both our lives have had ups and downs and we've got on with living: which is what I was on about.
If my family and I can have nice things, or go to nice places it's because we've earned the right to.
What I object to: and this does seem to be part of the Thatcher legacy is that those who haven't got or had the chance to earn a decent living for whatever reason are demonised as the underclass, and as scroungers, and 'chavs' when the vast majority are nothing of the sort.
This was brought home to me with the disparity of public and media attitude between Madelyn McAnn and Shannon Mathews. Also in the way that Shannon's mother's appalling behaviour after she was was exposed was attributed to all people who live in council estates.
When the unemployment figures go up and down does that mean that the number of 'scroungers' or lazy people go up and down? It doesn't.
The unemployed and the impoverished have always been derided the 'haves', it makes them/us feel better than 'them', anything 'they' do have they shouldn't have, and has been given to them by their exploitation of those who have. I don't accept this for by far the majority of people who live on benefits.
It's ok for some reason to mock 'chavs', or to enjoy the Hogarthian circus of the Jeremy Kyle Show. That kind of thing wouldn't be allowed if it were any other social group, and to me these attitudes whilst always present have become widespread and embodied into our natural psyche ovet the last thirty years and I think our way of life is the poorer for it.
I think the nature of unemployment benefit changed when it became "Job Seekers Allowance" Instead of a benefit you've paid for to cover you when you fall out of work, until you are employed again, it is used in order to coerce people into jobs - any job.
Some years ago I was unfortunately made redundant. The company I worked for went bust and the redundancy pay would be reduced by the value of any benefits I didn't claim. I thus went to the Job Centre to claim "Jobseekers Allowance"
I was lectured by my interviewer about what I could and couldnt' claim, I knew I was not entiled to the suplementary benefits and said so. Nevertheless that afternoon I had a phone call saying could they vist me the follwoing day to discuss benefits I had not claimed.
The woman from the Job Centre arrived at my house, walked into my living room and stood with her back to my fireplace and her first words to me were "Now then Mr ----- what have you done about getting another job?" I'd been out of work 1 day!