Grumpy Old Man Part 1

September 10, 2007 at 2:20 pm 10 comments


Made My Blood boil! 


I got very annoyed one Friday listening to Radio 5. There was an interview with an Anna Taylor who was complaining that she would lose out to the tune of £89 per week if she got a job, rather than claiming benefit! This is a woman who has been “on the sick” for a number of years but is well enough to have given birth to five children in the last five years. Her husband/partner does not work either. Between them they “earn” in benefits the equivalent of an annual salary of £35k.

It made me so mad. She gets paid £35k per annum so that she and her partner can stay home 24/7 “bringing up” five kids under the age of five. I don’t know for sure, but I guess that £35k is probably more than a properly trained and qualified Nanny would earn. Someone who has worked hard to get a job as a Nanny.

What really grated was the woman’s attitude. Her whole defence was that she was only getting what she was entitled to and that it was ridiculous that she would be worse off if (and this is a huge, huge if) she got a proper job. I am sorry! The ridiculous thing is that the Government is willing to use my hard-earned tax contribution to fund a family of layabouts and enable them to afford five kids. As far as I am concerned there is an easy way to resolve this dilemma…Cut her benefits by a couple of hundred quid a week and force the parents out to work!!!

My mom and dad were hard up when they were bringing me and my sister up. My dad’s final year annual salary before retirement was less than my first year starting salary of twenty years ago. And he had worked for some 35 years for the same company! My mom often held down two jobs at a time to make ends meet. She took night shift work in factories so that she would always be at home when my sister and myself came home from school. And dad would be there when mom was at work. And, if dad had to work at night too, then a relative would be called upon to look after us.

The only Government benefit we got as a family was the family allowance and my university grant. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate how lucky I was to have had my university education funded in this way. I’m not sure that I could have survived in this current world with loans and huge overdrafts.

But, even then, while a student, I topped funds up myself with two scholarships, that I earned, and by working every Summer holiday! Including a job stripping asbestos from a factory. Wearing full breathing apparatus with an industrial vacuum cleaner strapped to my back up the top of a ladder! And, another job cleaning out oil sumps under tyre presses during the industrial shutdown weeks in Birmingham.

That was one helluva job. It involved being lowered on a rope down a sump shaft that was about one metre square and several metres deep. It was so hot that we worked in ten minute shifts. Ten minutes down the sump and ten minutes on the rope. When in the sump, a bucket would be lowered and you had to dig out all of the gunk, rubber and oil at the bottom of the sump and pass the bucket past your face back up to the top. It was quite horrific when you got to the bottom. Rubber beetles live on this stuff. Rubber beetles are like a cockroach’s worst nightmare. Huge. Scary buggers! Not the kind of thing you want to pass by your face by the bucketful!

My mom and dad worked every hour that God sent; took every and any job that they could to put food on our table and to give my sister and I the opportunity to go to university. They worked hard. They never had a credit card and they only bought what they could afford and when they could afford to have it. They saved for things like camping holidays or for the colour TV. They saved so that they could afford their babies. They were hard working, working class, looking to do better for themselves and their kids.

And then this Anna Taylor comes along complaining that she can’t find a job paying her £35k per annum to bring up her five kids. She left school at 16 and she aspires to a salary that kids who have put themselves through university would aspire to. And, she sees it as an entitlement. She genuinely believes that she is doing her bit by bringing five kids into the world.

Indeed, many sprang to Anna’s defence on the radio chat show, explaining that with our increasingly elderly population, we’re more and more reliant upon children growing up and becoming the tax payers of the future to pay for our pension and health care. I’m sorry! It is actually the past generations not the future ones that have paid for my pension and health care. The past generations and the current workers such as myself.

And, are you really trying to convince me that these five kids, given the example of their not-so-hard-working or civic-minded parents will develop a strong work ethic, get themselves a good education and solid jobs, paying lots of taxes into future social-welfare funds. They will be unusual if they do. I so hope they prove me wrong. Or, is it more likely that we will have another five adults living off entitlements/benefits, producing other kids for the state to feed and clothe, while they sit around all day watching Sky Movies, Jeremy Kyle and Judge Judy on their huge plasma screens. I wonder.

