In thinking that a couple living in a one bed flat with 2 kids should not have decided to get 2 dogs ?

(253 Posts)
nevereatbrownsnow Mon 08-Feb-10 21:45:53

Am watching tower block of commons and really don't see the logic in this.

Both dogs are peeing everywhere, those children have no beds and there little playspace is saturated in dog urine.

Children deserve a bed at least and cleanish floors to play on, makes me feel sad

Seems selfish, they have little money and feeding two dogs of that size is not cheap.

Feel really sorry for the poor girl in temporary accomodation tho. sad

onagar Mon 08-Feb-10 22:04:19

It's what people do if they are short of money and space and can barely look after the kids. They get a dog.

Never understood it myself.

Cadelaide Mon 08-Feb-10 22:12:31

When I was in the small maternity unit after having DS the woman in the next bed had a big row with her baby's father. She stormed out of the unit after him, leaving the baby behind, and returned about 30 mins later.

Anyway, they were reconciled and the next day he came to see her bearing gifts, namely a puppy.

I just don't know what to say, really.

Vallhala Mon 08-Feb-10 22:16:23

I don't know the programme so have no idea of the background but is it the case that they got the dogs after moving into a flat or before?

If afterwards, they need their heads examining and a kick up the ass, if before, maybe they are seeking to move on but took a flat in the short term (perhaps in emergency) and are desperate not to give up loved dogs.

Many years ago my first dog and I moved into a flat for 6 months owing to having no suitable alternative. Not fun but we coped, though he never peed on the floor! To let the children live without beds is another matter - thats deplorable. And is it just me or do such people often claim not to be able to afford beds but have a flash TV, Sky subscription, money for a night out etc?

dayday Mon 08-Feb-10 22:22:42

i had a two bedroom house with four small children, me and the kids all slept in one bedroom. I dont think i was 'common' it was a happy home were we spent alot of quality time together and were happy and grateful for everything.My kids are well mannered and behaved and the kids who have everything r ungrateful and dont appreciate anything. Think ive gone off the topic its just the idea of u looking down at these 'common folk' which wound me up.

pooexplosionsareimproving Mon 08-Feb-10 22:26:09

Unless you had dogs pissing all over your kids toys, you can be sure no-one is talking about you dayday.

Vallhala Mon 08-Feb-10 22:29:30

Ditto, poo (may I call you poo? ).

This (hopefully) isn't about class, it's about common sense, decent treatment of children and the intelligence of having dogs in a flat.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 10:08:29

Shouldn't it be about why the council have failed to adequately house them? Shouldn't this family be in a two bed room flat at the least?

NotAnOtter Tue 09-Feb-10 10:09:24

dp said that...
i said that he was being unreasonable

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 10:11:24

there's probably nothing available.

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 10:14:17

Of course Val grin

Council duty to house them? Well yes, but that doesn't mean you negate your own responsibility to behave like a minimally decent parent. It wouldn't matter if I had to sleep on the street with my children, you can be sure I'd make sure I didn't bring dogs to piss all over their cardboard boxes!

I don't see how they would be much different in a 2 bed anyway, thats a red herring IMO.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 10:15:23

i agree with poo.


amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 10:19:27

"I don't see how they would be much different in a 2 bed anyway, thats a red herring IMO"

Well, at least they could have a bedroom for themselves and one for the kids... Basic requirements I would have thought, considering that we are not actually a third world country.

Sounds like you want to punish them for being "common".

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 10:31:28

Why does it always have to be us v. them and common v. ponce and all that?

Whenever someone's values are so skewed that they keep big ol dogs like that when they can't afford to feed or house their children appropriately (because that's teh government's job hmm) they need lessons about personal responsibility and priorites, be they living in a crumbling palace or a one-bed council flat.

What's responsibility have to do with 'class'?

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 10:33:35

Thats ridiculous amber and completely unwarranted. Punish them for being "common"? Thats offensive. angry
Its also offensive to all of us who live in less than ideal circumstances and yet manage to actually be half decent parents. It has nothing to do with money or class whatsover.

Do you have any idea what you are talking about, or are you just flailing wildly? hmm

EcoMouse Tue 09-Feb-10 10:34:09


However, someone commented about it often being struggling families who get dogs? It often is and I can't say I disagree with that.
It can be so enriching for all concerned and when children have little, a dog can be everything.

Still, in this instance it doesn't seem healthy for the dogs or the children.

People are usually trying to do the right thing, life just goes very wrong sometimes.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 10:36:38

It is the governments job actually. They should fullfill this responsibility in two ways:

1, Keep employment/education/housing costs at a level by which the majority can afford to house themselves.

2, Private a safety net of adequate housing for those who fall through the net.

The government is failling on both of those. The gap between rich and poor is getting worse.

In the 1950's, my Nana was judged to be living in over-crowded conditions and given a three bed flat. Two adults, two kids, one bed flat.

How things have changed.

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 10:37:36

i'm on benefits with 5 dc....but nobody really knows. we don't look in any way poor,simply because there is no need. they need to take some pride in themselves. and their home...why should they be re-housed if they cant take care of what they have? there really is NO excuse.

i manage very well on the benefits we recieve...i save for nice items,dont waste money on cigarettes or dogs which are not necessities!!

i would love a dog!!

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 10:39:07

It's also one's personal responsibility to do what he/she can to look after one's kids properly.

When you can't feed them or you put dog maintenance about feeding them as well as you possibly can or the dogs eat into the food budget, then the responsible person takes them to dog's trust or what have you and lets them know they can no longer afford to keep them.

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 10:39:50

But amber what on earth has that got to do with the point at hand? You haven't said! confused

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 10:41:47

Amen, tiffany!

Thing I hate about that show is a) not a word about the working poor, much less featuring a working poor family b) bitching. The gal last night who did nothing but bitch about asylum seekers. She lost a council house over rent arrears. Who do you do that unless you really fuck up? We're HA tenants. We don't get LHA/HB but plenty do and you get the benefit sent directly to the landlord! If you get into arrears b/c HB cocked up, it's very easily sorted and the HA bends over backwards to keep the family in their home.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 10:43:18

imvho the problem is more than just the dogs. Anyone who spends money on treats for them selves when their children are going without is a twat. Whats really sad is the fact that animal workers would problem be able to do more and quicker re these dogs and how they are living than what will ever be done for the children.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 10:43:34

" But amber what on earth has that got to do with the point at hand? You haven't said! confused"

I just think that it's a sad indictment of the world we live in, when the fact that they stupidly have two dogs is considered more worthy of comment than the fact that this is a glaring example of how we have been royally shafted by the powers that be regarding housing.

Right, getting off my soapbox lol

EcoMouse Tue 09-Feb-10 10:45:56

Amber, I agree, housing's a difficult one.

There are currently many under occupied properties because people have the right to remain in council/social housing accommodation. I agree with the right to remain but I'm experiencing first hand the issues with lack of larger properties confused many families are stuck in accommodation that's too small while many people rattle around in larger properties.

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 10:46:17

my mil had a council place from the 50's onwards....and the council came round once a year to check the house was being cared for. this should still happen now in my opinion.

people should look after their homes. its not hard

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 10:46:36

Because it is bloody stupid to make an already shit situation shittier?

tethersend Tue 09-Feb-10 10:50:43

I think amber raises a very good point, actually.

Sassybeast Tue 09-Feb-10 10:50:44


EcoMouse Tue 09-Feb-10 10:53:42

I'm currently an LP on benefits and FWIW, I find it a walk in the park compared to working. I could afford a dog. In fact, I've always felt a little guilty about how well we live.
OTOH, I'm glad my children don't have to suffer the material fallout of their father's failings and my current life situation (chronic illness). That's not to say we have even a remotely nice TV but I'd prioritise having a dog over that any day!

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 10:53:47

The programme was called tower house of commons because it was about membersof parliament living with families who live in tower blocks etc!

If I were in that situation my children would have the bedroom.

My children would have the bed, me and dp would have the sofa and the sofa would have sheets.

These children were living off microwaveable food because the parents could not afford the £80 to get there gas cooker installed.

Dogs cost money to feed, I would rehome the dogs and use the money saved from feeding them on getting the cooker installed thus providing my children with better food AND a cleaner home.

And, this must be noted, dad disappeared off to his mates for a smoking and drinking session wasting money which could have been spent on getting those poor children out of that stinking flat for a few hours.

He spent money whilst his children paddled in dog piss. angry sad

And yes i'm judging, I have quite bad depression, two children with asd, have been a carer since age 17 with no breaks and my only coat which I cannot afford to replace has a great stinking tear in itangry

I do not smoke or drink because I can't afford it.

I would love a dog, we don't have one because we can't afford it and don't have the room.

My money goes on providing the best for my children.

When we inherited some money recently we used it to pay off our (luckily only 24 grand) mortgage and yet we are still freaking skint.I did not get wasted.

Putting it bluntly,people who somehow seem to produce children and then don't at least try to provide whats best for them and waste the little and few resources they have make me really, really angrysad

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 10:54:30

i have 5 dc in a 3 bed....its fine. and 2 of them are big teenagers and ones a toddler.

but i appreciate it can be hard for alot of families.....but why make the situation worse by adding 2 dogs to the equation??

maybe they got them because they knew the cameras were coming so attempted to make their grim life look grimmer to gain sympathy and a few more housing points?

Sassybeast Tue 09-Feb-10 10:58:34

How much does it cost to insure 2 dogs every month ? And feed them ? If people are living in a dire housing situation, is it unreasonable of them to allocate cash spent on dogs to a savings account so they can start to accumulate a deposit for better accomodation ? Or is that assuming a degree of personal responsibility for ones circumstances ? And therefore not fair or acceptable ?

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 11:00:57

people are a bit mad about dogs. My mum had bloody 14 at one time and she was on income support. She still has 3 and the vet bills are killing her (they are all elderly)
They've always been more important than her kids.
She currently isn't speaking to me because I said if she goes into hospital (she has a severe chest infection. No walk in the park at 75) I wasn't looking after the smelly mutts.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 11:02:21

Good post, never.

It's a two-way street, really.

The government has obligations, but so do citizens.

It's a luxury to go out and get pissed. It's not a necessity.

And when you put that above a clean place for your kids to live in and as good a food as you can afford, that is whacked and wrong, no matter what your circumstances.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:02:50

It's not so much the fact they had two dogs tbh, more the fact that those two dogs pissed everywhere angry

There baby, when he wasnt dumped in his travel cot was crawling around in dog piss angrysadsad

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 11:03:52

EcoMouse ~ There are currently many under occupied properties because people have the right to remain in council/social housing accommodation. I agree with the right to remain but I'm experiencing first hand the issues with lack of larger properties confused many families are stuck in accommodation that's too small while many people rattle around in larger properties.

Hope you don't mean all people in a house that is now too big should be made to move, don't think my 90 year old gran could take it after having children in the house and her husband dying there. wink

tethersend Tue 09-Feb-10 11:05:26

They are quite possibly terrible parents. They are not living in a one bed flat because they are terrible parents, nor are they terrible parents because they are in a one bedroom flat.

