Sunday, 27 June 2010

Break that trap.

Al-Jahom links to this and makes very valid points.

If there are no jobs in your area, move. I'm currently at the other end of the country from the rest of my family and have been for a long time. I've lived in several places in between including a stint with nowhere to live, which I fixed without State help.

There are no chains binding anyone to anywhere. In fact, according to the EU, you can live and work anywhere in it. You're not even restricted to the UK.

Except... Labour have thought of that, haven't they? If you're currently in council housing, chances are that you had to wait on a list to get that house. Most likely a long list and you'll have watched the special-pleading cases overtake you while you waited.

So if you move somewhere else, you're back to the bottom of the list and as you're not local and in work (the reason you moved), you're below zero points. Okay. Rent somewhere. Not so easy though, not unless your job lets you afford to rent. Plus you'll now have all those household bills that the Benefits used to cover for you.

If you're out of work and in council accommodation, you are likely to face a serious downgrade in your standard of living if you move somewhere else to work. It's temporary but it's hard going. You can improve on it yourself but once you leave the Righteous behind, they won't help you at all. Labour's gamble was that you would not dare to do that. They gave you that 'Entitled' feeling and told you you were too good for low-paid work and let's be honest, who could resist flattery oiled with free cash?

It is possible to get out of the benefits trap but it will never be easy. It's not going to be any easier tomorrow, nor the next day, nor the day after that.

You have a choice. You can take the money and go back to sleep, exist on handouts until you die early in a hospice somewhere.

Or you can take your life back. It will involve a lot of work and sometimes you'll wonder why you're bothering but gradually, that feeling of 'entitled' will be replaced by a much better feeling. One that was stolen from you, corrupted, broken and given back as a distorted version of itself.

That feeling is 'self-worth' and when you feel it, you'll realise just what Labour have done to you and your family all these years.

I'm not saying you'll end up as rich as Polly Toynbee or be able to send your kids to posh schools like Diane Abbot. I'm certainly not rich but I get by pretty well on my own efforts. No handouts. I'm not saying it will be easy - it won't be.

I'm saying you can take the chance and try.

It's up to you.


Anonymous said...

I'll just leave this here :

Leg-iron said...

Perfect timing, Anon.

ASH are claiming that smokers want to be banned harder and that the smoking ban has not damaged pubs and clubs at all.

Anonymous said...

Have you been overdoing the Njoy, Mr LI? This post is repellently patronising, while reinforcing a particularly insulting stereotype of unemployed people, namely that they have 'bought into' their situation of subsisting on benefits. Most of your posts are well-thought-out and excellently written. This one was excellently written.

Leg-iron said...

Squitch - why is it that any attempt to let people know that they can look after themselves is considered patronising, while telling them that they must do as they are told and depend on the State is not patronising?

Then the reinforcing of stereotype - where? The 'insulting stereotype' is the one that refers to all those on benefits as workshy layabouts who have no intention of working. There are a lot of people like that, yes, but there are an awful lot more who are not.

I know a few folk on benefits who would love to be working but either can't work because of disability or can't find a job. Even getting a job pushing trolleys around Tesco car park is a tough one these days.

Would you like to tell me it's demeaning to expect someone to be a Tesco trolley-pusher? It's not a dead end job. It's a way in. I know folk who started in the car park but were first in line for till jobs when they came up - and got them. One worked his way up to be a member of the cash office team and was on the way to a managerial job when he decided to move to another career. Which he has.

His first job was pushing trolleys around Tesco car park. A pretty crappy job, but it was a start, and he made use of it.

I know another who has taken jobs only to find that when the firm need to tighten their belts it's last one in - first one out. He doesn't want to be on benefits.

Would it be 'patronising' to advise him to move to another town where there are better prospects? I can't advise him to do that. He already has.

I've done the same thing several times. No jobs here, then up sticks and go where there are some.

I've never been wealthy and never will be but I'm not claiming any benefits either. I don't want a Lear jet or a villa in Tuscany or a Lexus or any of that. Those who do want those things, good luck to them. I hope they get what they want.

This does feel somewhat familiar, you know. Any mention of immigration was shouted down as 'racist'.

Now any mention of breaking out of that benefit trap - and it is a trap - is being shouted down as 'patronising'. Not just here. It's springing up everywhere.

I will help anyone to help themselves in any way I can. If that is now 'patronising', then feel free to call me that.

It'll make me help them harder.

PT Barnum said...

There is, of course, even a middle way with the job-house thing. I've done it. Friends have done it. You work away from home during the week and go home at the weekends. It's not ideal. It can be stressful, with the travelling, and leaving the other half to cope with all eventualities. And doing it long-term won't suit everyone. But as a working solution or even a bridge to a move, you can keep your council house and work towards an autonomous and independent life.

Mrs Rigby said...

@ PT Barnum
You work away from home during the week and go home at the weekends.

Or work away for a month, get a weekend at home because it's too expensive to travel more often - not everybody has an expense account.

We and many of our friends 'work away from home' in one guise or another, some are away for months at a time and couldn't get home even if they tried because of the nature of their job. It can be tough, but better than no work.

What about all the temporary immigrants who're here to make enough money to get themselves started 'at home'? Ever wondered who lives in those road construction/maintenance 'camps'?

Why is it 'impossible' or 'cruel' to expect Brits to move within their own little island to earn a living?

Can't understand why they're all complaining.

Leg-iron said...

Good points, PTB and Mrs. R, and they hadn't occurred to me because I don't have to leave anyone at home - I can just move.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your long answer, Mr Li. In it, you reinforce my point:

"Would it be 'patronising' to advise him to move to another town where there are better prospects? I can't advise him to do that. He already has."

So, yes, it would be patronising: and your assumption that individuals who take the time to read your posts (and find them generally interesting enough to return) are incapable of making that enormous leap of imagination is, indeed, patronising, and - I have to say - a tad Righteous.

Leg-iron said...

So... if someone is jobless here, and I know of a business in another town that's hiring, it would be patronising of me to tell the jobless person about it?

If I didn't and they subsequently found out I knew about it, I think they'd have words to say to me that wouldn't include 'patronising'.

You have a quote which you say is patronising. Could you explain why?

PT Barnum said...

Indeed, Mrs Rigby, you are correct. I spoke only of my own and friends' practice, where the distances involved prevent going home every night, but make it practical on a Friday night.

It seems, oddly, such folk as me are invisible. Our commonplace images are of daily commuters or layabouts, when there is actually a significant nomadic tribe who divide their time between two places. It's nothing new, my father did it in the 60s.

Why am I suddenly thinking of second home allowances? MPs are not the only ones who need to live in two places....

English Viking said...

Is it not possible to revert to the original system of allocating council housing? i.e. the tenant needed to be employed. That way we would avoid creating vast ghettos of unemployed and unemployable.

Seems reasonable to me.

Before anyone bleats, I lived on a hell-hole estate for years.

banned said...

You describe the existing stupid situation very well Leg-Iron, not dissimilar to the Soviet Union where the proles had to live in the district that they were allocated to.

Why on earth is Diane Abbott bleating on about IDS being 'unfair' and 'cruel' in trying to break it down; it's not as though he intends to turf out the residents of Plymouth and Liverpool at bayonet point.

Leg-iron said...

Diane Abbott? She whose parents moved a very long way indeed in order to improve their lives - and hers?

She doesn't want her pets moved. They might decide to think for themselves and that would never do.

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