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    (Original post by cottonmouth)
    And she is offensively ugly. I don't believe for a second she never wanteds to get ragged; its a simple case of needed so many beers before commencing the act that the men all died of alcoholic poisoning before they got hard.
    When I was about nine my dad gave me this massive lecture about not judging people on their appearances, then he turned on the TV, saw Widdecombe on the news and went "That woman is the ugliest person in the world." Then when I reminded him of what he'd just told me he went "Errm ahh I mean she's ugly on the inside." Which I guess is also true.

    AW is a really foul human being, sadly I missed the programme but I can imagine I would probably have agreed with what the other lefties have said in this thread down to the last letter. The second some Tory politician gets down off their high horse and does a day's manual labour I'll have some respect for their views that the Great Unwashed just need to get off their arses. Somebody else already mentioned it but for those who missed it I'll say it again - forget living on £360 a week as an individual, we're talking about 20 people here aren't we? The 17 kids plus the three adults? Even without things like rent and bills that still only leaves £18 a week to feed each person. I spend about that much on my food shop each week at uni and my diet is very frugal. To live on such a wage would be incredibly tight and it's all very well to say "Well he shouldn't have had so many kids if he couldn't support them" but the kids are here now, aren't they? They need to be looked after properly. Making sanctimonious statements with the pompous benefit of hindsight is very enjoyable I'm sure, but say for argument's sake that he did act irresponsibly, why should it be the kids who have to suffer for his mistake?
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    (Original post by Soc)
    What do you know?


    What tripe. The less legislators we have, the better.
    Firstly, I never claimed to know about being a politician. I am saying what does he know, the rest of don't.

    Secondly, maybe is Islamic law (not being racist just inquisitive) legislator's are 'frowned upon' as advocates of democracy, since we all know Islam is against the idea of democracy.
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    So apart from cottonmouth trying vaguely to counter insult me people are just going on the appearances of the person who did the programme? My God that's just ****ing pathetic, you ignore the real issues here and go onto looks.

    If this was one of the many ugly socialists preaching about nationalisation and statism then I bet they would change their tune a bit.
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    Well, I believe some people have noted that Anne hasn't really got adequate experience of working-class life and is therefore is in no position to judge others. She's entitled to her view, of course.
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    (Original post by dan_man)
    So apart from cottonmouth trying vaguely to counter insult me people are just going on the appearances of the person who did the programme? My God that's just ****ing pathetic, you ignore the real issues here and go onto looks.

    If this was one of the many ugly socialists preaching about nationalisation and statism then I bet they would change their tune a bit.
    If you believe that the comments about her attractiveness (or lack thereof) are the core points of the general debate we have been having, then you really need to brush up on your analytical skills.

    And could you explain the phrase "trying vaguely"? Have you misinterpreted the meaning of 'vague' too?
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    £360 is a terrific wage for someone (prima facie) completely unskilled. What more do they want?

    She earns £50,000 because she bothered to make herself appropriate to what the market demands, while a bunch of unemployed girls would rather sit on their arses watching "Big Brother" or something equally ridiculous.
    Absolutely.

    She might be the but ugly tory hag that cottonmouth describes, but she must have some of the best job researchers in the country.

    You'd be very lucky to be getting more than a pound over minimum wage in a mind crushing factory slumber. To be getting £9 an hour; hell, you could probably budget for an annual holiday on that (assuming family commitments aren't too high)!

    To turn down that kind of money is to be content in lolling about in your own apathy. Not a care in the world for those who are paying for your food.

    Just where, cottonmouth and others, is the point of view that ought to have been put across? How does the benefit trap apply to someone who's offered £18,000 a year?
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    (Original post by Shaun39)
    She might be the but ugly tory hag that cottonmouth describes,
    Well, I doubt anyone is going to be describing her as top shelf tossing off material, but all the same - who said you have to be pretty to be an MP? Most male politicians aren't exactly dashing, but nobody ever goes around taking the piss out of them...
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    (Original post by Astor)
    Secondly, maybe is Islamic law (not being racist just inquisitive) legislator's are 'frowned upon' as advocates of democracy, since we all know Islam is against the idea of democracy.
    Islam is accused by most being a legalistic religion, and you claim the opposite, quite funny that.

