system for those who genuinely need it, such as he ex-miner, above.
If I find anyone working on the black market I will have no qualms about bringing that to the attention of the authorities, hopefully helping along the punishment of the culprits.
Maybe if we all did the same we could help bring about the changes necessary to rid us of the burden of scrounging and be able to provide properly for those in need. I am finding it more and more difficult to be proud of a so-called civilised nation that relies up;on donated food to feed its poorer members of society.
SBK, the Sophist