The Good Life

When the phrase tough economic times is copied and pasted throughout more or less every article in the press we need a scape goat, we collectively need to place blame to make ourselves feel better and to further understand a situation that we will probably never be able to grasp.

While the nations media is involved in special relationships with the nations government there is no space for blame to be placed there. But we need someone. Someone who seemingly has it a bit easy, someone who can (seemingly) coast through these tough economic times unscathed and with a fridge full of M&Ss finest and a flat screen TV mounted proudly above the fireplace as the rest of the country struggle to make ends meet.

To a degree this means people like me, that certain section of society who sit in our council houses watching daytime TV and enjoying all life has to offer and enjoying it for free while the rest of you are at work so we can afford our lifestyles. Because that really is exactly how it is huh?

Every week there is another story about another family being handed a comfortable home and a comfortable lifestyle courtesy of the taxman taking from the wallet of the honest worker and pouring the contents into the bank accounts of the unemployed.

As a nation do we really believe all that we read, without need to question or think or consider before we light the flaming torches and grab the pitchforks and gather en masse to hate?

There is a family, you will have read about them, who so almost every newspaper would have you believe are practically having a bespoke mansion given to them for free while they buy horses and parrots and exciting things that they have time to enjoy because they don’t work.

Really?

Do you really believe that?

Now I know that there are people out there who do fraudulently claim benefits or fiddle the system and do you know what, they are bloody clever. Clever because asking for help when you have nothing and are entitled to something is like getting blood from a stone as you are lied to and intruded upon and fobbed off while you stare into your empty cupboards and wonder what the hell to do.

The majority of people living on benefits genuinely need that money to survive just as the majority of those housed by their local council would be homeless without that roof.

Council houses do not come for free, they come with rent and water rates and utility bills and council tax and all of the normal things that any house comes with. Benefits help pay for those things, help being the operative word.

Our council house is no more ours than your privately rented house. We do not own it and nor will we see any profit from it when we move out. Every single thing that needed doing, from treating the damp spores to making safe the asbestos we had to do and we had to pay for.

At the end of last month, after over six months of relying on family for the food in our fridge, our benefit claim was finally processed. After all the bills have been paid and the food bought we have absolutely zero money in the bank because, and rightly so, the benefit system works so that it pays the absolute bare minimum for survival and not a penny more.

While reporters sift through the rumours of acquaintances and the bins of the accused to break the news that this large family in receipt of all their free money and waiting for their mansion that has been built to spec to be ready to move in to are buying horses and parrots and hiring merry go rounds and doing exciting things while the hardworking people are sat behind their desks earning the country the moment to pay for them in not only intrusive but also smacks of bullshit.

Far too much information is omitted from stories like this and I really do wonder why the majority of those reading don’t stop to question or to wonder or to think.

I never aspired to live in a home that I hadn’t chosen myself or to survive on pennies at the end of each week, do you honestly think that anyone would?

I’m not defending every single person living in a similar situation to myself, nor am I saying that it’s fair or right, but I am questioning just how much the media are omitting in order to publish a story that will only cause one reaction.