Which begs the question, why were they chosen by the producers to represent family life in inadequate housing? It seems as if there's another agenda to me.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 11:05:32

But her not moving, Love, means many young children grow up in very appropriate accommodation.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 11:05:57



pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 11:06:34

If we can't judge people for this kind of behaviour then whats the bloody point of any of it?
It isn't all up to someone else to sort out for you, you have to do something for yourself and your own children. The houseing authorities didn't make them get dogs, or even make them let the dogs piss and shit everywhere. The housing authorities didn't make them spend their money on beer and fags while their children suffer.

Amber, of course its more worth noting. Lots of people live in properties that are too small, millions of us, council housed and not. But this is a whole different thing. I make absolutely no apology for judging these "parents" none whatsoever. Its not always someone elses fault.

EcoMouse Tue 09-Feb-10 11:06:48

No Love, like I said, I agree with the right to remain!!
However I'm also experiencing first hand the effects of the deficit of larger housing. I don't know what the solution is, hence the confused


sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 11:07:34

I do think poeple in large houses should be moved to smaller properties and families given the larger places. Its what is fair.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:10:37

Ooooh, don't get me started !!!

When dp lost his job, he took any job he could find and now works 23hrs a week on the minimum wage as a cleaner.

I am proud of him, he has no qualms about scrubbing other peoples shit off the back of a toilet door as he is providing something for his children after being on benefits for two yrs, he loves it.

In my opinion, when you are responsible for the lives that you have decided to create this is the only attitude to have.

chegirlsgotheartburn Tue 09-Feb-10 11:13:59

I have been in a council flat with small children and on benefits. It was in the early 90s when the Conservatived dedicate a whole Conference to the scurge (sp) of single mothers (not parents).

We were the scum of the earth at that time - the 90s version of 'bogus muslim asylum seekers' if you will.

So I know about bit about this.

I did have a dog but as Valhalla has already said, I had him for years by that point and I wasnt about to get him PTS as I fully intended to improve our situation asap.

But FFS if you are really saying you cannot afford to feed your kids, buy and oven etc why the hell would you then go and buy a couple of big dogs?

If you were living in accomodation inadequate for your family's needs would you then go out and buy 2 big dogs to make your flat even more cramped?

I fully agree that the housing situation has got to ridiculous levels amber and there is always going to be a need for social houseing. But we all have to take responsibilites for ourselves and our families.

I dont buy into the horribly prevelant attitude that the 'underclass' are all spliff smoking chavs who dont give a toss about their kids. Us chavs love our kids just as much as anyone else. But whatever your socio economic situation once you become a parent you have make decisions based on what is best for your family.

That might mean not getting a bloody great staffie or it might mean one of you cutting back on your stressful, high powered career because you have a sick child.

MiladyDeWinter Tue 09-Feb-10 11:19:27

I sort of agree with expat there but it's hard to call. Nobody wants to see elderly ladies being forced to move but then again under-occupying is a real problem.

I once had a neighbour who was unable to use the stairs in her three-storey council house. She had a little bed in the large kitchen / diner and there was a small cloakroom downstairs too. There were four bedrooms and a large bathroom on the other floors.

Another neighbour was similarly disabled but a real pragmatist. She had a comparatively more spacious living space in a one-bed flat which was easy to clean and maintain and was quite happy.

Tryharder Tue 09-Feb-10 11:19:32

I do think some people who are reliant on benefits over the long term sort of absolve themselves of any personal responsibility whatsoever. They become reliant on the state for everything and everything becomes someone else's fault. It's a mindset.

Also the dog thing - my godmother's daughter used to voluntary work on a notorious Hull council estate as part of her social work degree and she said that most people lived in shocking conditions but that almost everyone had at least one or usually two massive dogs in their tiny flats. She said the dogs were a status symbol.

I agree with an earlier poster though. I wish on these sorts of programmes that they would actually show examples of "proper" working class people who are decent and hardworking rather than escapees from "Little Britain". I suppose the latter make better TV....

StellaLovesPotato Tue 09-Feb-10 11:19:48

It's okat as long as she breastfeeds the dog.

Whoops. Wrong thread. wink

StellaLovesPotato Tue 09-Feb-10 11:20:32

*okay is what I meant to say.

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 11:21:40

Do you know Stella I had just about managed to get that photo out of my head, and now it is back. We need a vomiting emoticon!

WeddingDaze Tue 09-Feb-10 11:22:44

Riven i agree, and if the rule was kids grown out you go, there wouldn't be the issue of people who have spent their whole life in a house they are getting kicked out of.

IMO the governments obligation is to insure everyone has somewhere suitable, clearly a pensioner in a 3 bed isn't suitable and also brings it's own set of problems cost of heating etc.

tethersend Tue 09-Feb-10 11:23:32

"I dont buy into the horribly prevelant attitude that the 'underclass' are all spliff smoking chavs who dont give a toss about their kids. Us chavs love our kids just as much as anyone else."

I agree, chegirl...

So why were they chosen to illustrate shambolic housing provision? Their parenting decisions are eclipsing the issue the programme purports to highlight- and I don't think that's an accident.

The subtext of the programme was 'it's their own fault they live in inadequate housing', which I find questionable at best.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:25:03

The under occupiers should be forced to move, I know it's not nice,little old ladies etc

Unfortunately, shit happens.Get used to it .grin

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 11:29:15

Agree Tethersend, it's all a bit dubious. It's worked too - they're getting roundly condemmed for their living arrangements and the councils dereliction of it's duty to adequately house people is buried under a shower of scorn.

chegirlsgotheartburn Tue 09-Feb-10 11:30:31

tethers thats why I dont watch these programmes. They pretend to be about exploring social issues but they are just trying to make 'good telly'

That means finding 'characters'. These 'characters' have to fit the recieved sterotype e.g. battling pensioners (how often do you see an OAP portrayed as a lazy drug taker?), shiftless white young men and stupid young women who put their love of smirnoff ice before their kids.

Nothing else will do apparently. Its boring to show ordinary people getting by, helping their kids with their homework and managing on a mix of low wages and top up benefits.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:33:40

Absolute crap. The council are responsible for a lot of things,but they are not responsible for making sure dogs don't piss on carpets and that money is spent where it should be ! sad

MrsTittleMouse Tue 09-Feb-10 11:34:19

DH tells me the same when I think that people should be moved out of council houses that are too big for them - it would mean his elderly aunty moving. Which is why I don't understand why couples aren't moved when their children are grown up and have moved out. Because then they are young enough to not be confused and young enough to resettle well and get to know the neighbours etc.

His other problem is that it is likely that his hard-working auntie will be replaced with a feckless scrounger. We know a lad in his twenties; he and all his friends are like this, he even says that working is a "mug's game" and has made himself unemployable by walking out of every job he's ever had.

I don't know what the solution is. How do you provide a decent safety net for those in genuine need (and I know that there are many people like that on this thread) without making benefits a valid lifestyle choice? Because the UK is in serious debt and we're not going to be able to afford to pay out masses of benefits forever.

tethersend Tue 09-Feb-10 11:40:21

"Absolute crap. The council are responsible for a lot of things,but they are not responsible for making sure dogs don't piss on carpets and that money is spent where it should be ! "

Exactly, nevereat. So why does a programme purporting to be an investigation into inadequate housing (which is the council's responsibility) use this family and these issues to illustrate its point? Amber is correct, it's a deflection IMO.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:52:56

Because people like this exist, the family WERE in adequately why on earth shouldnt they be portrayed ?

The single mum in the programme was not like that at all, her children were lovely, flat well kept and the children ate home cooked food at the table each evening. Should this single mumnot be portrayed for being too far the other way ?

Addd to that there have been programmes in the past showing homeless families moving from hotel to bedsit and struggling to keep things together.

I'm sure many of these homeless families would cherish ANYTHING with one bedroom and would not saturate it in dog urine.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 11:54:38

Whoops, should have said inadequately housed blush

tethersend Tue 09-Feb-10 12:05:02

I'm not sure what your point is, nevereat... By showing a family without the parenting issues, the housing problem is highlighted. This part of the programme fulfilled its purpose.

"Should this single mumnot be portrayed for being too far the other way ?"

Err.. no, the programme was not about 'people on benefits', it was (supposed) to be about inadequate housing.

"I'm sure many of these homeless families would cherish ANYTHING with one bedroom and would not saturate it in dog urine."

I'm sure you're right, but to subtley point to this family as the reason other families are homeless is a very underhand and dubious thing for the producers to do. I am surprised you can't see that.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 12:05:09

Of course the TV production companies chose these people because they fit their agenda - to make TV that would become a talking point. I am sure that there are plenty of families living in tower blocks which are living perfectly decent lives, hard working albeit financial poor.

But no. They chose a family which does not have bedding for their children, an oven whjich does not work and dogs which piss on the floor. TV bods must have rubbed their hands in glee.

I completely agree Chegirl. I was a single teenage mother at the time when tories judged that as the lowest of the low. The stigma carries on. I was utterly skint - I remember running out of money on the day I was paid, after paying rent, bills, rudimentary groceries etc. However I did the best I could - that meant not going out for donkey's years, having crap clothes, eating plain food, praying to god the washing machine wouldn't blow up and having to save to buy essential. I was not some kind of scum individual and I hate programmes like this which love to portray working class families as the scum of the earth.

There are plenty of decent, hard working low income families out there. I would like to watch a programme about them.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 12:07:51

And no, you should not have a dog if you are prioritising a dog above your kids needs.

Must admit I watched only about 15 mins of this programme. The ones which stuck in my head are the family with whom Austin Mitchell stayed.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:09:14

But the single mum was in the same housing situation, just without the pissy dogs, and yes, she was unemployed.

TheSugarPlumFairy Tue 09-Feb-10 12:11:13

i thought the program was about "people on benefits" as well as those suffering from inadequate housing, hence the fuss they kept making about the MP's living on the JSA and not relying on a secret stash of cash down their bra's etc.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:13:24

They did a fair portrayel imo, the other families portrayed were otherwise decent just financially poor and overcrowded.

And also, had no pissy dogs grin

JuJusDad Tue 09-Feb-10 12:15:09

a Housing Officer for the Council writes...

We do try to inspect our properties on a yearly basis, but of course, there's many other pressures on our time, so it often only happens if there's a reason to check - eg anonymous reports etc.

We also try to encourage our elderly residents into more suitable housing - be that a bungalow or sheltered bedsits / flats.

But when someone has lived there all their adult life, you can understand their retiscence (sp) to move.

A couple and child(ren) in a one bed flat is far from ideal, and I would hope they've been housed there as a temporary measure - ie until a two bed becomes available.

If I ever visited such a household, I would be referring them to several agencies - Social Services, some form of parental support programme, and suggesting they apply for a Community Care Grant to get beds for the kid(s).

I would also be encouraging them to get shot of the dogs - uric acid in their pee, the smell, and toxicplasmosis.

But it ain't easy to talk to some people.

The person who mentioned insurance - I'm guessing you mean pet insurance - come on, do you really think that someone with that lifestyle will get pet insurance?

Yes, I'm judging. You have to make a call when people are falling below a minimum standard, especially when children are involved.

