Sadly, life is not just about Moomins. As much as I would love to spend my days frolicking about Moominvalley, reality isn’t always peachy and sometimes you need to go through pain to make things better again.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the welfare state and although it’s kind of a touchy subject, it’s bothered me so much that I had to write about it. You may recall 19-year-old Georgia Davis, who recently cost taxpayers approximately £100,000 to cut into her home so she could be carried from her home into an ambulance. Who could forget such a sight? Or is it commonplace to see people that live off the dole that have health issues related to obesity? Does that even make sense? As cold as it may sound, I have to agree with Old Holborn on this one:
“It’s quite simple. If we don’t want to fund the early deaths of millions of our citizens, we are going to have to stop feeding them what is making them obese – any recipient of benefits that can eat itself to a weight of 63 stone, is receiving too much of a good thing – and what the emergency services who had to install a visual screen around the spectacle to stop the gazes of neighbours failed to appreciate is that it was indeed, in every sense of the word, a state sponsored freak show”.
‘Freak show’ is a bit harsh, but I can’t understand how most impoverished people in the world don’t have enough to eat but in the UK, ‘poor’ people have too much! And then of course there’s Eric Pickles’ (no relation to Georgia) recent announcement of a £450m payment-by-results scheme in an effort to ‘do something’ about the troubled families of British society.
I am not against helping those in need and I am in no way accusing anyone who genuinely needs help or is working hard to make ends meet of abusing the system. But if you’re receiving £1730 per week (total of £90,000 per family, per year) in benefits and you still can’t sort your life out, then more money obviously isn’t the answer. Mr. Pickles is clearly out of touch with society if he thinks he can just throw more money at people to make their troubles go away. How demeaning is that?! With regard to such ‘troubled’ families, a hard day’s work and perhaps some good old discipline might be a start!
Old Holborn gives us something to consider:
“It’s very simple Mr Pickles… You adopt a simple system of penalties. For every criminal act, the guilty lose a proportion of their benefits. For every raid against society, the invaders forfeit their entitlement to Danegeld. Want to run amok and terrorize your community? Feel free, but do not expect that same community to fund your housing or pay your bills. Do not expect that community to finance the education or the welfare of your children whilst you spit in its face. Do not expect that community to protect you or your property whilst you plunder what you desire from the very people affording you protection”.
It may not be as simple as implementing a system of punishments (or maybe it is, but we just refuse to admit it) but giving more money to those that abuse the system is not the answer. Like with any bad behaviour of a child, you must get to the root of the problem before it gets worse. If you continue to enable a child to act out and reward the child for its bad behaviour, then you’ll have a monster on your hands in no time.