Although this article is filed under Entertainment, you might not be amused if you are one of the people affected by these Draconian cuts.
Yesterday, the British Government instituted major changes to the benefit system. No, this was not and is not a joke, certainly not for the people at the bottom. They were in the pipeline for a long time, and were reported here back in June of last year. Their architect is “quiet man” Iain Duncan Smith, who having been ditched as Conservative Party leader was given by way of compensation the difficult, unpopular but necessary task of reforming the benefit system.
There is no doubt that he means well, but the road to Hell is paved with what?
The goal IDS has set himself is to ensure that work always pays, ie that people always have more money in their pockets when they are in work than they would have if they were out of work and on state benefits. The problem is that there is only one way to do this in practice, that is to ensure that the people at the very bottom: the underclass, the unemployables - like this poor wretch - are paid nothing or next to nothing. Which will force them to do what?
If anyone thinks this is an exaggeration, ask yourself what sort of job men like this can do, and who will employ them, paying them a living wage? The simple fact is that these sort of jobs are not there anymore, but IDS and his ilk blinded by the delusion of the necessity of full employment will never be able to see the real, indeed the only solution. Or maybe some Liberal Democrats have?
Whatever some of his younger Coalition partners may think, IDS has now made a complete fool of himself. Not only has he claimed that he could live on £53 a week, but the Daily Mirror has published a lengthy article about his own lifestyle. A petition has now been started for him to put his money where his mouth is. Don’t expect him to.
But it is not simply benefit and housing benefit that are being cut. There are swingeing cuts to Legal Aid; the Law Society has warned against this, and it is not the vested interest of greedy lawyers talking, as should be clear from what Toby Hales says. His sentiments were echoed on the BBC Breakfast news programme this morning by Fiona Wood, a solicitor who specialises in family law. She said the cuts would lead to a rise in "quickie" divorces, ie couples acting in person, including using on-line services, which may be bad news for Miss Wood and her firm, but it is not necessarily good news either for divorcing couples or the court system. Top judge Lord Neuberger warned about this latter last month, but he went much further saying the cuts could undermine the rule of law.
While no one is laughing at the government’s latest attempts to cut public spending, it is difficult not to laugh at some of the antics of the National Union of Teachers at their annual general meeting. Apparently, “sexism and inequality are still a huge factor in shaping women’s lives”. Yawn.
Pole dancing clubs and beauty pageants are turning back the clock on decades of campaigning for sexual equality, we are told. So what is the solution to this non-problem? Maybe boys should be encouraged to pole dance? They already take part in beauty contests of a sort, well, these guys do. If you don’t think their bodies are beautiful, make sure you say so out of earshot.
So what else is the NUT complaining about? Well, apparently kids today are growing up in a culture where pornographic images are widely available, cosmetic surgery is advertised and there is a “fixation” with staying slim.
So what is the solution, a society in which there is heavy sexual censorship as advocated by Andrea Dworkin and her ilk? Take a look at her, below, and ask yourself if a woman who equates sex between a man and his with rape has any business telling you what you can read or see. As for the fixation with staying slim, aren’t we forever being warned that our kids especially are obese?
The person at the NUT responsible for this nonsense is Kiri Tonks. Run her name through an anagram solver for some real fun.
Andrea Dworkin (1946-2005), only on April 1 could her lunatic anti-male ideas be taken seriously.
[The above op-ed was first published April 2, 2013; the original wasn’t archived. I believe the first photograph above is a screengrab someone uploaded to the site. The man in the foreground is the UK politician Ian Duncan Smith.]
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