And the oven - obviously it's not best practice if you're not properly qualified, but it's really not difficult to install even a gas oven. (I didn't install it, and you can't proove otherwise... grin)

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 12:15:54

so why dont HA's and councils bring in new legislation about downsizing? they can bring it in for all new tenancies,leaving the older people where they are for now....but eventually the new legislation will work

and how about a tv programme about benefit claimants doing well?? (NOT fraudsters)

skihorse Tue 09-Feb-10 12:17:17

YABU and it's fuck all to do with you.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 12:21:13

I'm with you on all of that, ILoveTiffany. Particularly as my DP, was sent to the housing office today to make a pest of himself :-)

RubysReturn Tue 09-Feb-10 12:25:21

Surely that counts as neglect or endangering the children's health - regardless of accommodation.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:25:55

I will freely admit to being skint, piss poor, brassic, living on the bones of my arse or whatever else you want to call it.

I would consider myself to be overcrowded, our house is 3bedrooms but very small and only has a small yard, both my dcs have asd and find the lack of space hard to cope with.

Because of our situation I take my dc out as much as possible to give them some freedom, as a parent this is my job, nobody else

Social housing is not the issue,I for one would chew my own labia in return for a decent sized council house, as would many people.

Can't see that happening any time soon as i'm a homeowner, but if it did you can carpets would be dog piss free. grin

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 12:26:51

JuJusDad - I'm actually busy filling in application form for your job... Any hints if that's not too cheeky lol?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:29:56

Me thinks skihorse may have incontinent dogs ? biscuit hmm grin biscuit hmm
hmm biscuit

What did the kids sleep on if not beds? And I assume SS are involved with the family now, if not before??

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 12:32:38

why woukld ss be involved with them?

sweetkitty Tue 09-Feb-10 12:33:31

I don't think it was the dogs as such that got me but the baby crawling around on a dirty floor without a carpet (the Dad was moaning to the local MP that he didn't have a carpet).

DP was laughing at me telling the other Mum why are you buying two huge boxes of Pampers Active Fit, the most expensive nappies there are, when Asda own label are about half the price? Now if she would have done that she would have more than the £42 left of the shopping budget to spend on her fags hmm

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 12:34:59

It's not right that families are caged up in one room while single people have more bedrooms than they need. I don't care if they're old, what about the research that's been done showing poorer educational achievement among children living in one room??!! The effects on mental health for the whole family? Still never mind they're only shitty underclass brats angry angry angry

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:35:06

There have been programes about benefit claiments doing well, finding jobs etc, they just don't get mentioned on ere. grin

And i'm as saddo with no social life who watches far, far too much tv blush

TennisFan Tue 09-Feb-10 12:35:49

I watched this programme last night and was really shocked and disgusted.
Yes is was a hellish place to live, but plently of people on low income jobs dont have much money left over each week either.

Me and DH dont have a flash house, but we do have a massive morgage and huge loan from bank for work.

I had to get a TV last week from Currys and the man in the shop just said it was the worst pile of crap in the shop and not to buy it. FFS it was £129.00 and all we can afford.

I have friends who cant understand why we dont have Sky and Sky+ etc - we cant afford it thats why.

When something breaks in our house we try and fix it, or do without until we can get it.
I am slave to moneysavingexpert - and getting money off or coupons to get better value.

We cannot afford fancy after school activities for our DC and no way can we afford another DC or a dog or 2.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Feb-10 12:38:53


It's a big problem in the area where I used to live - ie dogs used as status/ aggression symbols. The dogs were poorly cared for too, they'd just run about in the road, defecating at will while their owners sat indoors.

If people can't afford to provide for their children then they can't afford to own dogs.

I have a lifelong memory of watching a doc about poverty in which a young woman said (very genuinely) that her kids didn't have duvets as she couldn't afford to buy them. The kids slept under piles of clothes. And the woman chain smoked.

Yes, I do judge.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:40:26

IloveTIFFANY, because the children were crawling around in dog waste ?

Totally agree with you tennis fan, oh and to top it all we just got a court summons off the council tax grrrr sad

ILT - really? The kids ahve no beds and the place is majorly unhygienic all the time!
I didn';t see the programme so if everyone on here is exaggerating, i apologise

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:42:25

And it's because of people like that I can't eat brown snow sad sad

JuJusDad Tue 09-Feb-10 12:45:12

amber - my main hint would be don't do it!!!

You'll need to show a good level of common sense, determination / bloody mindedness; know a bit about housing & anti social behaviour legislation.

Don't want to go hijacking this thread...

Bad news and extremes sell better than people just getting on with their lives.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:45:53

And it's because of people like that I can't eat brown snow sad sad

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 12:48:15

I don't think they were portrayed unfairly, the programme makers didn't make them up and they also showed other people who were not like the dog pair. I think it was a good cross section.
The problem here is that you want to pretend people like this don't exist,or that its all someone elses fault. Its like when someone comes alone with a thread slating "benefit lifestyles" and everybody jumps on them and says its all lies. We all know it isn't, just that its a tiny minority, but instead we all get incensed and irate.
Y'know what though, some people are just shits, whether they are on benefits, inadequately housed, living in a mansion or lotto winners. Most people are decent, hardworking, try their best with what they have types, but a small section of the population are just scummy fuckers, IMHO.

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 12:50:15

no,i saw a bed!! but no sheets....however,social services would really run round there if there was dog urine on the floor??

izzybiz Tue 09-Feb-10 12:51:51

I was a bit surprised by the whole thing.
I was expecting a programme where people were genuinley suffering in inadequate housing and struggling on benefits.

One couple who had Mark Oaten staying with them, bought Pampers nappies, spent £42 on fags, and had a PC and internet access.

Another had a Dh who managed to pop out every evening to drink lager and smoke weed.

The other couple, had no cooker as they couldn't afford the £80 connection fee, the Dh still managed to find money to spend in the bookies every week.

And the single mum, lost her home due to rent arrears.

I have been a single mum, on benefits in a council flat.It is not a great deal of money, but it is enough if you budget accordingly. I have also gotten myself into rent arrears in the past, whilst trying to work and get off the benefits, it needs to go a very long way before you lose your home.

I suppose I just get a bit hmm when people are pleading poverty and doing little to get themselves out of it.

Give up smoking, rehome dogs, give the bookies a miss etc. You owe your children that much surely?

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 12:52:50

lol, ta JuJusDad - I'll bare all that in mind.

Will also stop hijacking. How rude of me.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 12:52:59

It's good that they showed a cross section of people on benefits and not just people like the dog piss pair.

Like I said I only saw snippets - the people ith the dogs and the loud scouser who had got evicted for rent arrears. You have to do something pretty bad to be evicted for rent arrears - it takes about 9 months to get someone out. Yet that woman was vitriolic about 'foreigners' getting council housing etc rather than looking at why she was evicted from her old place.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:57:10

The feckless parents had the bed (grumble mumble)

IloveTIFFANY, there is a differnce between a dog peeing on the floor and it being seen and cleaned up properly (not just a cursory wipe, and two dogs crapping everywhere and for the main part left.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 12:59:29

Difference blush

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 13:01:14

But thats reality for a lot of people in that situation. People here seem to forget that MN is not a represntative cross section from which to extrapolate.
There are people who are too ground down, too depressed and feeling hopeless, to be able to do anything about their situation. There are the people who have tried and failed to get out. There are the people whose circumstances truly don't allow them to do much to help themselves.
But there are also people who just don't give a fuck anyway, even for their own children.

if the kids are regularly playing in dogs' piss (and waste??) then YES that is neglect IMO and putting them in danger of disease

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 13:13:46

well I dont do it (no dogs anyway) and YOU dont do it.....but some people let their dogs do it everywhere....not what i'm saying

social services dont address alot of things we would want them too....time,resources etc....what i'm saying is,is this a concern for them/would they act?? they see dire situations all the time,but cant put everything right or make people concerned

do they take kids into care for this??

Chillohippi Tue 09-Feb-10 13:17:24

I was completely gobsmaked at the family that had £150 shopping budget for the week. DH and I both work and we are lucky if we have £60 a week shopping budget.
And I nearly sympathised with the family where the dad was an out of work chef...until I heard he had been out of work for 4 years, during which time they had another child and the mum was pregnant again.

i don't know ILT, I would hope so -- not necessarily taking away, but involvement. if they';re not involved in dangerous situations then what should they get involved in?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 13:45:48

My dp was unemployed for aaaaaaaaaaaaaaages, reproduction was the last thing on my mind!!

Or as my mum used to say (single mum with 4 kids working countless hours) If you don't want to work to feed em, don't breed em.!

I wonder if skihorse is one of the parents hmm

joanne34 Tue 09-Feb-10 13:54:13

Didnt watch it;

So they didnt have beds for the kids ?

But they could afford 2 dogs ?


Chillohippi Tue 09-Feb-10 13:58:29

The dogs didn't look too well fed either confused

That's an excellent saying, nevereatbrownsnow: If you don't want to work to feed 'em, don't breed 'em.If only more people would live by that.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 14:07:54

Its true, we double barreled our contraception !! blush

I think I have conception phobia, methinks it's not a bad phobia to have grin

Rollmops Tue 09-Feb-10 14:11:38

Let me guess, the dogs are staffies or similar....

puddinghead Tue 09-Feb-10 14:13:20

I turned over after the bit where the woman told Mark Oaten the shopping budget was about £150 - What?! It's a rare week that our shopping even reaches that and that would be when we need detergents/light bulbs or 'extras'. They were shopping in Asda FFS - what were they buying? I doubt it was extra virgin olive oil.

I bet they bought a cupboard full of baby food jars because that's what babies eat innit. sad

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 14:25:10

Nah not staffies, scruffy mongrels, which peed.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 14:27:18

I missed that bit re weekly shopping budget being £150. What did that buy? Was that just food and other essential such as nappied.

Christ I don't spend half of that in Waitrose and Sainsbos. What were they buying. Was it a huge family or something?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 14:34:51

£150 shock I missed that bit shock

I would freaking love to spend that a week. angry

puddinghead Tue 09-Feb-10 14:38:51

Well £42 of it was her fags. 'She's got to have some pleasures in life' I think she said ....

tartyhighheels Tue 09-Feb-10 14:39:38

I agree that councils and central government have responsibilities to house people but parents in particular have a responsibility to not make things worse for themselves don't they? My cousin is a non working person on benefits who will not work even though her daughter is almost 8 - she was evicted from a flat for not paying rent (even though she had HB)and was put in a temp 1 bed bungalow - she waited a year and was offered a 2 bed flat, got herself a dog and refused the flat and was offered a place with a garden. She now has 2 huge dogs a cat and kittens, rats, guinea pigs. She lives in a complete shitehole and when it gets too bad social services send someone round to do her tidying up!!!! She is a bit thcik but doesn't have learning difficulties as such she is just lazy and people keep picking up for her.

Personally, like the people mentioned in the op, she has made things worse for herself and her child because of the choices she has made. I cannot understand it when people allow this sort of thing to happen in their homes. I am certainly not even houseproud, i am an uber-scruff myself but allowing dogs to wee all over the place it just horrible.