Also, when did it become Government policy in this country to pay people to breed? C and I, unfortunately, have not been able to have children. Not through lack of trying. For many years my annual bonus, which is a reflection of how hard I worked, was spent on privately funding IVF or other fertility treatment, without success. £35k would pay for about ten such procedures, every year! Could you imagine the furore if people such as C and I got that.

So, Mr Brown, please review the benefit system in this country. Think a little more about the tax payers, the hard workers. I am not saying that we shouldn’t look after the weak, the poor and the needy. Indeed I am more than happy for my tax pounds to go towards the needy and to pay for the pensions and health care of those people who have worked hard all their lives. But, you cannot convince me that giving someone £35k is the answer to anything. That woman’s attitude is proof enough.

Why pay benefits for five kids? Why not limit it to two and force would-be parents to think about the consequences of their actions and to develop a social awareness? My mom and dad planned their family, why shouldn’t these? And, by planning, I mean they worked out if and when they could afford a family rather than whether or not the state benefits would cover the additional cost.

Why not make benefits conditional upon certain caveats, such as attending parenting classes, guaranteeing to take the kids to the park twice a week, the kids’ attendance rate at school, etc. And while I think about it, why don’t we bring back National Service? I don’t necessarily mean putting young men into the army and sending them off to fight an illegal war somewhere. But, why not work as hospital porters, or visiting the elderly in hospices, or as support staff in the fire service, the police, or painting civic buildings. Anything to give them a work ethic and a sense of pride and discipline. I think this would solve your ASBO culture and the underage pregnancy rate in one fell swoop.

It just makes my blood boil.

OK rant over. I think I’m turning into Jeremy Clarkson….




Entry filed under: childhood memories, Economy, Politics, rant, TV. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Anything For The Weekend? Grumpy Old Man Part 2

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. akinsankofa  |  June 2, 2009 at 2:51 pm

    rant on, my boy rant on! someone give him a soapbox. Good stuff DJ!


    • 2. Middle Man  |  June 9, 2009 at 10:28 am

      Thanks WW. I felt better for getting it off my chest 😉


  • 3. Surprisemommy  |  July 25, 2009 at 11:20 pm

    I just did the math for Canada and I realize that it works out the same here for 5 children! I recently became pregnant and was unaware of it until I was kicked from the inside out. I was terrified because I had taken it upon myself to be self-employed after college. This means in Canada I am not entitled to Employment Insurance which also governs Mat-leave. I have one son and was working like a dog to keep food on the table. I am THANKFULL for the benefit that I will receive for my son and the new one on the way. But this should not be a career choice! Hopefully, if your system works like ours, her income will decrease substantially as those children turn 6, then she will feel the pain…. And I agree, even with college it would take me 5 years possibly to hit 35k!


  • 4. Bob Right  |  February 25, 2010 at 7:05 am

    Mr Grumps.

    Oh, this response is somewhat tardy, but better late than never eh.

    I couldn’t read all of your rant, but I scanned through most of it
    You are not from the UK are you? No, I thought not, judging by your use of the word ‘mom’! That’s a bit of a giveaway isn’t it.

    I am just wondering about where you got those qualifications to
    make you think that you have the answers on how best to run the social security services in this country? Were they from that university that you referred to?

    Some people are, or have been on long-term benefits for a long time. If they did go out and work they would probably have to work for about 100 hours a week, to earn just about

    the same amount that they are now receiving on benefits. In that case I can see why most of them would prefer to stay at home!

    You are keen on the idea of using ‘force’ aren’t you? ‘You know, ‘forcing’ people to do this and that. You sound like a regular little nazi!

    As far as your suggestion about sending young men out into the community to ‘paint civic bulidings’ – (concentration camps perhaps, in your ideal world, for dole-scum layabouts to

    be placed in to be ‘forced’ to do various labour-intensive tasks),
    or sending them into hospices etc and that helping to reduce the under-age pregnancy rate is just………….nonsense!

    I wonder what you are doing work-wise nowadays?
    Some sort of office work perhaps? Or are you still doing that sh1t-shovelling that you devoted a good 14 or so lines to in your rant?

