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What’s Really To Blame? Part 2

Posted by | Posted in Society, The 9-To-5 Droll | Posted on 09-10-2008

“Please sir, can I have some more?”

Things have been pretty hectic at work today, so I don’t suppose I’ll have time to do a full blown War And Peace-style article today, but I’ll see what I can muster.

Leading on from what I was saying yesterday – along with the “bad” side of society comes the good side. For every person who thinks that the world owes them a living, there is someone out there who thinks it’s up to them to help themselves, and others in the process. Generally speaking, there are are more of these “good” people than there “bad” people, but as discussed yesterday, with the declining standards of society in general, this notion is changing rapidly.

It is the good people who create the laws that we live by; and who take jobs enforcing those laws; and who make sure that the laws are fair and just. It’s also those same people who are compassionate, fair and sympathize with the less fortunate. And that’s no bad thing. If it weren’t for these people, things would still be as the were in the dark ages – barbaric and (probably) cold.

But there are also plenty of people out there that one might call opportunists. They’re the sort of people who, by their very nature, or because of the environment that they’ve grown up in, seek to exploit every possible opportunity that comes their way. And as far as they see things, a country that practically “gives away” free money in the form of benefits is just another opportunity. So they do what they always do when they come across an opportunity – they exploit it.

I’m talking about the people who claim benefits when they have no need to. The people who have more and more children because they think the government will give them more money for doing so. The people who claim Job Seekers Allowance despite running their own business, which pays no taxes. And there are plenty of people out there like that.

What with the legal system being as complicated and as long-winded as it is, there are a number of loopholes and workarounds that mean people can either claim more money than they’d morally be entitled to, or they can become excluded from making certain tax payments. Effectively, they screw the country out of money, and by ‘country’, I mean us.

Young Average Joe and the missus are the ones who foot the bill. They’re the ones who pay the price for freeloading opportunists. And the best bit about it all is that they know they’re paying the price. They know that there are people down the road who are living in a house they haven’t paid for, and going to work to do a job that they created themselves but kept totally off the books. And they know that they’re the ones who’s fuel prices or council tax will go up next year because there are a shortage of houses (and so greater demand) for all the honest first-time buyers out there.

And that’s where the problems start. Unfortunate as it is, there’s a certain type (or a few types, inreality) of people who generally fall under this category. The chav culture has bred many a native UK individual in such a way that have turned out like this, but there are plenty of other groups of people that do the same thing.

You may call it stereotyping, or worse still, racism, but there are certainly a number of “trends” that become apparent amongst certain religious or ethnic groups. As I say, the Caucasian Chav Clan is growing in numbers every day, but ever since the country opened it’s doors to the rest of the world in the 50’s and 60’s there have been a number of people from various other countries who have seen the opportunities that this country provides, and well and truly taken advantage of it.

It’s hardly surprising, since many of the eastern countries that these people originally came from have been ravaged with war, famine, and poverty. It’s created a certain culture of it’s own, whereby people have learned to live by taking advantage of every small opportunity that may come their way. In their native land, this is a matter of life or death, but here in the UK, there are so nuch necessities.

But, in the same way that the general conditions of their native countries have fostered a certain culture, the same can be said for the UK. However, the culture here is very different, and we’re generally brought up from a young age to accept differences and tolerate people of all races, colours, religions, class, educational levels, and so on. So what happens when people who typically have to fight for survival on a daily basis meet a society of generosity, understanding, and tolerance?

In short, a piss-take is what happens. As more and more people have immigrated to the UK, the various ethnic minorities and cultures we have been introduced to start to become more common, promoting a multi-cultural society. I personally think this is a good thing. For decades us Brits have stuck our heads in the sand, secure in the knowledge that everyone else learnes English as their second language, and that we once owned most of the world. But I think we’ve all been a bit ignorant, to be honest. It’s about time we realised that there is more to the world than just fish and chips, football, and crappy east end soaps.

Having said that, the multi-culturalism that has come about over the last few decades (moreso in the last 10 years specifically) has meant that people are becoming ever more aware of the differences between cultures. For the ignorant amongst us, that simply promotes racism and other equally nasty traits. But for the “good” people of the UK, it has created the whole “politically correct” situation, which I think has got way out of hand.

It’s all very well saying that everyone should be treated equally, regardless of… well, anything but that’s far enough – you shouldn’t need a law (or a religion, for that matter) to tell you that. But combined with the tolerance that the “good” people of the country try and promote, and the advantage-taking nature of some of the people who these new-found laws are used to protect, you end up with a situation where anyone who isn’t classed as an average while male aged between 18 and 45 seems to think that they’re special, and that they are “owed” some special privilages, due to the equal opportunities laws.

Take, for instance, the fact that blackboards can no longer be called blackboards. They must be called “chalk boards” instead. Why is that? I don’t see anyone complaining that whiteboards are called whiteboards. Funny, that. The point is that there are many people who know that the Political Correctness Cloud is right over their heads, and they can use it to take advantage of the system. But it’s got to such a point that people are starting to realise that there are many people who are taking advantage of the good nature of the general population, and the rules that we live by. But because of the various stigmas attached to discussing such topics, many people feel as though they are in the wrong when discussing them.

Fair enough, some people don’t know when to stop, but many others do. Discussing people’s attitudes towards the way they treat the system isn’t wrong. In fact, more people should be encouraged to do so, as the PC Brigade seem to be trying to put a complete stop to it. There’s no need to step on anyone’s toes here, but it still needs to be discussed. As I mentioned yesterday, if the advantage-takers become so great in number that the system is unable to cope, it goes beyong morally turning a blind eye, to actually needed to be sorted out. Because of the attitudes of the people who can change these views/laws etc, it will be very hard to get through to them. But as more and more of the general public voice their concerns, The Man should start to listen.

So who is to blame for everything that’s going on at the moment? Well, we are. We’re the victims of the “bad” people, and we’re the victims of our own sense of decency, honest, and compassion. We can’t lose those things, but in the same way that many individual people find themselves being taken advantage of by “friends”, we as a country need to stand up for ourselves and stop people taking advantage of us as a whole. The phrase “firm but fair” springs to mind.

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