Also did anyone else feel really uncomfy with the little girl sat on a mattress telling the camera how lucky she was to have dreadfully worn out pink shoes..... was this the same family?

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 14:39:53

Who cares what sort of dogs they are?

Is anyone here actually arguing that this setup is perfectly okay? FFS, if we can't all agree that there is something seriously fucked up with small children playing in dog piss and sleeping on the floor then we should just give it all up now.

ruddynorah Tue 09-Feb-10 14:41:00

she told mark to look for baby food, then baby milk, then they went and got the pampers nappies. they most probably think this is them spending on the kids and getting them the best.

she did make an interesting point though re. mark's expenses 'why did you spend £160 on an iron when you can get one for £14.99 in argos?!'

so she spends tax payers money on pampers not aldi nappies. he spends tax payers money on a top of the range iron from john lewis, not the basic one from argos.

puddinghead Tue 09-Feb-10 14:41:12

If the dogs peed everywhere and it didn't seem to bother them, why not let the children go nappy free and pee on the floor too - more money for fags wink

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 14:48:41

I know poo sad

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 14:52:59

150 is a lot to spend a week on shopping - I am pretty sure I don't get near that and we all eat like horses.

ruddynorah one of the hardest things I think about being poor is how expensive it is. If you can afford to spend the 160 upfront on an iron then you are good for 15 years or so. We have found the same with a lot of stuff, if you can afford quality to start with you actually end up spending less than someone who has to buy the cheapy every couple of years or so.

Pratchett talks about it in relation to boots. If you can afford $50 for a good pair of boots then you have warm dry feet for 10 years, if you can only afford $10 then you need to buy a new pair every year. So not only are your feet often cold and wet, you have spent twice as much on boots as the rich person did.

The more money you have, the less money you need.

KERALA1 Tue 09-Feb-10 14:53:33

Totally agree with the OP. Our old neighbours lived in a 1 bedroom flat and had a toddler and a baby and claimed benefits. In their wisdom they then acquired two dogs, one a scary staffie type which subsequently would escape and terrify everyone it would leap into our garden to shit despite us putting up a high fence. Their cute little well tended garden soon became a horrid yard full of dog poo and rubbish - nowhere for their children to play. I tried to talk to her mother to mother as to why having these animals was such a good idea - the response was that they were for protection hmm. Ho hum we eventually worked out they were dealing drugs. Didnt watch the programme last night but maybe this was why they had these dogs? You cant exactly call the police if one of your "clients" gets tricky I suppose? (outside of living next door to these people my practical knowledge of drug dealing is limited.

Needless to say we moved out.

ruddynorah Tue 09-Feb-10 14:57:27

very true morloth

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 15:02:29

It's not right that families are caged up in one room while single people have more bedrooms than they need. I don't care if they're old, what about the research that's been done showing poorer educational achievement among children living in one room??!! The effects on mental health for the whole family? Still never mind they're only shitty underclass brats angry angry angry

If you are being serious with that comment then maybe its time i left this thread before i get myself into trouble.

caged up? You make it sound like they don't have a choice, lots of them do.
Why do people seem to not care about old people? Why are some people having babies when they cannot afford to look after them? Why are some people spending my (tax) money on smoking various things instead of on their children when they are in need of very basic things?

Have you ever stopped to think about what the parents are putting children through? About why they are putting them in that situation? Why aren't they doing something to help their family out of this situation?

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:05:57

Why do people keep mentioning staffies? They're a popular dog breed. And? A lot of generalisations on this thread. Why don't you just say all council estate scum own staffies because they want to look hard and don't care if their kids get eaten. If that's your irrational close minded prejudice, say so explicitly.
Not to anyone in particular, but staffies have been mentioned a number of times on this thread.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 15:07:13

I second morloth, after 6 years and 3 cheapo washing machines totalling roughly £900 , me and dp scrimpped and saved to buy a miele, it cost £600 which is a lot, had it 3 yrs so far with no problems (touch wood etc) If it lasts 6 yrs I will be happy,and £3oo better off !!

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:09:50

Are you clueless? What homeless parents are putting their children through??!! Oh I'm sorry if I can't afford private rent and don't want to move house every 6 months. Excuse me, I lived like that for 5 fucking years how fucking dare you??????????? WE WERE CAGED UP IN ONE ROOM AND SHARED A BATHROOM WITH 2 OTHER FAMILIES. Have you ever had to live like that?? Oh no, because you're a better parent

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:11:03

Yes please do leave the thread, better still, go and live on Mars somewhere

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 15:14:35

I agree with everything nevereatbrownsnow
has said. I didn't watch the programme as I knew it would make me cross!

I def agree with the comment about not breeding them if you can't feed them - well said!

I think it's sad that some kids have such sh*t lives - literally so in this case!

Ps would you like to be PM?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 15:26:54

When council accomodation is underoccupied it should be vacated and the current occupiers moved to sheltered accomodation, flats etc as these are family homes and were built to house families comfortably.

I'ts not nice but has to be done,in my area there are whole steets being demolished to make way for better housing, the majority of the occupents are elderly. One couple are in their 80's and have kept there sons bedroom as a shrine for the past 40 yrs after had died suddenly, not nice either, but has to be done. Such is life.

Personally if I were an oap living in a 4 bed house I would find it hard to sleep at night knowing that somewhere an entire family had one room to call 'home'.

LovebeingAMummy, you are an idiot, anybody can find themselves homeless, I have an inate fear of it which is why I paid off my mortgage as soon as possible.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 15:30:59

Why thank you 2old, yes of course I should be pm ,it makes sense after all grin

I am now off to polish my rusty halo gringrin

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:32:41

sometimes you've already bred them then fall on hard times.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 15:40:49

Thats different to falling on hard times and DELIBERATELY breeding more and not wanting work.

We have spent yrs on and off the dole with my dp desperately scratting round looking for work, and he is now working as a cleaner and is happy to (he's a mechanic ffs)

We are permanently skint and are well versed in the ways of skintness, however working as a cleaner is better than no work at all.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:41:05

Exactly Riven, something that many forget.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Feb-10 15:47:05

This thread isn't about people who take great care of their kids and dogs and then fall on hard times.

Nobody would dream of criticising such people so it's irrelevant to the topic.

Do people care about their kids' health, cleanliness etc then stop caring because they've fallen on hard times, and then let them play around dog shit?

sweetkitty Tue 09-Feb-10 15:51:16

Whilst I don't agree at all with the MPs expenses thing, two wrongs don't make a right and yes he did have a point about her handing over £40 a week for cigarettes.

Most people working cannot afford to waste £40 a week, we certainly can't. My pleasure is my children and doing the best we can for them. £40 a week would pay for a nice wee holiday for them all. Maybe it's just me I cannot get my head around smoking being a pleasure, it's a nasty addiction, that if it doesn't kill you early will rob you of your looks, money and make you stink, where is the pleasure in that exactly?

I remember going to school with holes in my trainers and begging my Mum and Dad for a new pair to be told "we cannot afford it" whilst both of them smoked like chimneys sad

And the father whose children didn't have bedding and he smoked cannabis and played the horses, he should be ashamed sorry but he should.

Most of us would go hungry and without things for ourselves if it meant feeding our DCs or buying them clothes and other things they need, I think that's why we cannot understand parents who chose to drink and smoke whilst their DC go without.

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:51:43

they might do if they are suffering from depression.
I didn't see last nights.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 15:53:34

And my mum raised 4 kids in the 80's completely alone, it was made far worse as we lived in a fairly wealthy area and were the only single parent family in the school.

It was crap but we didnt have dog pissy carpets !

slightlystressed Tue 09-Feb-10 15:54:27

Sorry havn't seen the programme.

I guess this is an arguement for people to have licenses to own dogs. That way the dogs and children would be alot happier I guess.

Anyway surely children wondering around in dog piss and nothing to sleep on is neglectful, are social services involved in this?

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 15:55:03

I am certainly not saying anything about me being a better parent.

No I have not lived like that and would not wish it on my worst enermy. My parents came from council houses. My DH came from a very poor background, his childhood would not be out of place in a documentry.

My comments were directed at the example we were dicussing from the programme and the research you had mentioned and was not personally directed at your history of which I knew nothing about.

Its a fact that many of the very old who are forced to move pass away soon after. I would hope that you can see where i am coming from.

I have made comments simliar or the same as other posts and yet i am the one who is being called names because I dared to say an old lady shouldn't be forced out of her house.

The real problem is the lack of housing, not my gran.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Feb-10 15:57:17

Well people could do all kind of ill advised things if they had a mental health issue, from the comical to the criminal. But if we can't say anything about anybody's parenting in case they have depression then we might as well go home now.

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:57:40

I am wondering how it was all edited...

Its not the old lady's house though. Its the councils.

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 15:57:49

That's the thing, living in poverty does make you depressed. I really don't think all these people are making it up. Lack of money leads to lack of freedom, lack of choice, all you are is a puppet on a string. I stopped smoking when I got pregnant but sometimes I needed a fag because of stress. It wasn't daily but it did calm me down sometimes. I was told I'd have to move to Birmingham with my first son to live in a hostel and if I didn't go they'd close my case. That's the reality of it. I don't agree with smoking like chimneys some effort should be made to cut down obviously

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 16:00:38

I suffer from depression,I've been a carer since I was 17 and have little to no sleep.

I have never had a night out with my partner sad

My life is pretty crap tbh.

But I don't waste money on shite because I can't freaking afford too.

We have no dogs to piss on carpets as well, can't bloody afford them either grin grumble, mutter, mumble !! angry

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:00:48

I suppose everyone on here talks from personal experience. Definetely the system that's crazy, not the fault of the elderly or asylum seekers or anyone else

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:02:47

Only mentioned Birmingham because I'm from London and never lived anywhere else by the way, not saying it's a horrible place to live or anything grin

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 16:05:31

So they're depressed because they're skint so they spend they're precious money on fags and booze which will make them more skint thus making them more depressed. And therein lies the problem.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Feb-10 16:06:02

Of course telly progs are edited to enhance the drama. But I don't think the camera actually lies - you could equally say that politicians on telly have been edited to look bad.

If they said something, they said it. And if they were filmed doing something, they did it.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 16:06:11

I never said it was her house(quickly reading the thread), but it is her home and the council seem happy for her to be there thanks. wink

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 16:08:04

Maybe i find it hard to undertsnad the somking bit cause i never have, i can't see me spending that much money like that when the kids are in need of so much (same goes for the dog tbh)

DoingTheBestICan Tue 09-Feb-10 16:09:23

One of the problems imo is a lack of motivation,once you are on the bones of your arse it is very,very hard to have the get up & go to try & better yourself.

I,myself grew up on a council estate with a Mum who worked in the evenings cleaning offices & a father who worked sporadically due to redundnacy from the steelworks.We were very poor but we were lucky enough to be homed in a 4 bedroomed council house & we always had a warm bed at the end of the day & a full belly.

Sure we never had flashy clothes or trainers & i was teased in school about my clothes,neither of my parents smoked but they did used to go out on a Sunday evening for a drink with their friends.