    I only ask, because you have shovelled up quite a large plie of cr4p in this article for us here! These darned ‘armchair politicians’! They think they have the answer to

    everything don’t they? Don’t you?

    No sir, you do not!


    • 5. Middle Man  |  February 25, 2010 at 11:03 am

      I was born in Walsall and raised by my working class family in Birmingham before leaving for university. I call my mom “mom” because that is what Midlanders do.

      I am not a Nazi – isn’t that the insult that is supposed to end all blog dialogues. Indeed, I am more than happy for my hard-earned taxes to go to help those less fortunate than myself, including people on long term benefit through genuine ill health. However, I am not happy that they go to help scroungers who feel that a society they choose not to participate owes them a standard of living that includes satellite TV and cannabis.

      I do not think that it is a radical suggestion to suggest that those who are able to, and are being funded by society, put something back by doing civic work. It will get them used to the work ethic and make them more employable.

      I do work in an office, but, as far as I am aware, that is not a crime.

      BTW did you see last night’s The Day The immigrants Left on the BBC? I rest my case…..


  • 6. Bob Right  |  February 25, 2010 at 8:08 am

    What the heck is going on with the spacing there? I certainly didn’t post that response with those unsightly gaps in it!

    Oh my! Oh deary, deary me. Unfortunately, there was no option to delete it and then repost it, so it will have to run as it is. A sad event for me is that, as I am used to seeing my articles posted without any errors or unsightly spaces like the ones above.

    Well, there’s nothing that I can do about it now I suppose, other than to grin and bear it! Take it on the chin, like a real man!
    All I can do, is convey my sincere and heartfelt apologies for anybody who should happen to read those words of mine.

    But I hope you could see what I was trying to hint at Grumps,
    because you have absolutely no qualifications whatsoever to
    make any comment upon how benefits should be paid, or to whom, in this country.

    If you had have been on benefits yourself for any considerable length of time, then maybe you would have a slightly different attitude about it.

    Sure, I have worked. Long and hard hours too, in similar conditions to yourself Grumps, in dirty and dangerous environments around Europe, in Steelworks, concrete factories and on large oil tankers in dry dock being overhauled.

    There have also been times when I have been too ill to work and have had to rely upon benefits as well, so I am trying to say that I have been on both sides of your ‘great divide’
    between the ‘workers’ and the ‘shirker’s.

    Whenever I have received any benefits, due to any work-related disability I may have, I have been thankful for that,
    but it seems like you would have that taken away from me Grumps. I’m just wondering if you might be wearing a narrow,
    black, Charlie Chaplin style moustache, with your black hair parted at the side, with a fringe sweeping down accross your forehead in an arc, about an inch or so above your right

    We’ve had surely enough mad dictators in this world already
    Grumps, don’t you think?

    If I were you, I would leave out the eating of red meat for a while, (as it’s clearly doing you no favours) and switch to lentils or beansprouts instead. Maybe take up yoga or
    something like that, to flush all of that garbage out of your clogged-up system, before you have a stroke!

    When I am next at mass Grumps, I’ll light a candle and say a prayer for your soul, because at present, the way that you are going, looks a little grim to me! In fact, it looks as
    if you are going ‘downstairs’ if you know what I mean. I’m sorry but it’s true to say, that if you go on in the fashion that you have displayed upon this page in your rant, then
    there is only one place that your soul will be bound for and that Mr Grumps, is the none too pleasant and final destination of the burning trench of Hades itself!!!

    I cross myself now thinking of it! They will all be there waiting for you, they are all probably sharpening their pitchforks as I am typing this warning to you. Repent! Repent now
    before it’s too late Grumps. Believe me, I know what I am referring to here! I have seen it, in visions. There’s no gnashing of teeth though, that’s a myth, as any teeth would have fallen out shortly after arrival, with the terrific heat there you see. There will be a fair old grinding of the gums though, that’s for

    It’s never too late for change Grumps! Why don’t we meet up online at the Celestial Church Of The Orbiting Prophet at some point for your conversion? It doesn’t cost anything. Well, only a few dollars maybe, but what’s a few bucks copmpared to an eternitiy of being slowly roasted on a spit? That’s what it will be Grumps and it won’t be an apple in your mouth either! No sir!