    Nah, that was my libertarian side speaking there.
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    (Original post by dan_man)
    God your stupid, it was a completely sarcastic comment I know your a socialist but if your IQ was any lower then we would have to water you. Your harking on about 'lol 360 quid aint enuf' is complete crap, do these people live in central London, no.
    You'd do well to apprise yourself of the difference between 'sarcasm' and 'hyperbole', before fulminating with belligerent rhetoric.
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    (Original post by Profesh)
    You'd do well to apprise yourself of the difference between 'sarcasm' and 'hyperbole' before fulminating belligerent rhetoric.
    For a change, I agree with you...
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    I had responded by accepting my lot as one in which I'd possibly live on my fortnightly Giro until death or 'retirement'.
    Oswy's point rings very true.

    I've worked for DWP too, as a benefits officer and a fraud officer...although not at the same time!

    It is an unfortunate fact that the culture of benefit claiming is often perpetuated as the norm in families where dad has always claimed, and kids put in their claims as soon as they are old enough to be entitled in their own right.

    It's almost a 'rite of passage' for them and they don't see it as being benefit dependant, but rather their entitlement.

    They know nothing else, and it is such a shame both for themselves and for the loss to society of talents they might have to offer.

    But then, when subsistence levels are calculated for very large families, it is a fact of life that were this person to be seeking to support his large family from his own labour he would not receive an excess income from employment over his entitlement to benefit levels. It's obviously that, on average, employers don't pay enough to allow families to have as many children as they desire.

    Benefits are not too high, salaries are too low...and I wonder if Ann W would campaign so enthusiastically to get employers to be more generous?
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    (Original post by _jackofdiamonds)
    Well at least they're earning their way. Widders was probably just jealous coz she couldn't give it away if she tried.
    Thanks for giving me the image of The Widdy Streetwalker in fishnets with a fag. *shudder*
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    When I was about nine my dad gave me this massive lecture about not judging people on their appearances, then he turned on the TV, saw Widdecombe on the news and went "That woman is the ugliest person in the world." Then when I reminded him of what he'd just told me he went "Errm ahh I mean she's ugly on the inside." Which I guess is also true.

    AW is a really foul human being, sadly I missed the programme but I can imagine I would probably have agreed with what the other lefties have said in this thread down to the last letter. The second some Tory politician gets down off their high horse and does a day's manual labour I'll have some respect for their views that the Great Unwashed just need to get off their arses. Somebody else already mentioned it but for those who missed it I'll say it again - forget living on £360 a week as an individual, we're talking about 20 people here aren't we? The 17 kids plus the three adults? Even without things like rent and bills that still only leaves £18 a week to feed each person. I spend about that much on my food shop each week at uni and my diet is very frugal. To live on such a wage would be incredibly tight and it's all very well to say "Well he shouldn't have had so many kids if he couldn't support them" but the kids are here now, aren't they? They need to be looked after properly. Making sanctimonious statements with the pompous benefit of hindsight is very enjoyable I'm sure, but say for argument's sake that he did act irresponsibly, why should it be the kids who have to suffer for his mistake?
    And because you apparently missed my reply, I'll say it again:

    Good thing you get child benefit regardless then, isn't it?

    Other amusing mistakes in your post:
    - All Conservatives are pampered aristocrats who don't know what work is
    - Believing that people arguing against the benefits system want those children to starve, when in fact they're arguing that if the system was less generous he wouldn't have had so many in the first place
    - Assuming, apparently, that the "Great Unwashed" don't need to get off their arses, when in fact their own lack of motivation is the only reason preventing most of them from getting a job in the first place
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    For much of my late childhood (14 onwards) my father supporting himself, my brother and I, and his various exotic mistresses on £22k. We live just outside of London (well, except we pay Londonish council tax, our police are the Met, our transport prices are dictated by Tfl, etc - technically we're the London Borough of Sutton, but it's basically a commuter town, with many of the costs and very few of the benefits! Lucky!)