Money was very tight but the estate had a camaraderie about it,neighbours would knock to borrow 50p for the meter or tv,We all looked out for each other & tried to make the best of what we had.

I dont understand how people can put animals before their own children,but i bet their are people who own their own homes that live in exactly the same circumstances.

Things need to be done to give people back a bit of pride,not charity,but something to bring a community together.

Maybe that way they will 'want' to live in better conditions & try & help themselves.At the end of the day people need to get out of the mindset of what will the govt do to help me to what can we do to help ourselves?

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:17:46

Smoking is an addiction and hard to bear. My mum smoked and we went without food (single parent with 3 kids on council estate in the 70's/80's) but she still smoked. She was addicted and her life was shit. Then her boyfriend spent on the money on booze.
I don't know why she let it happen but it did. Maybe that family is the same.

LoveBeingAMummy Tue 09-Feb-10 16:20:34

Smoking is an addiction - i understand that bit, my mum is also, my dad was until 20 years ago. But to spend that money and set fire to it when your kids need stuff, can you understand it?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 16:24:14

I think even the bones of my arse have worn away sad

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 16:24:27

It is hard to have sympathy for a smoking addiction cutting into kid's necessities when you know there are people who without food so that their kids are looked after. Food is quite addictive as well.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:27:10

I'm an ex smoker and there is no excuse not to quit if you can't afford it... you can get Champix, patches etc on your free prescriptions if you're on income based benefits.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 16:33:33

'But if we can't say anything about anybody's parenting in case they have depression then we might as well go home now. '

That's pretty much how every single one of these threads has gone.

There's apparently no one on benefits at all who isn't depressed or had bad luck and hit hard time.

People like our downstairs neighbour or the guy in the next close who peddle drugs and are awaiting sentencing - the rumour is he will get a custodial sentence this time - don't exist.

People like my SIL's ex-partner, a man who has never worked in his entire adult life (he's now in his 40s) save for dealing drugs, because he is 'depressed' don't exist.

All these people are made up.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 16:34:44

'I'm an ex smoker and there is no excuse not to quit if you can't afford it... you can get Champix, patches etc on your free prescriptions if you're on income based benefits.'

That's the most sensible thing I've read all day.

bronze Tue 09-Feb-10 16:39:21

re the smoking
my husband gave up this week because we cant afford it (we're lucky we are ok really) but he decided that there were other more important things. The patches and inhalator are cheaper than the baccy for the next couple of months then after that we will have more money. It can be done especially when other things are more important.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 16:39:40

Well if you say that every one of these people who are feckless feckers are depressed it is a bit of a slap in the eye for people who are depressed, and have been cripplingly so for years, who struggle to manage and actually do raise their children without smoking like troopers, getting plastered, having no bedding for their children and living in hovels.

Sometimes there has to come a point where the sympathy stops and you look to the people as making a choice in life, and feeling able to judge and say they made the wrong bloody choice. You choose to spend £40 on fags as opposed to buying a second hand bed for your kids for example.

And I am not saying this from some ivory tower life where I have had it easy. No. I grew up with people who made the wrong choices. I grew up having to make difficulyt choices myself. And I am by far the perfect mother but dear god my daughter did not have to live in a flat where she had no bedding and where there was dog piss everywhere.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 16:41:45

Applauds, GetOrf. Bravo.

Well put.

MorrisZapp Tue 09-Feb-10 16:42:58


DoingTheBestICan Tue 09-Feb-10 16:43:02

The real issue here though is what do we as a society to ease these people off benefits & back into work?

Our country is in massive debt & we cannot sustain the benefits culture that has become a way of life for so many.

When & how do you say enough?

Sassybeast Tue 09-Feb-10 16:43:05

Can't argue with that Getorfmyland.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 16:43:45

Some people are just lazy, dog piss hoarding twat bags,fact. And that fact must be accepted.


amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:44:10

£42 a week on cigarrettes??? What were they? Yves St Laurent? (sp?)

bronze Tue 09-Feb-10 16:45:41

amber 20 a day I'm guessing
I dont know how much straights cost these days but that would make them 6 quid a pack

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:45:42

grin at dog piss hoarding twat bags

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 16:45:55

AND I smoked in my skint days, But I couldn't always afford fags. I used to watch Coronation Street of an evening and yearn for some of the cigarettes I saw over Rita's shoulder in the Cabin. But was too skint and it would have meant fags or food.

I do not want to come across that I am stamping on people when they are down, but seriously and truthfuilly there is no need for people to live like that in this day and age.

And as judgy as you may think I am for saying this, those people in that flat: if it was their telly and not their microwave which had gone on the blink, am pretty sure that they would have found the wherewithal to fix it.

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:46:49

Just cos some poeple are lazy fuckers doesn't call for massive judging either. Why are they like that?
Turns out my mum was emotionally abused by her mother and didn't know how to parent properly and then picked abusive men. Makes me understand why she put some arsehole before her kids and let him spend the benefits and beat the living shit out of us. Still not easy to live with but more understandable.

TheCrackFox Tue 09-Feb-10 16:47:17

Great post Getorf.

I think it would be incredibly shit to live on benefits but £42 on fags is taking the piss. We can make all kids of excuses for this but somewhere down the line she has to start taking some responsibility for her choices and how they negatively affect her children.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 16:48:28

Thanks everyone - smoke came off my fingers as I typed that stream of consciousness smile

I hate the way that this is how working class people are deemed to be. It is so not the case for the majority of people on low incomes, most of which are lkiving decent and productive lives. However it doesn;t make as interesting telly.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 16:51:26

I smoked until a few weeks ago- I spent about twenty quid a week on rollys.... Even that I decided was too much.

I do think that people do just get into a rut though. It's hard to change your mindset - maybe her social worker should give her a lesson in how to role em lol, if she really can't quit.

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 16:52:32

Exactly getorf. too fucking right etc.

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 16:54:23

Showing people living normal (if tight) lives isn't very interesting, which is presumably why it doesn't happen very often.

"Got up, took kids to school, got on bus to work, worked, stopped at supermarket for stuff for dinner, got on bus, picked up kid's from CM, went home, cooked dinner, did homework with kids, threw a load of washing on, put kid's to bed, did the ironing, watched telly, went to bed" rinse and repeat.

It not nearly as interesting as "got dogs, baby played in dog wee, partner went gambling/drinking, I smoked 20 ciggies".

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 17:15:55

I propose nevereatbrownsnow for PM and GetOrfMoiLand for chancellor!

I agree with it being about choices - making the right ones for our children. We all mess up sometimes for very complex reasons BUT dog piss and shit and small children in a flat are not a good combo!

I love my dogs but in the end if I'd had to choose between them and my children, I'd have put the kids needs first and given up the dogs.

A good parent, no matter the circumstances, is someone who can put their childrens BASIC needs before their own!

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 17:29:38

Amber - I agree with you. I believe that if a couple (or a single woman) decides to have 6 children it is the state's responsibility to give her a four or five bed home. And if she wants ten children, then we are definitely duty-bound to provide her with her own small hotel. And probably some staff as well, because ten children would be hard work.
And as the poor common folk shouldn't be prevented from dog ownership when those horrid middle class toffs are allowed to have as many as they want, and no-one complains, I would also make it law that as soon as you get your staffie-cross you are entitled to an extra £50 a week and an immediate upgrade to a house with a large garden, (so you needn't miss any telly by walking it - you can just open the back door and it can crap for a whole half an acre and your kids could run around for days without actually standing in any. It's the least the government can do.

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 17:36:42

Apparently when benefits were brought in early last century they were in the form of 'food stamps' (I read an article written by an elderly person who had been raised in extreme poverty so I presume this is true).

This was eventually changed to monetary benefits to avoid the social stigma as it was seen at the time.

I wonder whether this would be a workable system now, maybe in the form of a prepaid card.

Contentious, I know, but I really object to money going on fags, booze and dog food and not being spent on the kids!

sarah293 Tue 09-Feb-10 17:39:59

they still do food stamps in the US and it buys basic. Very very basic.

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 17:53:40

I wonder if it was a computerised card it would just reject the fags, booze etc......

DoingTheBestICan Tue 09-Feb-10 18:06:42

What about the middle aged man who smokes 10 cigs a day who has worked all his life,suddenly finds himself redundant & having to rely on benefits in the form of computerised cards?

Not all people on benefits take the piss,a lot of people have shitty luck & through no fault of their own find themselves stigmatised as benefit lazy arsed bastards angry

I think a dog in obligatory is it not hmm

Some people are just stupid

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 18:16:28

It takes a very highly motivated owner to manage a dog in a flat. It will need to be taken outside four or five times a day to pee and given a off-lead run at least once a day. And even then, it's less than ideal. Any idiot who cannot see that is surely not safe to be in charge of children, never mind dogs. I have two dogs. With annual vaccinations, insurance, and their food bill they are a luxury item. A joy, yes, but like skiing or boob jobs or a champagne habit, they are an expensive non-necessity, and nobody's responsibility but mine. Would I have them if I struggled to pay my rent and clothe my kids? Of course not. I'm not that STUPID. I have enough sense to know that just because I want something, doesn't mean I'm entitled to have it.

We should definitely go back to benefits being paid directly to landlords and utilities companies, and a return to food and clothing stamps etc. It's the only way to ensure that the money is spent in a way that benefits the people who need it most ie the children. What's a bit of stigma, compared to knowing that your children will have a warm house and a hot meal, no matter how dim and short-sighted you are? The idea of removing all stigma is where it has all gone tits up. It's what has allowed people like Amber to think we are all entitled to get ourselves into any old pickle we like and the government should pay, whilst others struggle valiantly with real problems.

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 18:20:10

DoingTheBestICan I see what you mean but smoking is still not a necessity - nothing to do with being a lazy arsed bastard as you put it!

It will certainly take tough measures to make some of the feckless put their kids first and others may get hit by the fall out BUT is it wrong to at least try and find a way to deal with this matter?

Anyone else got any suggestions?

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 18:24:51

DoingTheBestICan, nobody has said there is anything wrong with claiming benefits hmm stop being manipulative.

And yes, I should be chancellor at the very least, although I do aim for a mumsnetters world leadership. grin

JuJusDad Tue 09-Feb-10 18:30:48

DoingTheBest - yes, a lot of people on benefits don't take the piss & many people do have shitty luck.

However, an awful lot of people on benefits don't appear to even be aware (much less care) that there may be a better choice to make.

For me, it's about responsibility.

And so I think it would be no bad thing to have a level of work for benefits.

Furthermore, far more should be done for the working poor - I hate seeing people who have gotten into rent arrears because they've sincerely tried to get off benefits. (No, EPP & 3 weeks 4 days of work and a rapid reclaim doesn't count. You're just working the system.)

I also think that couples on benefits should get more for staying together, as at present there's financial incentive to split (whether for real or pretend).

Plenty of people have very real physical and mental problems or issues, but do their best to take responsibility, as opposed to expecting the state to carry them.

Food stamps? Cards for food? Ain't gonna happen - "human rights" will kick in (yeah, cos wearing your pyjamas to go shoping wasn't a dead give away as to your socio-economic status).