    I have to go now Grumps. I have to go to mass and I do not want to be late! The guru/prophet does not like people who are late and I cannot afford to pay another fine this week.

    So long Grumps. I only hope that you will pay heed to my words here because they are the absolute undeniable truth!
    Apart from the visions that I have seen myself, the guru/prophet has also sworn this to be the case and I am sure that if you ever met him, even if it were only online in his
    private chat chapel, you would most definitely feel his presence. The first time that I went there, the bottom of my mouse melted somewhat and all of the light bulbs in my house
    exploded, as all of the doors closed simultaneaously!

    Powerful stuff Grumps, it’s powerful stuff!



    • 7. Middle Man  |  February 25, 2010 at 11:07 am

      I am so grateful for the Christian, forgiving advice of the man who found Jesus in a chat room. Thank you and haleluya!


  • 8. Bob Right  |  February 25, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Oh holy hennapods!

    There should be a ‘Preview’ feature here Mr Webmaster,
    so it would be possible to check what any posts would look like ‘before’ they are posted.

    Now it is too late again you see and the second post that I have just done, whereas not as bad as the first, is not as perfect as I would like ito be!

    Maybe I have been influenced a little by the guru/prophet, but he doesn’t really like sloppy posts and neither do I to be truthful.

    So how about it then? A ‘Preview’ feature, to check what the post will look like ‘before’ it is committed to the page?

    Thank you.


  • 9. Bob Right  |  February 25, 2010 at 9:06 am

    Ok now G, I see that the date of the article at the top of this page is September 10, 2007. I just checked on the link called ‘Home and what do I see? That is correct G, yet another moan about the social security and benefits system in this country.

    You have been grinding that particular axe now for quite a few years it seems. I am surprised that there is still any of it left! I just feel deep, deep down inside that you were moaning about those on benefits, years before you even went on the web for the first time.

    It seems that I interpreted you as an American or Canadian G,
    considering your use of the word ‘mom’. If you are British, and were born in Walsall why on earth would you use that bastardised American mis-spelling of that word? I’ll certainly
    wager right now that you don’t call your mother ‘mom’ and I’ll also wager that you never have!

    For an example, if you had ‘dragged’ something along the ground, our poor illiterate cousins the Americans, would say ‘I drug it along the ground’ – talk about stupid G!

    Ahh, I get it, you spelt it that way to make yourself seem a little cooler to readers from the US and Canada! That’s the truth G you know it!

    Are you in fact a celebrity then? Your comment about ‘choosing not to go on a celebrity dance programme’ would suggest that you are.

    I find all of those dance-related programmes just horrendous myself, and the latest spawn of that foul breed ‘Dancing On wheels’ can you beleieve that?!

    I find the idea of people in wheelchairs ‘dancing’ on televison a monstrous concept! Whatever next ‘Dancing Without Skin’ perhaps, featuring the unfortunate victims who have bee caught in fires, or maybe ‘Dancing Without Arms Or Legs’, featuring those unfortunate souls who are just a torso, writhing about on the ground. I am not making fun of these types of people, just attempting to highlight how
    ridiculous these ideas could become, as I’m sure that somebody somewhere has already suggested these ideas and they probably do exist already somewhere on the dark and disturbing underbelly of the web.

    Okay G, I am going to gracefully bow out now, after my posts here at your site, which I initially thought was something else,
    other than ‘your’ site, not taking the time to check out the bio in the first instance.

    IIt really would be a good idea though to have a preview feature on the page though, for future reference, as the end result is a tidier looking page, even if the tidied-up content may seem to be barking mad.


    The Reverend Bob Right

    Not really, only kidding.

    This internetwebzthingy, it just turns most people into downright liars G, apart from me that is, as I mostly told the truth. Apart from all o’ that old Hades nonsense, which I was just making up as I went along for the ‘Hell’ of it.

    I can well imagine you deleting all of this nonsense, but I did try to make it entertaining in parts, even if I may have sounded a little harsh here and there.

    Over and out,



    • 10. Middle Man  |  February 25, 2010 at 11:12 am

      Delete you, Bob? Why would I do that? You make me look good! Entertaining? Well, I’ll leave that to others to decide.



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