Monday, 21 July 2008

...A Brief Note On Stupidity

1) The Government says it's going to force people 'back to work' by getting them 'off the sick'
2) We're in a recession which could head into a full-blown depression.
Er, chaps, where are all these wonderful jobs going to come from?

Leave IB Claimants Alone

It is a worrying state of affairs that only those who work possess moral virtue and those who cannot are classed as 'scum', 'feckless' or 'idlers'. It is true that amongst those on IB - as there is amongst all levels of society - some fiddle the system. Such cases have been highlighted and many fraudulent claimants have been given a criminal record. But for those who genuinely cannot work, such labels are an affront and insult to dignity. Human beings cannot and should not be judged in terms of financial worth. A life is worthless, monetarily: it is infinitely more precious than the ignoble dollar. And those who suffer from humiliating, depressing illnesses such as CFS should not be penalised for the fact that they are unwell. How on earth can an individual who may find it impossible to get out of bed or walk unassisted participate in manual labour? Simply, they cannot.
Linking IB with JSA creates an ever-more invidious system whereby all of those claiming benefits (be they the incapacitated, the job-seeking or the shirkers) are lumped together in one amorphous mass. Consider this: if we had curbed our immigration policy, many manual jobs carried out by those who send their wages back to their home country could be carried out by those on JSA. The country is losing out twice: the £60.15 paid to those on JSA and the money paid out to migrant workers. Now multiply that by several hundred thousand and calculate the net loss.
The benefits system is so appallingly managed at present that all recipients are condemned for being in the ignominious position of being dependent on the State. Moreover, as several commentators have pointed out most articulately, the money paid out by the State is, since Thatcher removed the linkage of cost of living and inflation with benefits, pitifully small. What the country must understand, genuinely, is that those on the Dole are often fated to remain there because they simply cannot feed, clothe and educate themselves further. They have become the ‘underclass’, the ‘lumpenproletariat’: social lepers, despised and shunned, lacking in hope, required to live in poor conditions on poor diets. They cannot afford their ‘five-a-day’: a healthy diet is available only for the affluent, and socialism only for the rich.
‘Getting people back to work’ is all very well and good: and, indeed, it should be a priority for those who are Able to work. I wonder how this is going to work in the coming months, however, as the international financial crisis worsens and more and more people are forced to join the Dole queue. Are they going to be made to feel responsible for the economic situation? Labour’s claim seems as ill-judged as it is ill-timed. And penalising those suffering from debilitating condition merely exposes, once again, their absolute lack of concern for the well-being of a country ever-more burdened by authoritarian, ill-conceived legislation.

Sex Ed for 4 year olds? That's sex abuse, actually

Various woolly-minded Liberal types think it would be a good idea to teach 4 year olds about sex, using happy fuzzy pictures to teach our tiny darlings what a man looks like with an erection and impregnating his wife. Lovely. Am I the only one who can see the absolute disaster waiting to happen here?
Little children are not sexual beings. Apart from some basic curiosity as to why their nether regions differ, they don't think about sex. This is because they are pre-pubescent: neither their minds nor their bodies are ready for sex. And to show them sexual imagery, or to talk about intercourse, is tantamount to sex abuse, because they simply cannot comprehend what's going on.
As a solution to the fact that thousands of our young people get knocked up and need a convenient little pill to eradicate their 'mistake', this is perhaps the most stupid idea to date. There are many ways to prevent sexual activity/promiscuity amongst the young, the predominant one being that the Government could drop its cutesy, coy 'if you can't be good, be careful' approach. Or by removing sexual health clinics, which are not required to disclose any information to parents, from schools, thereby ceasing to collude with the little dears' bad behaviour. Or even - this is a wild thought! - arresting a few of them and throwing them in the slammer. It's against the law to be sexually active under the age of 16, after all. We're punished for absolutely everything else: why not this? Too, we could put a strict curb on the media and prevent it from 'presexualising evolving consumers' (making children grow up too quickly) so they can actually enjoy their childhood, without the pressure to look like Cameron Diaz and act like Kate Moss and, oh, God, emulate the vile Amy Winehouse. We could actually come out and whole-heartedly condemn little girls wearing lipstick and eyeshadow and FMBs and t-shirts emblazoned with the tasteful legend 'Pornstar'. But that would be too common-sensical for our modern age, wouldn't it?

Friday, 4 July 2008

So animal a human

It is argued that one of the fundamental divisions between the natural world and we who seek to control it is our ability to reason, to tell right from wrong. As Mark Twain said rightly: Man is the only animal that blushes - or needs to. But blushing would imply that the one embarrassed realised that they were in the wrong, morally culpable, etcetera; today's society simply doesn't. Indeed, it seems absolutely furious, outraged, when its bad behaviour is challenged. Retired servicemen are kicked to death because they ask louts on buses to refrain from swearing. Beware those playing ghastly music on their mobile phones or littering: you'll be stabbed. Many times. Knife crime is reaching epidemic proportions in this country: the government, and even Boris Johnson, of whom I'm very fond, thinks that an amnesty is the answer. It isn't. The answer is to instill in the young that rights only come with responsibility. That they're culpable for their actions. That respect begets respect. That life is not cheap: on the contrary, it is priceless, their lives included. Children are being allowed to run riot. They are simultaneously so hemmed in by the 'do-this-do-that' culture and kept too much at arms' length by adults, who are terrified of being accused of paedophilia or dismissed from their posts if they attempt to protect themselves from being assaulted. In other words, children are being prioritised above and beyond those who have experience of life and have learned moral lessons: adults. This bizarrely inverted relationship is hardly healthy. And, as the news breaks that yet another child has been stabbed, it is obvious that the balance must be restored.
Life is to be lived, not controlled, and humanity is won by continuing to play in face of certain defeat -Ralph Ellison