It wouldn't matter anyway. If you're set on buying stuff for yourself or dogs instead of your children, then that's what's going to happen.

TiggyR well said

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 18:38:04

JuJusdad Well said yerself, Sir.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 18:43:38

Well, so much for the guy downstairs.

He was stabbed to death last night, possibly in Glasgow, where he was last seen alive, although apparently that is not where his body was found.

If the council moves another waster in there, well, we'll get to live with their anti-social shite behaviour again.

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 18:56:35

Wasters and useless feckers are the reason so many decent people (who are unlucky enough to be poor no how hard they try in life) end up being stereotyped, and they end up having to live with the shite that the rest of us just read about in the papers. And that is just plain wrong. We need a zero tolerance policy to eradicate the dependency and entitlement culture we've allowed to flourish, and hopefully that (in a generation or two) will result in fewer damaged and vulnerable people ending up in the same depressing cycle. We need to give the working classes back the pride they used to have. Sadly we are still enabling some ill-equipped, ill-prepared people to acquire children with the same haphazard lack of forethought that they acquire dogs.....

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 18:59:33

Too true TiggyR

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 19:03:24

ooh i was going to don my judgey pants and jump straight in to the fray, but these people have to be somewhat lacking in the IQ department. The council are failing the family if they are living the way the OP describes (refuse to watch program - hate those sort of, oooh look how shit that family is, makes me feel so much better about myself car crash tv).

Firstly, they shouldnt be allowed the dogs, its not fair to anyone - or the dogs

secondly, they should be adequately housed.

Some people just can't help being uneducated and sadly this often leads to rubbish parenting, however this is by no means exclusive

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 19:06:03

Well, this guy was genuinely feckless and a waster, God rest his soul.

A person whose only work was selling drugs to whomever including teenagers, who never saw his own two young daughters, who threw all his rubbish out in the communal area rather than pay for a rubbish bin, who partied nearly every single night, effectively ruining our lives, who fought nonstop (he was on heroin and speed, by his own admission, so slept little), had parties iwth people fightning in the corridors and out in the yards, etc.

He was maybe late 20s.

Gangs started chasing him (they obviously caught up with him) for God knows what, and you know, we didn't give a flying fuck why he behaved as he did.

He was an adult who had plenty of support to get clean.

He chose not to.

We lived the next month being awoken by gangs trying to break into this flat, including Eastern Europeans who knocked on our door checking to see if there were anyone else in the building, worried his flat would be petrol bombed and we'd be killed, etc.

Now I can only imagine whom they'll move in there next, it's used by the council as a flat for the homeless and it's only one-bedroom.

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 19:07:02

Well said JuJusDad and TiggyR.I think we can certainly find a place in the Mumsnet Political Party Cabinet for you both........I guess we need a token bloke and JuJusDad does make a lot of sense!

Don't you wonder why, when so many people share these opinions (re the feckless and long term bone idle etc)that not even the right wing papers seem to say a much along these lines?

I am an unashamed Daily Mail reader (probably on a par with the Devil!) and only a rare few of their journalists brave an article on these matters.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 19:08:19

To quote TiggyR:

"It's what has allowed people like Amber to think we are all entitled to get ourselves into any old pickle we like and the government should pay, whilst others struggle valiantly with real problems."

Amber, never said or suggested any such thing sweetheart.

What I was getting at, was that two adults and two kids in a one bedroom flat is over crowded. That was my only and original point.

Kindly refrain from either using my name in vain or putting words into my mouth, thank you.

junglist1 Tue 09-Feb-10 19:12:05

If jobs are being given out can I be security for PM or chancellor. I'm 5"10 you know

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 19:14:02

But excusing it because they can't help it just allows to hideous cycle to self-perpetuate! We need to be brave enough to shout 'Stop!' Of course it's tough on some people in the short term but it's the only way to improve things in the long term.

amber1979 Tue 09-Feb-10 19:19:27

Who is excusing it?

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 19:22:39

Sorry, crossed posts - lat comment was to Lemprefersdogstocats

Amber, your only point seemed to be that the taxpayer was somehow letting these people down by not giving them bigger accomodation. Did it ever occur to you that perhaps they let the taxpayer down by not planning their family a bit better and waiting to move up to a two bed flat before having a second child? Or do they exist in some kind of parallel universe where free contraception, free family planning advice and free abortion has not yet been invented? The reason some of us manage to make a relative success of our lives is not because of silver spoons or superior intellects, it's just about plain old common sense and self-respect.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 09-Feb-10 19:25:24

Bloody hell Expat - I was so pleased when you got your flat (after all those damn battles) but it seems to have been a nightmare what with those neighbours.

What a bloody situation to deal with - you must have been worried sick.

Food stamps - no I do not agree with that. I was actually thinking about it on the way home. I really do not think that is the answer. It is not the right course to make people feel more marginalsed and untermensch that they already feel.

God knows what the right answer is, but that isn't it, I feel.

GypsyMoth Tue 09-Feb-10 19:25:30

In our local flats dogs aren't actually allowed ...... Housing association tho not council. I thought this was the same everywhere, or would that be too sensible??

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 19:33:57

Thats very easy for us to say Tiggy - i essentially agree with you, but at what cost do we say STOP?

I hate all this judging of benefit claimants - it is often lack of intellect that means that they can't plan out their lives to do the whole: University, good job, career break, baby, back to work lifestyle. I am also a bit uncomfortable with you alluding to free abortion - not something someone should be forced into just because they didn't plan their family according to our standards. What do you suggest then Tiggy - a program of sterilisation?? hmm

Morloth Tue 09-Feb-10 19:44:22

LOL expat for some reason I picture you living in a cottage in the middle of nowhere in Scotland, surrounded by heath etc (or whatever it is you get in Scotland).

No idea why or how I have formed this mental picture.

Phoenix4725 Tue 09-Feb-10 19:49:21

tiggyr all very well talking about foodstamps etc but then some weeks i cut back on shopping to buy clothes or some weeks i do mange to save a bit , not for fags,booze nights out for me , is for a day out for dc ice creams etc when at park

So how would that benefit me

but i do agreed no reason for dogshit and piss on the carpet

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 19:55:51

LEMprefersdogstocats TiggyR also mentioned free family planning advice and contraception but you only picked up on the abortion!

I have been pregnant twice (when I wanted to very quickly) and have used contraception effectively for the rest of the 29 years I've been sexually active. I only had the children I could afford to have, didn't have any with my second husband because we needed my earnings as well as his.

For me the Mirena is a brilliant invention! It's not rocket science - go to doctor, have one fitted, no babies! Simple!

2old4thislark Tue 09-Feb-10 20:03:02

Ok maybe part food stamps - part cash? At the moment there's nothing to stop someone feckless spending the majority on booze, fags, the bookies and feeding the kids crisps! The case in the programme spent £42 out of £150 on fags alone!

What is the answer?

chegirlsgotheartburn Tue 09-Feb-10 20:03:08

MorrisZap That docu stuck in my head too. It was on years and years ago wasnt it?

The young woman was seemingly totally unable to make the connection between NOT buying two packets of fags and buying some bedding for her kids.

She wasnt a lary great moaner. It was almost surreal. I am pretty sure I was on benefits at the time. It was before the battle of the supermarkets so you couldnt buy duvets for £3.50 but you could go to a charity shop and buy blankets for a quid.

Phoenix4725 Tue 09-Feb-10 20:06:43

trouble is someone would soon sell their vouchers for cash so they could still but their booze and fags and thos ethat put themselves first will always find a way

herbietea Tue 09-Feb-10 20:07:05

I really don't think it would matter where this family were housed TBH.

They were both at home all day, but were both too bloody lazy to get off their arses and take the dogs and/or children for a walk or to the park.

They have no pride in themselves, their children, their homes or their surroundings.

You or I could go in their tomorrow, scrub it clean, give the kids beds with sheets on and do all the washing. But in a few weeks time it would be back square one again.

Not every one who is poor is like this, but some are and it is that minority who give other people a bad impression.

It is, also, not the council's or government's responsibility to sort these peoples' problems out for them.

Phoenix4725 Tue 09-Feb-10 20:10:08

i knew people that would sell milk tokens so could get ten fagsangry

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 20:15:12

they sound awful herbie - and im really playing devils advocate - but if someone is as thick as shit and "happy" to live that way - maybe their self esteem is rock bottom? Is it actually their fault?

Have they been failed somewhere along the line? At school? In their childhood homes? by fascilitating their lifestyle?

This isn't necessarily my opinion and im sure had i watched the car crash program, i would be judging with the rest of you.

The trouble is it very much is the councils responsibility to support vulnerable members of society - even if the parents are fuckwits, without adequate support and investment the children will end up the same way - i dont think benefits are the answer - something has to change in the way we educate our young people abut functioning as part of a society

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:16:41

'it is often lack of intellect that means that they can't plan out their lives'

No it isn't!

I've lived in two areas of council housing.

There is nothing wrong with most peoples' intellect in such places.

Bad education, maybe, but more often bad parenting to begin with = no self respect or values that don't include prioritising self-gratification.

PLENTY of people here have only one or two children.

You don't have to go to university or even college to do many forms of work.

It's the problem, too, is that a lot of those forms of work leave you even worse off than being on benefits.

That has to stop if you want to get people back to work.

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 20:22:05

but for some people expat, it is just that. My cousin totally took the piss out of the benefit system, or at least thats what i thought because she used to say things like "oh i got this out of em" "i just played on xyz and got this much" - i would be so angry but when i stepped back and thought about it, she has severe mental health issues, has learning difficulties which i have come to realise are extreme as since her husband (my cousin) died she has had to go into supported accomodation. Her attitude was vile, but i realise that it really wan't her fault - while she thought she was "playing the system" she couldnt have ever managed without it

HappyMummyOfOne Tue 09-Feb-10 20:26:43

"We should definitely go back to benefits being paid directly to landlords and utilities companies, and a return to food and clothing stamps etc. It's the only way to ensure that the money is spent in a way that benefits the people who need it most ie the children. What's a bit of stigma, compared to knowing that your children will have a warm house and a hot meal, no matter how dim and short-sighted you are?"

TiggyR, its a great idea but would take a strong government to do it. Perhaps that, and a cap as to how long you can claim, would mean a return to benefits being a welfare state and not a lifestyle choice.

Everybody can have bad luck or make bad choices, but there are far too many who have children with no thought as to how they will support them and expect the government to look after them with no attempt themselves to improve on the situation.

I didnt see the program but what parent could put cigarettes and dogs before beds for their children.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:26:59

for some, LEM, but the majority of people, on benefits or not, do not have compromised intellect, learning disabilities or mental health issues.

and even then, it's not an iron-clad excuse!

i've been depressed for donks now, suicidal, fucked up, addicted to booze, etc etc.

at some point you either own it or you don't.

and yes, i'll get 'but not all people can own it blah blah blah' i think it belittles people with mental health issues, tbh, disables and stigmatised them even more.

plenty of people with mental health issues and learning difficulties would never dream of living like this couple and therefore force their kids to live that way.

hell, twinset, nevereat, riven, getorf, myself, we're all people who've had mental health problems, disabled children, etc. but wouldn't dream of getting dogs when the kids go without or pissing away money on booze and fags.

