Forty-four years on, plus ça change…
In the early part of the 21st century, reality shows and documentaries about life on benefits in some of the poorest areas of Britain have become a popular form of light entertainment.
‘Benefit scroungers’ have become a regular feature of daytime TV, with no shortage of volunteers willing to broadcast their ‘shameless’ behaviour nationwide and/or participate in games of ritual humiliation (apparently there are incentives!)
Moreover, a relentless stream of soundbites has been repeated ad nauseam by politicians and ‘think tanks’ about “three generations of families who have never worked”. So we really need to do something about such fecklessness, don’t we?
Well maybe if there was a vestige of truth in the oft repeated claim, but the whopping Big Lie has finally been exposed. It’s nothing more than policy based evidence – the sort that home educators know only too well – which has been fabricated to suit the agenda of a government hell bent on blaming the ‘undeserving’ poor for having succumbed to at least three generations of social policy failure.
“The household where ‘nobody has worked for generations’ has long been a favourite illustration of the failure of the welfare state not just among tabloids running ‘Shameless’ benefit scrounger stories, but among broadsheet commentators, politicians and even welfare professionals.”
Double standards apply as well.
— Political Scrapbook (@PSbook) February 16, 2015
Salma Yaqoob nailed it when she berated Iain Duncan Smith on Question Time:
“You claim £39 for a breakfast like you can’t afford your own breakfast, when you live on your wife’s estate and have taken 1.5m of tax payers money, that’s what I call scrounging!”
In reality, some families are reduced to scavenging for out of date food from supermarket bins.
Many more are relying on food banks.
People are dying.
But the sensationalist headlines just keep on coming…
Image credit: Huffington Post