- Oct 26, 2009
- Reaction score
I read Phil's rants, and never know whether to laugh or cry.
I am so angered at the scroungers and skivers he comments on, and so in sympathy with his rants, it all just makes me scream. Two comments to illustrate why, like Phil, the situations described make my blood boil.
When I worked in the middle east, I used to come home between stints over there, waiting for contracts to be passed and stuff. I just got the bike out and did despatch riding until the next gig - never knew I was "entitled to sign on". Never even occurred to me. Some furloughs I might take a week or two off, some I would work through (if you call being paid to ride a motorcycle "work"), but I never signed on - I was available for work, I was fit to work, I had a simple tool to enable me to do simple work, and I had found out how to use it, so I did it!.
Then there was me at seventeen. Left home, living with the girlfriend's mum and dad. Wanted to get out and start our own household..... Went to the council (this was back in '69/'70) in Hackney and said could we go on the waiting list for a council flat. I was finishing 'A'-levels, Adele was still doing hers. Council said oh - what a shame, no disabilities, not gay/lesbian, not an ethnic minority or immigrant, currently got accomodation, so no chance on the waiting list. Then the woman's face lit up and she looked at my girlfriend and said "Ooooh - are you PREGNANT dearie?". We explained that we had visited the Mary Stopes Clinic and were being very careful, so no, not pregnant, and she said "oh what a pity - I could have got you on the list and probably housed in a couple of years if you'd been pregnant".
To say we were "angry" when we left would be to understate significantly. At seventeen (and sixteen for Adele) we were trying to "do it right", and got nothing. We borrowed some dosh for a deposit and started renting - eventually (by both doing two full time jobs each and illegaly borrowing a deposit) we got a place of our own in one of Hackneys poorer and rougher areas. I guess we got mortgage tax relief in those days (as did everyone) but that's it.
And that's why Phil's rants get to me. Do it right, be honest, be hard working and responsible, and get nowt - learn how to "use the system" and the world is your oyster.
From what I have seen in a couple of newspapers and have heard on a London radio station, one of the courses taught in high schools now is some sort of life skills deal and one of the things they teach is how to sign onto the dole.