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 20:31:27


I don't judge benefits claimants per se, I don't even judge the people who are too simple/feckless/marginalised to understand the concept of personal responsibility. I judge a system that allows those people to maintain the status quo by rewarding them for continuing a cycle of dependence.

Sterilisation? Not necessarily - though sometimes, for the terminally useless/dangerous cases. But financial incentives to take long term (injected) contraception, for people already a chronic drain on the system, rather than financial incentives to bring more disavantaged children into the system - yes.

And I wouldn't argue with the following:

Teenagers living at home should not get money (or housing) for having babies. They and their babies should be the responsibility of their parents. If their parents are not prepared/able to keep and house them then they make damn sure their daughter knows (in advance) that a baby she cannot support is out of the question. Hopefully it needn't end in abortion or adoption very often - just a more responsible attitude to contraception. In 2010 there is really no excuse for anything else. Initially there would be some difficult painful decisions, but once the message hit home the situation should improve greatly, and everyone would benefit.

I personally don't buy the argument that babies are necessarily 'punished' by being aborted. It depends entirely on what kind of life they are being born into. I think enough of them are being punished already - living a crap life in crap housing with crap parents and crap prospects. And people who insist on becoming pregnant over and over again with chaotic dysfunctional lives and no means of financial/emotional support for the children should have them removed and forcibly adopted. That should stop it in its tracks.

its so wrong that anyone would put dogs before their children. I needed new bunkbeds for the DDs I went on ebay and paid £30 for some. I need new drawers for the girls room as both sets have broken, I have been looking on ebay and freecycle. Its not hard to buy these items secondhand, there is no excuse, I just haven't found anything I like and keep missing items on freecycle.

Didn't watch the programme, were the family completely on benifits? or was it about their housing?

its so wrong that anyone would put dogs before their children. I needed new bunkbeds for the DDs I went on ebay and paid £30 for some. I need new drawers for the girls room as both sets have broken, I have been looking on ebay and freecycle. Its not hard to buy these items secondhand, there is no excuse, I just haven't found anything I like and keep missing items on freecycle.

Didn't watch the programme, were the family completely on benifits? or was it about their housing?

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:37:25

'But financial incentives to take long term (injected) contraception, for people already a chronic drain on the system, rather than financial incentives to bring more disavantaged children into the system - yes.'

Why should one person get a financial sweetie for using free long-term contraception and not another who does it out of personal responsibility?

Some states in the US do have time limits on how long you can claim benefits over the course of a lifetime.

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 20:37:52

i have to concur with your last post expat

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:39:04

'Didn't watch the programme, were the family completely on benifits? or was it about their housing?'

Yes, they were, Sparkly. And the guy was coming home from the pub obviously pissed and smoking spliffs in front of the camera.

In addition to the dogs pissing and shitting all over the place and the weans crawling/playing around it.

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 20:40:57

um, i knew that would happen - your second to last post then grin

Tiggy - enforced contraception - well that aint ever gonna happen, nice idea though. Not everyone is suited to mirena or implants or coils, so again we are relying on them taking the pill, wearing condoms.

Its difficult, i certinaly dont have the answers

so the typical 'benifit claimant' sterotype then? shame we all get tarnished with the same brush eh? Why didn't the dad work?

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:43:23

and why is it that every time contraception is mentioned it's always the woman's responsibility?

it's always the feckless female teenager who magically wakes up sprogged up, by asexual reproduction, it must be, because there's never any mention of educating men to use condoms or that condoms are also free.

men can father way more babies than a woman can give birth to.

expatinscotland Tue 09-Feb-10 20:44:19

'Why didn't the dad work?'

He was on JSA. But he was more interested in other pursuits.

justsue Tue 09-Feb-10 20:44:44

I have to add to this because it is madness at times.

I have worked full time all my working life been a single parent for most of thier lives and childminders basically brought them up. I was made redundant three weeks ago, did not get a redundancy package because I had not been there long enough. I am being forced to live on JSA of £64.30 per week. I have a daughter in college.

So what would you suggest I do with my £64.30 per week. Where is this hundreds of pounds benefit that people supposedly get cos I cant see it

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 20:57:05

justsue - it's people like you I really feel for. You have done your best to take responsibility for your own child. If there were fewer people making no effort whatsoever there would be more money in the pot to give people like you a better deal. I hope you get another job soon. [Hugs].

herbietea Tue 09-Feb-10 21:01:30

LEM I agree with expat.

My Mum had mental health issues. My Dad worked 2 jobs and our house sparkled like a new pin. She was agrophobic and addicted to diazepam, yet she still got out of bed every morning and got all 3 of us to school, did the housework and walked to the shops because she had no other choice and put us before herself.

I know everything is not black and white, but I can never seeing me putting an animal infront of my DC.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 21:02:54

I didnt think it was a typical benefit claiment portrayel, the other families shown were much better.

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 21:04:03

expat - I agree it's not really ideal for someone to be rewarded for contraception when others do it out of a sense of responsibility but we have to take a view that for some people in the 'vulnerable' category it's cheaper, and more effective in the long run than paying for them to have children, who will inevitably, due to poor and chaotic parenting, be a drain on social services, education, the police etc.

Nemofish Tue 09-Feb-10 21:05:45

The whole thing reminds me of a modern day 'Angela's Ashes.'

pooexplosionsareimproving Tue 09-Feb-10 21:12:54

Hardly Angelas Ashes. If you've no job your children won't die of consumption and you won't be living in squalor.
Unless you let dogs piss everywhere and never clean your house.

TiggyR Tue 09-Feb-10 21:13:19

I agree that it shouldn't only be the woman's responsibility for birth control - but come on! This is not Victorian England where the poor hapless scullery maid gets goosed in the shrubbery by the man of the house and she has no say in the matter! Ultimately, a woman cannot be made pregnant - she can only allow herself to be made pregnant! (rape an exception, it goes without saying). We are left holding the baby so we know it must ultimately be our responsiblity!

We have the choice to whether or not to go to bed with a man.

We know whether or not he is using a condom and we have the choice to say 'hang on there, mister...'

We have a choice to use the cap, coil, pill, etc etc.

Having failed to do that, we have the choice to use the morning after pill.

Then we have the choice of abortion or not.

Then we have the choice of adoption or not.

Compared to men, we are pretty flush with choices, all the way along. Please, please, don't patronise all of womankind in Britain today with the 'He got me pregnant' defence!!! Have we not moved on in 100 years girls?!!!

dayday Tue 09-Feb-10 21:57:03

hi its me day day! Thinking clearly today i know wot u mean about the dogs its not fair on the children their health and well being should come first. theres no excuse for the kids not having beds im sure they can make do with second hand shops until they sort themselves out. If they got rid of the dogs then they might have more money. they should sort their priorities out.

LEMprefersdogstocats Tue 09-Feb-10 22:42:08

I think what pisses me off, on reflection, as pretty much everyone has stated on here, most benifit claimants and those reliant on social housing are good parents who are struggling in difficult situations. Of course, no one can deny that there are arseholes about and this family certainly sound like a prime example. So why did the program makers choose this family - because the consensus seems to be that they are scum and don't deserve help. This is not a typical benifit claimant - just another example of car crash reality TV.

So tiggy, what about the hapless teen who is taken advantage of by her controlling boyfriend, pressured maybe into having unprotected sex - i know that my DD was taught about this at school and apprently lots of teenagers feel this pressure.

nevereatbrownsnow Tue 09-Feb-10 22:56:50

Dps insisting there were 3 dcs in the flat.

angry grrr.

LEM, I agree, I think more emphasis needs to be clamped on boys having to pay out for the next 18 yrs nd that means the csa clamping down.

Might make boys think on being a lot more careful in the very least.

BigMomma3 Tue 09-Feb-10 23:00:17

Yup dogs should be taken off them (if not the children). Flat dwellers should not be allowed to have dogs, simple. It's unfair on the dogs and the community as a whole - bloody dogshite in the stairwells and barking in enclosed spaces. Owning a dog is not a right.

I really cannot believe the people in that programme were for real. Are they that stupid that they would allow themselves to be filmed in those circumstances? That poor little girl proudly holding up her pink shoes that were falling apart saying she was lucky to have them like they were her most prized possession sad. Perhaps if her useless parents got rid of the bloody dogs they could get her some that are in one pieceangry.

What I don't understand is why they are wallowing in 1/2 bed council flats with multiple DCs, did no one tell them they can get help with a deposit and claim housing benefit for an actual house with enough bedrooms if they get off their arses and look for one? I find it hard to believe that they would not be able to find a landlord that took DSS in those areas. Are they going to rot in those flats for years until they have enough kids that the council give them a nice, big house? Do they really not know that there are crisis loans, social fund grants etc, who would give them enough money to get their DCs a bed and some carpet. There is so much access to help and advice these days, I can't believe they don't know about it.

Also the loud mouth woman going on about being evicted from her council house because of rent arrears and her belongings being ripped apart hmm. Pull the other one love, there must have been more going on than that. Councils would not evict people with DCs just for arrears unless they deemed that she was doing it intentionally or she was causing anti social problems. If she was on benefits or a low income she would have had access to free legal aid etc to fight them and surely they would have accepted even 1.00 a week in repayments if she was that hard up. If she could'nt pay her rent arrears how come she had enough money for fags - did you notice her sitting on the sofa in the other woman's flat with a fag in her hand in front of the DCs.

MiladyDeWinter Tue 09-Feb-10 23:13:09

My family in Ireland and New York experienced poverty a la Angela's Ashes and they, like the characters, never even considered housing hulking great dogs to feed (no insurance in those days or flea treatment or any other op) when there were not even blankets or beds to go round or food for the children. Blankets were very expensive in those days because they were so crucial.

A dog was a real luxury unless it was a necessity ie the butcher's dog.

<<Wonders about future Ladybird book showing "the local weed dealers dog">>

scanty Tue 09-Feb-10 23:16:09

regarding the under occupancy - know it's not ideal to have houses underoccupied while others are overcrowded but do you really want to force someone to move from their family home and their neighbours/community where they might have payed rent all their life/ taxes and spent a lot on their home? Surely they are due some consideration for being good, responsible, paying tennats.

MiladyDeWinter Tue 09-Feb-10 23:57:31

I might get a dog if I didn't have DH to be fair. It can get pretty scary here.

I wouldn't do what my next door but one did with their Staff when their front window was broken (drug debts) for the third time which was to throw the poor dog out of the door sad

I'd be a bit hmm about using money meant for a basic standard of living for my DC on dogs though. Dogs are expensive!

nevereatbrownsnow Wed 10-Feb-10 00:16:03

Scanty, it's unfortunate but yes they should, council housing should be means tested anyways imo

junglist1 Wed 10-Feb-10 00:34:19

What happened to the dog after that? I thought you were going to say out the window. You broke my heart for a split second

sarah293 Wed 10-Feb-10 07:55:15

'We need to give the working classes back the pride they used to have. Sadly we are still enabling some ill-equipped, ill-prepared people to acquire children with the same haphazard lack of forethought that they acquire dogs.....'