    Things were a bit tight (we rented a house, no mortgage - but that's for another reason that i've been over before, and it's a bloody long story that I'm not going over again!) but we were alright! We stopped going on holiday and stuff, but ****, the warm, warm monitor glow makes up for the med sun! As soon as my brother turned 16, he started working at McDonalds, and likewise with myself. We both worked there until we were 18 and heading off to university, which is where we both are now. This job allowed us to enjoy more nice stuff, like fancy computers and whatnot.

    And to reiterate, this isn't in a cheap area. Sure, it's not central London, but your average house price where I live is above national average, fo shizzle.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    And because you apparently missed my reply, I'll say it again:

    Good thing you get child benefit regardless then, isn't it?
    Forgive me, I was under the impression this thread was entitled "Ann Widdecombe versus the benefits culture"? Therefore I made the very silly mistake of thinking people in here were arguing that this man should be supporting his family off his own bat and not relying on benefits?! You might not be arguing for the complete removal of benefits from families like this man's but there are people in this thread who surely hold that belief. Personally I think you're right, he should go out to work and at least make some effort to support himself and his family rather than relying solely on the state. I'm simply saying that people shouldn't labour under the impression that he could be perfectly capable of relinquishing benefits altogether and living solely off an income from an unskilled labourer's job. It's just a pity you felt you had to be so rude, but I'll forgive you your misunderstanding simply because we appear to be sharing the same opinion.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    Other amusing mistakes in your post:
    - All Conservatives are pampered aristocrats who don't know what work is
    - Believing that people arguing against the benefits system want those children to starve, when in fact they're arguing that if the system was less generous he wouldn't have had so many in the first place
    - Assuming, apparently, that the "Great Unwashed" don't need to get off their arses, when in fact their own lack of motivation is the only reason preventing most of them from getting a job in the first place.
    1. I don't think I said that anywhere. I didn't even imply it. But you can't deny that among Conservative politicians (as I suppose there is among all politicians) there is a tendency to be completely out of touch with the reality for those to whom they are preaching. I remember that programme where Michael Portillo swapped lives with a single mother bringing up four kids on two jobs and benefits and he was shocked.

    2. Yes and that's all very well but like I said, hypotheticals like that are no good to the situation are they? Hindsight is always 20:20, saying "He shouldn't have had so many kids in the first place" does absolutely nothing towards solving the issue, does it?

    3. I disagree with your choice of quantifier. I would say there are some people whose lack of motivation prevents them getting a job. I also think there are plenty who do put a lot of effort into finding employment but for a myriad reasons find it very hard. To say "most" is very daring and I would contest it, although sadly I don't have any statistics to back up my opinion so perhaps I'll have a sniff around.
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    (Original post by Libertin du Nord)
    Dare I say it, but if you were skint you could not live in London. You'd hope someone would have the common sense to realise that. As for a decent life - you most certainly could - a solid roof over your head, all the food you can eat and still enough left over to pop down to the theatre every now and again. If you're unskilled, what do you expect? A Mercedes in the drive and a four bedroom detached in Guildford? Not a ****ing chance, and quite rightly so.
    Sorry to double post and sorry if this is a little offtopic, but Lib I'm really interested to hear more about your views, I hope you'll take the time to explain to me why you feel the way you do. Essentially, I want to know why you say "quite rightly so"? Although I don't think it would benefit our society to totally abandon the general idea of a meritocracy, I am interested as to what makes you think that people should be rewarded for having particular talents when they haven't chosen to be that way, that's just how they were born. E.g. everybody on TSR is very lucky to be bright. Of course we've worked hard at school and at uni to get to where we want to be but the same is true of plenty of people who will never achieve what we have. I had two or three friends at sixth form who all did the same A Level subjects as me, worked their arses off and all got BBC. I am extremely fortunate that I was born brainy enough to get the grades I needed for vet school, it wasn't something I chose and I don't think I deserved my grades more than anyone else who did exactly the same amount of work.

