Thursday, February 09, 2012

The Voice Of The Nation

According to the Daily Mail here, in the UK "only 4.8 per cent of people count as ‘materially deprived’, similar to levels in Germany which has 4.5 per cent."

This, of course, means that benefits are too generous. We should have far more than 3 million people 'materially deprived' if we were to consider ourselves a fair nation!

Ignoring the fact that the percentages shown for the countries are pretty similar except for maybe poor old Portugal, the Eurostat statistics show the UK to be "a country where large numbers of people do not work – yet can afford to live as if they earn good money."

The good life, then. What is it?

1. The ability to pay housing, utility and repairs bills
2. The ability to keep warm in the winter
3. The ability to get enough protein in your diet
4. The ability to wash your clothes at home
5. The ability to watch a colour TV in your own home

Mobile phones, cars and holidays are out of reach for those who earn good money. Or you could have one of these if you forgo one of the five above.

It disgusts me that the unemployed, the poorly paid and pensioners are able to live in such a lap of luxury with their warm, well-fed bodies, their clean clothes and, worst of all, their television viewing.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Death of an Artist :'-(

There comes a point in your life when you realise you'll never ride through Paris in a sports car with the warm wind in your hair.

It came to me yesterday, the last day I thought I'd be a poet. I'd been getting poetry out of the library, not to immerse myself in the beauty of verse but to try to find some poems I like to give me some inspiration to create.

Last year it was music. I bought myself a cheap synthesizer to create beautiful music.

Before that it was fiction. I've lost count of the number of short stories and novels I've started but given up on.

Before that it was screenwriting and playwriting. I had the gift. I could create funny, poignant dialogue. Until I realised it wasn't going anywhere.

I've spent too much time from the age of 15, creating stuff that isn't good enough to be heard or read. And you know why it isn't good enough? Yesterday it came to me. I'm just not a creative person.

I have been under the illusion for 35 years that I was gifted. I was born to create. My grandmother had said when I was young, "That boy will be famous one day." My mum reminds me of this now and again and I smile ruefully. All it would have taken was dedication to my art.

But now I realise my lack of dedication, my lack of enthusiasm after the initial spurt of activity is down to a lack of specialness. There is so much mediocre art made in the world and I don't want to add to it. I realise I am crap quite quickly, the critic in me kicks in early and depresses me. Until the next time when I try to create something else.

Well, no more. I will continue to write non-fiction on here. I've got plenty to say about things but I will delude myself no longer. Just because you can write doesn't mean you can write. Not many can.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The Benefits Cap

Here's Raymond and his family. Raymond, his wife and six children live in a three bedroomed house in North Wales. Neither Raymond nor his missus work. They live on state benefits, from money paid by you and me (well, not me any more). They receive £30,284.80 in benefits per year, a full £82.40 per week more than the proposed benefit cap of £26,000 per year.

But don't feel sorry for Raymond and his family. They can save £15 per week by cancelling their Sky subscription, £32 by cancelling their mobile phone contracts and if Raymond didn't go to the pub every Friday they could save an extra £20. I'm sure they could make the extra £15 up from the £92 per week they have to pay for school books and trips, clothing and white goods replacements. No, I have no sympathy for Raymond and his family, none whatsoever.

Therefore the Government is right to impose a £26,000 cap on benefits. Isn't that right?

Well, the BBC have done their research, alright. You see the average weekly housing benefit award in the social rental sector is £76. And that's what Ray and his family get! They are an average family of eight, paying £76 per week in rent which is the average rent paid in the social rental sector so the average family is taking us for a ride, right? RIGHT???

No, you fuckers. It's not right.

For a start, the average weekly housing benefit award in the private rental sector is £110 and the maximum weekly housing benefit awards are as follows:-

1 bedroom property - £250 per week, £13,000 per annum
2 bedroom property - £290 per week, £15,080 per annum
3 bedroom property - £340 per week, £17,680 per annum
4 bedroom property - £400 per week, £20,800 per annum

There are 1.58 million recipients of housing benefit who live in homes in the private rental sector. They receive an average of £5,720 per annum to pay their landlords. You can see what landlords can charge above. Slightly above the average.

Right, BBC? Do you see how typical Raymond and his family are as far as the effects of the benefit cap go? Do you see how you're pandering to stupid popular opinion, based on distorting the facts to suck up to a government you are are scared shitless of?

Fuck you and your Birdsong.