Thats us told by our betters. Sorry, but that comes across as very very patronising.
Money should be invested in decent schools and decent education. Show the Govt with the balls to do that. So schools on sink estates should be the best as the people are the most disadvantaged. But no, richer people always benefit from the best.

chandellina Wed 10-Feb-10 08:13:36

I find it hard to make generalisations about how people should live, but what is this nonsense about dogs not being suitable to live in flats? I've never understood this very British attitude, and despite the assumption it's to do with animal kindness, it doesn't seem to hold up that the British are particular dog lovers.
There are 1 million-plus dogs happily living in New York City, mostly in apartments. There, the love of dogs is abundantly clear.

sarah293 Wed 10-Feb-10 08:34:15

Doesn't seem to be dog shit all over the streets of NYC either. I noticed that when I was there.

Rhubarb Wed 10-Feb-10 11:00:35

I don't watch shite like this on TV because it makes me cringe.

Almost every family near me has a bloody dog. I used to love dogs but now I just can't stand them. On the school walk there must be around 10 dogs, some are Jack Russells and some are bloody huge vicious looking things.

I know of one TA who has been bitten on the same school walk and one dog was aggressive to me once - off the lead.

The path is covered in dog shite and when you get to the school all the dogs are tied up at the fences outside. They jump up at the kids walking past and make a bloody hell of a racket.

I complained to the Community Officer who said that because the dogs were secured, there was nothing he could do about it.

Many of these families have a large brood of children and then they throw a dog into the mix. I've now vowed that I will NEVER EVER get a bloody dog. I am sick of the sight of the stupid mutts. angry

expatinscotland Wed 10-Feb-10 12:28:05

'Doesn't seem to be dog shit all over the streets of NYC either. I noticed that when I was there'

That's because the council actually employs environmental health wardens who do their job and fine people, on the spot, for allowing their dog to foul the pavement and not picking it up (or littering).

And if they get arsey, they get arrested, the dog thrown in the pound (they have to pay to get it back out) and another big fat fine.

If you don't police people, they go ghetto.

expatinscotland Wed 10-Feb-10 12:32:55

'I've never understood this very British attitude, and despite the assumption it's to do with animal kindness, it doesn't seem to hold up that the British are particular dog lovers.'

They're the same way about cats. Titchy about allowing you to adopt one if you don't have a garden, but okay about letting them run about at large to foul where they will, mate and cause road accidents.

I've also notice far more unneutered dogs here.


Most cities in the US fine you for keeping an unneutered dog unless you are a registered breeder, or if the animal is caught running about at large, it's seized and neutered and you have to pay for that and fees to get it back or surrender it.

You also get a ticket for letting an animal run about off lead in many areas, unless you are in an off lead park.

That way, in a regular park, people can enjoy using it without having to worry about someone else's fucking dog.

nevereatbrownsnow Wed 10-Feb-10 23:17:07

People who have cats and no litter tray really piss me off, cats like to do their business in the same place, if provided with a clean tray shouldnt crap in gardens.

sweetkitty Thu 11-Feb-10 12:07:15

I walked to school for the first time in ages today and the amount of dog shit on the pavements was utterly disgusting especially outside the school gates. I mean who walks their dog to school then allows it to shit outside it, if people actually think there's nothing wrong with it then I don't think much will change their (tiny) minds.

fernie3 Thu 11-Feb-10 13:57:38

ok thanks to this thread I had to go and watch this programme online grin.
I have to say I am a little angry that those parents are allowed to spend money that they didnt earn on everything but what they actually need.I thought the single mother (I cant remember her name but she was 19) was great but that other family made me want to throw the computer.

I DO think social services need to be involved, even if they dont have space that is no excuse to live the way they were and the children clearly were not being cared for properly, there were drugs in the house etc it was all just wrong.

My house is untidy most of the time but I am pretty sure if I were in that situation I would get rid of the dogs, stop smoking and use the money I save in just a couple of weeks to connect up the cooker and buy a rug to cover the floor and some actual bedding.

TiggyR Thu 11-Feb-10 14:23:15

And anyway how can you possibly complain about being overcrowded with humans when you can find space for two dogs? And what would be the benefit to those children if they were given ten flippin' bedrooms? They clearly have more urgent and obvious needs than physical space.

nevereatbrownsnow Thu 11-Feb-10 16:27:26

I must confess it's not the kind of crap i'd usually watch, and was [shocked]

Did think they got a fair portrayel though and there was a fair mix of people.

I'm surprised they agreed to be filmed tbh,if i was living in those conditions with kds and some bugger wanted to film it i'd run for the merry hills!s'pose it must be normal for some people unfortunately

mariedj Thu 11-Feb-10 23:10:43

In Scotland if you don't work and rely on benefits you get over £100 a year to help pay for your dog. Maybe its the same in England? Not saying that makes having dogs in this case is a good idea obviously.

CardyMow Fri 12-Feb-10 00:40:02

Expat-not all HA's bend over backwards to keep people in their properties, especially when in my area they could fill the property 2,500 times over. I lost my job as the shop closed down (with 4 days notice), and it took 6 weeks for my housing benefit to come through. My HA had already taken me to court for a notice of seeking possesion, that only expired 3 weeks ago after 2 years. I had NO savings with which to pay the rent. So I totally disagree that that lady had to have done something wrong. She was in inner city London, and tbh, I wouldn't be surprised if her HA wasn't the same as mine, because 90% of their properties are in London. I happen to be in one of the other 10%. In areas like this with waiting lists of 5-6 years for a 3 bed house, in which time families are housed in one room in a B&B or even in a homeless hostel shared with drug addicts who leave their paraphernalia (sp?) lying around for your dc's to pick up (have been there and got the t-shirt!), they can kick you out and have new tenants in within 3 days. HA's in an area like that don't give a shit, because they don't have to.

Trickle Fri 12-Feb-10 01:14:14

The single mum who lost her house due to rental arrears was working at the time. I believe she in part lost her job due to the homelessness - she also lost almost all her possesions. There was a massive reduction in her LHA/HB with no notice - she couldn't come to an arrangement with the council about the arrears and that is why she lost her tennancy.

My mum who used to be a housing officer says this is not unusual if you have a lazy housing officer. My mum would have got off her bum and done something about it - thereby meaning no family to rehouse in temporary accomodation. She had a collegue who couldn't be bothered and although a families rental arrears were confirmed as being HB responsiblity and would be paid an eviction notice was still sought as they couldn't be bothered with the leg and paper work it would have taken to postpone it.

It's not always the person's fault sometimes the system really is against you.

I'm looking at having to move out of a fairly well furnished home (negative equity will leave me with debt) into adapted council accomodation. This will mean no carpets, no curtains, no phone and worst no cooker. I do have a dog - but he cost £10 every 6 weeks to feed, am I supposed to rehome him in order to save the money from his food for the next 3 years so I can get a cooker? I don't have a microwave either so I really am buggered.

Trickle Fri 12-Feb-10 01:21:12

Oh - and social loans are quite tight, a carpet is not essential, neither are curtains if I am lucky I will be able to 'prove' that I need one carpet in the front room for a crawling baby - and possibly one on the stairs in case I fall. I'll be lucky though - in fact very lucky as i'll have a stair lift so falls will be unlikely.

CardyMow Fri 12-Feb-10 01:29:19

BUT I have to say, I have been unable to work for 2 years due to my disability, and I have gone from a size 16 when I was working to a size 12 now. NOT through dieting, but to make sure my dc's are fed a varied diet and their 5 a day. I own no pets, I had a dog when I was working, when he passed away a year ago, I had to say to the DC's that we could no longer afford to keep a dog. And even when he was still here, and getting incontinent through age, it didn't mean I had to leave it there around my dc's like this family did. hmm. And while I do smoke, I smoke roll-ups, and spend £3.50 a week now. When I was working I smoked 20 a day, proper pre-made cigs. I am trying to give up, have tried patches, didn't work, can't use champix due to my epilepsy, am trying to cut down with a view to giving up as I can't afford it.

BUT as for contraception etc, I was on the pill AND used a condom when I fell with DD, didn't take MAP as I (wrongly, at 15) assumed I would be covered by the pill when the condom split. Didn't know that antibiotics interfered with the pill. Also assumed as I was engaged, that my fiance didn't have someone ELSE pg at the same time. hmm

So I started using the depo injection. Along came DS1. Then I decided to have the norplan implant, with a mirena coil for good measure. The implant didn't work, and DS2 CAME OUT holding the coil. shock. I have since been told that I am in the 0.1% of the population that hormonal contraception doesn't work for. I use condoms and hope for the best. As I would NEVER have a termination unless I had been raped. Sorry, don't need to justify that one. Freedom of choice. This isn't hitler's germany, no-one gets to enforce terminations or sterilisations on anyone else, as it would always be open to abuse, and the risk of opening the UK up to ethnic cleansing.

And I DIDN'T have ANY of my DC's while I was on benefits, I and/or my partner were working at the time that each dc was conceived. Just life has a way of fucking with your plans, and not everyone can get themselves out of situations they are in.

BUT, hell, I'M on benefits, and I was judging that family, fgs, all my dc's have new clothes and shoes when they need them, and bedding on their beds (a brand new bed sheet costs £3.00 in tesco's...christ, where are their child tax credits and child benefit GOING?!). I have saved to enable me to take my DC's to the natural history museum on Friday in HT. So, go ahead and judge them for their obvious lack of parenting skills, you DON'T put yourself first when you have children, that's parenting rule number one. BUT don't judge them for being in a 1-bed flat, that's the responsibility of their local council.

AND while I agree in principle that single people/a couple in a 3/4/5 bed house should be made to give it up when their dc's are grown up, what happens if you have dc's that may NEVER live independantly like my DD and my DS2, who would STILL need a room each plus a room for me, therefore still needing a 3 bed house. Am I meant to kick them out when they hit 18yo, or put them in residential care just because someone with YOUNGER children that are in need may need the house. So I think it would have to be done on a case by case basis, which just isn't possible as it would cost too much to run. It would solve the 5/6 yr wait for a 3 bed in my LA now though. Might create a shortage of 1-beds for adult dc's to move into though. The real solution is to build more council/HA housing, but in a large, oversaturated town, where the hell would they build them?

nevereatbrownsnow Fri 12-Feb-10 02:16:38

Ooooh loudlass you put it so well blush

The family arent to be judged for being on benefits in a one bed flat (council or otherwise } or even for having incontinent dogs really)

My big, fat, judgeypants were applied for simply not caring and doing the best they can.

probono Fri 12-Feb-10 04:22:35

Never, if you are still around, great post, very heartfelt.

probono Fri 12-Feb-10 04:28:13

Expat, so logical and cogent. We recently had an argument but I can't remember what about. Anyway really well put.

Can't add much really: except if you don't condemn and judge at some point then there's no distiguishing between those who take personal responsibility and those who don't. Not every bad thing that every poor person does can be blamed on the government.

nevereatbrownsnow Fri 12-Feb-10 08:05:05

Probono, thanks, I am always heartfelt I am grin

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