    Equally, there are plenty of people who just will never make anything other than a manual labourer. I'm working at a stables at the minute and most of the other girls there will never do anything except work there. They work bloody hard and if it were not for them and other people like them, we would not have riding schools in this country. The same goes for all the farm labourers, dairymen, shepherds etc that I've worked with. It is very hard using your brain all day at uni but it is definitely harder to work a 12 or 14 hour day with a load of dumb animals/tourists (they're all the same) only to be rewarded with about a week off each year and a salary well below the average for this country. Without factory workers and people doing the ****ty little jobs our economy couldn't function so why do you feel that unskilled labourers shouldn't be suitably rewarded? I honestly think that the person who milks the cows down my road does a job just as important as my dad, who's a very high profile lawyer. Of course they're completely different but I like milk on my sultana bran in the morning just as much as I like...having laws...?

    I guess what I'm trying to say is don't you think we should reward people on the basis of how hard they work rather than how important you judge their job to be, because isn't that really subjective? I hate it when people start saying that science is boring and nobody cares about it, or when people start saying that art students are dossers, because you can be damn sure they expect their GP to be a bloody miracle worker and who did the interior design for the buildings they see everyday? Who can ultimately be the judge of which jobs are worthwhile and should be rewarded with more money, and which aren't and shouldn't?

    Sorry, just thought I'd add that you can PM me if you don't want to clog up the thread xx
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    <snip>
    I think it's because we tend to reward responsibility (and entering traditional professions) more than effort, and so do most, if not all, other countries. Also, it might be a supply and demand relationship. There are less people capable of being a doctor than there are people capable of stacking shelves in a supermarket, for example. Therefore, the doctor's skills are valued higher. Obviously this doesn't ring true for everything, but in a lot of cases it does.

    On the subject of Ann Widdecombe - I saw the adverts for those programmes of hers but I didn't actually watch them because I was very put off by them. It just looked like she was walking around a red light district and shouting at prostitutes, embarrassing them and herself. I don't see why she thinks it is right to take a film crew around and try to lecture these women. It's not illegal to accept money for sex. Perhaps if she focused a bit more on people trafficking and exploitation of women by organised crime then I'd have a bit of sympathy for her cause. She seems to be against prostitution because it is contrary to her own moral code, which is no good reason to try to make people do what she wants. These Widdecombe programmes are just crap shock television typical of ITV.
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    (Original post by Will)
    Also, it might be a supply and demand relationship. There are less people capable of being a doctor than there are people capable of stacking shelves in a supermarket, for example. Therefore, the doctor's skills are valued higher. Obviously this doesn't ring true for everything, but in a lot of cases it does.
    Good point, hadn't thought of that for some reason, but it's "fewer"

    I guess Lib might be including people like shepherds and stable girls in his definition of "skilled workers" because not just anybody could do their job, but then I don't see why they aren't rewarded appropriately if they are classed as skilled?
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    (Original post by Jennybean)
    Forgive me, I was under the impression this thread was entitled "Ann Widdecombe versus the benefits culture"? Therefore I made the very silly mistake of thinking people in here were arguing that this man should be supporting his family off his own bat and not relying on benefits?! You might not be arguing for the complete removal of benefits from families like this man's but there are people in this thread who surely hold that belief. Personally I think you're right, he should go out to work and at least make some effort to support himself and his family rather than relying solely on the state. I'm simply saying that people shouldn't labour under the impression that he could be perfectly capable of relinquishing benefits altogether and living solely off an income from an unskilled labourer's job. It's just a pity you felt you had to be so rude, but I'll forgive you your misunderstanding simply because we appear to be sharing the same opinion.
    Incorrect, what Widdecombe actually argued was that many people who draw benefits don't really deserve them because they're able to work. At no point did she (or anyone else in this thread) say that no one should receive state assistance at all.

    1. I don't think I said that anywhere. I didn't even imply it. But you can't deny that among Conservative politicians (as I suppose there is among all politicians) there is a tendency to be completely out of touch with the reality for those to whom they are preaching. I remember that programme where Michael Portillo swapped lives with a single mother bringing up four kids on two jobs and benefits and he was shocked.

    2. Yes and that's all very well but like I said, hypotheticals like that are no good to the situation are they? Hindsight is always 20:20, saying "He shouldn't have had so many kids in the first place" does absolutely nothing towards solving the issue, does it?

