Mark Steel at the Independent has a great column on the root cause of our economic instability – poor folks and all the trouble they cause by not quite appearing to do the evil deeds they do!
It’s a tricky argument to pull off, that the poor caused the debt so they should pay it back. Maybe that’s why most weeks there are stories in certain newspapers about a woman with 45 kids on benefits, who then bought a giraffe and now that’s on benefits but she said it was cramped so the council has put it up in the Shard, and two of the kids have got Compulsive Potting Disorder so they’ve been given a snooker table but she couldn’t be referee because she’s allergic to white gloves so the mayor has to do it, otherwise he’d be put in jail by Europe.
Then they quietly drop the story when it emerges that the reporter missed out the detail that although it did happen, it was in a dream he had while suffering from food poisoning.
So it’s replaced with an article about a man on invalidity benefit who turned out to be secretly competing in triathlon tournaments in his loft, and there’s a woman who hasn’t worked since 1975 who receives so much in housing benefit that she pays Martin Amis to fill in her claim forms for more money. And they’ll print an extract that starts: “You ask why I have attended no job interview in 38 years and I can only weep the tears of a fallen angel, reach to the constellations and ask that you, dear assessor, replete in your cruddy crude crudeness, be spared the dodgy knee I’ve had all that time. Time. Whatever, whenever, whoever my succulent sobriquet, that may be. Oh, and I need a new fridge.”
What amazes me is that the poor have the time, between all their jobs, and waiting for buses and sitting around applying for benefits. Amazing what some folks can accomplish.