Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Some advice for the young.

Much mischief has been conjured out of David Cameron's key-note 'welfare' speech at the Bluewater Shopping Centre on Monday. Unsurprisingly perhaps those Trotskyist bulwarks of the media, the BBC and the increasingly erratic and tiresome Guardian 'newspaper' have attacked the PM for his perceived assault on the 'poor' and 'needy.' The fact that he quite pointedly underlined his commitment to those groups most in need of state assistance was conveniently ignored by these drab and opportunistic drones, in favour of a predictable assault on his 'out of touch' 'nasty party' values.

Like vultures circling an orphaned lamb, leftists have long been waiting to pounce on the PM's 'social care' principles and tear his credibility to shreds and one could almost hear the flapping of the raptors wings as he left the podium in Dartford. 

David's eminently sensible idea, the removal of housing benefit for the under 25s is just that, 'eminently sensible'. The cost to the state, by which of course one means the 'tax-payer' of these scroungers and layabouts is a very considerable £2 billion per year. What is more, it is a totally unnecessary handout to people who should be making their own way in the world, rather than leeching off hard working middle class people.

Of course one should never forget the urgency of youth. It is not surprising that after leaving 'uni' many among the 'young', having supped at the chalice of 'freedom' for three years, should wish to set their own bed-times and not live under the same rooves as their parents. For my part, I well remember coming down from Oxford in the early nineties and realising with a kind of horror that I was (momentarily) 'listless' and reliant on my family for 'handouts'. Happily a couple of short phone calls and a few brief weeks later, I was off making my own way in the world, but contrary to popular belief I do appreciate the very real struggles that other less connected people have after graduation.

One thinks indeed of a certain unfortunate acquaintance who, fresh out of a 'red brick' and with a rather 'second class' degree, was forced to 'slum it' in a succession of menial jobs at various tabloid newspapers for what amounted to little more than a five figure salary. Happily his life was turned around eventually and he has indeed managed to make a success of himself out of a combination of 'hard graft' and 'good cheer'. 

Should the state have supplemented my chum? Of course not and neither frankly should it aid any whose parents are still living and are able to offer their children a bed, a room or even a spare annexe at the family home. With a little creative thinking, outbuildings like stables or defunct follies can quickly be converted to offer much needed breathing space to both parent and 'young adult' alike. For those without such facilities a caravan or 'camper van' can always make a good temporary bolt-hole, whether one rests one's head in it or not.

As the PM stressed on Monday, there are always some for whom an exception must be made. The very poor have long brought little to the 'party' but this is not a reason to 'put the bouncers' on them. Indeed 'welfare folk' often remind one of a certain 'other' acquaintance from Notting Hill days who would routinely arrive at the door with a 'screw top bottle' of Antipodean wine and then proceed to quaff their hosts superior Margaux. Quite rightly the customs of the state prohibit us from hurling such people from our circle, however much we might be tempted to do so from time to time. The meek shall, like the Liberal Democrats, always be with us, although one doubts very much (in both cases) as to whether they shall indeed inherit the earth, let alone the Kingdom.

Leaving the very poor aside, my advice to normal people under the age of 25 is this. Enjoy the precious time you have with your Ma and Pa. Do not run gaily from the familial home until such time as you can afford to stand on your own two feet. Use your contacts wisely. Take not that which you do not need. And always avoid those who come bearing gifts of inferior blended wine.


  1. in downtown los angeles skid row has a sort of night of the living dead homeless crisis, 100,000 + a true shanty town with tents, crack, refuse on the streets, and of course, the chance of being killed.
    england's visible homeless crisis is mitigated by your shabby council flats which are still a more generous vestige of socialism than most america would tolerate.
    women are at special risk of gender based violence when living on the streets.
    in olaf palme's sweden, a million program, established a million new homes, huge industrialized sub-urbs of efficient and prosperous quality.
    in sweden, as housing is a right, it is far more rare to walk past a homeless person or a starving beggar or a shanty town situation as in UK or the ruthless USA.
    Homelessness was simply Abolished as Inhumane.
    Crime is reduced as everyone is up in their flat drinking System Bolaget.

    truly sweden tragically just deports the poor back to Iraq or Ethiopia as quickly as they can. But their noble housing venture has the wondrous benefit of reducing the unaesthetic aspects of homeless people sleeping on the pavement in the snow getting hypothermia.
    if you would ever like a tour of the homeless encampments of american cities, where there are neither council flats, nor million program, nor jobs, nor health care, i will protect you with my life, and with honor, so the mogg family might have an insight into WHAT NOT to do.
    the kind thing is that parts of north america are very deserted of other humans, so if you can do without the racket of them, take to the trees. i've been meaning to invite you to oregon.

  2. Amused that you think Antipodean screwtop wines are blends which is clearly an insult in your book. Most Aussie & NZ wines are single varietals whilst Margaux is definitely a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and sometimes Cabernet Franc. There is nothing quite like the ignorance & snobbery of the privileged, swigging Daddy's wine collection without the least understanding of what it is.