I’m not Jeremy Clarkson. Let me make that absolutely clear. In fact I care not one bit for pretty much everything he says and does and his attitude, which can be summed up as, “Shut the fuck up, hippie, I’m talking,” makes me wish I was a short, black lesbian working-class aristocratic motorphobe, just to be as unlike him as possible.
I have gone to great pains to make the above distinction because I’m about to write some things that might, on the surface, look like they were written by the planet-murdering controversy whore himself- or Jeremy Kyle. And, just to keep an unexpected ‘Jeremy’ theme running a little longer, I suspect I shall become as popular as Beadle in his wilderness years and look as big a dick as Ron’s by the end of this blog, but I just have to do it.
I don’t have a job. Up until now it has been by choice because I’ve been trying to make it as a writer, but my dear wife will no longer be able to pay the bills in a few weeks when her contract ends so it falls to me to take the reins and get off my frigging backside. I am job hunting.
I’ve only signed on once in my life. It was in my late teens when I left film school and was trying to find funding. Apart from that, I’ve always worked when I had to find money and even though I don’t want to wear my pride like superman’s cape, I’m proud that I have a work ethic that stops me from signing on now.
I’m working class. Not because my family have always been skint or because I’m from the grim north, but because I am from a class of people who believe in work. In paying their way. In doing the right thing so that those who, through no fault of their own, can’t,  get whatever help they need until they can.
It’s not just that though. I genuinely believe that benefits are essential for people unable to provide for themselves and their families and that’s not me. It’s single parents, people caught out by redundancy or disability, or anyone who just can’t get work in spite of their best efforts and has bills to pay and a life to live.  These are the people who should be looked after by those of us able to work- that’s the principle behind the welfare system and I think it’s a marvelous thing.
That’s why I get so upset when people abuse it.
When I see some twat on Jeremy Kyle (him again) with a face tattoo that will almost certainly stop him getting his first ever job outside a cave or the London Dungeon, it riles me. When I then work out that, if he’s never had a job, the several hundred pounds that his ‘personal statement’ cost has come from tax payers money I start to froth at the mouth.
“WE!” shouts the man who hasn’t had any paid work for over a year, “have been handing you money to help you get by until you find a job and start chipping in to help others, and you spend it on something that guarantees you never will!”
That’s theft. Isn’t it? Surely if someone takes money that is given in good faith and pisses it up the wall on tattoos, facial piercings or anything else that makes him, or her, unemployable in real terms, it’s theft. the only other explanation is that he paid for it from some other source of income- which he shouldn't be earning if he's claiming benefits.
And before anyone says it. Fuck his freedom of expression, fuck his personal liberties, and fuck his right to do whatever he likes to his own body. If he was funding himself he could have more ink than Squidopollis and pierce himself with a Renault Clio for all I care but he’s not. He’s essentially asking for money from society to fund his life until he funds it himself, and now he’s got a head like a Stilton bowling ball, he never will.
I’ve spent the last two weeks sending my CV off to every minimum wage job I can find from shelf stacking to laboring on building sites and, eventually, I’m sure I’ll get something. When I go to the interviews and sit before a prospective employer, I’m going to try and look as employable as I can. It’s boring, in fact it’s demoralizing having to put your best suit on and get your hair cut in the hope that someone will pay you next to nothing to shovel shit but it’s the least I can do. It’s the least EVERY job seeker should be doing.
Imagine you met an out of work juggler and gave him a few grand to keep him going till he got a job, then, next time you met him, he’d spent it having his arms chopped off for a laugh, you’d close your wallet before he could say, “hold this mate, I need to pee.”
At what point do we stop benefits? When does someone finally get sat down by a lady in a cardigan to be told, “You know breathing isn’t a job don’t you?” I want to see the government ad campaign where a cleaner, a mechanic and a lollipop lady stare down the camera lens and say, “If we all lived like you, you’d be dead. Start making an effort dick head!” It doesn’t have to rhyme but it’s nice of a party slogan does- makes it easier to remember.
While I’m in the stocks, how hard is it NOT to have kids? I’ve been doing it for all my adult life with no training or special skills. My wife and I want to be parents but it’s expensive so we’re waiting for a time when we have some sustainable income. Why aren’t people who can’t afford their own lives being bollocked when they start making new ones?
Again, before anyone says it. Fuck their human right to have kids- there’s no such thing. Nobody has the right to have kids, you either can or you can’t and if you can’t, whether it be for physical or financial reasons, you just don’t. It doesn’t get much simpler.
Here’s a radical idea that’s going to make Clarkson look like Shami Chakrabarti and me look like the love child of King Herod and Karl Pilkington.
What if every male child born in this country, along with various inoculations and blood tests, had, at birth, small plastic plugs injected into his Vasa Deferentia (sperm pipes to you and me) so that every male is incapable of reproduction until they’re ready to be a parent? No? There must be a safe and cheap way to do something of this nature though- surely? Anyone?
If you’re going to throw fruit please make sure it’s fair trade.. and out of it’s tin.
Call me Hitler if you want but if people are physically incapable of stopping themselves reproducing then it needs to be taken out of their hands and trousers until such a time that they’re responsible enough to take on the weight of parenthood.
You need a license for a dog and if you want to adopt you have to pass more tests, checks and selection panels than an astronaut and yet bored skint merchants can happily populate their surroundings with gay abandon and the sure knowledge that it won’t cost them a bean and nobody so much as raises an inquiring cough.
My scheme, which I admit needs a little smoothing out in the technical details, would leave everyone free to shag to their hearts content. It would be like the sexual revolution in the twitter age- the sixties with hash tags, and we’d then only have STDs, AIDS and moral decimation to worry about.
Once someone can demonstrate their ability to support a child, their plugs are removed on the NHS- naturally, because it would be loaded by then and every hospital would be made of gold and every nurse would be on the kind of wage they deserve. I’m sure the procedure could be done in an afternoon.
Selective social engineering? ‘Big Brother’ control? Favoring the fortunate? Maybe, but right now, as I stand on the brink of doing shit work for very little money and then still having to give some of it to twats with face tattoos, I really don’t care.
All those with a greater understanding of social decay, economic forces and the causes of deprivation please form an orderly queue, or educate me via the comments section. Cheers.