    3. I disagree with your choice of quantifier. I would say there are some people whose lack of motivation prevents them getting a job. I also think there are plenty who do put a lot of effort into finding employment but for a myriad reasons find it very hard. To say "most" is very daring and I would contest it, although sadly I don't have any statistics to back up my opinion so perhaps I'll have a sniff around.
    1. It was something of an assumption - "the second some Tory politician gets down off their high horse and does a day's manual labour I'll have some respect for their views that the Great Unwashed just need to get off their arses."

    2. I see you ignored my point altogether - the argument runs that we can prevent further examples of his sort by trimming down the system. It may be too late to stop him, but not to stop others. He was really a case of "Look what an overly generous system leads to"

    3. There were 650 000 vacancies May - July 2007, with a claimant count of 850 000. (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12) Most of them should be able to find work, unless you want to claim that all of them live too far away from all the vacancies?
    It's worth noting that the claimant count only measures those on unemployment related benefits, and so we could instead look at the number of unemployed as measured by the LFS, in which case we see 1.65m. Over a third of them should be able to find work.
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    (Original post by Apagg)
    Incorrect, what Widdecombe actually argued was that many people who draw benefits don't really deserve them because they're able to work. At no point did she (or anyone else in this thread) say that no one should receive state assistance at all.
    :confused: I never said anything about what Widdecombe said. In fact I did explicitly say I missed the programme. And fair enough nobody has actually come out and said that they think the state should withdraw all benefit but I know for a fact there are people on TSR who would absolutely support that motion. I still maintain there was absolutely no need to be so sardonic, I'm not a moron.

    (Original post by Apagg)
    1. It was something of an assumption - "the second some Tory politician gets down off their high horse and does a day's manual labour I'll have some respect for their views that the Great Unwashed just need to get off their arses."

    2. I see you ignored my point altogether - the argument runs that we can prevent further examples of his sort by trimming down the system. It may be too late to stop him, but not to stop others. He was really a case of "Look what an overly generous system leads to"

    3. There were 650 000 vacancies May - July 2007, with a claimant count of 850 000. (http://www.statistics.gov.uk/cci/nugget.asp?id=12) Most of them should be able to find work, unless you want to claim that all of them live too far away from all the vacancies?
    It's worth noting that the claimant count only measures those on unemployment related benefits, and so we could instead look at the number of unemployed as measured by the LFS, in which case we see 1.65m. Over a third of them should be able to find work.
    1. But you admit that it was an inference on your part and not an implication on mine? No one else has commented on it.

    2. Fine but like I said, that doesn't do anything to solve the situation as it stands, does it? Perhaps the benefits culture is somewhat to blame for people like him having 17 kids but you can hardly be claiming that everyone on benefits in this country is just running wild, popping out kids like popcorn chicken and expecting the state to foot the bill? He is a truly exceptional case and to be honest I think that regardless of the generosity (or lack thereof) of the welfare state, there will always be people like him who do things the rest of us consider very odd or perhaps lacking in judgement. I really don't think one person with a ****load of kids is a reason to whittle down the payments given to everyone, including people who desperately depend on them.

    3. Thanks for looking up those statistics, that's great. I would say that clearly you do have a point and that there will undoubtedly be people who should make that bit more effort to find a job. But proximity to a job isn't the only factor. I don't like the idea seemingly held by the Conservatives that "beggars can't be choosers" when it comes to the unemployed. I know that if I needed a job to support my family, it would seem like a false economy to get into a job that I hated, that wanted me to work awful hours and for rubbish pay, or that severely conflicted with my lifestyle. Surely it makes sense to find a job that you at least can tolerate and that fits in well with your life, even if it does take that bit longer to get settled into permanent employment, because then you are more likely to be motivated, to work harder and to stick with it long term. Rushing into a job you hate simply because a Tory politician did a bit of shouting seems foolish to me - if you do badly and get sacked then that damages your long term employment prospects doesn't it? Better to think about the long run. But that's only my opinion of course...
 
 
 
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