Saturday, 7 April 2012
No Free Lunch
I read a sensational article in a local newspaper today. It was from a member of the public who had endured no less than eight anti social neighbours over the course of several years. The poor guy had run the gamut of abusive behaviour, ranging from verbal abuse to thefts from his property, as well as other staples such as excessive noise and the dumping of rubbish in his front garden. All the various occupants, the variety of which were evicted after a painful and debilitating process, appeared to be from similar stock. Unemployed, living on benefits, often caught up in a spiral of addiction and chaotic behaviour. If we're being honest we all know people like this. They rely on our taxes and our collective goodwill to survive. I think that this alone entitles us to an honest say as to how to tackle the problems they create and the misery they cause. At the risk of being labelled a bit too militant I do happen to think that people should be expected to make a contribution to society if they wish to live off it. I'm open to what form this could take, but manual work of some kind would seem a perfectly reasonable expectation, even if it may appear a bit menial. It's not my intent to demean or humiliate, but what we see right now are people lazing around in the day and then often operating in what is tactfully called the night economy when the lights dim. These same people are often involved in a variety of criminal activity, often to fund whatever addiction that has befallen them. And what we see is a cycle of destructive behaviour, a cyclone of chaos that often sucks in those living close to them. That's people like you and me, the honest taxpayer who takes a certain pride in supporting themselves and their families. It's our lives that are soiled by the lifestyles of these disenfranchised few, us who have to lock our doors, leave nothing to chance. I don't see how this can ever be right, and only a cultural sea change is going to improve the problem. I long to see a society where everybody cherishes their children and raises them to be decent and keen to contribute to the greater good. Kids with self respect and a respect for others, along with a clear understanding that success in life has to be engineered, earned, laboured for. I fear that all too often some sections of society have come to expect a free bail out at every turn. It genuinely seems that some even expect that we will fund them indefinitely. This is a destructive expectation and something that needs usurping root and branch. All members of society, wherever good health allows, should be expected and encouraged to work hard and play fair, and to understand that nothing comes easy or free. It's the mindset we have to change, we have to cultivate in everyone a clear understanding that it's not acceptable to sit with outstretched hands and await service. That's not how any successful society functions. Heck, it's a recipe for societal disaster. No, the days of easy handouts and unrealistic expectations need to be swept away, otherwise we're going to become lethargic, immobile, and unfit to call ourselves Great Britain any more.